need healthy food ideas a toddler will eat - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 01-04-2013, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
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I need some ideas of some better foods to feed my almost three yr old.


I feed him too many snacky type foods and too much sweets, I must admit.


I try to feed him good healthy homemade food as much as I can.

but lately I feel out of good ideas of foods I can feed him that are both healthy and that he will actually eat!  I have a hard time getting veggies in him and also mostly just need some good meal staples ideas.


He likes meat and beans and rice, but also eats a lot of muffins and graham crackers and juice, loves fruit- eats a lot of fresh fruit, likes dairy but I try to limit it, he ikes cereals, oatmeal, sometimes eggs or pancakes.


When he was littele he was more open to eating soups and now only sometimes will.


Anyway I need some good toddler meal staples to freshen my offerings- so please give me some ideas of things to make that your toddler likes-

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#2 of 7 Old 01-04-2013, 09:34 PM
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He sounds a lot like my son, ate more variety when an early toddler, becoming picky as he neared preschool age. He's a teen now, and eats whatever's edible, so my advice is to try to worry less. Time makes a difference with picky eating. Keep making foods he used to like, and even what others in the family like, and keep his "staples " on hand. If he doesn't want the other, let him go with a staple. I made peanut butter 'cookies' that had the sugar level of bread, making them more like peanut butter sandwiches. That was something my son could and would eat if he didn't like anything else. Another "staple" was banana nut muffins, all homemade, low sugar, and with as much healthy stuff as I could sneak in. I would have preferred more variety, but he liked the sameness. When asked why he always wanted the same foods all the time, and he says it's because he was focused on so many other things, and just wanted what he knew he liked. When he had settled on his career plan, variety in food became more important than it had been.

Hope this helps.
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#3 of 7 Old 01-05-2013, 05:45 AM
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Our used to eat anything and everything toddler is going through a seriously picky phase...much to my chagrin!  One of the things he enjoys are quesadillas--I put a thick shmear of beans, a sprinkle of cheese, and then either diced or shredded veggies (not a ton, but enough that I can feel like he's eaten a veggie).  He also enjoys diced tofu cubes--even more so if he can eat them skewered (w/ a little soy sauce to dip).  Salmon patties are another protein food that he will eat (we are pescatarian).  I find that his default for food preferences tends to rely too much on I try to balance that out w/ loads of higher fiber foods.  It's super frustrating to me b/c he's rejecting foods that I know he's liked in the past (c'mon, broccoli...that was the first food he was willing to eat at 8 months old and now he acts as if I'm trying to poison him!).  But, I'm trying HARD not to turn it into a battle...

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#4 of 7 Old 01-05-2013, 09:04 AM
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We've had a decrease in foods around here, too. Seems normal for the age, and I'm glad she's doing as well as she is. DD is totally stuck on bread and jam ( thanks, Frances). But broccoli with dip us still in, puréed veggie soups for dip or in a shot glass. And she likes V-8. We do a lot of eggs, a lot of fruit, nuts and coconut flakes, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds....these have replaced many of our empty carb snacks. When I do give her empty carbs, I try to add a fatty or nutrient dense component - pretzels and peanut butter, pita with hummus, triscuits with cream cheese. Oh, and we have better luck with raw veggies than cooked.
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#5 of 7 Old 01-05-2013, 01:19 PM
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We've had an increase in pickiness around here too.  My DD doesn't like meat, but she always used to eat fish.  She still does sometimes, but it is more hit and miss these days.  Some ideas that I use for meals/snacks are vegetable-based pancakes (she really likes zucchini pancakes - I know a good recipe if anyone is interested), sweet potato oven fries, edamame (she prefers the kind that is still in the shells so she can squish them out), roasted kale chips, avocado slices wrapped in nori.  I also make sweet pancakes, but use almond flour so that they have some extra protein, and add mashed up banana so that they are sweet and tasty (I also have a good recipe for almond pancakes).  I also had luck with deviled eggs for a while, and salmon or chicken salad with cut up apple or grapes mixed in (mayonnaise seems to help:)

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#6 of 7 Old 01-05-2013, 08:07 PM
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My DD loves anything with complex flavors.  She's 14mos but big time into new things like spicy salsas and chilis, sour stuff like lime (she was walking around yesterday sucking on one in between munching on beans!), and anything loaded wigh garlic!  So I've upped the basic avocado slices by adding kalmata olives and some black pepper, with fruit slices a little cinnamon and nutmeg gives it a whole new flavor.  As for veggies, she loves them all but especially if I roast them with a little salt and pepper, maybe a dash of garlic - really brings out the flavor, even with brussel sprouts!  Mashed potatoes are almost too good, she'll put everything to the side and only eat the potatoes so if I make them, I'll save that for last or I mix in cauliflower and cabbage (irish colcanon with some turkey bacon crumbles, mmmmm).

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#7 of 7 Old 01-05-2013, 08:18 PM
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Hi Snapdraggon (my favorite flower!)


When you say soup, do you mean the kind with chicken broth and vegetables? If so, maybe you can just cook the vegetables with chicken broth and then mash them.

I cook all my vegetables with chicken broth for extra nutrition. And since he likes meat, maybe the chicken broth flavor will entice his taste-buds.


Say you were to make mashed potatoes. You could try a ratio of 1 white potato to 2 sweet potatoes and/or squash, turnips, carrots, parsnips, which will give complex carbs while keeping the fluffiness of mashed potatoes. Instead of water, you can cook with chicken broth. So in the end you get something like a soup, but not in soup form.


Since he likes eggs and rice, how about fried rice? Green peas and cubed carrots, shredded meat of your choice. Mix it all together and when ready, drop a egg and keep stirring until cooked.


Do you think he'll eat his vegetables if they have plenty of butter or cream? If you're trying to avoid dairy, how about coconut oil and coconut milk for creaminess? Something tells me that since he loves meat and eggs he will like his vegetables if they're "meaty". Can you make ground beef meatballs with peppers, lots of fresh herbs, onions, and mushrooms? You might be able to sneak in leafy greens too instead of the fresh herbs.


Which vitamins or minerals do you think he's missing by not eating his vegetables? If you tell me maybe I can give you better ideas.


When you feed him vegetables, have him eat banana too which will give enzymes to better digest the vegetables.

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