Healthy Recipes for ToddlersPosted: April 25, 2012
Getting healthy food into your toddler can be challenging. This is the age when meals often become a battle of wills, with two-year-olds trying to gain their independence through food, and parents wanting to make sure every bite contains vital nutrients. This is completely normal, and with a little patience and thought, mealtime can be a pleasurable experience for all.
The most important thing to remember when feeding toddlers is that they want to have control over what they put in their mouths. It doesn’t do any good to prepare elaborate meals that toddlers cannot feed themselves. The best healthy meals for toddlers incorporate variety of nutrient-rich foods that kids can pick up and chew easily. And it doesn’t hurt if the ingredients are colorful, which is taken care of by Mother Nature, thank heaven.
Early childhood is the time when good eating habits are made for life, and toddler food should include nutritious choices like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and soy-based proteins. The body’s natural stores of nutrients and fat are set during these critical years, so it makes perfect sense to seek out healthy recipes for toddlers that are low in saturated fat and nutrient-dense.
Thank goodness toddlers usually prefer single-ingredient foods! That makes planning meals a whole lot easier for mom and dad.
Some toddler lunch and dinner favorites are tofu cubes marinated in a little soy sauce or liquid aminos, whole-wheat pasta spirals, cut up avocado, and pita slices with hummus “dip.” Soft fruits like peaches and bananas can easily be chopped and served with a little almond butter and organic jam sandwich. Carrots, potatoes, and edamame (soy beans) can be steamed until tender and diced for easy pickup by little fingers.
Breakfast foods for toddlers are just as delicious and simple.
Cook up some buckwheat pancakes made with a little applesauce or banana for a healthy and sweet morning treat. Or spread a little non-hydrogenated soy margarine on toast and then sprinkle with cinnamon.
Toddlers are usually still drinking out of sippy cups, so beverages should be smooth and liquid enough to drink through lids and spouts. Most kids love fresh juice blends, like orange/ carrot/ banana, that can easily be made with some organic produce and a high-speed blender.
It’s also essential to make sure that toddlers are drinking fortified non-diary milks, which fill their little bodies up with any minerals that they may be missing in rejected foods.
Of course, you’ll want to watch for any signs of allergies in toddlers, and adjust their diet accordingly. There are many ingredients available for allergic kids, like almond flour, rice milk, and sunflower seed butter.
Here are two wonderful recipes that are sure to be loved by your growing toddler…
- 1 organic apple
- 1 teaspoon non-hydrogenated vegetable margarine
- Cinnamon to taste
Steam or bake apple until tender, approximately 30 minutes. Remove skins, dice, and toss with cinnamon. Serve and enjoy!
- 2 slices organic whole wheat bread
- 1 tablespoon non-hydrogenated vegetable margarine
- ¼ cup (or 1 slice) non-dairy cheese
Spread vegetable margarine over both slices of whole wheat bread. Place cheese in between and grill for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until slightly browned. Remove from heat, cool, and cut into ½-inch squares.
Serve and enjoy!