Toddlers and Mealtime: An Innovative Approach

In light of recently reading Hilary Kimes Bernsein’s book, First Bites, I wanted to share a couple creative approaches to mealtime that help out a lot with getting my wild child to sit down and eat something healthy. Here are a few ideas for starters:

1) Cauliflower Eggs

My son loves it when I saute some cauliflower in butter, then beat in some eggs and cheddar cheese. He doesn’t pick out the cauliflower because they are fairly well camouflaged in with the white-ish yellow of the eggs. (And I love them this way too!)

2) Green Smoothies

My midwife’s apprentice got me on to this- simply add in a generous handful of spinach to your fruit smoothie ingredients. Try this easy recipe:

  • 1 Cup Strawberries (or other favorite fruit.)
  • 1 Cup Yogurt
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 to 1 Cup Spinach (depending on your toddler’s taste buds!)
  • Try throwing in some flax seed oil, wheat germ, or other healthy add-in.

Blend and enjoy as usual! My almost 2 year old affectionately calls these “Tawbewwie Movies!” (Strawberry Smoothies :))

3) Shape Veggies & Dippers

Try cutting your veggies in different shapes using cookie cutters- or at least identify normal shapes as something more exciting. How about broccoli trees, zucchini stars, celery logs, etc.? Adding a nutritious dip (hummus, peanut butter, etc.) can make the meal more interactive and enticing for your learning toddler.

4) Plate Art

Make your child’s plate a work of art. It doesn’t have to be anything too time consuming. Try the common image of using two fried eggs as eyes and a slice of bacon as a mouth to make a face. Or making pancakes in the shape of a heart by pouring the batter into a cookie cutter. Or by making a design with the ketchup you squirt onto the plate for your child to dip in. 2 minutes of creativity on your part can make the mealtime a lot smoother for your child!

These may not be too innovative, but they sure help! What are your favorite tricks and ideas to getting your picky eater to chow down? Please share in the comments below!

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