We reap what we sow, therefore it is very important for parents to inculcate healthy eating habits in their kids from early on. Toddlers (between 1-3 years of age) can be unreceptive to repetitive food items and might need a little pampering to get that food in their tummies. Here are some fun summer recipes that you can put together for your little ones.

1. Vegetable and Curd Rice

Cook rice till it becomes soft. Add bite-sized vegetables along with turmeric, salt and a little curd for taste. This mixture of rice, vegetables and curd is a traditional South Indian recipe. The recipe is a perfect blend of health as well as taste, while at the same time making sure that your child is eating a healthy meal, complete in nutritional aspects to face the summer heat. The curd produces a cooling effect in the body, thereby countering body heat.

2. Pumpkin Dip

Toddlers love the “do-it-myself” aspect of dipping and participating in an activity they’ve seen older kids and parents do. Give them a bowl of tasty dip, and they will eat anything you put in front of them, from fruit and veggies to chicken and tofu. Don’t stop with ketchup though. Instead, use dips as an opportunity to get additional nutrients, protein, and fiber into your child’s diet. Canned pumpkin makes it easy to whip up this sweet dip. Just add slices of canned pumpkin to the blender and add some oregano for flavor. Serve the dip with peeled apple slices, banana slices, or cinnamon pita chips. (Make sure to purchase 100% pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling.)

3. Mediterranean Salmon Salad

Toss a spoonful of hot orzo with a small handful of torn spinach until the spinach wilts and the mixture is cool. Shred a small amount of salmon and add it to the mixture. Add olives and cheese, if desired. Don’t make the name of the title deter you from serving a tasty and warm mix of pasta, salmon and vegetables to your toddler. Salmon is an excellent source of high-quality protein, vitamins and minerals (including potassium, selenium and vitamin B12).

4. Sweet And Sour Chicken

Introduce your baby to the goodness that is takeout food without the extra fat. This home-style sweet-and-sour chicken has a lighter, fresher tasting sauce than typical restaurant versions. Serve with steamed brown or basmati rice.

• Omit the chili paste. Instead, sprinkle red pepper flakes over their portions.

• Cut a piece of chicken and a spoonful of vegetables into small pieces.

• Serve it over rice in a small bowl or on a rimmed plate so it’s easier for your child to eat without spilling their food.

5. Fruit Popsicles

Kids love ice cream and summer is the best and safest season for a big scoop of this dessert. While ice-cream produces a temporary cooling effect, it actually creates heat in the body due to the fat content in it. Store fruit juices in candy shaped containers and add a little edible gelatin to them, if required. After freezing, your toddler can enjoy a homemade Popsicle which guarantees health as well as taste, and parents can be rest assured of their kid having eaten something healthy.

So don’t forget to whip up these yummy recipes for your toddlers this summer. Try something new and replenishing rather than sticking to good old traditional baby foods.

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