As you know, it warms my heart to watch my children chow down on a good meal and I’m dead set against raising a picky eater. That being said, it can be a challenge coming up with new meal ideas for a toddler and a preschooler. So, for my own interests as well as yours, I’ll share what commonly makes its way onto my kitchen table if you’ll tell me what is being served on yours. (Remember back to, “I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours.” That’s what I’m getting at mamas.)
- My go-to breakfast for the girls is a whole grain waffle with various toppings: dab of butter and baby food fruit or applesauce in lieu of jam; peanut butter and jelly; or some yogurt spread over the top
- Homemade banana bread with some butter on it and a side of fruit
- A slice of whole grain toast with mashed banana and peanut butter on it
- Yogurt with blueberries in it and a slice of toast
- Oatmeal with berries (I encouraged my toddler to eat it for the first time by making a game of finding the berries in the oatmeal.)
- Eggs and toast – scrambled or fried – and a side of fruit
- English muffin with cream cheese and a side of fruit
- Soft granola bar, for when mornings get hectic and my oldest needs to eat something in the car on the way to daycare
- Pancakes (only on the weekends when my oldest compliments me into making them) made with wheat germ, sometimes blueberries, real maple syrup and butter. While our new family favorite – blueberry protein pancakes – may not look as pretty as classic pancakes they are awesomely delicious, packed with protein and fiber, and super easy to make!
**Easy fruit selections for me include grapes, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, bananas, apples, oranges and pears. I try to keep some combo of these around at all times.
LUNCH & DINNER
- Chicken or turkey meatballs or sausage with a side of veggies and a slice of bread with butter
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a side of fruit
- Hummus on a slice of bread with a side of veggies
- Pasta with butter, parmesan cheese, a sprinkle of garlic salt and a side of veggies
- Macaroni and cheese. From a box most every time. But hey, I feel better that I buy the one labeled “organic, whole wheat.”
- Any other kind of pasta that we make (my husband and his family are Italian so there’s lots of pasta dishes to go around)
- Refried bean and cheese burritos for older toddlers
- Any leftovers from our adult dinner the night before that aren’t too spiced and are relatively soft to chew
- Sometimes we have one of the breakfast items for lunch or dinner
**I often steam veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and zucchini ahead of a meal so they are in the fridge and ready to go. If I haven’t done that, I go to my pantry supply of canned, no-salt-added peas, corn, and green beans that I can quickly serve to the girls.
- Slices of apple with a side of “dip” (the dip is actually just yogurt)
- Dry cereal
- Cracker “sandwiches” made by putting some spreadable cheese in between two crackers and I usually give it to them with a side of fruit
- Fruit, usually bananas or grapes
- Cheese stick
- Soft breakfast bar like Nutrigrain
- Popcorn for older toddlers
- Animal crackers, graham crackers
- Crackers or whole grain type tortilla chips with hummus (for older toddlers)
Your turn. Please share tips, tricks and ideas by clicking on the comments link below. Remember, new moms are reading this and need your advice.