Monsoon recipes for toddlers, from a nutritionist

The monsoon is the most awaited season of the year for children but also brings along many challenges like infections, allergies and diseases. Viruses and microorganisms become active and cultivate during this season. Moreover, it is needed for children to have powerful antioxidants, vitamin C, green leafy vegetables, and high proteins in their diet to boost their immunity and keep them away from infectious viruses.

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Toddlers are kids falling in the age group from 1-3 years. At this age, their immunity is in a developing phase and it becomes very important for parents and caretakers to incorporate healthy and attractive recipes in their daily diet. All seasonal fruits and vegetables are rich sources of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and fibres that are palatable and helpful to fight with any condition of health and boost immunity. Toddlers need to be fed with high proteins and carbohydrates for their proper growth, tissue and muscle building along with entire development. Keeping them well hydrated is equally important and it’s not an easy task.

Here are a few of the healthy recipes for your toddlers, easy to cook and healthy to relish.

Litchi and Jamun Smoothie

These fruits are easily available in monsoons and are full of antioxidants and vitamin C, whereas jamuns are good in iron too, to improve the haemoglobin levels. Here’s the recipe:

Preparation time – 10 mins

Ingredients:

Deseeded Litchi – 2-3

Deseeded Jamun (chopped) – 3-4

Fresh curd – 1 cup

Cold milk – 1 cup

Jaggery – 1 teaspoon

Crushed ice – 2-3 cubes

Method:

  • Add all the ingredients except the chopped jamuns and crushed ice, to the mixer and blend.

  • Then add the chopped jamuns and the crushed ice in it and serve it with some crushed dry-fruits topping.

Sweet Potato Halwa

Sweet potatoes are a great source of fibres, vitamins and minerals and also promote gut health. In monsoons, the human digestion becomes weak and this food helps enhance gut health and boost immunity. It also supports weight gain in children who are underweight. Here’s the recipe:

Preparation time – 20 mins

Ingredients:

Medium-sized sweet potatoes – 2

Boiled milk – ¾ cup

Jaggery – 2 tbsp

Saffron – 1-2 strands

Ghee – 1 tbsp

Cardamom powder – ¼ tsp

Chopped dry-fruits – 2 tbsp

Method:

  • Boil the sweet potatoes, peel and mash them finely.

  • Add ghee in a pan and roast the dry fruits initially, then add the mashed sweet potatoes to it and roast well to a slight golden colour.

  • Add jaggery to it and mix well.

  • Add cardamom powder with saffron strands mixed in the boiled hot milk to it.

  • Cook it for 3-4 mins and serve hot.

 Veg Cheese Toast

In monsoon, all the vegetables are easily available like carrots, cucumbers, beetroots, tomatoes, onions etc which provides protection to the digestive system and prevents several diseases. Incorporation of all these veggies in a single dish and serving to kids with some innovation would help to reach their nutritional needs. Let’s check the recipe:

Preparation Time: 10 mins

Ingredients:

Bread slices – 2-3

Grated carrot – 2 tsp

Finely chopped tomatoes – 2 tsp

Finely chopped cucumber – 2 tsp

Finely chopped coriander – 1 tsp

Cream – 1 tsp

Salt to taste

Cheese – 1 cube

Method:

  • Mix all the veggies in a bowl and add cream to it.

  • Take the bread slices and apply butter to it.

  • Apply the veggie mixture over the single bread slice.

  • Grate some cheese over the slices and microwave it to cook for 2 mins.

  • Veg cheese toast is ready to serve.

Murmura Chivda

Toddlers are fussy eaters. They always want to eat attractive foods and don’t always want to have normal home cooked foods. Mothers usually need to be very smart to feed such kids with new innovations to convince them. Let’s check the dish:

Preparation Time – 10 mins

Ingredients:

Murmura (puffed rice) – 2 bowl

Roasted peanuts – ¼ cup

Roasted split gram dal – 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp

Curry leaves – 3-5

Lemon juice – 1 tbsp

Pinch of hing (asafoetida)

Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp

Salt to taste

Oil – 1 tsp

Method:

  • Take oil in a pan and heat it.

  • Add mustard seed and allow it to split.

  • Add curry leaves, hing, turmeric powder along with lime juice and mix well.

  • Add roasted peanuts (you can also add roasted dry fruits/dried coconut/fried cornflakes) to the tadka.

  • Add the murmura (puffed rice) to it and mix well.

  • Lastly add salt to taste (You can also add some sugar to give a tangy flavour).

  • Murmura Chivda is ready to serve.

This recipe can be made in large quantities and stored in an airtight container.

Omelet Pizza

A combination of proteins and vegetables would be a great choice to make a kid’s meals healthy and attractive. Children usually find eggs heavy to digest because they are rich in proteins, vitamin D and E along with few essential fatty acids. Added with fibres in the form of vegetables would improve gut health. Let’s check the ingredients:

Preparation Time: 10 mins

Ingredients:

Whole eggs – 2

Multipurpose flour – 2 tsp

Chilli flakes – ¼ tsp

Oregano leaves – ¼ tsp

Black pepper powder – ¼ tsp

Julienned bell peppers (red, yellow, green) – 1 cup

Medium-sized cut onions – 1

Tomato sauce – ½ cup

Cheddar cheese – ½ cup

Oil – 1 tsp

Salt to taste

Method:

  • Take raw eggs in a bowl and beat them well.

  • Add multipurpose flour, chilli flakes, oregano leaves, salt to taste and a slight pinch of black pepper powder and beat it well, removing all the lumps.

  • Sauté all the mentioned vegetables in the pan and keep it aside.

  • In the same pan add little more oil and add the egg batter allowing it to cook from both the sides at a low flame.

  • Apply tomato sauce to one side of the omelette (you can mix some mayonnaise to the sauce along) and spread the sautéed veggies on the top. Also sprinkle the cheddar cheese on it and allow it to cook at low flame using a lid for a minute.

  • Open the lid and cut it into triangles or any shape to serve the omelette pizza, hot and yummy

These recipes are easy to prepare and less time consuming with lots of attraction and innovation for the mothers to prepare and very importantly for all the fussy eaters to not give any reasons to skip the healthy and delicious foods.

(The writer is Executive Nutritionist, Cloudnine Hospital, Kalyani Nagar, Pune.)

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