I don’t remember a time when I did not have snacks in my bag, or in a bowl next to me while I’d doing anything. I always need a snack! You know what I mean? I grew up in a snack loving family and having nuts in my pocket or a bunch of grapes in a box in my bag was too normal growing up! I remember having raw mango cut into long pieces and sprinkled generously with spicy paprika and salt , on the street just outside my school. Ok! probably doesn’t look like a hygienic scene to the ones reading it now, but we as kids, used to love it! For every season, there was a specialty snack sold in the street markets. Guavas, Cucumbers, Watermelon and others of the sort are sold in the same fashion as the mangoes in their respective seasons.
Well, If your mouth isn’t watering yet, Lets get on to what I actually want to talk about today. I know there’s some of you out there who have no idea why I started out today’s post the way I did. The reason is simple. To me, a snack is even better than a meal. It adds flavor but is eaten in limitation and if chosen properly can be really beneficial to us. Our kids too love snacks for the same reason. I do give Raaga gold fish and crunchies as much for a snack too but her food chart keeps growing and I get to experiment with her growing tastebuds! She is 17 months old now. She’s at a phase where she loves to snack on fruits more than anything. And I’m introducing a lot of healthy options at this stage. other than that, I have tried a few recipes for lunch and dinner too. But, My main objective here is to encourage her to eat in the same fashion as we do. And I certainly don’t believe in either forcing her to eat and finish up everything I offer her or even going behind her, running to every corner of the house feeding her except if we are travelling and its a new environment for her (in which case she might be too curious to sit down for a meal). I just make sure she is fed and likes what she is having. Every family is different and their eating habits are different. I always believed that there’s not one specific way! Nothing bad or good, nothing wrong or right.
A few months back, we made some changes to Raaga’s food and eating habits. We did not diligently use a high chair until a few weeks back. but slowly she got used to it and now she knows that she has to sit on the high chair to eat lunch/dinner. I am going to proudly say, she eats what we eat, (thanks to her teeth now finally coming out fast) with a few exceptions but its pretty much what we do at this house.
We also increased our intake of fresh fruit as a result of this change. Her lunch and dinner menu is the same as ours. So, to add more vitamins and minerals and fat to her daily diet, we buy more fruit and slowly are getting used to consuming some amount of fruit daily along with her.
Like I said, and as you know, every family is different and I’m not an expert but I do want to share some snack and meal Ideas with you all. If you have any other ideas or suggestions, Please comment below. I’d love to introduce new foods to Raaga slowly.
- Vegetable Khichdi – sweet potato, corn, carrot, peas, tomato and beans (you can add some or all of these veggies and more for a whole some lunch or dinner)
- Spinach rice – I tried spinach rice in many ways for Raaga and she seems to enjoy the garlicky flavor in it. Recipe : Chop spinach finely. Add oil in a pan. once the oil heats up, add few chopped garlic pieces and some jeera/cumin. Let them fry until garlic turns golden brown. Add a pinch of turmeric and some corriander powder/ dhaniya powder . Now add the chopped spinach and fry on low heat for a few minutes until spinach changes color and reduces . Then add salt and stir. Add cooked rice to this and mix well. This tastes very good and goes great with a few heaping spoons of plain yogurt.
- Paneer Parantha (with extra asafetida and lots of chopped cilantro)
- Alu parantha – goes without saying that we are fans of Alu parantha in this house and love to eat it any day of the week! A dash of ketchup and some jam to go with it , That’s Raaga style.
- Vegetable rasam and rice
- Tomato/ Mango dal and Rice : A staple in our house.
- Vegetable upma with cauliflower, peas, carrot and tomato. Its the best way to blend health and taste in a meal ! I’ve always been a fan of Upma and truth be told, Its easy to make too!! haha
- lemon Rice – We are still slowly getting used to this. Raaga loves it but doesn’t have too much at once so it can’t be considered a meal yet but we’re coming along slowly.
- Avocado toast ( dash of lemon , pinch of salt and we’re done!)
- 3 large strawberries and a few blueberries
- Half an omelette or half of a hard boiled egg.
- Some gold fish and a cheese toast
- Half of a large orange and some milk biscuits
- Milk and cereal ( she loves chocolate milk!)
- 1 dosa or 1/2 Besan cheela
- homemade banana bread : Raaga loved it and kept asking for it all the time 🙂
So these are some of the foods that i try to offer and reoffer to Raaga on a daily basis. Slowly but surely we’ve been making way for some healthy yet yummy eating. If you have tips or recipes that work for you and what I can offer Raaga going forward , please do let me know in the comments below. If you like this post, Please click the star below . That motivates me to write more. I’d love for you to check out my instagram handle @ramyakirtana
Thank you for reading. Will be back with another post soon.