Bethenny Frankel may be a nutrition expert, but she still sees the value in seeking input from other parents. Frankel asked Twitter fans for ideas of foods to feed kids who don’t want to eat on Jan. 12.
Bethenny tweeted, “What's a go to food that you give your children when they don't want to eat but you want some nutrition & calories? Mine is eggs or pbj.”
Frankel is the mother to a two-year-old daughter, Bryn. Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters. One week they only want string cheese or yogurt for every meal. Then the next week they refuse to touch it.
Fortunately, toddlers can get the calories and nutrition they need without taking in a large amount of food. Since children are desperate for independence at this age, giving toddlers finger foods they can manage themselves is a good solution. Being in control of their food encourages them to eat more. As a bonus, these foods are quick and easy for busy parents like Bethenny Frankel to prepare.
Here are some ideas for meals that will interest most picky toddlers.
- Pasta salad hits every food group. Use pasta that is easy for small fingers to work with, such as spirals and macaroni. Then add chopped pieces of cooked meat, cheeses, veggies and hard-boiled egg. Try a combination of small pasta shells, cubes of ham and cheddar cheese, frozen peas (thawed) and quartered grape tomatoes. This meal is great served hot or cold. Add a bit of Italian or ranch dressing if a little extra enticement is needed.
- Pancake and waffle sandwiches are also very popular. Cut a waffle or pancake in half and put a cooked egg in between the pieces. It doesn't need to be just for breakfast, though. Make a lunch meat or PB&J sandwich for lunch or dinner. Ham, egg and cheese sandwiches on whole wheat waffles can be lunch or dinner.
- Create a dippable feast. This is a good way to ensure children are eating a variety of foods. Include familiar foods, such as apple sauce, lunchmeat, cheese cubes, cream cheese, sliced strawberries and teddy bear shaped graham crackers. Then throw in foods you'd like your child to try, such as pepper slices and hummus. Allow children to create their own combinations. This can be modified for any meal or even a snack.
- Blend up a smoothie with frozen banana chunks, Greek yogurt, berries and a big handful of spinach. The fruit hides the taste of the spinach. Use dark berries to disguise the green color.
Kid friendly recipes don't have to be complicated. Just go with whatever your toddler is willing to eat this week. According to What to Expect, the toddler years are tricky for feeding but as long as you offer a variety of choices, eventually they will begin to eat more regular meals.
Hang in there, Bethenny Frankel. Bryn will be eating better in no time.