Meals Fit for a Toddler | openeyehealth

Meals Fit for a Toddler

by Michelle on August 29, 2012

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I am excited to share a guest post today by Katie of Moore From Katie

During your pregnancy; you probably worked hard to be sure you ate healthy and exercised properly to nourish the baby in your womb. You probably tried more than ever to be as healthy as possible, wary of the fact everything you put into your body would be also going to your unborn child. This most likely continued throughout all of your pregnancy and even through the infant/breastfeeding stage. However, as your baby gets older he or she will have to learn to eat on his or her own, and the choices her or she makes on what to eat will only be influenced by mom, not made by mom.

As your baby reached toddler age, you probably vowed to serve your toddler water instead of juice, carrot sticks instead of cookies, and a diet that includes a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. How long did it take before you were eating those words? Reality usually sets in somewhere around the second year of your child’s life. Suddenly, they have an opinion and the will to refuse any food you offer.

It’s not uncommon for parents of toddlers to feel uncertain about their child’s diet. Perhaps he refuses to eat anything but hot dogs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Maybe she denies herself all foods except macaroni and cheese and chocolate milk. As a parent, you want to introduce wholesome, healthy foods to your child, but we all know that is much easier said than done. Keep trying, moms and dads. Use your creativity by sneaking vegetable purees into sauces, and let your kids have fun with their food by presenting it in playful ways.

Breakfast 

Introduce a variety of fruits during breakfast, including apples, applesauce, pears, bananas, pineapple, kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, and mangoes. Mix a few different fruits with a bit of yogurt, ice, or milk in a blender for a healthy smoothie to start the day. Most toddlers love fruit because of its natural sweetness.

Snacks 

Many toddlers prefer small snacks throughout the day, as opposed to three square meals. Instead of fighting this urge and worrying that your child is going to “spoil his appetite,” provide healthy snacks made with fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.

Serve pretzel sticks with an assortment of various colored fruits, served like a rainbow on a plate. Let your toddler spear the bite-sized chunks with the pretzels and munch away. Let them dip fruit into low-fat yogurt.

Think of the plate as an artist’s canvas and create little scenes with food. Cut cheese into the shape of the sun, then place broccoli “trees” around a “pond” of ranch dressing. Cut food into letters or geometric shapes. Even the simplest ideas will surprise and delight young children.

Lunch and Dinner

Sneak some vegetables into lunch and dinner wherever possible. Add grated carrots to the macaroni and cheese, or sautéed spinach to spaghetti sauce. Make kid-friendly favorites from healthy ingredients, like spaghetti and meatballs, baked chicken fingers, homemade macaroni and cheese, and baked french fries. Avoid making something completely different for your toddler because he refuses to eat the meal.

Getting a toddler to eat more wholesome foods will most likely be achieved by trial and error, but know your efforts will not go unnoticed – especially by your growing baby’s body. Once you learn what works for you and your toddler, will eating will just become a part of your everyday life- A happy and healthy life.

Katie Moore has written and submitted this article. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26.

*Photo by agastecheg

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