Feeding your baby and toddler can be overwhelming at times especially on those weeknights when you get home from work and everyone is hungry and tired. Be prepared for your toddler to have big swings in their eating habits. Some days they can literally eat the entire cupboard and then the next day but interested in nothing – this is totally normal and will even out. If you are concerned about your child’s eating habits, please speak to your doctor. I’ve included some of my top tips for making mealtime less stressful for you and successful for your toddler and 5 of Our Favourite Baby Food Recipes.
- Introduce a variety of foods and textures to you’re your baby/toddler as early as possible (starting solids is recommended at 6months of age)
- Start with small serving sizes and allow your toddler to ask for more
- Make mealtimes playful family time. Sitting down together to eat is a great time for connection and allows you to model eating habits.
- Be prepared for picky phases. Even an easy-going eater has picky phases and it’s not personal to you or your cooking. Pickiness generally comes from wanting to exert control and uncertainty about what they are eating. A great way to deal with this is to acknowledge that it isn’t a favourite food or unfamiliar and find a way together to make it work.
- Incorporate the 5 senses. Toddlers are not that different from us – food is so much more than just taste. Make a smiley face out of their lunch plate – let your creativity take over and have fun!
- Pinterest is also a great place for ideas.
Here are 5 great recipes your toddler and/baby are sure to enjoy!
Avocado & Egg Toast
This recipe is easy peasy and quick! Toast a slice of their favourite bread, mash up a ripe avocado and spread it on the toast. Slice a hard-boiled egg and arrange on top. You can even mash the egg with the avocado together for little fingers.
Pumpkin Blender Muffins
In a blender add 1 cup rolled oats, 1 ripe banana, ¼ pumpkin puree, 1 egg, 3 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon each of nutmeg & allspice. Blend on low for 30 seconds, scrape down the sides and add 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and a pinch of salt. Continue to blend until oats are broken down. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a mini muffin tray. Scoop mixture into muffin tins to 2/3 full and bake for 8-10 minutes. You can omit the pumpkin and spices and add in whatever flavour you wish.
Corn & Spinach Fritters
Pulse 1 cup of corn, 1 small handful of spinach, 1 small clove of garlic crushed, 1 green onion chopped, ¼ cup + 2 tbsp flour, 1 egg, ½ teaspoon baking powder, and 50ml of milk in a food processor/blender until fairly smooth. Heat a frying pan with cooking oil of your choice and drop dollops of the mixture into the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes each side until cooked through.
Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the 1 cup chopped carrots, ½ cup chopped celery, ½ cup chopped onion, 2 cloves of garlic minced and sauté until tender about 15 minutes. Add remaining broth (1 carton), 1 large can (128oz) tomatoes, pureed beans (puree 1 can of white beans with 1 cup of broth from carton), salt and pepper. Add the 1 sprig rosemary, 2 bay leaves, 2 tbsp of basil and parsley, cover and cook on low for 30 minutes. Add spinach and chopped zucchini and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with cooked pasta.
Chop 5 large apples, removing the skin if you wish. Add chopped apples, pinch of cinnamon and ½ cup water to a pot. Simmer on the stove until apples are soft. Remove from the heat and puree or mash apples to the texture of your choice.
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