During the mad morning rush, when you are struggling to get your uncooperative toddler ready for preschool, you only have a few minutes to pack their snack box. You get up early to whip a nutritious meal, only to be disappointed later when your child brings an untouched snack box back home.
Packing a meal, for picky 3-year old needs a lot of head scratching. Here are some snack-box ideas that are healthy, fun and energy packed to ease your mornings a little.
- Keep it simple.
- Pack small portions; be realistic with the portion size. Remember that a three year old child has small appetite. If they know they can’t finish it, they will just not try.
- Send 2-3 snack options, a fruit, a piece of cake and a fresh healthy snack.
- Prepare in advance, maybe the night before.
- Pairing a hot snack with a small portion of your child’s favourite junk food will make your child more likely to eat everything. If your child likes a fruit or a cookie, pack that along to bring a smile.
- Do not pack new or unfamiliar food. Experiment with something new only at home, at least for preschoolers..
- Freshness of food items should be kept in mind. Kids will eat the snack box hours after it has been prepared. Do not pack something that will turn soggy, runny or gets discolored later.
- Kids love color. So if you are giving him/ her parantha that looks dull and boring, give them some green and black grapes along. Chances are they will eat both.
- Keep nutrition in mind. Sneak in vegetables, cheese and paneer in different ways. Toddlers need calories and carbs.
- Avoid packaged food like potato chips or chocolates. Also limit sending sugar-sweetened drinks like fruit juice packages.
- Send finger foods that the kids can pick up and eat easily on their own, without making a mess. If you are sending a sandwich or parantha, cut it into bite size pieces.
- Pasta in tomato or white sauce is the ultimate fallback recipe for all ages. Pre-cook lots of sauce in advance.
- Try stuffed paranthas like potato, spinach and shredded carrots. Get creative. Sandwiches filled with cheese, banana with nutella, mashed potato or vegetables are hot favourites.
- Mini-idlis – Add some shredded veggies and prepare a big batch of batter well in advance.
- Vermicelli upma
- Uttapam with lots of colourful vegetables
- Vegetable poha
- Cutlets are an easy way to add any vegetable
- Millet or rawa dosa
You can bring variety and choice in their meal by sending it along with the hot snack.
- Fresh fruits like banana, grapes, strawberries and more
- Fresh vegetables like cucumber and baby carrots
- Oatmeal – raisin cookies or muffins
- Dates or dried fruits
- Cheese slice
- Boiled corn or Pop-corn
- Home made granola bars