Toddlers are funny. They think they know everything, including what they like and don’t like to eat. But they can be fooled, at least some of the time. Take soup. My little ones liked soup — just not always with a spoon. So I called it "dip," passed them a bowl of carrot sticks and declared it a meal! Here are seven things my toddlers would (almost) always eat.
- Carrots: They’re sweet and easy to handle. We told the kids they could avoid wearing glasses like Daddy if they ate their carrots. True? Maybe. Dipped in yogurt, hummus or nut butter, they make a great meal.
- Spinach: Oddly enough, my boys all loved it. Add chopped spinach to quick bread for a special St. Patrick’s Day treat. Invoke Sam-I-Am and scramble it with eggs any day of the week.
- Anything dressed like a burrito: In a rut, I would serve breakfast, lunch and dinner in a whole wheat wrap. Eggs for breakfast, peanut butter and banana for lunch, and beans, spinach and cheese for dinner. Most chopped vegetables, as long as they weren’t too easily recognizable, were acceptable in a wrap.
- Quiche: I originally sold this one as "cheese pie." Quiche hides a variety of vegetables, though spinach was and is a favorite. Something about a flaky pie crust makes everything taste better.
- Rice: My kids will eat rice any way I serve it, whether it’s risotto, fried rice, sushi or plain.
- Pasta: Mac and cheese, of course. But they never objected to a little broccoli mixed in with it.
- Anything fried: And it didn’t have to be decadent. A piece of fish dredged in bread crumbs and sautéed in a pan was more appealing than bare fish, and it got them used to the taste. Also? I lied and told at least one of them it was chicken, then surprised him with the fact that he liked fish!
And I tried not to push too hard. When a toddler is having a moment, even birthday cake offends!
What are (or were!) your go-to foods for little ones? If you have more than one child, were their eating habits the same or did you learn a new routine?
This post was requested by lkb for Reader Request Week 2013.
(Images: Anne Postic)