Ever wanted to know what a 3 year old eats? Here are real meals that Mazen eats and how I’m working to get him to eat real food.
This post has been on my mind for a while, but you have no idea how hard it’s been to remember to take snapshots of Mazen’s meals!! I wanted to share a few of them though because, well, I founded this blog on sharing real life meals! Other moms (or maybe your three year olds!?) might enjoy seeing what my little guy eats.
What A Three Year Old Eats
Mazen is a typical three year old, and he is very picky in some ways and adventuresome in others. I was actually quite surprised at his parent-teacher conference last fall when his teachers said they were most impressed with the contents of his lunch boxes. I do sneak some green vegetables and carrot sticks and hummus in there from time to time, but I don’t think that his meals are exceptionally healthy. One of my girlfriends has three boys who eat things like picked beets and kimchi, so that’s my gold standard! She is also a phenomenal cook, so I think both nature and nurture are in her favor. We are doing our best around here!
The Division of Responsibility
We try to follow Ellyn Satter’s division of responsibility which says the parent decides when, where and what is serve and the child decides whether and how much. We have started putting our foot down more with the short-order cook whining and telling him that what’s on his plate is for lunch/dinner and he doesn’t have to eat it if he doesn’t want, but we’re not cooking something else. Some nights this works and other nights it doesn’t! What this 3 year old eats is up to him 🙂
How We Eat Family Meals
We’ve gotten better about having family meals together to show good modeling, but one huge weakness in our family is allowing Mazen to have his tablet for breakfast and some lunches. Honestly it just saves my sanity, and he’ll watch shows and savor his lunch while I prepare, eat, clean up and sometimes get a little work done. For dinners we try to stick to a no-tablet-family-dinner rule. Try being the key word : )
My goal with Mazen’s meals is to offer a balance of fresh produce, whole grains, dairy and other real foods like almonds or hummus. Admittedly these are some of his better meals, but nevertheless they are real ones!
Breakfast: Green smoothie made with milk, banana, spinach and peanut butter and a roll with jam
Lunchbox: Yogurt, melon, sweet potato fries, quesadilla
Lunch: Grilled cheese roll, avocado, cantaloupe (his fav!)
Dinner: Cheese quesadilla and broccoli (his favorite veg)
Dinner: Chicken with ketchup, broccoli, carrots and hummus
Dinner: Sausage, homemade french fries, roasted carrots
Dinner: Salmon, acorn squash, eggplant and mushrooms (the latter two did not get touched!)
Dinner: Sardines with roasted potatoes and oranges
What’s an unexpected food your child loves? Are there any “normal” foods they won’t eat? Mazen won’t touch a lot of typical kid foods like chicken nuggets yet he’ll eat smoked salmon.
Kids are funny about what they’ll try, but it looks like you have a good attitude about it. Some people I know forced their kids to eat certain (healthy) foods and now that they’re older their eating habits are terrible! It develops an unhealthy relationship with food. I love the little plates Nd what is that tablet holder thing? Looks cool.
It’s a Belkin stand
Sarah Raney says
Love this post- thanks for sharing!!!
My 2 yr old is similar in that she HATES cheese, cows milk, and most fruits and juices…yet she’s obsessed with sardines, salad greens, broccoli, and seaweed snacks!
Feeding a toddler real food has definitely been an adventure, and following your blog has been a great inspiration!
My M. hates potatoes for some weird reason. That’s a normal kid food, right? She gags – literally – on mashed potatoes. Isn’t super-thrilled about fries. Won’t touch a roasted or baked potato. It’s weird…and she’ll only really eat sweet potatoes in a pretty sugary sweet potato casserole kind of thing, a la Thanksgiving dinner. She’s OK with pizza, but only if it’s just cheese or just pineapple on it – no other toppings (and it’s far from her favorite). She’s not very into green veggies either, though she’ll sometimes eat broccoli or peas IN something, like mixed into mac & cheese or fried rice. Girl loves some fried rice from our local Chinese place, as well as rice from Mexican. She will grudgingly eat meat sometimes but it’s not her favorite, and she doesn’t like beans or soy products much either – most of her protein comes from nuts, nut butters, and dairy. Mostly, she’d like to subsist on carbs, dairy, and fruit. Well, and candy whenever she can talk us into giving her some, but what kid doesn’t want as much candy as they can finagle?
My 17 month old LOVES avocado. As in, if I hold up an avocado for her when she is sitting in her high chair, she will smile and start kicking her feet (she has also been known to squeal when I was cutting up a banana and given it to her). She tends to not want to eat a whole lot when she is teething, but for some reason, avocado is the one thing I can get her to eat. She also absolutely loves Greek Yogurt.
Kelli @ Hungry Hobby says
No kids yet, but those rules are the ones I most often recommend to my clients. Seriously amazing he eats sardines!
My 3 and 5 year olds will rarely eat cooked veggies, but will eat ALL veggies raw. For the longest time we fought them on eating their veggies with dinner, but now I just leave theirs out of the cooking process and set them on their plate raw, and there’s no whining. Win! They will not eat soup, which is a big bummer this winter! Kids are funny in so many ways!
Samantha @ThePlantedVegan says
What beautiful meals! I know lots of little boys who wouldn’t go anywhere near these foods..so glad Mazen enjoys eating them!
Rebecca F says
One of the ways we got our kids to be more adventurous with food is to constantly serve them new things, even if my husband and I didn’t care for the dish, expanding their tastes even beyond ours.
The tablet during most meals is concerning. Maybe you could enjoy your meal with your son, and save the tablet for after the meal while you clean up, or even include him in the clean up. Have him take his dishes to the sink, clean the table etc. Meal prep could be fun with him as well, anything to reduce that screen time.
My kids are grown, and I wish I could go back and enjoy the frustrating, picky toddler years. Each age brings its own challenges, and rewards.
I was actually going to comment the same thing. Not to sound rude, but you have one child to manage. The difference between one child and two is night and day. Perhaps you can use that time as conversation time about school or things you are going to do the next day. I have three children, all toddlers, and I work part time. The rule has always been no tablets or any other distraction while eating, put your foot down and it will pay off in dividends in the future! My kuds whined and complained for a few days and now it’s not even an issue.
You do sound rude and holier than thou with your 3 kids. Kath works part time too you know. Maybe next time she won’t be so honest.
Kath thanks for opening up to us and being real!
I totally agree about the tablet. My kids say the most wonderful/hilarious things at mealtimes – they’re so much more open than they are other times of the day. I wouldn’t miss eating with them for the world. My husband and I both work full time, but we make sure to have family dinner or at least sit with them if we are going out or something. (I also think the tablet sets up terrible habits for mindful eating.)
I don’t disagree with you at all and am not at all in favor of tablets but it’s a battle at our casual meals I’m not fighting at the moment. Family dinners are a different story
Rebecca F says
This may be taken the wrong way by some of your more sensitive readers, but Mazen IS your family, if the two of you are together it’s a family meal.
Please know that I am not coming from a place of judgment at ALL, but rather as someone who really wants to encourage you to look at every moment as precious. Moms are so busy, I get it, and everyone needs time to get stuff done, and have down time, but when he is there, it would benefit him a lot more to have interaction with mom at meal times instead of staring at a tablet.
I am a regular reader, and I do appreciate all the recipes, and reviews, and your opinions on nutrition. This is just something I feel strongly about,.
Using the tablet during breakfast and lunch is not gonna make or break the kid. Every parent has their own certain “things” that they feel are worth arguing about, and those that just aren’t worth the battle. No matter how they’re raised, let’s remember the majority of kids end up as healthy, normal, and productive adults.
Both my boys grew up watching videos many days to fall asleep at naptime and had lots of meals in front of the Disney Channel. The oldest works as financial consultant in NYC and his little brother is about to graduate with a masters in accounting. As a mom you do the best that you can with the time that you have. You are doing a great job Kath of raising a happy healthy boy.
Well said and so true Mary. At the end of the day it does not make a huge amount of difference and if it gives you some reprieve and sanity all good.
It changes from day to day, week to week. But once my three year old ate half of a friend anchovy from our caesar salad at a restaurant, chewed, then gobbled up the second half. So you never know.
For veggies, he loves bell pepper sticks, all colors. Crunchy though, not cooked and soft. But he will only eat soft carrots, not crunchy carrots. Go figure. So whatever works.
That’s funny – I’m the same way as your three year old! I can eat raw bell pepper but hate it cooked, and prefer my carrots cooked vs. raw! It’s funny that as adults we may not realize how picky we are because we make our own food choices 😛
Kath. Thank you so much for this post. As a long time reader, I was positive Mazen ate so much better than my kids. I’m so relieved to hear you too struggle with things like short order cooking! My kids (4 & 6) are both picky, but in different ways (JOY), so we do more short order cooking than we want. If they don’t want what’s on their dinner plates, their options are oatmeal or PB&J. Sometimes this works, and our 6 year old can make his own PB&J now. Just last night I threw in the towel and bought and served them foster farms chicken nuggets shaped like dinosaurs. They loved them (it was the dino shapes — regular chicken nuggets have never been a big sell in our house). One of our biggest struggles is around prepackaged snacks. They really want fruit snacks in their lunches; I’m holding firm on real fruit. Otherwise they eat more goldfish type snacks then I would like. With my 4 year old, the biggest struggle is protein! He’s not really into nut butters, cheese, hummus, salmon, or yogurt (all of which my 6 year old will eat). He will occasionally eat lunch meat, and he loves baked beans. That’s about it. He appears to subsist largely on cheerios, cinnamon life, pirates booty, and assorted not-too-weird vegetables.
Anyway, I have not figured this out in the least! Looks to me like you are doing great.
Hannah at Home says
Love this! And yay for y’all on modeling. When I was teaching, I was so shocked on how many different things my students would eat if I would eat the food at the same time.
I love this post! I have wanted to know what Mazen has been eating, since I have an almost 2 year old! I have some nieces and nephews who only eat buttered noodles so I am always very nervous that we could go down that road… I have to say that I am very impressed with the variety that you’ve got him eating! My son likes fish, veggie burgers (homemade), and meatballs and pasta, but he never even takes a bite out of any type of chicken. The only veggie that he eats consistently are peas, although he always gets a serving of something else, too. He loves hummus and will eat it alone by the spoonful!
Go Kath and Mazen!
Lauren C says
This is so interesting! My son is a few months older than Mazen and he is also very picky but then blows us away by eating seared salmon, shepherd’s pie, and chicken tikka masala with jasmine rice. One thing where he is SO different than Mazen is that he will not touch condiments. We’ve tried ketchup, mustard, honey mustard, etc and he just wants everything plain. I’d love to see you do more regular updates of what M is eating. This was really cool to see!
Farah Cavanagh says
SO impressed he eats sardines! Way to go Mazen and Mazen’s mom!!
Maybe you should dial back the years and think about how your mum entertained you without a tablet? It worries me a lot how much of a parenting crutch they are becoming.
Probably a tv!
Amanda F says
I don’t have any kids of my own yet, but I always really disliked french fries and soda as a kid (still do). However, I really like nachos with jalapenos and black olives (aka hot pickles and black bugs lol). Not sure how many 7 year olds prefer black olives over french fries.
What brand is the straw cup you are using for his smoothie? I haven’t had success finding a good smoothie cup for my toddler!
Oxo Tot!! The best
Angie Ouhl says
My son loves horseradish, sauerkraut, sushi, raw oysters- you name it! He is a foodie.
My kids are much older (7 and 9 now) but we set a few rules from the time my eldest was eating solids. Dinner at the table every night, all together unless one of them has an early activity.
No tablets or books at the table. (they get plenty of screen time, they don’t need it to distract them from eating, and I like us to connect as a family at meal times.)
Dinner is what I make, you don’t have to eat everything on your plate, but you have to eat at least half (I don’t give huge unreasonable portions). I think if you give children the same food you eat, without the option of them getting something they prefer by complaining, that they will eat and enjoy a varied, healthy diet.
Katie @ Live Half Full says
I love your key rules- I have a three month old and I’m saving this for later!
[email protected] says
You’re doing well getting him to eat sardines though it’s probably because you love them so much! My nephew is 4 on Sunday and his fav is broccoli too! And raw carrots, won’t eat them cooked!
Caitlin Restivo says
Love this post! I have a pretty picky 2 year old. His favorite veg is artichoke, he loves to pick the leaves off and dip them in a curry mayo sauce.
My almost two-year-old refuses to eat pasta (even mac ‘n cheese) or scrambled eggs! What!? Isn’t that the easy stuff kids will love?? So our “default” for nights where she refuses to eat what I give her is a PB&J sandwich. Protein, whole grains, we do our best 🙂 She LOVES fruit of all kinds but veggies are hit or miss. Pretty much sweet potatoes, cucumbers and avocado. Sometimes peas or carrots as long as there is hummus. The toddler days are especially tricky because I’d like to encourage her to eat what we eat, but we’re such food lovers and she’s got a simple palate, still. So, in time!
C in MD says
My 5 yo has been going through a picky stage for a long time now. It is beyond frustrating. It’s worst at dinner – I think part of the issue is that he’s exhausted from the day. There are certain things I know he’ll gobble up, but I just can’t serve (or eat myself!) spaghetti and meatballs for every dinner. I just keep trying things and hoping one will stick.
My 4-year-old also loves broccoli. She is finally coming around to liking more fruit. It took me awhile to realize she doesn’t like cold food, so grapes are ok as long as I leave them out of the refrigerator for awhile.
I’ve used the iPad with her a few times, a bit more recently since we had another baby, but overall I really enjoy sitting down to eat with her. She always has funny things to say. We recently got the Table Topics cards and those have been really fun! I definitely recommend them.
Unexpected food my kiddo’s love: canned artichoke hearts. Cracks me up.
Popular foods she doesn’t like:My 8 year old doesn’t like pizza! So weird to me. And salad dressing! My 6 year old loves oil and a tad sea salt on her salads. No dressing for that girl.
I’m so, so curious how you pronounce Mazen. Mah-zen? Mason? May-zen?
No kids here yet, but I have babies on the brain! I love the rule about the kid deciding whether/ how much. Awesome!
As a preschool and kindergarten teacher, I would beg you to start weaning him off the screen at meal times. I spend everyday working with my class on how to look at their friends and have conversations, interact and be social in a positive manner. Coupled with learning to drink out of a regular cup (damn those skippy cups) and hold a fork properly — that’s the main focus of our lunch.
I work with two-year-olds, and we even start with regular cups at age 2! They really can do it, even if they spill every now and then!
Just wanted to share my 4 year old nephew LOVES cantaloupe too, but when he first started eating it he called them “orange apples” and would talk about how much he loves his orange apples.
No kids yet, but I like that philosophy and hope to do the same in the future!
Please try not to judge other parents on their choices with their kids. Do what you need to do — but don’t assume you know what is best for everyone else. We have no idea what the rest of Kath’s life is like and how much time and energy she expends interacting with her kiddo. We all do what we need to to get through the day (and week and month). If you don’t need gadgets, that’s fine for you – but please don’t judge anyone else for their choices.
Our girls are a bit older than Mazen, but one loves Brussels sprouts and one loves bean sprouts.
Kate S. says
What I keep thinking is I think Kath actually *has* given us a glimpse into how much time and energy she expends interacting with her kiddo, and it is obvious that she is an amazing, dedicated thoughtful, well-educated mother who spends lots of time with her beautiful son being active and doing stimulating activities. The screen thing didn’t even phase me because 1) it’s not my kid and 2) Kath seems like she has her sh*t together when it comes to being a mama. Rock on, Kath!
I think you are doing an AWESOME job Kath! I think who the heck cares if he looks at a tablet so you can do your stuff and he can eat. 🙂 He is a beautiful little guy and has a mom who clearly adores him and spends lots and lots of time with him. I am sorry some readers might give you any reason to doubt yourself in ANY way. I know you are prob used to it by now, but i just wanted to say way to go on being a great mom! XOXO
My two year old loves asparagus! However, he refuses almost all meat. He’s pretty happy with most veggies but not thrilled with fruits. If nothing else, your posts always remind me I need to try to have more of a variety of foods on hand. Maybe I just haven’t given him the fruit he likes???
Thanks for the encouragement, helps to see what’s working for another mom!
My 3 yr old hates most meats, loves frozen fuits like berries and mango..still frozen. My one yr old isn’t fond of beef but loves chicken, all fruits and pasta. Their favorite snack or breakfast right now is plain full fat yogurt with real pb and some 100% maple syrup mixed in. The three yr old is definitely pickier than my one yr old..but my 13 yr old is pickiest!
Hi! Mind telling me where the divided lunch box you have is from? I am looking for a good bento type box for my toddler’s lunches. Thanks in advance!
This is it! Love it!
Thank you for this post…always good to read that parents near and far are working hard to feed their kids healthy meals!
I’m always thankful that, early on in motherhood, I read that kids sometimes need to try things multiple times before they will eat (and hopefully enjoy!) them….SO TRUE! Thanks to our persistence, our kids love things like salad, grilled fish, kalamata olives, sushi (with raw fish), tofu and many other things…but many have been acquired tastes. Heck, my daughter didn’t like the soup I made last night, but gobbled it down tonight!
Keep up the good work, everyone! Kids will surprise you!
P.S. Sometimes I tell my daughter, “But you LOVED it last time I made it!” and she believes me and eats it!
Thanks for posting this, Kath! Would love to see more of Mazen’s meals if you can remember to take pictures of them 🙂
My two year old has always been a pretty healthy eater. Her first obsession was string cheese, but now her favorite food is an orange. It’s her most used word. Favorite food after that is dark chocolate…can ya blame her? She still doesn’t like avocados like I do, but she has always loved her fish. She eats sardines and salmon too! I think with kids you just have to keep trying to give them different foods and let it go if they won’t eat something. I do think it helps to eat with them so they see you eating the same foods and also so that eating is a joyful experience. My two year old sits at the dining table next to me and is always stealing food off of my plate. Haha!
My two kids (18 mo & 3 yrs) hate soup, the little one hates bananas (he loves when you peel a banana…but won’t eat it) and scrambled eggs…and the big one won’t eat meatballs or any ground beef unless you tell him it is sausage. He loves avocados (‘cados), raw carrots, and they both eagerly eat smoothies with spinach or kale in them (and also “monster juice” which is just any green juice I make). It’s so funny to me how passionate they get about what they eat even now. I will admit lunch is usually fruit and some “woodles” (noodles). I am pretty sick of woodles!! They won’t eat sandwiches and they take apart quesadillas and only eat the cheese. The three year old won’t eat cheese sticks, but he loves Parmesan and asks for hunks of it when I bring it out to grate! Kids are funny 🙂
I just think about how they eat better and are less picky than I remember being as a kid. My personal “crutch” for meal times is pre-made breakfast food. I try to have muffins or something quick ready, but I am not above a box of freezer waffles. I need to get a quiet cup of coffee in at breakfast time or I’m a wreak–it really is my small “fill your own cup so you can fill others” thing. Getting up earlier than them doesn’t work–three year old wakes up 5 minutes after me, every time. Any how, this is a round about way to say I am sure you are judicious about the screen time as a whole. It’s not like lunch lasts two hours! I usually set out coloring books and child scissors for them to play with when I do chores in the kitchen (or play doh), but I can understand that not working while he’s eating, lol 🙂 Plus, Mazen does a lot of activities! I wish we were doing preschool already or that I had the opportunity to do so many fun things with my kids out and about 🙂
My son, who is 11, is, over all, a great eater. I do not short-order cook, and he eats “real” food for his meals as opposed to “kid” food ( chicken nuggets, fish sticks…). He loves all vegetables with Brussels sprouts being his favorite (go figure). He will often ask for a salad as a snack. He is much pickier about fruit so I have to be more creative there. The rule at our house is that everything that I make for the meal must be on the plate whether he likes it or not. I find if it is in the plate most of the time he will try it and many times he decides he likes it. For those of you with toddlers just keep offering them the new food, eventually they will probably decide to eAt it. It took about 2 months of offering broccoli to my son before he decided he liked it. Now it is one of his favorites. He eats it steamed with nothing on it.
The food looks great. The electronics at meal time I was a bit shocked by. I have 4 girls and we wouldn’t let them bring any kind of electronics to meal time. For grown-ups you are supposed to learn to enjoy your meal and not eat in front of the TV. Aren’t you saying most of his meals are eaten in front of a mini “TV”. It doesn’t seem right to start those bad habits so young.
Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner says
I think it’s so funny that as soon as I read one of your posts, I can tell exactly how you’re going to get attacked in the comments. It is SO HARD to put stuff out in the world that you know is not ideal, but we don’t live in Pleasantville. Mazen has awesome, loving parents, and he is going to grow up into a well-rounded child, whether or not he looks at his tablet for a few meals during the week. I still eat dinner in front of the TV–it’s one of my favorite parts of the day to relax. According to the rules of our society, that’s a big no-no, but I also read a lot (100 books last year), go to school full time, work two jobs, and walk my dog for half and hour every day. As long as the rest of your life is balanced, I don’t think screen time is bad at all. When I’m with my friends, my phone isn’t out, and I’m sure the same is true for Mazen when he is in daycare or with his friends. Okay, end of my spiel. 😀
Great points – thanks!
Kat @ Where the Sidewalk Ends says
I totally agree with this comment. I am so, so grateful for mamas who keep it real on their blogs. I was so intent on no screen time before 2, but we’re now on vacation with my husband’s family (and our 9 month old) and watching TV is just something that’s done. We don’t have a TV at home, and while my son has probably seen a few minutes of netflix over the shoulder, background TV is just how it is while we’re visiting family. Mazen seems through the screen to be a lovely, well-adjusted kiddo. You seem to be a lovely, well-adjusted mama. We all have to use the tools we have.
I also laughed from the previous comment about winding back the years. To when, exactly? To the 80s when Sesame Street was considered a great babysitter? To the 50’s, when breastfeeding was considered distasteful and formula was the way to go? To the 20s, when parents were so busy trying not to starve that they “entertained” their kids by sending them to the scrap yard to get metal to sell? To the Victorian era, when children were supposed to be seen and not heard? It’s so easy to fantasize about the “good ol’ days” at the expense of remembering/acknowledging the failures. I’m a big fan of living today, with a balanced life with my gorgeous kiddo, both playing in his world and letting him be in ours.
Your historic examples made me smile. And yes, I watched a TON of Nickelodeon. I also played outside, took dance lessons, and made straight As in school 🙂
Kath, a great post and interesting comments both ways. Im always looking for inspiration on what and how to feed my 3 kids so enjoyed seeing not just what you served but how you plated it. Im going to try the cantaloupe with rind slices. I always serve it cubed or cut and its always rejected. For me, breakfast and lunch are the easiest to please meals. Dinners are so hard. My husband works late on weeknights and so we save more adventurous recipes for weekends. The weeknights I stick with things that will hopefully elicit as few complaints as possible. I think dinner time is hard during the week at my house because people are tired and hungry and for me I’m always struggling whether to let them have snack after school or do an earlier dinner so they will actually eat dinner. I cannot stand being told at bedtime that “I’m hungry”. Good news–breakfast is in 11 hours, my loves! 🙂 The screen time is just hard and I worry about it too for my kids. No one uses it during meals at my house or the tv but something I realized while i was pregnant with my 3rd and allowing my other 2 to eat breakfast in front of the tv as I dragged to the finish line that I would get lots of “I’m still hungry” and so put a stop to eating with devices or in front of the tv because my kids totally weren’t able to recognize their satiation cues. Even now, if the tv is on and someone says I’m hungry and asks for a snack they aren’t allowed to eat in front of the tv or with a device (except on rare occasions) because I want them to avoid the bad habit of mindlessly eating in front of the tv (plus the mess dear lord always with the mess). Im lucky in that breakfast time the 3 kids eat together while Im doing the crazy morning routine and dinner I always sit down with them. I have been lucky to work from home most of the last 8 years and absolutely adore eating lunch with whichever little one is still with me. It is special time. On the flip side–I don’t get to gym nearly as often as I should or would like to and you and Matt both do an amazing job of modeling exercise and fitness to Mazen. So there is just no one way to do any of it and the only way that works is the one that works for your family has been my experience. I am cracking up even thinking that I could serve sardines to my kids although they do all love salmon. Mazen looks, sounds and seems like an awesome all-round little guy.
Lindsay Adeyiga says
Mine loves salad. Arugula specifically. He’ll eat it plain with oil and vinegar dressing or mixed into quinoa with dried cranberries and stuff…but he won’t eat raw tomatoes. Tries them over and over but always spits them out haha…
I never heard of the official philosophy you mentioned but that’s basically what my mom did growing up and I’ve always believed it worked great. One exception was that I didn’t have to eat it but there was no dessert unless I did eat it and we were always offered a little sweet if we wanted it and finished dinner so I often made myself eat stuff I didn’t want so I could get dessert 🙂
Great post! Unexpected foods my 3 year old enjoys: frozen mixed veggies (tiny, so not a choking hazard), and chicken liver pate! ????
My daughter is 7. She is a VERY adventurous eater. She loves sushi, Brussel sprouts and will try just about anything. I’m very lucky.
I loved reading this post – My daughter will be 1 in just a few short weeks. I am home with her 2-days and she goes to daycare the other 3 with food I pack. She does quite well really – eats lot of steamed finger veggies (prefers them cold), yogurt, cheese, toast, any fruit (loves blueberries, raspberries), pizza, what we have for dinner, lunch meat, veggie burgers, scrambled egg etc. Currently she can be a little touch and go with sweet potato fries and prefers the frozen ones to my the ones I put all my blood, sweat and tears into, haha 🙂 She also won’t eat salmon but I still try.
I guess I always pray my daughter will be happy in her life despite what I may think of her choices… and in order to be happy and fulfill her life I just hope and pray she doesn’t hurt anyone else (or herself) in that process. If she watches some TV or a tablet in the mean-time, ok!
What type of system do you have for meal planning and grocery shopping? Have you written a post about that before? I’d love to read about it! 🙂
I have used Cook Smarts and just started using Gatheredtable (post coming on Thursday!) I find the meal planning sites to be SO much more helpful to me than hunting down recipes on my own. Sometimes we just wing our meal plans, and they are honestly never as good. Both of those sites have awesome recipes too.
Thanks for taking the time to aggregate all these photos of what Mazen eats. It’s inspirational, and also confirms that we are doing okay with our 2 year old. He also likes salmon, avocado, will eat paleo quiches, and surprisingly loves super spicy salsa. 🙂 He can’t do dairy, so I worked with our naturopath to find other ways to get in his calcium, vitamin D and fat. He drinks this awesome smoothie everyday that covers the gamut of a chunk toddler nutrition needs (kale, spinach, blackstrap molasses for iron/calcium, oats, probiotic, berries, coconut milk, etc.) It helps me feel less pressure about him eating a veggie with every meal, because I know he’s getting greens and other goodies in his smoothie every day. He of course is picky, too, but I think he will be okay in the long run, because we model good, whole food choices.
I really appreciated this post and would love to see more! My son, Jackson, is fourteen months and we are getting a kick out of what he will and will not eat. Pineapple meatballs= huge hit, but he seems to have outgrown his former love for roasted chicken and sweet potatoes. Haha! He also loves anything off our plates. 🙂 thanks for sharing!
This is a very cool post! Frankly I can take as much inspiration from toddler meals as I do from yours (who doesn’t love quesadillas and broc?). Now we have KERF, BERF and MERF! It’s an empire. Sofa king cute.
I love this post. Great to see my toddler is not the only one! I am wondering what you do if he will not eat the dinner you prepared? Does he have to try it? Will you fix him something different?
We will usually offer him 1 or 2 other easy options (like carrots and hummus or a yogurt) and otherwise assume he’s not hungry and that’s that.
Mary Beth Cunningham says
I have 3 kids (5, 3.5, & 1) and all of them are picky and adventurous at once. Protein is my biggest battle and we are peanut and treenut allergic. My 5 year old now takes “polite bites” to try a new food and he knows if he doesn’t like it, he has the option to not eat it (we have 2 go-to meals that we don’t mind making daily)… he now has become obsessed with chicken tacos (chicken in crockpot with taco seasoning and rotel on low 6-8hrs… wrap with chreese in tortilla). He also now loves ham and cheese or turkey and cheese roll ups.
My middle is picky about cold lunches. He’s a beef guy and loves hardy foods… but has recently become picky even about those… he loves a beef patty plain dipped in salsa. No bun. Sweet potato fries and broccoli and mango are huge favorites too…
My youngest is seriously giving us a run for our money specifically about milk. She HATES cold milk. We’re giving her Enfagrow now… but besides that, she eats everything she can get her hands on.
We are a no tablet family but I have to say, we both work full time and so our only meal together as a family during the week is dinner so I don’t know if I would have a different stance if I had more time with them. The recommended screen time (tablet and tv comnined) by the Pediatric Association is no more than 2 hours for children over 2. I highly doubt your breakfast and lunch are giving him more than even a half hour combined! After breakfast while my husband and I get dressed for work, my 5 year old and 3 year old either play with their train table or watch a show. I see no difference there! You have to be able to do things sometimes!
PS I also am an educator and a counselor with a clinical certificate in child and family…
Liked this post!
Kath how does the oxo straw cup work? We have tried several cups all of which leak and I haven’t found one we like yet.
Eli will eat pretty much anything. Getting milk in him is a struggle. His favorites are pasta, cheese, yogurt, and pretty much any fruit. Always nice to have new meal ideas
They are our favs!!
I would love to introduce smoothies to my one year old. Do you have a good cup to recommend for that? Thank you!
Yes these cups are great because the straws are big and good for thick smoothies! We have several of them.