Being a mom means you have to dig deep every day to tap into those multi-tasking superpowers. But if I had to name the one thing at the top of my to-do list that always makes me feel like a failure, mealtime takes the cake. Nothing stresses me out more than figuring out what my kids will decide to eat that day. With two picky toddlers, it seems like a full time-job just picking out something they will eat, let alone something healthy too (god forbid).
So how can we all get a few more #momwins at mealtime? I am rounding up a few of my favorite toddler eating tips and including a few easy recipes to try with your little ones.
Make it together- easier said than done, but showing your toddlers how to cook comes with many positive benefits. Not only does it help your toddler get exposed to skills like following directions and basic hand-eye coordination, but it also starts to expose them to simple math. *Pro tip- take the time to let them help you measure and count out loud. Plus, a toddler who usually is reluctant to try anything might suddenly find themselves enjoying taste testing while they are cooking, so use this as an opportunity to get them eating something new! Here's one of my favorite go-to fried rice recipes https://babyfoode.com/blog/easy-veggie-fried-rice-for-baby-toddler/
Blend it! This is one of my favorite ways to get my kids eating fruits and veggies. Smoothies are packed with nutrients and provide an easy way for moms to get our much-needed fuel when on-to-go. *Pro tip- make an extra serving for yourself, and after you're done pouring the kiddies add some protein powder to yours. Smoothies are also a great way to sneak in those veggies without your picky toddler ever noticing. The best thing about smoothies is there are no rules, so get crazy! Here's an easy recipe to get your toddler smoothie game started https://www.yummytoddlerfood.com/recipes/breakfast/toddler-smoothies-with-hidden-veggies/print/2811/
Start small and rotate! It seems so obvious, but I often lose sight of it during the food battles. Try not to offer the same thing two days in a row to help your tiny toddler start trying new foods. And whenever trying something new, start small! Don't overwhelm them with a big serving of it, instead only offer a couple of pieces to test out. *Pro tip- offer new food alongside one of their tried and true favorites.
Don't beat yourself up! Whatever you do, try not to take it too personally. I know for sure that my kids won't starve themselves and eventually will eat and try new foods when they are hungry and ready! All we can do is offer a little encouragement along the way. *Pro tip- always reward good behavior with a tiny sweet treat at the end of dinner! Gummy bears are a favorite in our house.
In the words of my daughters- "Bon Appétit, now you may eat!"