If you’re struggling every day while feeding your child, maybe you need to change what you are feeding them. A good reason behind your baby not being interested in the food you offer is that they’re bored of it.
Therefore, you’re badly in need of some changes in your regular baby meals to make your toddler more interested in their food. We are here to help you with some of the brilliant ideas you won’t regret following. Take a look!
What Type of Food Should Be Offered to a Baby or Toddler?
Before sharing some ideas for baby meals, let’s discuss the types of food you should offer a baby or toddler. A toddler less than three years old is very sensitive. You need to be both cautious and experimental when it comes to offering your toddler different kinds of food items.
You might already know that a toddler should be fed more liquid and pasty meals like baby formula. But gradually, you should also add semi-solid and boiled solid foods bit by bit. Try to have carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, and proteins in each meal you give your child.
Usually, babies and toddlers seem to be fond of half-diced and stick-shaped foods. It also increases their ability and growth of food intake. Besides, toddlers are fond of shredded, grounded, or minced food items stuffed into bread or patties as well.
However, you should not serve all types of food in the above ways as your toddler will get used to it quickly and won’t eat anything that isn’t served that way. Hence, make a combination of all these ideas to prepare a complete meal.
How to Ensure Safe Eating for Babies and Toddlers
Always remember that all babies aren’t the same. Every child is different, and the same goes for their food habits. Besides, every child develops differently. Therefore, if one child can eat certain food items earlier than the other, it is normal.
Judge the individuality of your baby first to understand what type of food might work well for them. Many times, babies less than nine months old have not developed the ability to intake foods that aren’t liquid. Hence, you should not force them with solids or semi-solids until they’re ready.
One of the biggest fears during feeding a baby is choking. Many times, babies gag because they are unable to chew the food properly, which is normal. But if the food gets stuck in your baby’s throat, it can be perilous.
Therefore, avoid offering your baby foods that are associated with the risk of choking, such as whole grapes, whole nuts, whole cherry tomatoes, popcorn, and whole pieces of hotdogs. Feed these items to your toddler either by chopping them or by crushing them.
Ideas for Various Baby Meals
The trick is to prepare a balanced meal for your baby that includes various food groups and different textures. Below are some of the coolest ideas you should try.
Habituate your child with heavy breakfasts from a very young age with the following ideas.
- Yogurt with fruits and veggies: Yogurt and yogurt dishes are some of the best options for toddler meals. You can pair yogurt with mixed veggie puree and apple straws to enhance the nutritional quality.
- Pancakes with diced banana: Pancakes are quite loved by the toddlers when offered. Mixing different fruits with the pancake batter is a really good idea. Soft fruits like bananas in pancakes are especially enjoyed by toddlers.
- Waffles with applesauce: Just like pancakes, you can also add different fruits and nutritious ingredients to the waffle batter to make it tastier and healthier.
- English muffin: Soft English muffinsor cupcakesare always a toddler’s favorite. Add a little peanut butter and papaya to the batter to make it more delicious and enjoyable for your baby.
- Oatmeal with fruit puree: Oatmeal is a great option for younger babies as they go well as baby food. However, the main concern of serving oatmeal to a baby is that they might find it tasteless.
To enhance the taste along with the nutrition, adding fruit puree to the oatmeal is an amazing idea.
- Unsweetened porridge or lower-sugar cereal: Like oatmeal, porridge and cereal are also very good breakfast options for toddlers. Mix them well and soak them for a while in whole milk to become completely soft. Add a little diced fruit on top, and you’re good to go!
- Eggs, toast fingers, and diced cherry tomatoes: Eggs are a very nutritional addition to your toddler’s breakfast. It is best to add eggs to your child’s breakfast as early as possible.
Along with that, you can also serve toast fingers and well-diced cherry tomatoes.
- French toast with diced strawberries: If you have not offered French toast to your toddler yet, give it a try. Your toddler will surely enjoy it as much as it enjoys pancakes.
Complement it with diced strawberries, and watch it become your baby’s favorite breakfast.
- Cream of wheat: Cream of wheat is a very healthy breakfast option for your baby. Make it tastier by adding mashed bananas and avocados before serving it to your child.
Lunch or Dinner Ideas
There won’t be any problems if you switch the lunch and dinner ideas around because all the foods mentioned below work well for both lunch and dinner.
- Meatballs, diced potatoes, and peas: These food items might worry you a little about choking. But the good news is, none of these foods usually cause choking if prepared soft and well-boiled.
- Enchilada casserole and diced avocado: Prepare a casserole with shredded chicken or ground beef along with beans and tortillas to provide a rich plate of protein and carbohydrates for your toddler as lunch or dinner.
- Hummus: Hummus is the perfect heavy meal option for a baby because of its semi-liquid and pasty consistency. Hummus is also very rich in protein and other nutrients when made with olive oil, chickpeas, and cumin.
- Brown Rice Cakes: If your toddler has a sweet tooth, serve rich and highly nutritious brown rice cakes with peanut butter and diced cooked apples as a heavy meal.
- Sloppy Joe on Bun: Toddlers usually adore buns, so they would love and enjoy having sloppy joe on a bun with green beans and mangoes as their meal.
- Grilled cheese and spinach sandwich: You can quickly make grilled cheese sandwiches for your child, but pair it with spinach and other soft and tender veggies.
- Breaded chicken tenders, sweet potato fries, and papaya: Chicken is usually a toddler’s favorite protein, so breaded chicken tenders with sweet potato fries and papayas can be a good meal for them.
- Quesadilla: You can also try quesadillas prepared with whole wheat tortillas, ground turkey or beef, diced tomatoes, and cheese. Cut it into small squares for your toddler’s ease.
- Risotto: Risotto with green beans and slow-cooked beef roast is also a great idea for your toddler’s meal.
- Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and diced cooked carrots: As said before, toddlers adore buns and loaves. They would love meatloaf as well. Serve it with mashed potatoes and diced carrots to enhance taste and nutrition.
- Pizza roll-ups: Be it a child or an adult, pizza is a treat to the palate, so there is hardly any reason for your toddler to not like pizza. You can serve it in rollup form for your baby’s convenience of eating.
- Noodles with salmon: This is yet another great and healthy source of protein and carbohydrates that your baby would love in their meal.
- Blueberry cornbread, pulled pork, and broccoli: Have you ever tried serving blueberry cornbread to your child? Kids love it. Combine it with pulled pork and broccoli to increase the nutritional value along with a heightened taste.
- Pumpkin bread with cream cheese: Not only pumpkin bread, but you can use a wide range of bread flavors with cream cheese such as zucchini, banana, or blueberry to give your toddler a healthy treat.
- Chicken pot pie: If you don’t want to miss your baby’s favorite protein chicken in its meal, try chicken pot pie. Your toddler would love it.
- Scrambled egg with a toast: The scrambled egg is the safest option to feed eggs to your toddler. Pair it with finger toasts.
- Cottage cheese dip with pita bread: Kids are usually fond of cheese. Cottage cheese dip with pita bread is a flavorful option for their meal.
- Mashed sweet potato: Mashed sweet potatoes are very healthy and nutritious as well as tasty to toddlers. A good option to try.
- Rice and mashed peas: Rice and mashed peas are an easy and common pair as a baby meal. Definitely worth trying.
- Mashed canned salmon: Feed your toddler fish as early as possible to gain the source of iodine in their food. Mashed canned salmon are fish options they would really enjoy.
- Fish poached in milk: Another great fish item for babies can be fish poached in milk. It is a super healthy and perfect option for our toddler’s meal. Make sure you take all bones out first to prevent choking!
Always remember to combine different flavors in your baby food to develop their sense of taste. Don’t hesitate to try something new. Just be cautious when you do so.
Happy baby feeding!