5 Toddler Friendly Indian Recipes

Submitted by Nic on May 17, 2013

As a parent, you probably want to feed your little one nothing but healthy and nutritious food. However, most kids between the ages of 1 & 4 are quite fussy when it comes to food. You may spend hours planning and preparing your child’s meal only to have him turn-up his nose and refuse to eat, when he is served.

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If you want to get your child to try all the food you put on his plate, you need to pique his interest more than anything else. The best way to do so is by ensuring that all the meals you serve are made using toddler-friendly recipes.

Many people wonder if Indian food is suitable for little kids, because it can be quite hot and spicy.


However, there are several Indian recipes that are perfect for toddlers, mainly because they are mild, delicious and look very attractive.

You can find numerous Indian toddler recipes through cookbooks and online resources. Some of the most common toddler friendly Indian foods include –

  • Idli
  • Dosa or Uttapam
  • Khichdi / Pulao
  • Dalia
  • Paratha

These simple dishes can be cooked in a variety of ways, and could include fresh vegetables, whole grains, pulses and other healthy ingredients, depending upon your little one’s taste preference.

Banana smoothie

Banana is one the first fruits you will be able to incorporate in your baby’s diet. This fruit is not only delicious, but also highly nutritious. If your baby is not too fond of eating mashed or whole bananas, you could try feeding him the fruit in the form of a yummy beverage.

Given below is quick and easy recipe for a banana smoothie –

Ingredients
  • 1 Whole banana, chopped
  • 1 Cup ice cubes
  • ½ Cup milk yogurt (preferably vanilla flavored)
Method
  • Place the milk or yogurt and chopped banana in a food processor. Add the ice cubes to them
  • Blend all the ingredients together, for about 30 to 50 seconds, till you get a smoothie of thick consistency
  • Pour the smoothie into a fancy glass or a sipper and serve it to your toddler immediately

You can whip up this healthy and nutritious beverage, which is like a meal in itself, within a matter of minutes. To increase the nutritional value of the banana smoothie, you could add other healthy ingredients like berries, fresh orange juice, oatmeal and almonds to it.

Idli

An idli is a soft and fluffy, steamed rice-cake, prepared from split black gram and fermented rice. This south Indian delicacy is popular with kids of all ages, including toddlers. There are several different recipes you can use for preparing idlis at home and given below is one of them –

Ingredients
  • 2 Cups parboiled rice, raw
  • 1 Cup split black gram or urad dal
  • 2 Teaspoons salt
  • Oil to grease the idli mold
Method
  • Soak the parboiled rice and split black gram in water separately, for at least 8 hours, or preferably overnight
  • Drain the rice and coarsely grind it in a food processor. Keep the ground rice aside for a few minutes. Grind the split black gram after draining it. Make sure that both the batters are thick in consistency.
  • Mix the ground rice batter with the ground split gram batter thoroughly. Let the mixture ferment for another 6 hours or so.
  • After the mixture ferments, add the salt and beat it well.
  • Grease the idli mold and place about 1 tablespoon of the batter on to each section.
  • Steam the batter for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Use the knife test to check if the idlis are ready or not.
  • Let the idli cool for a few minutes, before using a spoon to scoop it out of its mold.
  • Serve the idlis while they are still warm

To increase the nutritional value of this recipe, you could add grated carrots or mashed peas to the fermented batter, just before steaming it.

Curd rice

In the earlier days, Curd-Rice was one of the first foods toddlers were fed when they started eating. What makes this dish suitable for toddlers is that it is mild, light on the stomach, delicious and very healthy. Given below is a simple recipe for Curd-Rice –

Ingredients
  • ½ Cup uncooked rice, washed
  • 4 Tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped coriander
  • ¼ Teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ Teaspoon refined butter or oil
  • ¾ Cup water
  • Salt to taste
Method
  • Heat the oil or refined butter in a thick-bottomed pan. Add the cumin seeds to the hot oil and let them crackle
  • Add the uncooked rice to the pan and sauté it for a couple of minutes.
  • Pour the water into the pan and let the rice cook, till it is soft. Allow the rice to cook a little longer, so that it is softer than usual and can be mashed quite easily.
  • Let the rice cool a bit before adding the yogurt, salt, and coriander. Mix all the ingredients well, till you get a thick, coarse-looking puree.
  • Serve the Curd-Rice at room temperature.

You could also add a few fresh vegetables like carrots, peas and cauliflower to this recipe, to make it healthier

Coconut rice

If you have some leftover rice and coconut at home, you can easily whip up a delicious and healthy dish, which most kids absolutely love. Given below is a recipe for coconut rice –

Ingredients
  • 2 Cups basmati rice, washed
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1¾ Cups grated coconut
  • 1½ Teaspoon gram or chana dal
  • 1½ Teaspoon split black gram or urad dal
  • 1 Teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 10 – 12 Curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
Method
  • Cook the rice, until it is tender and keep it aside
  • Heat the oil in a pan and add the chana dal, urad dal and mustard seeds. Stir fry the ingredients till the dal turns golden-brown.
  • Add the curry leaves, salt and grated coconut and cook all the ingredients for 2 to 3 minutes, on low heat. Keep stirring the mixture so that it does not burn.
  • Once the coconut becomes crisp and turns reddish-brown, turn off the heat.
  • Gently mix the coconut mixture to the cooked rice.
  • Serve immediately

Garnish the dish with freshly chopped coriander or cilantro. You could also add chopped cashew nuts to this recipe.

Aaloo ka paratha

Aaloo ka paratha is a staple in almost every North Indian house and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or simply as a snack.

Ingredients
  • 2 Cups wheat flour
  • 3 Medium potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 1 Medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Teaspoons oil
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • ¼ Teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon ground cumin powder
  • Coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Water to knead the dough
Method
  • In a large mixing bowl pour the wheat flour, salt and water. Knead the ingredients into soft dough. Divide the dough into lemon-sized balls and keep them aside for a while.
  • In a frying pan, heat 1 teaspoon of oil and add the chopped onions to it. Fry the onions for a few minutes, till they become translucent. Add the salt, turmeric powder and ground cumin powder over the fried onions
  • Add the mashed potatoes as well as the coriander and mix all the ingredients thoroughly. Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool for a couple of minutes
  • Divide the mixture into small balls and keep them aside.
  • Flatten the wheat dough balls and dust them with some wheat flour. Make a small, flat chapatti with the help of a rolling pin
  • Place a potato mixture ball in the middle of the chapatti and cover it completely, with the wheat dough, so that it forms a dumpling.
  • Sprinkle some more wheat flour over the dumpling, before rolling it out into a chapatti again.
  • Heat a frying pan and once it is hot, cook the chapatti, till it is golden-brown on both sides.
  • Apply some butter to the hot paratha and serve it immediately.

It is important to check with a pediatrician before adding any new foods to your baby’s diet.

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