Recipes for homemade toddler food options are aplenty. All you need is to blend together fruits, vegetable and meat combinations. In this way you can ensure healthy food for your toddler, one that is prepared at home with love and care. Toddler food recipes need not be complicated and time-consuming. Look at various options for toddler finger food and learn interesting ways to get your picky kid to eat a wholesome meal.
The child's first foray into eating can lead to lifelong eating habits. You can inculcate good eating habits and gift your child a lifetime of health. A steady diet of canned or processed food can put a child on a poor nutritional track. As a parent, you can make a significant influence in your toddler's eating pattern.
When you prepare the toddler food yourself, you can be sure that the baby's tastes and preferences are catered to. Steam vegetables to get them soft and chewable. This also helps in preserving the vitamins and minerals. Trim excess fat off poultry and meat. You can try and freeze some homemade meal to use later. Ensure that the freezer packages are labeled and dated.
You can start with runny purees and gradually move to thickened porridge. Many infants get so used to pureed food that they dislike textures in their meals. This could take some time for the child to get used to. The next stage in toddler food would be finger foods.
- Beware of hard or round food articles as they can cause a child to choke
- Wait for 4 days when you introduce a new food item to your baby. Be on the alert for food allergies
- Do not allow the child to run around and play with food for fear of choking on the food.
- Train your toddler to chew his/her food thoroughly before swallowing.
- Serve small, toddler-size portions
- Try and present new foods with old favorites, as it is more likely to go down well with the child
- Don't force your baby to eat but keep at it till he/she gets used to the taste and texture.
Some of the common problems faced during toddler meals include mealtime tantrums and preference for pureed food. You can save yourself a lot of mealtime hassles by following some simple guidelines:
- Try and follow the child's decisions whether or not to eat and how much to eat. Little children have a natural ability to realize when they are hungry and when they are satiated.
- Let the child eat along with the rest of the family. Try and get the toddler to eat the same food as the family. If the rest of the family eats healthy food, chances are that the kid will pick up healthy food choices too. Imitation is after all the way the child learns.
- Ensure that mealtimes are in a relaxed and happy atmosphere
- Never use food as a reward or punishment
- Little kids will mess around. Give a free hand to let a toddler explore the food by touching, feeling and tasting
Think up fun ways to present meals to little kids. Who would be able to resist a meal or snack that is shaped like a clown or a dinosaur! Another vital tip when planning toddler meals is to cheat. Yes, you read right. How about hiding some fruit in smoothies or combining fresh veggies with a favorite snack! How about serving oatmeal cookies and bran bread for the hungry toddler! How about baking zucchini bread or carrot or banana cake with whole-wheat flour!
Healthy toddler food
Focus on plenty of vegetables, especially the dark and orange ones. Add beans and peas too. Try and incorporate whole grain produce. Your kid would do well with a variety of fruits, either fresh or dried. Include fish, lean meat and poultry. Try to bake, grill or broil it. Add variety with nuts and, milk products and vegetable oils. Important nutrients for babies include iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin A and omega 3 fatty acids.
1. 2 to 3 cups of milk in various forms, be it cheese, pudding, yogurt or milkshake.
2. 4 servings of fruits and vegetables.
3. 4 servings of bread and cereal
4. 2 servings of meat, beans, eggs, tofu or peanut butter
Toddler food recipe
Whip up a carrot and parsnip purée, which serves as an excellent source of beta-carotene. Puree steamed carrots and parsnips and add water or milk to get the right consistency. There are alternative toddler food recipes such as pureed broccoli and cauliflower or sweet potato or potato and spinach. You can come up with healthy fruit purees too.
Give your infant pureed pear and apples or avocado and kiwi and melons. Add steamed and squashed lentils with vegetables - a nutritious toddler food recipe, one that is simple and easy to make. Rustle up tasty chowder - one that is a good source of vitamins, calcium and beta-carotene. You can incorporate potatoes, sweet corn and parsley and cod fillet.
Use cornmeal mash teamed with a vegetable of your choice for your toddler's lunch. Avoid crunchy vegetables, hard candy, lollipops, peanuts, and popcorn till the child is about 3 years. Chop up finger foods so that the pieces are small enough not to get lodged in the child's throat. Simple recipes for toddler food mash:
1. Boil sweet potato and carrot together till tender. Puree it along with cheddar cheese.
2. Steam broccoli florets until tender and blend with the tomatoes. Add ground almonds.
3. Mash avocado and canned sardines. Use this mash to top up a cracker or toast
Finger food for toddler
When your baby is anywhere between 7 - 9 months, you can introduce finger foods. Allow the child to pick up and eat the bite-sized foods. This can be a wonderful transient stage towards learning to eat by himself and can also help in developing fine motor skills. Nutrient-dense foods such as cheese, pasta, peanut butter, fish, avocados and eggs are ideal finger foods for a growing baby. You can create some tasty and healthy dips to make the finger food experience enjoyable and fun.
You can whip up delicious dips with cottage cheese, yogurt and pureed fruits, peanut butter and fruit concentrate. Use them in combination with toast, rice cakes, bagels, cooked vegetable strips or apple or pear slices. Avoid finger foods for toddlers that can be easily choked on such as nuts, popcorn, hard candy and meat chunks. Look at various healthy toddler finger food options:
- Fruits - Small dices of ripe banana, baked peaches, ripe pears and apples, squished blueberries, small bits of avocado and kiwi
- Vegetables - Baked potato or carrot dices, soft cooked broccoli, soft cooked green beans, baby carrots
- Small cubes of tofu
- Small chunks of cheese
- Chopped hard-boiled egg
- Cut raisins, apricots, stewed dried prunes
- Exciting sandwiches
- Small bits of cooked chicken or other soft meat
- Puffed rice or 'O' shaped cereals
- Zucchini or yellow squash rounds