The Secret Of
Planning Toddler Meals
We all can use help with toddler meals. It can be so frustrating trying to plan out meals for your child. We want them to be well balanced and healthy and easy to prepare... LOL :0) I am only teasing, we do however would like it to be simple on us but also nutritious. It can be so easy to fall in the trap and just make processed foods.
I decided that I was going to change the bad eating habits I grew up with. My son is now 4 and I closely monitored by what he eats. I am proud to say that he has never had red meat and a very limited amount of pork. I decide that it was so important to create this page and help pass along tips that may help you make great toddler food the entire family will enjoy.
** Remember to always closely monitor your toddler while eating. Make sure to cut up all food into small, irregularly shaped, manageable pieces to avoid choking.
Tips for Planning Toddler Meals
- Plan Ahead
Plan your meals for the entire week or longer. When you take the time to plan you will make better choices. For example take a day a week and plan out your meals. This not only saves money but also time. Plan for healthy "quick" meals to have on hand for those busy days!
- Include Your Toddler
Even at a young age children love to feel "included" in decisions. Even while you grocery shop allow them to participate and help place items in the cart. While preparing the meals allow your toddler to help cook. This really works. They will love to eat what they have helped to prepare. My son is a fantastic vegetable washer..:) This is great especially for those picky eaters.
- Research "Healthy" Recipes
This is the beautiful gift that we have in the internet. The internet is our friend... LOL You can get online and find some amazing recipes for meals for toddlers. I have found some clever ideas that have really worked and I still use today. You can also find out how to properly balance out meals. You would also be surprised because you may think you are preparing something healthy and actually you are not! Keep in mind that toddlers need less food in their diet than you think so do your research parents.
- The Family Eats Together at the Dinner Table
The most important tip of all. We think that we are too busy to have family meals together anymore. Wrong! It is the very thing that is lacking in society today. Eating together does so much for not only your child's eating habits but their stability and development. It can be a time to share and unite as a family.
You want to make sure that when you do prepare toddler meals that your child will eat. There are so many common mistakes that can lead into potential problems for the future. You do not want your toddler to begin developing bad eating habits. Below are some common mistakes to look out for so that your little toddler can become a healthy eater.
Some Common Mistakes to AVOID:
- Allowing your toddler to drink more than 16-24 ounces of milk each day.
- Allowing your toddler to drink more than 4-6 ounces of juice each day.
- Allowing your child fill up on sweets and snacks.
- Forcing your child to eat when he isn't hungry.
- Giving your toddler servings that are too big. The average toddler serving is going to be about 1/4 of an adult serving size. Don't go by the serving size listed on nutrition labels, as these are mainly for older children and adults.
Remember, we are the models for our children. Our habits become their habits. If we eat healthy, they too will become healthy eaters. The younger the better. It is that simple. That is why it is critical to plan healthy toddler meals. The entire family should eat healthy.
Toddler Meal Sample Plan
- 1/3 cup cooked cereal
- 1/2 banana
- 1/2 slice toast with 1/2 teaspoon butter
- 4 ounces whole milk
For a morning snack:
- 2 graham crackers
- 4 ounces fruit juice
- 1/2 peanut butter and jelly sandwich
- 2 tablespoons cooked broccoli
- 1/4 cup melon
- 4 ounces whole milk
For an afternoon snack:
- 1-1/2 ounces chopped chicken
- 2 tablespoons peas
- 2 tablespoons baked potato with 2 teaspoons butter
- 1/2 slice whole wheat bread
- 4 ounces whole milk
For a snack:
- 1/2 cup fruit
- 1/2 ounce cheese
- 2 or 3 whole grain crackers
The ideas are endless. You can become so creative and then share your creations with the family. It is important to make healthy toddler meals. You want healthiness to become a habit, even with their eating. Have a Great Time at the Dinner Table!
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