Toddler Food Essentials
Sometimes toddlers can be picky eaters, right? We try to feed Reaghan whatever we are eating, especially for dinner, but sometimes it just doesn't work out, or rather, she flat out refuses to eat it ;) In those cases, and for lunches and breakfast, there are several staples I keep on hand at all times to make sure she is fed nutritiously.
1. Cheese - I love these cheese shapes because they are fun and quick, but a lot of times we just cut slices from the big block of cheese I'm using for our family recipes throughout the week. I like to snack on all the dairy items now that I'm pregnant, so Reaghan get some of it too! We have also done string cheese which she also loves!
2. Fresh fruit - Fruit is always a toddler favorite! It's naturally sweet so they love it, but also I know she can have a larger helping of it and not feel bad. Of course, Rae could eat fruit and only fruit for breakfast, lunch and dinner so I try to diversify it with lots of choices throughout the day from what's currently in season.
3. Greek yogurt - High in protein and a favorite of my girl! I add a little granola, flax seed or wheat germ and she loves it.
4. Frozen fruit - Okay, I didn't think I'd be talking so much about fruit! But this one is simply to represent smoothies. I've found that I can add pretty much anything to a smoothie and she will still happily drink it up! When she's showing some signs of getting sick, I add a probiotic, vitamin C and vitamin D to her smoothie for an easy boost of vitamins. I add veggies in her smoothies as well like avocado, spinach, carrots, beets, etc! I try to use smoothies as her after nap snack, and think ahead to add some of those nutrient dense foods I know she may not eat as easily on their own throughout the day.
5. Spinach - Or really any veggies! Reaghan went though a (short) phase where she gobbled up sautéed spinach by the mouthful, but now acts like she doesn't care. SO, my solution was to add dark leafy greens to her eggs! I've got a recipe for Cheesy Spinach and Egg Cups for toddlers on the blog, and she loves them. You could easily do this with steamed and chopped broccoli, zucchini, kale, carrots or sweet potatoes! We eat a lot of vegetables in our dinners as a family, so again, I put those things in front of her and keep trying, but sometimes I need to resort to "hiding" or else her diet would be totally fruit and dairy! Haha ;)
And before you think she's a vegetarian...she also eats lots of eggs, tuna and sliced turkey throughout the week. :)
I have to show you a picture of the silly monster tiny person who lives in our house, here's sweet Rae with a mouth full of taco meat - her favorite!