C.T. asks from Denton, TX on March 01, 2009
What Do You Feed Your Toddler? - Denton,TX
What do you feed your toddler for lunch? I usually eat a Lean Cuisine, so I can't feed him what I'm eating. I want foods that are very toddler friendly because I feel like I end up throwing about half of his food away because he refuses to eat it. Also, I'd like meal ideas that are quick and easy to prepare. He isn't really very patient when he is hungry. I feel like the only thing I feed him for lunch is yogurt, crackers with a little peanutbutter on top, or whole wheat blueberry waffles. Also, he seems to be very reluctant to try anything new which is pretty common for a 19 month old, but even foods that most toddlers enjoy like fruit, cheese and pasta. Has anyone had the same experience and did you just keep offering day after day? Thanks for all your suggestions!
So What Happened?™
Thank you for all your suggestions! I just need to keep pushing those fruits and veggies and maybe try some dip to encourage him to give them a try. I'm taking the advice about trying to do lots of shopping on the outside aisles of the grocery store where all the fruits, veggies, dairy and meats are located. I did make some mini muffins this morning and used grated apple, applebutter, and left over whole wheat baby cereal(from the little baby days). They turned out great and he's eaten several today. I guess as long as I sneak it in then he's still getting the nutrients he needs. Again thank you for all your help!
L.M. answers from Dallas on March 01, 2009
I buy turkey deli meat (very thin sliced..almost shaved) and I give my girls that with a yogurt (drinkable kind) and some kind of raw veggie (try colorful ones and give them ranch to dip them) and then a fruit (keep trying different ones and if you need to sprinkle a little sugar at first, that's ok). have fun!
N.S. answers from Dallas on March 02, 2009
Hi, I have a little boy that is 2 and 7 months. We have been lucky for the last few months, b/c he is a pretty good eater, but it was not always like that. I tell you what is very simple and you should always have plenty of is fruit. It's very easy to grab a banana or apple or grapes, just any kind of fruit and cut it up and there you go. Also, have some fresh frozen peas and carrots or other kinds of veggies like green beans. Just warm them up under hot water and put them in the microwave for like 15 sec. Our son will eat those little cherry tomatoes or avocado too. It's really trial and error on the veggie thing...b/c everyone likes different things. Fresh sliced carrots are always good to have in the fridge. Also, always have cheese. We buy the cubed cheese and only give him one or two with lunch or dinner. Another fast and easy food item it buy some sugar free apple sauce, that's great to have around or some YObaby baby yogurt. I always mix 1 cup of the baby yogurt with fresh frozen blueberries, which by the way is great to have on hand. (Fresh frozen blueberries)
When I shop, I stay on the outside of the store and find all your veggies, fruit, dairy and meat. If your little one refuses to eat, keep trying day after day, change it up a bit but dont give in to feeding him unhealthy foods. I feel into that and just did not feel good about knowingly giving my son bad food. He fussed a bit and I think they will always do that.....Once he turned two, we really started limiting his choices on what he was going to eat. It had to be what we had, which was fruit, cheeze, veggies, ect. We just made it a habit to buying whole foods, not box meals or heavily processed foods b/c you never know what you’re getting and usually it's not good for you nutritionally speaking and were very consistant. If you just make sure to balance your fruit with veggies and protein and dairy, you’re good to go. Toddlers are usually not crazy about protein and its trial and error. If you consistently feed your toddler fresh veggies and fruit, that is all they will want. So, instead of handing your child something unhealthy, they actually want an apple or bowl of grapes and some yogurt. I'd not be telling the truth if I said I never fed my son box meals....b/c there are those times when a bowl of mac and cheese is all we have. I just try to not depend on box meals b/c it's very simple to cut up fruit and veggies and what ever I can find for protein. I usually bake some chicken in olive oil and keep it in the fridge. You can grab that and warm it up with ketchup, mustard, gravy, ranch and so on.....sometimes it's a go and sometimes it's not. One other lucky find I found was Healthy Request by Campbell, the egg noodles with carrots and chicken. Our son loves that soup and it's so easy, just warm it up and there you go. Brown rice and beans is another great option.
Good luck! Model and Make good choices for your health and your little ones and your off to a great start!
B.C. answers from Dallas on March 01, 2009
I give the little ones grilled cheeses, yogurt, mac and cheese, gerber graduates items, cereal bars, bananas, pbjs, etc.
P.G. answers from Dallas on March 01, 2009
I got lucky with a kid that's pretty open to food choices. I think you have to re-introduce things every few months because he didn't like greenbeans, and now he does.
I feed him string cheese cut into pieces, frozen peas, frozen brussel sprouts cut into pieces (I have no idea why he likes them frozen LOL), pasta - different kinds - gnocci, curly, tortellini, etc., chicken nuggets (target dinosaur shapes :), pot pie (1/4 at a time) - he likes marie callendars or banquet), state farm classic corn dogs cut up, french fries (occassionally), grapes-sliced, bananas, pears/peaches/pineapples - I get the canned and give him a few pieces at a time, grape tomatoes - sliced, green beans-french cut, pinto beans.
Hope that helps! Maybe see if he can pick stuff out when you shop?
E.K. answers from Dallas on March 01, 2009
Quesadillas and plain meat like chicken breast and meatballs/hamburgers. You might try mixing pureed fruit (applesauce, etc) in the yogurt. Milk can be a back-up protein and diluted juice for Vitamin C, etc. (just make sure you're not giving him more than the recommended serving of either for his age).
I know your son's diet seems limited, but it's more balanced than you give yourself credit for. As I'm sure you know already, kids go through phases. You can't force your son to eat, but you can continue to give him the opportunity to eat new foods. More importantly though, he needs to see you or Dad or Brother eating the same food at least at dinner. At lunch, you might eat different meals, but then share an apple together for dessert. Kids want to do what the other family members are doing, they want to be included. So, even if you're only putting a smidgen of the same food as your son on your plate, seeing you eat it will make a big difference even if it takes a while and even if he only eats one bite of a new food. My daughter will at least try a food sometimes if she sees my son eating it. And, while my son is still picky about certain things, he is definitely in a phase of being very good about trying new food and eating previously un-liked foods(he wouldn't let anything green be on his plate for a very long time). Our kids have some of each food that is being served on their plate and we encourage (we don't enforce it every time) them to at least take a bite, even if they don't want to finish it.
My family gave me such a hard time about my son's picky eating, that I finally asked the doctor about it and she said basically three things: It is completely normal for a kid to be a picky eater, sometimes until 6-7 years of age; judge how they're eating over a period of a week, not daily; and keep offering the foods and watch for signs of malnutrition (weight loss, teeth discolored--might be more, I'm not sure). Well-child check-ups are essential, in my opinion, to make sure your child is staying on track. And, you can always bring him by the office just to have him weighed if that would help give you some peace-of-mind. Good luck!