By: Marzia Shamsi
From the time I became a mother for the first time I have been very particular about what I ate while I breast fed my kids to what I fed them when they were young to now at ages 8 & 4. Both my kids started off with solids from 4 month on wards. Their diets included little portions from poached eggs,poultry,fish,fruits,vegetables,puddings & rice all boiled & mashed till the time they fully developed their tastes being able to decide their likes & dislikes. A lot of new parents are normally concerned & reluctant to start off with solids. My advice to them would be we must understand that from the ages of 4 and 6 months, most babies are developmentally ready to get their first taste of solid foods. At this point, they lose the extrusion reflex that is beneficial for sucking a breast or bottle but can shove a spoonful of baby cereal right back out. It is very important for us to note that its the initial stages when they develop different tastes & textures slowly & gradually until they have entered the toddler phase. It is very important to balance their nutritional requirements since they need a little bit of everything as they are crawling, learning to walk or already walking, running, playing, tripping & at the same time teething. There’s a lot going on in the little body. To balance it all the body requires a lot of energy .
When talking about different nutritional elements in the body fats have a pretty bad reputation, but it’s actually an essential part of every cell in your body. Dietary fat is a concentrated source of energy that’s necessary in a young child’s diet to meet those needs. Babies naturally get more fat because breast milk and formula are higher in fat. So when a child starts to eat more solid food and drink less breast milk or formula, the composition of her diet begins to change to a more balanced ratio of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. It’s all about balancing. I have designed few healthy & easy snack recipes for your toddlers that I hope you all will enjoy!
Creamy Potato & Carrot Croquettes
These potato & carrot croquettes are a slightly fancier version of the potato pancakes. This recipe can be incorporated with shredded chicken or other soft easily digestible veggies too. All-time favorites with my kids when they were little. Easy to carry around and quiet filling almost replaces a meal than a snack.
- 1.5 lbs potatoes (about 5 medium potatoes), peeled
- 1lbs of Carrots peeled
- 1/4 cup water
- 8 oz. package of Cabot cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 large eggs, whisked
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- olive oil cooking spray
- Toppings: ketchup and parsley
- Boil potatoes & carrots in water until tender, about 30-40 minutes depending on the size.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Mash both vegetables with a fork and add up to 1/4 cup of water if needed to make them stick together a bit more. Add the grated cheese, salt and pepper, and mix to incorporate completely.
- Form the potato and cheese mixture into 12 croquettes (these will be large but you can also make them smaller.
- Coat each croquette in flour, dip into the egg mixture, and cover in breadcrumbs.
- Place the croquettes on a baking sheet and generously spray each croquette with cooking spray.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown and cheese begins to bubble out
Home Style Chicken Nuggets
I have been an anti towards frozen & processed foods for a long time now. And after learning about its health risks in details at my culinary school it has helped me work harder towards creating home cooked snacks even more. This easy home style chicken nuggets is a favourites among toddlers & little kids
- 1 egg, lightly whisked
- 1/2 cup (45g) bread crumbs
- 1 (about 200g) chicken breast fillet, cut into 3cm pieces
- 1 small (about 290g) potato, peeled, cut into 1cm-thick slices
- Salt & white pepper
- Garlic powder
- olive oil spray
- Preheat oven to 200c. Line 2 oven trays with baking paper.
- Place the egg and bread crumbs in separate bowls. Marinate the chicken for half n hr with garlic powder , salt & pepper Dip a piece of chicken into the egg then in the bread crumbs, tossing to coat. Place on 1 prepared tray.
- Use a 4cm-diameter star pastry cutter to cut stars from the potato slices. You can use any shape cutter you like. Place on the remaining tray.
- Lightly spray the chicken and potato with olive oil spray. Bake the potato for 10 minutes first then add the chicken and bake for a further 10-15 minutes or until the nuggets are cooked through and the potatoes is tender. Serve with your homemade dipping or tomato ketchup.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Roll Ups
Kids normally get bored easily especially when it comes to eating bread, butter & cheese so I thought why not make it more exciting for them.This is a standard cream cheese roll ups recipe favourite among toddlers easy to digest & appetizing in its own unique way.
- 20 slices white bread, crusts removed
- 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- Heat oven to 350. Roll out bread slices with a rolling pin until flattened; arrange on work surface.
- Beat together cream cheese, egg and 1/4 cup sugar. Combine remaining 3/4 cup sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl or pie plate
- Divide cream cheese mixture onto bread, spreading about 1 level tablespoon on each. Roll up bread to enclose filling.
- Brush rolls all over with butter and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture. Arrange on prepared baking sheets. (To make ahead, prepare to this step and cover baking sheets with aluminum foil. Freeze for up to a week. Do not thaw rollups before baking.) Bake until the rollups begin to puff, 15 to 18 minutes. Serve warm.
Hope these easy snack recipes will make their way into your kitchens & into those little belly’s leaving you with smiling faces & happy hearts.
About the Author:
Marzia Shamsi is a single mother to two lovely kids. Brought up in the UAE, a Canadian resident originally from India. A professional chef out of house while at home her first and last name is Mom. An amateur blogger who’s just started out, Marzia loves to share her thoughts and knowledge and dreams of owning her own restaurant some day.