November 25, 2008,
H.H. asks from Bolingbrook, IL on November 13, 2008
Need Menu Ideas for My 2 Year Old...
I'm in a funk here. I'm having a blank as to what to feed my daughter for meals. She's at that age too, where she's not liking the foods she used to and she's becoming pickier. I just need some menu ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner. She still loves her fresh fruit and raw veggies. But I guess I just need some more variety for her when she has a "picky" day. She does love peanut butter, but not eggs, yogurt and cheese. Any ideas are appreciated.
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N.P. answers from Chicago on November 14, 2008
I have a 5 week rotation menu posted on my daycare website, you can get lots of ideas from that
Basically anything YOU eat for dinner, offer her the exact same. I don't let a kid dictate my food choices, I follow the picky eater plan... here is a summary...
There is a great book by William G Wilkoff, MD called Coping with a Picky Eater that every parent or provider of kids should read and have a copy of. http://www.amazon.com/Coping-Picky-Eater-Perplexed-Parent...
This book has what I call the Picky Eater Plan. I have used this plan with kids that literally threw up at the sight of food and within 2 weeks they were eating normal amounts of everything and trying every food.
First you need to get everyone who deals with the child on board. If you are a provider it's ok to make this the rule at your house and not have the parents follow through but you wont' see as good results as what I described up above.
The plan is to limit the quantities of food you give the kid. When I first start with a child I give them literally ONE bite worth of each food I am serving. The book suggests that every time you feed the kids (breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner) you give all 4 food groups. So, for lunch today I would have given the child one tiny piece of strawberry, one spoonful of applesauce, 3 macaroni noodles with cheese on them, and 2 oz of milk. Only after they ate ALL of what was on their plate would you give them anything else. They can have the same amounts for seconds. If they only want more mac and cheese, they only get 3 noodles then they would have to have more of all the other foods in order to get more than that. If they don't eat, fine. If they don't finish, fine. Don't make a big deal out of it, just make them stay at the table until everyone else is done eating. BUT make sure they get no other food till they are sat at the next meal and they only get what you serve. When I first do this with a child I don't serve sweets at all. So no animal crackers for snack but rather a carrot for snack. Or one of each of those. I don't make it easy for them to gorge on bad foods in other words. Now if they had a meal where they ate great then I might make the snack be a yummy one cause I know they filled up on good foods.
Even at snacks you have to limit quantities of the good stuff or else they will hold out for snack and just eat those snacky foods. I never give a picky eater the reward of a yummy snack unless they had that great lunch prior to it.
It really is that easy.
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E.P. answers from Chicago on November 25, 2008
For dinner, I would offer her what the family is eating otherwise you're enabling that picky eater! For lunches, I would offer finger food-type items, like crackers and ham/turkey/meats or peanut butter, baby carrots and dip, buttered noodles, chicken soup w/ crackers and cut up fruit - or - see if she would like to make a smoothie (you did say she doesn't like yogurt so this may have to wait). What she doesn't like now, she may change her mind in a few months.
Breakfast - fresh fruit, or you can make up silver-dollar size pancakes and freeze some so you can just microwave them as you need them. Or make mini banana or blueberry muffins and serve w/ a little fresh fruit. Oatmeal is good too, w/ raisins and cinnamon. Good grain-toasted bread w/ preserves is simple and satisfying too.
Our rule has always been that my children have to try a little bite, spoonful, etc... the more variety you can offer your child, the better. My mantra has always been "we eat what's on the menu!", even if it is just a bite... and if they choose to be hungry, that is their concern - they won't starve. Otherwise, there will always be "something else" that they can eat... if they don't like what is served - I wouldn't fall into that trap if I were you.....
Recently, my son asked his 10-year-old friend if he would like to stay for dinner. I knew this child was a picky eater so we told him the menu, in advance, and he STILL wanted to eat here. He sat down and decided to eat NONE OF IT - it wasn't an exotic meal - it was pasta, bread, salad, fruit! AAARRRGHH My son was so apologetic to me, later, because I DID make him another meal. So... keep offering that variety! Having likes and dislikes are okay as long as they continue to "try" it.
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A.A. answers from Chicago on November 13, 2008
Offer her whatever you are having (assuming you eat a somewhat balanced diet)and don't fret over it. Cooking her special meals will only encourage her being a picky eater. Unless she has dietary restrictions due to allergies, there is no reason she can't have whatever the rest of the family is dining on. She won't starve herself. Also, remember that kids have times just like adults when they just aren't that hungry. Also, kids don't need you to jump through hoops over what they will have for lunch or breakfast. If she enjoys cereal for breakfast, she can have it every morning until she wants something different. As long as the meal is nutritionally sound than eating the same things is fine for your child. Trust me, don't turn into a short-order cook now! =)
E.F. answers from Chicago on November 13, 2008
Ants in a boat is celery with peanut butter in the center with raisins on top.
My kids love dried fruit as 'fruit snacks'. Try different ones to see which ones are a hit.
For dinner I take chicken breast marinate (just to coat works too if you don't remember to marinate) in any old italian dressing then coat with bread crumbs, put in a baking dish in a 400 degree oven cook for 20 minutes. It is the best chicken ever. My kids like a lot of ketchup.
Take a cheese stick and roll deli meat around it ( you could even take wonder bread flatten it and then roll that over the two items) for a fun little sandwich and give some dipping sauce that she likes, if any. My kids if you haven't noticed are all about dipping.
You can also put a pickle in the middle instead of cheese stick and that work well, only if they like pickles though.
then I take a hot dog (i use jennio turkey hotdogs) wrap them into pillsbury cresent rolls. You can put a stilt into the hot dog and put a little cheese inside of them. Follow the directions to cook the crescents rolls
I take pillsbury biscuits and make little pizzas.
My kids love sloppy joes especially because they get to eat pringles on that night.
My kids love alfredo sauce better than red sauce. So i put pasta together with sweat peas and alfredo sauce.
for a quick meal I will give them Gorton's beer batter fish tenders. They are so good and french fries. I make home made french fries. Cut baking potatoes into fries. Coat with olive oil, chopped garlic, salt and pepper. put in 425 degree oven until golden brown.
easy tacos-ground beef, browned, onion chopped, one packet taco seasoning, half the necessary water and then add salsa (use as much as you desire or as little) cook on stove top until the mixture is just a little bubblely. Serve on tortillas with a little cheese roll them up tight.
K.B. answers from Chicago on November 14, 2008
My 2 yr old didnt like eggs either and then someone recomended trying cheese on them and he will eat them (some days) he wont if he's being too picky though. He loves oatmeal and pop tarts, cereal, pancakes & waffles.