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5 nutrient-rich and yummy finger foods for kids

It is an exciting and emotional time when your child first starts going to day-care. It is the first time they are venturing out into this world on their own. But, from this point onwards, they need to pick up skills that will help them grow up to be smart and responsible individuals. So, you need to provide your child with all that is needed to start this phase on a good note.

Special attention must be paid to their nourishment and health. Finger foods for toddlers are a wise choice in this regard. However, picking up junk foods or readymade options from the store is not recommended. This is because these foods can compromise their health and development instead of providing vital nutrients.

It is understandable why kids love foods like nuggets, cheesy pasta and fries, but these foods are loaded with calories and unhealthy fats. So, grab your apron, take a few minutes out of your busy morning schedule and rustle up some healthy and nourishing finger foods for your toddler.

Here are a few healthy and wholesome finger food recipes that you can follow. These are easy, especially with a little pre-preparation.

  1. Paneer Cutlet

    Cutlets are always one of the easiest and healthiest snacks for kids at any time. Apart from being delicious, it is easy to make and filling too. Most importantly, it is a good source of protein and calcium for your kids.

    Ingredients:

    Paneer, cubes : 2 cups

    Potato, boiled : 1 no.

    Whole wheat flour : 2 tbsp.

    Chilli powder : 1 tsp.

    Chaat masala : ½ tsp.

    Turmeric powder : 1/4th tsp.

    Dhaniya, chopped : 1 sprig

    Bread crumbs : ½ cup

    Salt : to taste

    Oil : for frying

    Preparation:

    • Keep the paneer dipped in hot water for around 25 minutes. After which, drain out the water.
    • Take the boiled potatoes and mash them and then add the hand-crushed paneer to it.
    • In a bowl, along with the potato paneer mix, add turmeric, coriander leaves, chilli powder, chaat masala, and salt, and mix well.
    • Make medium-sized cutlets with hand.
    • In a small bowl, make a paste of whole wheat flour, little water, and salt, and do not make it too thick.
    • Dip the raw cutlets in the paste, crumb it well, and deep fry in oil.
    • Soak the excess oil with a paper towel and serve.
  2. Chickpea tikki

    Chickpea tikki is a great way to supply your child with healthy nutrients like proteins, fibres, fats, carbohydrates, calcium, potassium, vitamin A and C and iron. Easy to make and store, these tikkis are delicious.

    Ingredients:

    Chickpeas, boiled : 1 cup  

    Potatoes, boiled : 3

    Ginger, shredded : 1 tsp.

    Cilantro, chopped : 1 tsp.

    Green chilli, chopped : 1

    Black pepper, crushed : 1/2 tsp.

    Salt : to taste

    Lemon juice : 1 tsp. 

    Oil : for shallow fry

    Preparation:

    • Mash the boiled potatoes and boiled chickpea and set aside.
    • Nicely sauté the onions, ginger, and green chilli. Once cool, mix them with the mashed potato and chickpeas mixture.
    • Add salt, cilantro, black pepper and lemon juice, and mix well.
    • Make the mix into tikkis and shallow fry on both sides till light brownish in colour.
    • Serve hot.
  3. Fruit and cheese skewers

    This delectable dish is very easy to make and you can use the favourite fruit/s of your child too.

    Ingredients:

    Fruit of your choice, diced : papaya, apple, sweet melon, pear

    Mozzarella cheese balls

    Mint leaves : a few sprigs

    Preparation:

    • You can charcoal grill the diced fruit pieces on a non-stick tawa without any oil till they become caramelised. It is done to give the fruits a little colour and texture. Allow the fruit pieces to cool.
    • Take a 6-inch wooden skewer and skew some of the grilled fruits one by one.
    • After a few fruits, add one ball of cheese and a couple of leaves of mint.
    • Repeat the process and keep ready to serve.
  4. Whole wheat veggie pancake

    These calorie-rich and carbohydrate and protein-filled vegetable pancakes are healthy and highly filling. They make for a perfect breakfast delicacy for kids as well.

    Ingredients:

    Carrots, grated : 2 cups

    Corn, frozen : 2 cups

    Cucumber, grated : 1 cup

    Egg : 1

    Curd : 1/5th cup

    Salt : to taste

    Whole wheat flour : ½ cup

    Baking powder : 2 tsp.

    Cheese, grated : 2 tsp.

    Olive oil : 1 tbsp.

    Preparation:

    • Mix the carrots, corn and cucumber, egg, pepper, and salt, and stir well in a bowl.
    • In another bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Add the mixed veggies and grated cheese and mix well.
    • Cook the mix on low medium flame on a skillet in the shape of a small pancake or uttapam. Cook both sides well till golden brown.
    • Serve hot with curd.
  5. Veggie mac and cheese muffin

    Loaded with the goodness of cheese and nutrient-rich vegetables, this dish with a crunchy top is a great way to sneak in veggies in your child’s diet.

    Ingredients:

    Any small pasta type : 2 cups

    Cheddar cheese, grated : 1 cup full

    Mozzarella cheese, grated : 1 cup full

    Vegetables, pureed : carrots, beet, cucumber, peas

    Salt : to taste

    Parmesan cheese, grated : 1/3rd cup

    Breadcrumbs : ½ cup

    Preparation:

    • Boil the pasta and drain. Keep some of the water in a cup.
    • Melt the cheddar and mozzarella with the cooked pasta on a pan over the stove. Mix well with the pasta. Add some pasta water if you need a smooth texture. Add the pureed vegetables and salt and mix and cook well.
    • In another bowl, mix the parmesan and breadcrumbs and set aside.
    • In a muffin tray, pour the pasta mix and press well so that it settles in the muffin cups.
    • Sprinkle some breadcrumbs and parmesan mixture on top.
    • Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius for around 20 minutes. Let the cheese on top turn bubbly and light brown.
    • Take out from the oven and serve hot.