Friday, October 24, 2014

Toddler Food Ideas

One of the requests I received back when I was uninspired was to do a post on what I feed Frances and Sterling.  Feeding kids can easy and it can also be a nightmare.  I think the key is keep switching things up and introduce new things.  Now that Sterling is older he eats what we eat for dinner.   He is not given a choice.   I do not cook him a separate dinner unless Matt and I will be eating really late.  I try to make him eat what we eat.  Now don't get me wrong many nights he goes to bed hungry but he has to at least try everything and if he eats well he is allowed a piece of dessert- sort of a bribe to get him to eat more but it works.  By making him take at least one bite of what we are having it has helped teach him that some things that look gross and he said he wouldn't eat he actually likes.  For example this week I made butternut squash soup and roasted cabbage,  he immediately looked at his plate and said I am not eating that- gross!  Then when I made him try it and he actually liked both and almost cleaned his plate. I call that winning in the Mom Department:)

Frances Moon is obviously a different story.  She is full on into finger foods now.  I still use pouches for on the go but other wise it is food she can feed herself.   Breakfast is usually a Kashi Waffle or Oatmeal and Fruit.  Lunches are often on the go and are a squeezable pouch but dinners are always at home.  I tried to take pictures of Frances Moon's dinners  to give you some ideas of what she eats.  There are so many options and I would welcome ideas too, but these are just a few baby/toddler meal ideas.

String Cheese | Strawberries | Peas (canned)

 Avocado | Beets | String Cheese | Shredded Chicken

Sweet Potatoes | Blueberries | Morning Star Chicken Nuggets

Morning star Veggie Patty | Cauliflower | Strawberries and Blueberries

Carrots | Mandarin Oranges | Snappea Peas

Roasted Cabbage | Cracker Barrel Cheese | Bananas

For those curious the plates above are the Dr. Browns Plates and the last plate is by 5x7 Designs.  I like the Dr. Brown plates because they are small and divided.  I also like the 5x7 plates because they are open and the designs are so cute- Sterling has one too! They make adorable gifts as well.

One tip to make things easier is to prep on Sunday or Monday.  I often roast a few sweet potatoes, butternut squash etc to have in containers for the week.  Then it is easy to pull out and feed Frances, no extra cooking or work required. 

A few ideas of food to buy and keep in your fridge or freezer, I usually keep these items stocked at our house.

- Morning Star Veggie Patties
- Morning Star Chicken Nuggets
- Kashi Waffles
-  String Cheese or mini Babel both are softer cheeses
- Yogurt
- Snappea Peas
- Cheerios
- Ritz Crackers
- Fig Newtons
- Libby's diced veggies (these come in plastic containers like mandarin oranges and are great for kids.  They have carrots, peas, and green bean options)
- Mandarin Oranges
- Nutrigrain Bars
- Avocado
- Fresh Fruit- I always buy bananas, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries.  They are softer fruits and easy for Frances to eat.
- Giggle Bites Food - This line by my friend Melissa is awesome.  This is all I fed Frances in the beginning and we still use it often.  She also offers Toddler Sneak-Ums which are genius to mix in with whatever else you are cooking!

and because many times Frances Moon is over the food I serve her.  Feeding any age child is never easy.  This Ecard suns it up as does her face.


Emily said...

I love those plates and Frances Moon's face is priceless. Too cute. Other options Frances may like are lentils and black beans at her age. I used to buy Morningstar until they came out with a list of all the brands that contain GMOs and they are a big one. Applegate is a good brand for chicken nuggests, too. If my 3 year old doesn't like what we are having sometimes she just has yogurt and veggies for dinner!

Katharine @ SouthernBourbonMountains said...

GREAT post!!! Ford eats horrible foods (fast food, frozen food) so this helps with some stuff I can get at the grocery!

Mel G said...

Great post and thanks for the Giggle Bites shout out! One thing I make a lot for my boys are quesadillas! You can put/hide just about anything in them. Fruit, veggies, meat, flax seeds, Giggle Bites Sneakums, etc. And they are perfect for on the go because my boys don't need them piping hot and you can just pass out a triangle or two while you are out and about

Sweet Southern Prep said...

These are great ideas, Natalie! Thanks for sharing! Always looking for new food ideas for the kids!

Sara Mueller said...

Frances Moon's face is so adorable! I love that you captured that moment!

Meredith said...

Feeding toddlers is tricky. I usually always try to feed my 17 month old what we are having for dinner (sometimes that ends up in tears and her throwing her dinner), but I think it is good to get them in the habit of knowing that they dont get a choice at meal time. I have a hard time coming up with different things to pack her for school lunch....some of these are good ideas. Thanks!

Katie said...

I love this! Its always nice to see what other moms feed their children and get ideas

peanutsandrubies said...

Thanks again for this post!! It has given me some great ideas! If you feel like Frances Moon didn't get enough of the food, do you supplement with baby food? My biggest worry right now is that my little one isn't getting enough food when she feeds herself. Like the hilarious Ecard, most of her food ends up in her highchair.

JRA said...

I used to make a lot of mini-muffins for my toddlers (who are now teenagers)...pumpkin/butternut squash, zucchini/corn, appelsause/oatmeal, etc. all with added flax or chia seeds. Made for great lunches. Use some shredded meat left over from the night before's dinner and some fruits or veggies to balance out.

Also, my kids loved lentils and I used to make them couscous with baby veggies (carrots, peas, etc)

Leslie said...

How many teeth does Frances have?

Annie {Home of Malones} said...

Thank you!!! I'm always loving new ideas to feed my 16 month old son. I hate that he is a picky eater. He eats well but only the things that he likes. He seems to have a problem with certain textures. He won't eat any meats. I love seeing different toddler meals and Frances Moon seems to love a good variety. xoxo

beth said...

Can you do a post on your breastfeeding journey? Are you still nursing F? My son is the same age as her exactly so I'm just curious about weaning and everything.

Gaby [The Vault Files] said...

I'm all about prepping in advance too! I got that fridge stocked with so much homemade food for Matthew! Love your ideas, and Frances Moon's face is just too damn funny :)