Mealtime for toddlers often becomes a battle of wills. Remedy this by offering fun finger foods that most toddlers will enjoy.
Large plates full of food can overwhelm a small child. A toddler’s stomach isn’t much bigger than their fist. In a child’s eyes, a full dinner plate full of food set before him resembles a large platter of food being placed in front of an adult. Large portions of food on the plate affect a young eater in a similar way. Counteract this by offering small servings of easy-to-eat morsels on smaller, child-sized plates.
Serve Toddlers Fresh and Dried Fruit
Fresh fruit should be offered in a variety of colors and varieties for the best nutritional value. Red strawberries, green grapes and kiwi, and oranges can be cut into small chunks and offered as a mixed fruit salad or separated into piles.
Several manufacturers of toddler snacks now offer dried fruit in ready-made combinations. A parent can often find choices like bananas and strawberries or apples in easy-to-take packages that fit nicely in a diaper bag.
Cut Cheese and Meat Into Small Pieces When Feeding Young Kids
Pre-packaged cheese cubes are available at most markets, but even these cheese cubes can be too large for a toddler’s smallmouth. To save time, buy the ready-to-eat cheese cubes, but cut them into smaller pieces. A small cube cut into four pieces would be a nice finger-sized portion for a young eater.
Lunch meats are soft and easy to eat toddler fare. Consider buying low-salt or low fat-versions for healthier eating. Turkey, ham, and bologna can be rolled into easy-to-eat “logs.” The logs can be cut into smaller portions for single-bite eating. Thicker meats can be cut into small squares to match the cheese portions.
Offer Vegetables in Fun Ways to Make Them Appealing to Toddlers
Children are notorious when it comes to not wanting to eat vegetables. Make the veggies easier to the stomach by making their presentation unique and fun. Green beans can be cut into small pieces. Peas can be served frozen, which offers a different texture and will feel good on newly erupting toddler molars. Carrots and cucumbers can be cut into fun shapes and dunked into vegetable dips like ranch-flavored sour cream. Again, the healthiest offering is a variety of colors of vegetables served throughout the day.
Healthy Snack Food Idea
Whole wheat crackers served plain or with a dash of cream cheese will offer a nice mix of protein and carbohydrates for a quick and healthy snack. Pair this with juicy green grapes for a refreshing snack.
Fun Food Presentation for Kids
Consider serving the meal in a fun container such as an ice cube tray or a sanitized egg carton. Each compartment can hold a different finger food serving. Hard-boiled eggs, bacon crumbles or sausage balls, cheese cubes, fruit bites, and small vegetables will make a fun presentation and offers the toddler an enticing array of nutrients.
Consider serving finger foods in a variety of colors and textures, such as fruits, cheese cubes, and vegetables, to keep the child happy and healthy. By considering a toddler’s preferences and offering him small servings in a new and fun way, a parent can ensure her young eater will get the nutrients he needs in a variety of easy-to-eat snacks.