So last week’s toddler dinners was a huge hit. I didn’t realize the love for this stuff! I was so excited to see people sharing ideas and following along throughout the week on Instagram and Twitter. I got a lot of good questions…so keep em coming! I thought I would use this week’s post to highlight some of the questions I got from everywhere. Feel free to ask away on here, Twitter, Instagram, or shoot me an email.
Q: Where do you get those plates!?
A: Target clearance, my friends. I am a dollar section junkie. I can’t help myself. I found a little after Landon started eating solids that after major holidays, they have 50% off the dollar section and a lot of time there are plates and bowls. Boom. We rock Christmas and Halloween all year round.
Q: Does the wide variety ever end in lots to throw away?
A: Yes and no. I don’t have huge servings, so it is never much anyway. The glory of variety is you have bargaining chips. Say he scarfs down the blueberries first thing and asks for more. We say “you can have more blueberries when you eat more of your other bites”. Sometimes we get a fussy “no” but we ignore him. He usually will start poking around. You can get even more out of “if you eat 3 more bites of X Y Z, you get a special treat”.
Q: What are special treats?
A: Usually something sweet. Most of the time, this kid will kill a panda for a yogurt raisin. We can get him to do anything for them…so we use that to our advantage. It is also a true sign he isn’t hungry when he doesn’t want them. Sometimes special treat is a brownie because we have them or maybe a popsicle.
Q: How do you get him to eat the veggies?
A: Honestly, I dunno. I guess I never treat them any different. There is always a protein, veggie, fruit and carb. As an infant, he would eat anything but then he got picky. The green options weren’t going well for awhile and he ASKED me for broccoli one day. Apparently he likes to “chomp the trees” at daycare. Who knew!? I guess my advice is don’t make a big deal about it. Present it and try…it is all you can do. And if all else fails, bribe them. Peppers are nice and sweet…once I got him to try them, he liked them.
Q: What is the balance of food you make for him and you and K?
A: I am trying to do more family meals but like I said last week, I keep leftovers of everything. So if we are having something I don’t think he will really want, I can sub in leftovers. If we get takeout, I usually make a random assortment plate for him.
Q: Do you season his stuff less?
A: Short answer, not really. Over time I let him decide. I didn’t do this early on but now I just give him some. He can tell me if it is too hot. And he never has. Now he may be MY kid. I love spicy. He loves for me to put pepper on his things to make them “spicy”. “Look daddy. Spicy pastas!” Now I don’t give him thai but I have found they are pretty smart. If you are worried, give them a teeny piece and see if they like it.
Q: When and what are the other meals/snacks during the day?
A: I give credit to daycare. They have a schedule. Weekdays: He has breakfast at home at 7 and then daycare has AM snack around 9. Then lunch at 11:30ish. Snack when he wakes up from nap at around 2:30-3. Dinner around 6. Weekends: Similar schedule but we don’t always have snack. I use it to take a break at the park or keep him entertained at Target but he never really asks…so we save up for meals.
I will save some of the other questions for next week to highlight mealtime behaviors. What we say. How we react. What the “rules” are. Etc. Send your requests!