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Thread: Food for toddlers

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    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
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    Default Food for toddlers

    Calling all GR parents, grandparent, childcare pros, etc. I'm looking for some tasty, healthy recipes for my little one. She just turned 17 months and has a great appetite and eats just about anything. Usually she eats what we eat, but sometimes we have something that's a little too spicy or something that's not toddler friendly. Sometimes it's just something for lunch because I'm eating a Lean Cuisine or a salad. She really eats just about anything and I don't want to resort to a constant diet of chicken fingers or hot dogs because it's easy

    Thanks

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    A*O
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    If she's happy to eat most things you eat then keep doing that (provided you dont eat crap !!!). Picky eaters are made, not born. My kids loved fish fingers with (home made) macaroni cheese and peas. Nursery food. Those were the days.
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    Elite Member LynnieD's Avatar
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    I had a GREAT book given to me when I had my oldest. All healthy 'kid' recipes---it was and is still fantastic. I have to dig it out (yea, hasn't seen the light of day in a year or two) and let you know the name. Its really good.

    Otherwise, soups and casserole's, quiches, etc. All good for the little ones. I know their tastes are wonky and you don't want to make a big meal and have the wee one not eat a thing, but a lot of time, its trial and error. Which bites.
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    Elite Member CornFlakegrl's Avatar
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    Definately stick with feeding her what you eat. When making spicy food, set a side a portion before adding spices (e.g. set aside a piece of unseasoned chicken or noodles) for her.

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    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KrisNine View Post
    She just turned 17 months and has a great appetite and eats just about anything. Usually she eats what we eat, but sometimes we have something that's a little too spicy or something that's not toddler friendly.
    If she eats just about anything you're doing it right! Do not get into the trap of having separate food for kids. If you like spicy food, keep part of the dish separate for her before ramping up the heat on the part for the adults.
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    Elite Member MontanaMama's Avatar
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    I think they've covered it. Now is the time to experiment and really expand her palate as far as you like. There is no need to do a single thing different (except spice) than you would do for yourself.
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    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
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    Thanks for the good advice. I'm glad that this is the way to go. She does seem ready and willing to try anything. As I said, she likes most things, but you know how toddlers are. One day she loves mac and cheese with homemade chicken fingers. The next day she hates mac and cheese and only wants steamed carrots for all of her meals She is a big fan of fruit and carrots. It's funny.

    I think it makes sense to keep feeding her what we eat, until she protests. I'll set things aside if we're having spicy. She loves seasoned food. Mexican food is a favorite.

    Lynnie, that books sounds great.

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    Elite Member MontanaMama's Avatar
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    I think the main thing is not to make food an issue. A small child will not starve itself if it is a little hit or miss with eating. Provide a wide array of foods and they'll eat the perfect amount and right balance of foods all on their own.
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    Super Moderator Tati's Avatar
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    Definitely keep feeding her what you're eating at mealtimes. If you're looking for small, "lunchy" ideas (I know I don't always feel like having a meal at the same time the kids need to eat), I'm a big fan of open-faced sandwiches. You can pile pretty much anything on a slice of whole-grain bread - avocado, tomato, melted (toasted) cheese, even yogurt or applesauce; some of that would be weird to us but to a toddler it's just bread + something else = yummy.
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    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tati View Post
    Definitely keep feeding her what you're eating at mealtimes. If you're looking for small, "lunchy" ideas (I know I don't always feel like having a meal at the same time the kids need to eat), I'm a big fan of open-faced sandwiches. You can pile pretty much anything on a slice of whole-grain bread - avocado, tomato, melted (toasted) cheese, even yogurt or applesauce; some of that would be weird to us but to a toddler it's just bread + something else = yummy.
    That's exactly what I meant. Sometimes she needs to eat and I'm not ready to make a full meal. I cook three times a day, plus I make her snacks, so sometimes I need something easy. Grilled or toasted cheese was her favorite for a week or two. She loves yogurt. Yo Baby is her favorite. Sometimes I cut up a bunch of fruit and cheese and serve it with yogurt. I thought I wasn't feeding her the right way, but it looks like I am
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    Elite Member dallison's Avatar
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    I was like that for awhile, where I wasn't ready to eat a meal when the kids were. So I'd just make a good lunch, feed them, and then would eat my portion once the kids were down for their naps.

    If you're cutting up veggies at supper time, cut up extra and put them in a container in the fridge to use for snacks the next day for your daughter. Big time saver!

    I agree with everyone else that if you're feeding her what you're eating and not making two separate meals that you are doing it the right way. Once my kids were old enough to eat the same things, I just always made one meal for all of us. Now my kids are great eaters, they love fruits and veggies.
    Actually... kind of a funny story... my sister and her husband were watching my kids in the summer (so my kids were a little over 3). They were just snacking on different things my sister had. My daughter opened up the fridge and said, "Do you have any real food? Like chicken?" lol
    They're so used to "real" food and not just the quick stuff, that they're taste buds and habits have basically leaned towards the healthy stuff.
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    A*O
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    Before they went to school my kids did prefer to eat the main meal of the day at lunchtime rather than the evening when they had a lighter snack, bath, story and bed and then the grow ups would eat. But bedtime was 7pm, not midnight. Once they went to school all day we ate early evening as a family and still do.
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    Elite Member LynnieD's Avatar
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    Ok, sorry for the delay with this: the book that I used a lot was 'Super Baby Food' by Ruth Yaron. Its definitely NOT just for babies, but toddlers and adults alike! It's a very encompassing book that includes receipes (all very healthy) and time saving kitchen tips, etc.

    I am looking at it right now and the cover is pretty beat up, but I would be happy to send it to you---I'm pretty sure I am done with it.

    Another suggestion, and I have mentioned this in other threads, but this worked for me and my kids: have your little one (when she's old enough of course) to help you make meals. My kids absolutely love that--still do. AND the best part for us, they took ownership and pride in it and were suddenly very eager to try the meals they had made, even if it included something they didn't 'like'. It was great!

    PM me if you are interested, but if you're not, no biggie!

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    Elite Member chartreuse's Avatar
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    for dinner, our 2 1/2-year-old son usually just eats what we eat, though sometimes i make it less spicy. so basically whole food meals, which often include a meat dish, but not always, plus a grain of some kind and veggie of some kind. deconstructed tacos are a favorite, as are soups and noodle-based dishes.

    for breakfasts & lunches, i do a lot of snack-y type meals. or "muffin tray meals"...put a few different individual items in a small (6-muffin) muffin tin, one item per "hole". some of the common things eaten around here for lunches & breakfasts...

    *cubed cheeses and string cheese
    *beans (great finger food for developing pincer grasp)
    *steamed broccoli
    *steamed peas (out of the pod)
    *yogurt with fruit
    *chunks of fresh fruit...melons, bananas, grapes, blueberries are faves around here.
    *baby carrots and celery sticks with hummus
    *olives
    *nut butters on crackers...little cracker sandwiches with nut butters are awesome.
    *nut butters mixed with smashed banana...you can do the cracker sandwiches with this, too.
    *nuts, especially cashews.
    *annie's cheddar bunny crackers
    *raisins
    *pb&j
    *rolled up lunch meat
    *quinoa, black bean & roasted corn salad...that one with tomato, cilantro, onion, etc.
    *avocado
    *cheerios or oatmeal with goat or cow milk
    *eggs (over easy/over medium goes over best)


    one thing my son loves to do is dip his food in "sauces" of some kind....fruit chunks dipped in greek yogurt, veggies dipped in hummus, sweet potato oven fries dipped in salad dressing. that kind of stuff goes over amazingly well.
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