What’s on the lunch menu?

What’s on the lunch menu?

We have long been prone to offering our toddler very repetitive foods for mealtime. It’s easy, she eats them most of the time and they’re easy to keep in stock. (Grilled chicken, fresh fruit and veggies, spinach nuggets, oatmeal, raisins, yogurt, apple sauce etc.).

So far, we are very lucky we don’t have a picky eater! We have always made an effort to take her out with us and feed her from our plates so she develops a taste for things. As long as she at least tries something, we try not to force her to eat anything she doesn’t want. Of course, at home there is often a game to be played so we do set some rigid requirements around our own dinner table. We are sticklers about eating what you ask for (no wasting food) and we are not afraid to let her “go hungry” if she’s being bratty. Let’s be honest, if she were actually hungry she’d be eating what was in front of her. There are also no toys at the table and we’re working on establishing conversation so there is a small bit of ceremony around the idea of a meal.

A recent phase developed of always asking for “something else” when she hadn’t finished what was in front of her. We had been in a habit of giving her one or two food items at a time and when that was finished, we’d move on to the next. Instead, we starting placing small amounts of each food on her plate to start with. If she wants more of something, she has to finish everything on her plate first. We also typically offer a “treat” once the meal is over, this usually happens to be an “ice yogurt” (a yogurt tube thrown in the freezer). If she doesn’t clean her plate, that’s fine, but she knows there’s no “treat” later. Other special treats have been smoothies, apple sauce or other foods we might not always have available. Variety seems key here as an incentive!

There are still plenty of food battles but those are the guidelines we try to live by. Consistency has always been our friend though at times, it’s so difficult not to give in! Lately, we’ve been trying to eat more often as a family. This is far more likely on weekends when one or both of us is home to cook (aka one cooks and one plays defense with the baby walker). With the babe heading towards one year, finger foods are a new source of frustration. So far, breads, grilled chicken, Cheerios and fruit are a hit. I refuse to start making three separate meals so baby Maggie is getting some major food exposure much more quickly than her sister ever did.

When I’m in a rut and need inspiration, there are a few places I can usually count on for inspiration:

She also has a cookbook!

100 Days of Real Food
Also with a book.

Super Healthy Kids

I tend to be more of an online girl myself, but that doesn’t always work for everyone!

PS: You’d laugh if you could see my “office” space today…I have to show you. At least I have tea and a view?


Toddler Meals

Toddler Meals

Between teething, emerging personalities and learning new tastes and textures it’s always a struggle to find easy to prepare foods that are healthy and relatively quick and simple. Most of my attempts to disguise veggies in Lena’s favorite foods, she never fails to find me out!

Cauliflower hidden in mac n’ cheese completely failed. She literally spent 30 minutes picking out the pasta and removing every last trace of the offending veg.
Healthy quesadillas were a favorite for a while but are no longer an options (perhaps the texture with her sore teeth). Grilled chicken was a huge part of most meals but now she barely touches the stuff.

I’m sure that some of these changes can be attributed to her little brain learning to manipulate us, but I also think she’s craving more variety and new tastes.


Tofu pups, peas, corn, veggie pouches, oatmeal, pasta (of any sort usually), almost any fruit, beans, yogurt etc. are all still on the menu but I’m quickly running out of options to spice things up. Even the always coveted cheerios are off the current list! Meal times are always a challenge because we literally arrive home from work and start throwing together leftovers or something quick and easy to cook.

What are your kids eating?

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