5 Traditional Toddler Friendly Pongal Recipes

5 Traditional Toddler Friendly Pongal Recipes

The mid of January marks the beginning of Thai and Tamilians all over the globe, join hands together to welcome Summer. The season of fresh harvest is widely celebrated as Thai Thirunal, Thamizhar Thirunaal or simply Pongal. It is popularly observed as Makar Sankranti, Lohri, Maghi, etc., in various parts of India. We thank the Sun God for the first bountiful paddy harvest by boiling rice and offering it to him. South Indians are lovers of rice and there is no hiding the fact. As Indians, we consume rice over other foods naturally. This occasion is an opportunity to unravel the secrets of rice and how it benefits toddlers.

This is an excellent time to introduce solids to teething babies and offer a sumptuous meal to toddlers. The heavenly traditional dishes spell out Pongal when served on a precious banana leaf adding additional taste. Pongal is the best time to serve traditional recipes to little ones that can be blended into their weekly food charts. The delight of Pongal spans over 3 days and toddlers will love the indulgence of gratifying sweets and savouries. No other food is as hearty and mouth-watering as festive foods plus they are healthy, yummy and packed with nutrients. When all the extra effort pays off, the feeling is tremendous. 

There are numerous dishes that serves as a treat on Pongal. However, these traditional rice recipes along with some appetizing dishes will fill the tiny tummies in no time. Kids need a good dosage of carbohydrate, protein, fats with other nutritional elements to make it a nourishing meal. Our ancestors have framed recipes that makes it a wholesome meal for everyone. Most Pongal recipes are:

Easily digestible, 

Easy on the gut, 

Fibre-rich that avoids constipation and bloating

Rich Iron content

Loaded with Vitamins

Highly nutritious even when consumed in small quantities.

This is why these below recipes are also great choices for teething babies and toddlers:

Sweet Pongal aka Chakkarai Pongal

The festivity begins with Paal-chakkarai Pongal. Every household has their variation of it, but there is no house without this. It has rice, jaggery, milk, ghee, raisins and cashews. As all these ingredients melt into one another, the tastiest dish is made. A mild variation is done by adding millet instead of rice. Nevertheless, Kids will enjoy this ghee dripping, soft and mushy variety of Pongal. 

Ven Pongal aka Kara Pongal

The only main spicy dish is Ven Pongal. With rice and moong dal as the chief ingredients, this is one of the tastiest and most preferred choices in the weekly breakfast/dinner recipe for kids. This is one of the safest food options for babies starting solids. When tempered with a dollop of Ghee, Jeera, Pepper,Curry leaves, Asafoetida and Cashews, this combination with Sambar or chutney is a sure hit with toddlers. This is an ideal choice even during sick days. We know kids who love this everyday too!

Vada

What is Pongal without the Vada? The Medu vada or the masala vada is a crunchy and healthy evening snack. Grate a few veggies and mix it to the batter making it super delicious and tastier. Place just one vada on a plate and be sure to know that the toddler will ask you more. Gradually you know it is the crunchiness that will stay with them.

Suryan Sambar

On the day of Suryan Pongal, we offer various vegetables to Sun God. Sambar is one of the best ways to add most veggies for the entire family. When it comes to toddlers, we can mash them and mix it with rice and there you have a protein rich lunch. That’s a meal done right in case you didn’t know Sambar is filled with vitamins and minerals that boost immunity.

Payasam

Festivities and desserts go well with Indian families. After all, it is the dessert that completes a meal. Most ingredients in Payasam talks of abundance. For example, 

Rice Kheer has the goodness of milk, rice and nuts. The other variants include Sabudhana Kheer, Vermicelli Kheer and Paruppu Payasam.

Carrot Halwa and Beetroot halwa is another fine way to make them eat their veggies with milk.

Besan Ladoo with the additional goodness of almonds helps in weight gain for toddlers.

Pongal brings with it lots of abundance in every grain we consume! The little one will be glad to chorus “Pongalo Pongal” with you. May Pongal bring you happiness, harmony and a bountiful harvest!

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