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Meals for a toddler

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Old 06-24-2009, 09:41 AM   #1
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Default Meals for a toddler

Hello everyone!

I just want to keep my baby in the path of eating healthy. He is almost 19 month and he's been eating the same foods that we eat for quite a while. When he started eating as a baby I used to prepare all of his baby food since I didn't want to feed him on processed baby food.

The problem is that sometimes he is not interested in what we are eating, and I'm worried about his nutritional intake. I know he is fine since he is gaining weight, he had some labs done recently an everything was in order (I guess as a mom you are always worry when he doesn't eat much).

So for those of you who have kids, what type of meals do you prepare them that are a hit? It's my first and only child and I don't have too much experience. Thanks!

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Old 06-24-2009, 10:23 AM   #2
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I'm not a mom but welcome to that world lol. I have friends whose children want nothing but mac and cheese and chicken nuggets so they have to do things to make their kids eat. One of my friend grinds up broccoli and puts it in the mac and cheese, she grinds it up in a food processor so well that it looks like part of the sauce. She'll also buy those veggie chicken nuggets from time to time to sneak in something good for her.

Good luck. Kids do get picky!
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:22 AM   #3
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I find it challenging at times to get my kids to eat good stuff but I insist that they have to try everything. If they don't like it, that's okay but they have to have at least one bite. I don't know if it is true, but I've heard that it takes 13 tries before a child can develop a taste for a new food.

Some of the things my kids like are:

- fried eggs with toast (I break up the toast and let them dip it)
- grill cheese sandwiches
- pasta with alfredo sauce with corn and peas
- chickpeas with rice (cook together with a little bit of spices and butter)
- chicken soup with noodles, carrots and potatoes
- spaghetti sauce with ground beef, mushrooms and zuchinni

I find if I cook vegetables with butter they tend to eat it so much easier. Butter is good for them, just not for us. The hard part is not sampling too much of their food.

If I give the kids chicken nuggets, mac & cheese or fish sticks, I usually will give them a bowl of corn and peas with butter with it so they get some vegetables. I buy the frozen young peas so they are sweet and are more likely to eat it.

For snacks I give them cucumber without the skin, celery, cheese and crackers, yogurt, apples, grapes, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, etc.

I find I really have to try everything, and figure out what they like. And what they like changes on a regular basis which is very frustrating.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:42 AM   #4
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Thank you Beerab and PaperSkin for your responses!

He imitates me eating carrots and celery, sometimes he just bite them and don't eat them and sometimes he does.

Things that he likes are: yogurt, strawberries, bananas, grapes, avocado, black/red beans, carrots, sweet popato, potatoes, rice and he loves pasta wich I sneak some broccoli into it. I don't know why but he is not into eggs or meat that much (maybe he's a born vegan? I'm joking). He eats them but not his faves.

I guess I'm worrying too much since he hasn't been eating well for the last couple of days. Your kids go thru those stages, PaperSkin?

I'm thinking that maybe if I make things more eye catching for him he can do better? Or maybe is just that he doesn't feel well these past couple of days?

Thank you for reading and responding, I'm alone working and no one really to call and ramble about it.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:45 AM   #5
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I used to make him a soup with sweet potato, onion, garlic, celery, carrots and pumpkin (sometimes) and I'll put chicken liver and rice...He would eat the whole plate but this past days not even that worked.

Do babies get bored of the same foods?

PaperSkin, thanks for the butter tip. I found myself sometimes limitating him on things that I think are bad for me.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:46 AM   #6
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My daughter is 23 months. She eats farm fresh eggs, avocados, black beans. Those are my daughters favorites & what we give her routinely.

She also likes most fruits, carrots, celery, chicken, noodles. Or just little bits of whatever we're eating. I offer things over and over even if she doesn't seem to like them. Sometimes it takes several tries before they are used to the new food.

We also give her spirulina tablets instead of multi vitamins. She takes 3 or 4 a day. They are a blue green algea and are full of dense nutrition. My 5 year old has also been eating them since she was 2. We can't believe they like the taste.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:49 AM   #7
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Thanks Wendyland!

I have never heard of spirulina, I'll check them out.
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Old 06-24-2009, 12:21 PM   #8
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my niece loves pasta but she really likes it mostly with just plain red sauce so my sister makes her own tomato sauce and purees the veggies to mix into it. She usually purees broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini and/or carrots to mix in.
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Old 06-24-2009, 12:58 PM   #9
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Don't worry too much you have a toddler and they go thru phases, well all kids go thru phases of eating. I have a 10 yr old an 8 yr old and there are probably 10 cousins that we live close to and baby sit and play with, all ranging in age from 16-2 yrs old, so I am around kids lots!

First to note is when kids are about to go thru a growth spurt they will eat like there is no tomorrow, then suddenly they will stop eating, sometimes half as much as before. My thought on this is that they are better at paying attention to their bodies signal than we are, they know when they need to eat and when they don't.

Second, kids won't starve themselves unless there is something wrong medically, so unless they are looking unhealthy (and from the foods he eats it doesn't sound like it!) or losing weight take a deep breath!

Third, look at ALL the food he eats, moms have a tendency to feed the kids snacks and such all day long and then forget they ate only an hour ago. I have a sister in law who will feed her kids snacks all day, up to the point where dinner is 10 min. away and she will give them fruit or yogurts. Then serve a nice healthy dinner and worry because they only ate 3 bites and won't eat anymore she is afraid they are going to starve or be malnourished! You really have to pay attention to what and when you feed them, I am a firm believer in snacks but being careful not to get too close to dinner time and maybe even feeding dinner/lunch like foods during the snack if they are not eating them during the meals, that can help keep them eating right.

Hope this helps, just keep exposing them to good healthy foods and having them try that one bite and your on your way to a great eater, even if the toddler years get a bit picky! My kids were always asked to eat one bite, and sometimes forced to eat that bite before they could leave the table. Some might view that as cruel but now my kids will try almost anything and like foods most of their friends shun. Thai, Indian (punjabi chole mmm), Mediterranean, Vietnamese, they will eat all these and like them because we made them try different tastes when they were young.

Good luck and have fun!
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Old 06-24-2009, 01:01 PM   #10
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Hi, Renacer! My son's almost 10 at this point and absolutely fearless when it comes to food (he tackled a plate of escargot on our cruise and bragged about it when he got home). I think kids naturally gravitate to colorful foods with different mouthfeels, and really all we had to do was make sure he had small servings of whatever we were eating, and to take him out to the garden and show him what was growing out there. And yes, he would go through a week, several times a year, where he ate very little. It almost always preceded a noticeable growth spurt! Or sometimes a tooth would fall out, too, come to think of it ... then it was right back to business.
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Old 06-24-2009, 01:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edzard View Post
First to note is when kids are about to go thru a growth spurt they will eat like there is no tomorrow, then suddenly they will stop eating, sometimes half as much as before. My thought on this is that they are better at paying attention to their bodies signal than we are, they know when they need to eat and when they don't.
I totally agree with this. Mine are 10, 5, and almost 2. They have all done this & continue to do this. They are bottomless pits sometimes and then suddenly eat like a flea.
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:57 PM   #12
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As long as your child is a healthy weight I don't think you should worry too much. You can find out from your doctor about the weight charts. Also the tip about timing the food is so crucial. My kids eat at very particular times.. if I miss that time there will be a battle between us. They go from hungry to starving to not interested in a matter of 30 minutes. So I have to be ahead of them or they won't eat.

The other thing I find really helps is if you involve them in the cooking process somehow. Even if it is watching. My Mom's fail safe for when my kids aren't eating and they are with her is to have a french toast party. They make the french toast together and eat it together.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:33 PM   #13
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I just thought I would add to this really good advice, that one of the things I was really concerned about was passing my food issues on to my son. I completely eliminated the idea of food as a reward or treat. I never made him eat if he was not hungry. In my specific case that has worked out well. He truly only eats when he is hungry. He is 18 now. I would love to be there! He was exposed to all kinds of foods and is an adventurous eater for the most part, like Vietnamese pho soup as his comfort food, will grill Korean tabletop Q as a resto, is my taste tester for home made salsa and guacamole, etc. But he does not really ever get cravings because nothing has been off limits I think. Everyone is different, but I thought I would share my experience.
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:35 AM   #14
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I'd say just keep offering different whole foods to your child, cooked and raw. Every few months, I'd offer something I know my son didn't like, and he'd say "but I don't like that." I'd say, "Try it again. Your taste buds change and you might like it now." A lot of the time, he'd end up liking the food!

My mom used to add vegetables to everything ... spinach leaves on a hot dog, etc.
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Old 06-25-2009, 09:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edzard View Post
Don't worry too much you have a toddler and they go thru phases, well all kids go thru phases of eating. I have a 10 yr old an 8 yr old and there are probably 10 cousins that we live close to and baby sit and play with, all ranging in age from 16-2 yrs old, so I am around kids lots!

First to note is when kids are about to go thru a growth spurt they will eat like there is no tomorrow, then suddenly they will stop eating, sometimes half as much as before. My thought on this is that they are better at paying attention to their bodies signal than we are, they know when they need to eat and when they don't.

Second, kids won't starve themselves unless there is something wrong medically, so unless they are looking unhealthy (and from the foods he eats it doesn't sound like it!) or losing weight take a deep breath!

Third, look at ALL the food he eats, moms have a tendency to feed the kids snacks and such all day long and then forget they ate only an hour ago. I have a sister in law who will feed her kids snacks all day, up to the point where dinner is 10 min. away and she will give them fruit or yogurts. Then serve a nice healthy dinner and worry because they only ate 3 bites and won't eat anymore she is afraid they are going to starve or be malnourished! You really have to pay attention to what and when you feed them, I am a firm believer in snacks but being careful not to get too close to dinner time and maybe even feeding dinner/lunch like foods during the snack if they are not eating them during the meals, that can help keep them eating right.

Hope this helps, just keep exposing them to good healthy foods and having them try that one bite and your on your way to a great eater, even if the toddler years get a bit picky! My kids were always asked to eat one bite, and sometimes forced to eat that bite before they could leave the table. Some might view that as cruel but now my kids will try almost anything and like foods most of their friends shun. Thai, Indian (punjabi chole mmm), Mediterranean, Vietnamese, they will eat all these and like them because we made them try different tastes when they were young.

Good luck and have fun!
Thank you so much, you are a pro! I guess I have never been around too much babies and I worry too much about his health, specially his nutrition. I want to raise him the way my grandparents and my mom raised me, exposed to all variety of foods ( I picked up the bad habits on my own ).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ICUwishing View Post
Hi, Renacer! My son's almost 10 at this point and absolutely fearless when it comes to food (he tackled a plate of escargot on our cruise and bragged about it when he got home). I think kids naturally gravitate to colorful foods with different mouthfeels, and really all we had to do was make sure he had small servings of whatever we were eating, and to take him out to the garden and show him what was growing out there. And yes, he would go through a week, several times a year, where he ate very little. It almost always preceded a noticeable growth spurt! Or sometimes a tooth would fall out, too, come to think of it ... then it was right back to business.
I was reading about your lovely garden, I bet it's beautiful down there. I grew up like that, my grandpa had land and that was his hobby. I guess that's why I never had a problem with fruits, vegetables and edible roots. I want to theach my baby the same, my husband is kind of picky and I would not want Lorcan (my son) to be limited. He's been with a little cold this past days and wasn't eating, I alarmed and created this thread. I appreciate your response very much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paperSkin View Post
As long as your child is a healthy weight I don't think you should worry too much. You can find out from your doctor about the weight charts. Also the tip about timing the food is so crucial. My kids eat at very particular times.. if I miss that time there will be a battle between us. They go from hungry to starving to not interested in a matter of 30 minutes. So I have to be ahead of them or they won't eat.

The other thing I find really helps is if you involve them in the cooking process somehow. Even if it is watching. My Mom's fail safe for when my kids aren't eating and they are with her is to have a french toast party. They make the french toast together and eat it together.
You are right, he loves to be with me in the kitchen! He's too young but I let him "help me" even if it is trowing something in the garbage for him is a celebration. I used to be worried about his weight in the past, he seemed not to be putting a lot of it but the Pediatrician always told me he was in the right track. I guess in my culture we are used to chubby babies and that's ahy I was always asking questions about his weight. He is almost 19m and only 26 pounds, he has come a long way if I take in consideration all the challenges that he had since he was born.

Thank for responding!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tommy View Post
I just thought I would add to this really good advice, that one of the things I was really concerned about was passing my food issues on to my son. I completely eliminated the idea of food as a reward or treat. I never made him eat if he was not hungry. In my specific case that has worked out well. He truly only eats when he is hungry. He is 18 now. I would love to be there! He was exposed to all kinds of foods and is an adventurous eater for the most part, like Vietnamese pho soup as his comfort food, will grill Korean tabletop Q as a resto, is my taste tester for home made salsa and guacamole, etc. But he does not really ever get cravings because nothing has been off limits I think. Everyone is different, but I thought I would share my experience.
That's exactly what is happening. As a child I grew up exposed to all variety of food BUT we weren't supervised in terms of sodas/junk (such as cheetos, ice cream...In my culture a hot dog and such things are not considered a meal) so when I was more independent I would not control the amount of junk. When I was pregnant the diagnosed me with "gestetional diabetes" and I took care of myself because of my baby. I don't want him to go the same path and I want to set a good example for him to see if he can prevent from developing it.

Thank you for sharing, I really appreciate it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyacinth View Post
I'd say just keep offering different whole foods to your child, cooked and raw. Every few months, I'd offer something I know my son didn't like, and he'd say "but I don't like that." I'd say, "Try it again. Your taste buds change and you might like it now." A lot of the time, he'd end up liking the food!

My mom used to add vegetables to everything ... spinach leaves on a hot dog, etc.
That's a good tip, sometimes you just give up and say "he doesn't like it". I agree that taste buds change, my mother says I used to love beets as a child and ate them in frenzy...I don't even recall touching a beet as a teen, but I would love other veggies. Your mom's idea is a great one, thanks for sharing it with me!
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