Trying to find fun new ideas for your toddler’s mealtimes can be tough. To encourage fussy eaters or encourage your little one to try new foods, make food fun. Here are five great toddler meal ideas that will keep them amused while packing a nutritional punch too.
Provide your child with a bowl of porridge or hot oat cereal and give them some small bowls full of ingredients that they can choose from to top their porridge. Offer lots of fruit, nuts (if safe) and some honey or a few chocolate chips for a treat. Challenge your child to get as many colours into the bowl as possible. This is a great way of giving your child some freedom and you might find it encourages them to try something new.
Toddlers who get their first taste of tomato ketchup are often hooked! If your little one loves the sweetness and dip-ability of ketchup, then try creating a healthy lunch that incorporates that addictive red sauce. Build on the fact that they love to dip by adding some new dips for them to try ? hummus, tzatziki, mild salsa and guacamole are all great choices. Then provide lots of things to dip, try bread sticks, strips of vegetable and even fish fingers or pieces of chicken. Chances are, your child will start by dipping their favourite food into the ketchup, but in time (and especially if you limit these favourites) will try other choices. Encourage them to try different combinations, make it fun!
Pancakes are a great way to get your child involved in mealtimes; from the preparation, to the cooking your toddler will love these simple and delicious pancakes. Simply mix 1 cup of plain flour, 1 ? cups of milk, 1 ? cups water, 1 egg and a teaspoon of vegetable oil, blend well and drop spoonfuls into a hot greased pan, flip them over when you see bubbles come to the surface. Voila! A quick and easy teatime treat that can be served with savoury or sweet toppings of your little ones choice.
If your toddler enjoys pizza and you would like them to get more vegetables into their daily diet, then let them add their own vegetable toppings to their favourite pizza. Sprinkle more cheese on top and you might be surprised how keen they are to sample it when they have chosen the ingredients and topped their own pizza.
If your child is going through a phase of fussy eating or has been off their food due to illness, then try making a mini meal. This is a simple but surprisingly effective way to get them nibbling healthily ? just give them saucers with a little of their favourite foods. Sounds silly? It works! Turn it into a teddy bears picnic on the floor, bring out your smallest plates or their own play tea-set, then cut a sandwich into lots of tiny sandwiches, serve with finger foods, tiny chunks of cheese, fruits, with mini cookies or cakes for a treat. The novelty will impress your toddler no end!