Getting your child to eat nutritious food can be quite a struggle. The boring looking roti, simple pulses and green vegetables are enough to scare them away. Kids are most appeased by bright foods served on their platter and they tend to have a liking for sweet and spicy food. Food experts, chefs and nutritionists suggests how simple alterations in cooking style, technique and plating can get your little ones into eating good, wholesome food.
According to Indian chef Vikas Khanna and food author Smita Gyan Srivastava, there is no need to settle down on a lower nutrition quotient in your kids' daily intake. One should device ways and means to cook smart and serve innovatively. Vikas Khanna believes that children should not be stopped from doing anything and what we need to do is all we need to do is engage with them more and provide substitutes for their favourite food.
"When your serve a meal with words like 'healthy', people tend to reject it, be it an adult or a child. What I do is alter one part of it. You cannot force food on Indians; it's a part of their legacy," said Vikas Khanna. "If they love Maggi, let them have it. Just replace it with atta (wheat) noodles. Do you know that in Ladakh people have been eating whole wheat pasta since a long time? The regular pasta should be changed with the wheat one, that's all," says Khanna, who has also, in the past, hosted the popular television show 'Master Chef'. (More: Deal with Your Little Fussy Eater)
Smita Gyan Srivastava, author of "Fun Food for Fussy Little Eaters", shared her most trusted kids' recipe that she calls 'roti noodle'. The recipe calls for chappatis to be cut into thin slices, even the stale ones would do, and then cooked like noodles adding veggies, ketchup and other spices.
Srivastava suggests boiling and pureeing well bottle gourd and gourd- two vegetables that children dislike the most and then kneading them with wheat to fashion chappatis or parathas. "Instead of the staple dal and roti, make kebabs out of dal, wrap it up in a roti, add different veggies and present it in the form of a kebab roll. Make the regular sandwiches funky and colourful by using veggies to make funny faces. Food for kids should be a little creative because they eat only what attracts their eyes," says Srivastava, who also hosts a blog 'Little Food Junction.' (More: Is Your Child a Fussy Eater? Here's What NOT to Say)