Toddler Dinners: Before and After

A few readers asked for some shots of before and afters of dinners recently. So this week, I don’t really have an issue to discuss but to share some photos to show he does actually eat. I’m not lying.

To do a small recap of ways we get him to eat some nights (noted in other toddler dinner posts):

  • Special treat – He knows that if he eats good bites, he can get something for dessert. Within the last few months, this has developed to where he can usually pick the treat. Sometimes it is just a Hershey’s kiss and sometimes it might be chocolate covered frozen bananas. It is usually really small but provides a lot of motivation.
  • Provide something that is a known like – This is usually fruit or pasta. I make the portion relatively small. He goes for it first of course but once it is gone, he has to eat other bites to get more. This is especially key when trying something brand new.
  • Create novelty – We serve certain foods and he says he can’t eat it because it is too hot. For one, it isn’t…he is dramatic. But we rolled with it. Kevin started really playing up blowing on his food. This made Landon laugh and repeat. He now eats soup like the big bad wolf…but it works. Other novelty can be pretzels to poke things with, sandwiches in shapes, cutting the food different (little carrots instead of strips). These all seem so silly to us but it is magic for a toddler. All I know to say is try it…you might be surprised.

Here we have some befores and afters from the week:

Toddler DInner 1

Toddler DInner 1

Toddler DInner 1

Toddler DInner 1

Toddler Dinners is my weekly series of posts to explore the world of feeding munchkins. Each Monday I will post our previous week’s meals and a rating on how they went as well as discuss numerous issues we all face. Find out more here.Also be sure to follow me along throughout the week with your creations on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #toddlerdinners.


  1. Been enjoying seeing your photos on Instagram. It is interesting what they take to and what takes a little work. We had one meal this week where D insisted that he did not like a certain item. I had to work hard (ie, bribe with a small chocolate to follow) to get him to try one bite. Then he realized he did in fact like it. 😉

    • It really is. I found he liked salad by accident. One night i was eating just a salad and he wanted some…then ate most of it! Who knew! That was my first sign that he was more capable than I thought.

  2. Wow, this is really an inspiration. My kid is almost 18 months and doesn’t eat (seriously, we are seeing an occupational therapist & dietitian for it). I went back and read several of your other dinner posts. I think I’m going to change our tactic slightly – instead of allowing him to eat whatever, whenever (in an attempt to get him to like food), we are going to adopt your dinner must be prepared and on the table in 30 minutes idea – no snacking after 4pm. He must eat with us (no matter how tired/hungry/frustrated we are). We were sliding on this because the kid won’t eat anything so it was easier to just let him have his smoothie and he goes to bed by 7. But how will he learn to eat if he doesn’t see mama and daddy eating? Daycare just isn’t good enough on that point.
    I look forward to adopting more of your ideas as my kid gets older and hopefully begins to enjoy eating food.

    • So happy to help. There are 23 weeks to go back through if you want more ideas ;). I am very big on family dinner. It is a family memory I really remember. Report back! I want to know how it goes!

  3. Hi Brandy!
    Do you have a recipe for your tomato soup with noodles? Do you just used canned tomato soup and add noodles? My daughter loves any type of noodles with tomato sauce! I think she’d love it 🙂
    ps-thanks for all the toddler meal ideas! my daughter is 16 months and doesn’t eat a huge variety yet (wont eat crunchy veggies yet, and not too big on meats) but your pics give me some great ideas. She’s not too big on Pizza either! Yep, I have a weird child too.

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