Thursday, February 6, 2014

Tips for Getting Your Toddlers to Eat and Munchkin Meals

Hey y'all! I'm excited to be linking up with Brittany over at A Healthy Slice of Life again. If you've never visited her blog, let me just warn you: don't do it while hungry! Her food is drool-worthy for sure. She has also done a great job with her 2-year-old's eating habits. I know she would be happy to give you some advice on getting toddlers to eat well, but I thought I would share a few tips of my own: ;)

1. Feed your kids a variety of foods from the get-go. I'm talking about puréed foods. From the time you start adding fruits and veggies to your munchkin's diet, try different things often- never assume they won't like it. 

2. Feed them the same thing you eat at any given meal. If it's purée-able (I just made up that word), put it in your food processor or blender with a little water (to desired consistency) and offer it your child without saying anything like "I don't know if you'll like this." Obviously, as they grow, you can just cut up the food with a knife to appropriate bite sizes. 

3. Set the example. If your kids see you eating colorless meals or never see you eating veggies, they will not be so willing to eat them either. Talk with them about healthy food and how it helps them grow and prevent sickness. 

4. Never say "You may not like this" to your child (unless it's a food that could hurt them, like something loaded with raw jalapeños). I cannot stress this enough. If you seem hesitant, they'll hesitate too. 

5. Don't give up on a food. My kids are SO wishy-washy at times. The first time I made asparagus for my son, he loved it. The next time I offered it, he gagged! Both of my kids can't decide if they like potatoes (which is not a huge deal since I don't make them often). If you munchkin rejects something once, try it again in a couple of weeks; you never can predict a toddler's tastes. 

So, there's my bit of advice on toddler feeding. I know very well how unpredictable they can be, and that we cannot force anything on a toddler. But I also believe that consistently offering a variety of healthy and setting the example can help tremendously. 

Here are a few of my munchkins' (2 and 4-years old) meals lately:

Here's a classic example of a child making a choice based on the parent's example: quiche is my husband's hands-down, number one, favorite food; and so it is my little guy's too! I usually make a very simple spinach-mozzarella recipe that's super yummy!

Recipe for two- pie crust
8 eggs
1 cup milk
2-3 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
2 cups shredded mozzarella
Salt and pepper

Make the two crusts and press them into two pie plates. 

Whisk the eggs and milk with salt and pepper. 

Stir in the spinach. Pour egg-spinach mixture into the pie plates. Top with the shredded cheese. Bake at 350 F for about 45 minutes. Let the top get nice and golden-brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting. 

Crockpot barbecue chicken thighs, steamed broccoli and sweet potatoes. 

Black bean and spinach quesadillas. 

Veggie-full meatloaf with mac n' cheese

Dessert: whole wheat waffle with chocolate peanut butter, sliced banana and chopped walnuts

So, there you have it! A peek into Rush and Lottie's meals. Thanks for stopping by!

Do you have a picky eater or an easy-to-pleaser?

What's your munchkin's favorite meal currently?

munchkin meals


  1. I have one of each. My 15 month old eats almost anything, but my 3.5 year old is so picky! The little one is a better eater than big sister was at that age, too, so I'm hoping she continues to be a good eater.

    1. It's so hard when they're picky. Just be consistent with healthy options- that's all a mommy can do. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I definitely agree with your persistence with wishy-washy toddlers! My 2 year old is very visual, and if the food doesn't look like anything she's familiar with, she won't try it. But if I'm persistent, she usually loves it! Her 1 year old sister, on the other hand, eats ANYTHING. Potting soil and trash included. :) She's a handful.
    Thank you for sharing these meal ideas, I've been wanting to add some new things to the menu plan. Its so easy to fall into a rut of feeding them the same things I know they'll eat, but I need to keep offering variety. ;) My girls have never liked potatoes either! Even with different kinds of gravy, they just can't get over that texture. Thankfully that's the only texture problem we've had so far. :)

    1. It is so easy to get in a rut. But of course, it's nice to know what they will eat. ;) Your one year old sounds like my nephew. If it seems consumeable, he'll eat it and then ask for seconds. I hope you were inspired to try something new. Your comments are always so uplifting!

  3. I agree with all those tips! We have an almost three year old now and there's never a battle at meal times because we've established some good rules and routines with food. One rule we have is he has to take at least one bite of everything on his plate. If he doesn't like something, that's fine, he can politely say, "no thank you." Then he can have more of whatever else is on his plate that he does like. Since we eat very clean, there's never really an unhealthy option for him to choose. Works great for us!

    1. We have the same one-bite rule! And yes, nothing to fret over if the other options are healthful too! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Wonderful tips you have! I agree, variety and making food fun without pressure is key :)

    Love seeing all your delicious, healthy meals! Thank you for linking up!

    1. Thanks for hosting! Your blog is so inspiring! And thank you for the encouragement.