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My elder son is a picky eater. “I don’t blame him – he got it from you!” Not my words! Whenever I call up my mother and rant about how Nik gives me a tough time having his meals, she says the same words with an air of finality. So the next logical step for me was to figure from her only, how to ensure that he is getting is full nutrition. In this write-up here, I am going to share her tips and tricks of how to pack nutrition into a picky eaters tummy (read – how she did it with me)
Here are a couple of tips and tricks she share with me on how to ensure nutrition for my picky eater. She asked me to imbibe these in my conscience so that I do not loose my temper, everytime my boy refuses to eat –
- Remove your focus from the quantity. Try and work on the quality of food your child consumes
- Include a lot of fruits in your daily routine
- If your kid loves milk, you are half sorted
- Include nuts and raisins in your lifestyle
- Hide the nutrition. Be creative with how you get your kid to consume vegetables.
- There will be a lot of mothers boasting about how their kids are perfect with with food habits. DON’T LET THAT GET ON YOUR NERVES!
Well these are just the pointers. Ofcourse I had a detailed discussion with her and the other experienced mother in my house, namely my mum-in-law on how we could act upon the above points. Here’s what I did –
Nutrition For My Picky Eater
Thankfully, Nik shows decent affinity towards milk. He used to have two glasses of Milk untill a couple of months back. But recently, I have added another half a cup to his routine, before going to bed. I give him milk laced with a health drink and try and experiment with the health drink brands that work for us. For long it was Bournvita for us, but recently I have started giving him a variant of Horlicks’ atleast one time of the three times he has milk. Sometimes, we experiement with some fruit smoothies. Curd is also a staple diet for us.
Nik loves bananas. That actually solves a lot of my problems. I make sure that he has atleast one banana during the day. On some lucky days, he even has the time to have two bananas. Apart from that, we try and consume either half an apple or some pomegranate. To make it a little exciting, I add chat masala to it. Nik enjoys the seasoning. According to the season fruit juice is also fit into the routine. Like during Summers, Aamras is our favorite. These days, we harp on Lime (mausambi) Juice.
A child may not like to have all kinds of vegetables. I mean, think about it. Even at our age, we aren’t open to all kinds of vegetables. The best way to ensure that my child atleast tries to eat vegetables is to pack the same in his lunch box for school. He is more likely to try a new vegetable in his lunch box as against at home. Meals at home always include one safe vegetable and one experiment. You may have to continue to try with a certain begetable for upto a dozen times, before the kid actually opens up to it. I remind myself that at this age, I too don’t like everything that’s healthy.
Nuts & Raisins
Nuts and Raisins are packed with nutrition and the best alternatives for a picky eater ‘s mom. Over the years, I have made Nik receptive to some nuts such as soaked Almonds, Walnuts, Fox Nuts and raisins. A handful of them in the tiffin lunch box, or in the evening snack should suffice.
I ensure hydration through refreshing drinks such as aam panna, lime juice, Glucon-D etc. It keeps the energy levels high and ensures that kids are hydrated enough. Glucon D may be a cause of concern for many mothers as it is high on sugar, but given that young kids are physically extremely active, a glass or two should be fine.
Fibre and Carbs
Fibre and Carbs come from the 2 chapatis and a bowl of rice that is distributed across the three meals during the day. A rice of bowl along with curd and some veggies does wonders as a wholesome meal for my picky eater. To make chapati / roti more interesting, I season the veggies with home made pickles, or sauces and roll them into a chapati. Sometimes, when I am lucky, the chapati vanishes into Nik’s tummy in a blink. Or at other times, when I know that the vegetable is not of the kid’s liking, I grate some carrots or cabbage or cauliflower and make a stuffed parantha to be served along with a pickle. Serves my purpose.
So here was a minimalist way of packing nutrition for my picky eater. What are the tips and tricks you follow to ensure that your kids have sufficient nutrition? So leave your ideas and thoughts in the comments section.
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