Need Healthy Toddler meal/snack ideas

Rachelle - posted on 11/03/2010 ( 27 moms have responded )

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I have a 17 month old little boy thatI need Healthy finger food ideas for. Recently my little guy has fallen out of love with his favorite foods like bananas and cheese sticks and hot dogs and really won't eat much of anything for me! If he does eat for me he will eat cheeze its or crackers but then he gets too constipated. I want to make sure he's getting a balanced meal and snacks but he refuses to eat more than 2 bites of what I give him. I think I need some new creative fun ideas for him. However, he will NOT eat anything he cannot pick up and put to his mouth on his own. Some things like oatmeal and soups are out becasue he can't hold onto a bowl and they end up sliding right off a fork or spoon. Anyone have any toddler snack/meal ideas.

Thank You!

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Erica - posted on 11/08/2010

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You could try using a straw for soups? I have some friends that have had success with that. I make a lot of smoothies at home that my daughter loves and they're packed with all kinds of fruit and greek yogurt!

Amanda - posted on 11/07/2010

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Broccoli & Cheddar Cheese Nuggets



Ingredients:

1 16-oz Package frozen broccoli, cooked, drained, and chopped

1 cup Seasoned bread crumbs (you could try using baby cereal if you want, we know it works well with "baby meatballs")

1 ½ cups Shredded cheddar cheese (please use real cheese and not a "processed cheese food" product. Try tomato & basil cheddar.)

3 Large eggs or 5 egg yolks - Most pediatricians say it's ok to use whole egg in a baked good when baby is over 8-9 months old without allergies. We would recommend that you substitute 5 egg yolks for the whole eggs if serving this to those under 1 yr. Ask YOUR pediatrician.



Directions:

Preheat oven to 375
1. Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil and set aside.
2. Combine all remaining ingredients and mix well.

*Add seasonings if you like - garlic powder, pepper, extra basil & oregano for example. Add a fruit or veggie puree to substitute for the eggs if desired.

3. Shape mixture into nuggets or fun shapes such as squares or squigglies etc..and place on baking tray. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, turn nuggets over after 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Nomadina - posted on 02/22/2012

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I feel your pain. My son ( 12 1/2 months) is the same way. It has been in my experience that babies love JUICE. My blender is my best friend. I blend all kinds of real fruit drinks and sneak in the veggies. For instance, 1 banana, a few strawberries, broccoli, and a 1/2 cup of water. Play with different fruits and veggies to see what suits him. Also, try a good green veggie powder mix, they are packed with so many nutrients and vitamins. The worst thing happened a few weeks ago. MY BLENDER DIED. During that time I was also at my wits end. I let my grandmother have her way with him and in two days time of him with out his smoothies she has him in love with JUNK FOOD. He didn't want to eat much of anything and but snacks. Once they get the taste for the mess they will crave it just like we do. Only difference is they don't know they can't survive off junk alone lol. My advice is to change his whole routine and yours as well. They love to do what they see. I know this post is old but hopefully this still can some how help you and any other mother reading this post as well.

Brooke - posted on 11/17/2010

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My kids are HUGE snackers! For lunch it is usually a bunch of snacks... Ants on a log (celery sticks with peanut butter inside and topped with raisins), cheese cubes, summer sausage, cubed chicken with a small amount of low sodium soy sauce, apples with peanut butter, sticky rice balls, sliced and toasted bruschetta topped with mozzarella, pepper, olive oil and malt vinegar (tried tomatoes and basil and no such luck),green beans (fresh or cooked), sweet peas. I have found that if I tell my kids they are getting a "special treat" before I give them a carrot or something healthy they really want it more! Weird, I know.

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Melissa - posted on 05/11/2011

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go to the store and buy some different size cookie cutters. I have some tiny ones i will use on bricks of cheese or cucumber. I also have a box that i bought while living in the states at meijers that was a box of 50 animals, i also bought some for holidays too. I will use them to make cookies, using the internet for healthy recipes, I will also use it for sandwiches too, i will make my son peanut butter or cheese wiz sandwiches, you could also use them on deli meat too. I think it's in somewhere in asian cooking where they say to add color to food to make it interesting.

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Kids will eat when they're hungry. I often put a platter of steamed asparagus, broccoli and carrots on their play table for a snack during the day just like that with nothing on them at all. They think it's fun to be able to serve themselves at their own liberty. Before I know it it's all gone and they're asking for more.
Sometimes I think we worry too much about condiments and flavouring. Our little ones aren't conditioned like we are to have things so flavourful. Less is more for their little bodies. I kind of stick to the model of "If God made it then we can eat it" If it comes in a box or a can it's likely loaded with lots of stuff that's not so great for their little bodies. Keep it simple. They'll not starve. I don't cater to their moments of pickiness and in doing that my kids are accustomed to all the veggies. They'll even snack on raw kale. I can't even do that. I need mine in something lol!

Amanda - posted on 03/20/2011

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What about pretzels? Or pretzels with hummus? Cereal as a snack? animal crackers-not the frosted ones, dehydrated fruits, raw veggies, that's all I can think of right now! My best to you and your son!

Dara - posted on 03/10/2011

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My 17 month old loves muffins, and you can sneak in all sorts of great stuff. I make my muffins with whole grain flour, organic sugar and substitute apple sauce for oil in any recipe. Then, I add chopped apples, or bananas, grated carrots, cheese, raisins, blueberries...pretty much anything. You can even puree veggies and put them in too. Here's my basic recipe, and then you can add anything you like:

Makes 12
1 3/4 cups whole grain whole wheat flour
1/3 cup organic cane juice sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 beaten egg
3/4 cup milk
1/4 unsweetened apple sauce
- add 3/4 cup blueberries, or 1/2 cup shredded cheese, 3/4 cup mashed banana (reduce milk to 1/2 cup), or anything else you like.

I've tried apricots, apples, carrots, bananas, blueberries, cheese and my kids love them all. I've also made homemade chicken strips and fish sticks, which are fun to eat and a much healthier version than the frozen variety. Just dip your chicken or fish in egg or butter, then roll in a bread crumb and spice mixture that you like. My kids also like ham. I buy the precooked ones and just slice them up into cubes with cheese and crackers and some kind of veggie and it always goes over well.

Megan - posted on 03/09/2011

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Yogart is hard to eat for them, But its good practies and good for them, Also fruit smoothies are great you can even add tofo if you think there not getting enough protine.
Homemade mac and chesse with couiflower in it.
Any kind of pasta kids love.
Its super easy to sneak veggies into ground beef and tomatoe sauce. Serve over funky pastas.

Meg - posted on 02/14/2011

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Our toddler loves the "pockets" I make him. Roll out frozen puff pastry and using a 3 inch round cookie cutter cut out about 12 circles. For the filling you can use really anything. I mix together cooked chicken or turkey with veggies such as carrots, peas, sweet potatoes, corn. Add a little bit of fresh cheese such as cheddar to the mix. Place about a tablespoon of the mix on half of the circle and using an egg or milk wash on the other half fold the circles so they are closed together. Pinch the edges to seal them. Use egg/milk wash on the top to brown them and bake in oven at 350 for 12-15 minutes until browned. These freeze well too.

Kate - posted on 02/04/2011

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Mini rice cake, spread on some strawberry cream cheese, slice or banana on top or strawberry, kiwi, etc.

Amber - posted on 02/04/2011

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My daughter is 19 months old & has gone threw a picky faze too! I think its the age but Go-gurts are great healthy they can do them there selves! When it gets to the end just cut it down smaller! I also do fruit cups,(cant think of the brade but in the fruit cup section has diced fruit thats cut w sauce made to warm a few second come w a gronala to top it .I chose not to give her this)chicken pot pies which you can buy frozen or make yourselve(look @ bisquick-they have a good potpie receipe -that you can alter veggie to one your son like!) Hope these ideas help there thing I like cuz I can make them, for me& her for a good example!

Connie - posted on 11/17/2010

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Have you tried being creative with the food, like forming it on a plate to make a smiley face? My daughter likes to sprinkle or dip her food, and so if I give her something she's allowed to sprinkle on or dip her food in, it peeks her interest in something she wouldn't normally eat. Cereal's a great go to because it is loaded with iron and vitamins, I would try that if all else fails. It makes a great on the go snack as well! Eggs and whole wheat toast (if he's not allergic) are great as well.

Lisa - posted on 11/17/2010

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Anabel Karmel has a great recipe for Chicken Snails! sounds gross, but when you look at the recipe, it's homemade chicken sausages, mashed potato, peas and carrots, my daughter thought it was great! try looking online ofr some child friendly recipes

Kate - posted on 11/16/2010

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i read some of these and they are good ideas but ultimately you have to put your foot down your son is not going to be a good eater if you don't make him one don't let him leave the table my mom was crazy about that she would make us dinner and if we didnt eat we would not get breakfast and then at luch we woud get last nights dinner we learned to eat im not saying that is a good idea but it was affective just put your foot down though

Amy - posted on 11/13/2010

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Frozen go gurt cut into pieces. Toast and cheese. Homemade bake chicken nuggets. Pizza on a biscuit. My SIL from Mexico peels peaches and boils them with sugar. Tortilla pizzas, sprinkle some soft chicken and veggies, top with cheese. A big favorite here. Boil some chicken. Take out chicken but leave the juice and a few pieces of chicken. Dump in a can of Bush's baked pinto beans, add Vegal can vegetables. Let simmer, add a some herbs if you like. It's my husband's special and kid's favorite. Cookie cutters to cut up food is awesome too!

Sarh - posted on 11/13/2010

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He can eat soup w/his fingers, get bigger noodles, cut up fresh carrots big enough for him to pick up.

Have you tried making silly faces out of his food?

Sorry, I'm probably not to helpful as my daughter eats any and everything.

Brenna - posted on 11/12/2010

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my daughter loves fruit of all kinds, we started with peaches from a can, now her new favorite is fresh pears that I cut up for her. Infact last night she was eating cut up pears with peanut butter, she does the same thing with apples :) Good luck, hope this helps

Shannon - posted on 11/11/2010

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Also, you can supplement his diet with a "dessert shake" of Pediasure at night. My son thinks it is such a treat and it helps fill the gaps in his diet for that day!

Shannon - posted on 11/11/2010

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I roll up deli meats like smoked turkey and low sodium ham. String cheese is great, but if he is prone to constipation, be careful. I cut up grapes, melon, prunes. Bagel bites aren't totally healthy, but in combination with mandarine oranges and steamed broccoli with 0 calorie spray butter, it's a fun treat once in a while. You might try the individual fruit cups, my son LOVES the diced apples and pears. I've found that he'll eat any veggies that I throw in a bowl, add a little water, cover with damp papertowel, nuke for about 3 minutes and spray with spray butter....I'm proud to say that my son's favorite food is broccoli. I couldn't believe it, but he eats it every day, sometimes twice! I use the I Can't Believe Its Not Butter Spray on everything...no fat, no calories. Browns grilled cheese perfectly! Good luck.

Amanda - posted on 11/10/2010

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My kids love baby carrots and ranch dressing, apples with peanut butter, raisins, wheat crackers with cheese slices, Ants On a Log ~ celery with peanut butter and raisins. I wouldnt worry too much either. This is most likely a phase. I like the idea of cutting thinks into funny shapes, making faces and puzzles out of his food too. Have you tried giving him 2 or 3 options and letting him pick? That may help also. When my children started being picky about what they ate, I introduced childrens vitamins also. ; ) Good luck

Lorraine - posted on 11/08/2010

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my son is a very good eater he can be fussy when it comes to bread but he's slowely starting to eat bread, i found a good subtitute for bread that he loves and that's plain tortias i use them for dip as a snack and just break it up into pieces i make my own homus to, plus he loves rice cake or corn thin crackers with butter and cheese or veggiemite and cheese. sometimes it's good to give a few things so it's not boring like i give my son olives, cheese with rice crackers or pears because he loves pears. i even mke up my own jelly with fruit salad mixed in it because most kids love jelly, i think theese are better than kids having chips & lollies plus they get there dairy aswell.

Angela - posted on 11/06/2010

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Pita Pizza's are a fun healthy way to give your LO lots of nutrients and they are yummy.....
Pre-heat oven to 350,
Take whole wheat small/large pitas put your favorite sauce on in a thin layer,
You can sneak in some cooked spinach and zucchini and he wouldn't even notice... lol
Top with your favorite cheese,
Put your sons favorite toppings on,
Sprinkle a little bit of basil and bake for approximately 10 minutes straight on the rack for ultimate crispyness!

They're one of my favorite things to eat and completely healthy!

Sarah - posted on 11/06/2010

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I'm sure my son is an oddity but he loves carrots. You could try getting some baby carrots. Put them in a bowl with some water and microwave for a few minutes until they have softened. Then drain the water and put a little butter on them and maybe some cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice to give a little sweet flavor. Even a little brown sugar helps. I had to hardest time getting my son to eat any kind of potato and now he loves my roasted sweet potatoes with the same pumpkin pie spice and a little brown sugar to sweeten it. Maybe try some green beans with a little melted cheese on top since you said he likes cheese it's.

Kylie - posted on 11/06/2010

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I wouldnt be too worried about him not eating much as all kids go through that my son is neally 3 and he still doesnt eat much of his meals but he really love things like carrot sticks and fruit pieces and he really has a thing for cherry tomatoes and cheese... You could also try cutting his food in to different shapes or placing it on the plate to look like a smiley face... He also may like making his food or being involved in making it such as pizza, pasta salad, sandwiches or something like that most kids will eat more of something if they have made it themslves or helped to make it... You could make things like home made sausage rolls or spring rolls that way u control what goes into them or google search healthy food idea its amazing what u can find... Gooluck i hope u find what ur looking for :)

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