Thursday, January 7, 2010

Toddler Food... Coming Soon!

Well, faithful reader(s?), you've asked and I will deliver: tasty, creative toddler food!

(But, um, not today.)

Many of you have read post after post about making your own baby food and how to do that, and a few of you have asked if I have ideas for yummy ideas on what to feed our older babies.  I'll admit, my toddler is a very, VERY picky eater and actually, we just had him evaluated by an occupational therapist for possible Sensory Processing Disorder (he doesn't have it, or if he does, it's not severe enough to bother with formal therapy).  Though that was somewhat of a dead-end, the therapist did give me some interesting ideas for how to present food to Jack to help expand his diet.  It's a frustrating situation because I made his baby food and I exposed him to a GIGANTIC array of different tastes and textures and whatnot.  Being a "foodie" myself, and being a single mom for some part of that stage of his life (Daddy was out to sea) I had no problems immersing myself in food - selection, preparation, presentation and introduction with Jack as my little sidekick.  So his picky eating as a nearly 3-year old is an aggravating and mystifying problem with which we struggle daily.  Somewhere between his tofu- and garbanzo bean-eating days and today, his palate has restricted itself to the mundane flavors of the childhood stand-bys: chicken nuggets, hot-dogs, french-fries and strawberries.


I feel like a failure.

I guess I'm partially to blame - the introduction of the girly twins to our family dynamic didn't leave me with much time or energy to fight with him over meals.  Maybe I even enabled his tendencies by using my Sam's Club membership to purchase hot dogs in insane bulk quantities and simplify my life a little.  But what I'm left with is a kid whose lunch box is as predictable as the plot of House.

*bigger sigh*

THAT, however, is not to say that I don't know of - nay, DREAM of - fun, exciting, nutritious toddler meals that would make perfect blog-fodder for those of you who are finding yourselves immersed in the glorious world of Lunchables and Happy Meals.  And you know what?  If I commit myself to offering those ideas along to you, it will hold me accountable for breaking out of the preservative-filled trench into which we've fallen and might just do us all some good.

So, what do you say...?  Wanna join in this endeavor with us?  I'd welcome some fellow explorers of the foreign lands of well-rounded toddler eating habits!  Perhaps I'll even get some MckLinky action involved and you all can share your ideas, tips and recipes too! 

Oy.  Now it's out there.  Now I have to be on top of it.  I'm nervous.


Shannon K. said...

I'm in for sure!

Tanya said...

Can't wait! We went through some pickiness with Kais before introducing the "You have to try at least one bite" rule. Jaron...another story. Straight picky...which is a HUGE anomaly in this fam. Better now. I'll think of some stuff that we've done...outside the whole "hide the veggies" in the meal deal since I think that sort of defeats the purpose of having them try stuff (although it feels good to increase their nutrition). Anyhoo...let's plan that girls' night sometime!

*Jess* said...

I'm glad that you had him evaluated! My son has been in feeding therapy for over 2 years now and I'm just about to post an update on his progress. Let me know if you have any questions about trying new foods!


L D said...

Dude, it's not going to happen. They go through stages and get REALLY picky right around 15 months old. And it doesn't stop until ... I don't know when. Ana didn't eat greens for an entire year, and now she's sworn off anything spicy. And by spicy, I mean I have to send her out of the kitchen if I have to SALT something.

Grapes, baby carrots, celery with peanut butter or cream cheese ... these are all good, as long as your kid can chew them. And while it's definitely frustrating to feed Jack only hot dogs and chicken nuggets, at least he's getting some protein.

Oh, and string cheese is awesome too.

Kate said...

Chicken Nuggets are the bomb you know. Well, according to my kids anyway. tips on toddler food. So far (touch wood) Jordan tries everything I cook for the family and likes all of it (superior cooking skills, perhaps? Don't hate)

Hope you're doing well!

The (Un)Experienced Mom said...

I'd be in! My oldest used to eat soooo much variety and now, even though he still eats good, it's not nearly as good as I'd like or hoped. I know part of that is normal - their way of asserting their independence...yaddah, yaddah, yaddah. But still....I'd like to expand, especially since I'm a bit of a picky eater myself!

Shandal said...

Our 3 year olds have the same palate right now! I'm all for hearing some ideas to get him to eat healthier!

I have an award for you!

Michelle said...

In in! We need this and can maybe add a few ideas :P

Misty said...

Our Jacks like the same foods, it's a nightmare isn't it! Mine used to eat everything in sight and weird stuff as well like pineapple and red onions together with seasoned tofu cubes. Now he pleads with me to drive thru McD's which I can only tolerate once a week (wish it was less). I'm still serving everything I used to each day but when he doesn't eat for a certain amount of time then I go ahead and cave with the hot dog or nuggets to get food in him. I put sprinkles on fruits to make them more appealing and make foods into animal shapes. I could definitely use more ideas!

Jean said...

Hey Melissa! It's Jean. Here I am, stalking your family again. I'm a creep. Anyway, even though I don't have kids, I've got a little suggestion. For me, though not a very picky eater as a kid, a little food coloring went a LONG way. It's way more fun to eat blue scrambled eggs, purple mashed potatoes, or green melted cheese over broccoli than boring naturally-colored food. Call them something gross, ("Purple People Eater Potatoes" or something) and you could have some success. I'm curious to read about your toddler food adventures!

Keeslermom said...

Mine no longer qualifies as a toddler, but I'm on board with anything that would help expand his diet! You know how people say kids won't starve themselves? Mine did. 3 days, no food. Because we wanted him to taste something new. Anything new. He won.


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