Till a few months back my little daughter would eat everything that I would serve in her plate. I would proudly announce to my friends and family that my child is not at all a fussy eater. I might have said so soon or forgot to touch the wood. Because for the last couple of months, my daughter is nothing if not picky while eating. One day, she eats only roti (no daal and subzi), next day she happily gobbles up all the subzi in her plate and asks for more (only subzi), and then she wants to eat only daal or rice or nothing. So far so good. I know it’s not. But that’s another story for another time.
Now after her meal, my daughter comes to me and demands, “Mamma, stand up.”
I ask, “Why?”
She doesn’t say anything but just holds my hands and urges me to stand up. She then takes me to the cupboard where I hoard the snacks. Of course, my little baby is hungry.
She then asks me to open the cupboard, “Mamma open” and then takes her little fingers towards the mouth and gestures. “Want to eat. Aanya hungry,” She says.
“And you very well should be,” is all I manage. But I do as told and open the cupboard in which are neatly stacked Tupperware containers with all sorts of foods.
I ask her, “Do you want to eat mamra?” She shakes her head. “khakhra?” Again a shake of her head. I know this will take long as I need to give her a lot of options. But I also know what she actually wants to eat but is scared to ask for straightaway.
“Chevda? No?” Then, “Sing-chana?” And she diligently keeps on shaking her head till I have run out of the containers.
Exasperated I ask, “What do you want to eat?” Then very slowly she says, “Bikit”. There it was out. Finally.
I say, “Biscuit finish.” She makes a face but says nothing. Now I start closing the cupboard when she shouts, “No, no, no.” I wait patiently. Nowadays, I am the epitome of patience.
“Give me mamra,” she says at last. I fill her a bowl of roasted puffed rice which she happily eats. Although later I do find a few mamras rolling here and there on the ground which I either pick up or ignore; depends on the state of my mind.
Image courtesy: veggieplatter.blogspot.com
So this is what happens in my home almost every day now. When hunger strikes, I try to give her fresh and/or home-made snacks. Here are a few options:
- Cucumber and carrot sticks. Kids learn to eat salad in a fun way. You can serve them with hummus or yoghurt dip; rich in calcium and protein. They are easy to make and can be stored for a couple of weeks.
- Roasted mamra (puffed rice) and poha.
- Peanuts, chana, khakhra.
- Dry fruits and nuts.
- Chikki made of jaggery and groundnuts, sesame seeds or puffed rice.
- Make a few extra methi ka theplas or bhakris and store them in the refrigerator. Whenever your child is hungry, put one in the microwave for less than 10 sec.
- Boil chhola (chick peas/kabuli chana) or rajma (red kidney beans) with little turmeric and salt. This is an excellent snack for your kid. Although avoid giving in the evenings as they can lead to indigestion and bloating.
- Pressure cook some sprouted moong and serve with finely chopped onions, cucumber and tomatoes with a little salt and lemon juice.
- Home-made wheat cookies. They are quite wholesome and one batch lasts for 4-5 days. I use the one of Tarla Dala – http://www.tarladalal.com/Bright-Cookies-13015r
- Baked mathri. It’s not as yummy as the fried ones but definitely healthier. Store these in an air-tight container and it will last weeks. – http://spicehunt.blogspot.in/2011/02/oven-baked-mathri.html
Though I have biscuits, bread and maggi at home, I avoid giving her those. They are only for emergency like while travelling or if I have run out of all these options, which is very unlikely.