As your baby grows into toddlerhood his taste buds and tolerances will be more in line with an adult’s. However, you want to make sure that the food he (or she) eats is still the best that you can offer because what he learns to like now will probably stay with him for a very long time.
Toddler Food Rejection
Toddlers are constantly testing limits and mealtimes are no exception. Expect plenty of refusals. At mealtimes, you never know when he will reject a food, even a food that he previously relished. Try not to take rejections personally and continue to keep mealtimes pleasant and relaxing. As a new parent you have already learned that flexibility is key. Never will that skill be more tested than when feeding a toddler!
Tips For Feeding a Toddler Successfully: Part 1
To encourage a toddler to willingly try new foods:
- Cut your toddler’s food into easy-to-eat pieces. Toddlers also think it is fun when you make playful, decorative food. Decorating takes only seconds, but makes your toddler feel very special! Below I include a toddler recipe that is a good example of a few easy decorative touches.
- When offering a new or disliked food, shift the focus away from the food by initiating a chat about your toddler’s favorite things, such as that swing at the playground or his favorite book or toy.
- Give your child some control over food choices by asking a multiple-choice question such as, “Would you like peaches or pears today with your lunch?”
- Along with any new food offered to your toddler, offer a familiar food that you know your toddler likes.
Mr. & Mrs. Sweet Potato Heads Toddler Recipe
Sweet potatoes, as well as being easily digested, are a great source of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and others. You have most likely already fed your baby sweet potato purée. Here is a toddler recipe that provides the same terrific nutrients in a new, appetizing, as well visually appealing fun way.
- Wash 2 medium sweet potatoes by scrubbing gently; do not peel
- Steam (30 minutes) or boil (20-30 minutes)
- Cut cooked sweet potatoes in half lengthwise
- Scoop out the flesh, being careful to keep skin intact to be used as a bowl later.
- Mash flesh
- Mix flesh with: 2 tablespoons plain yogurt, preferably organic or homemade | 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey (remember this is a toddler recipe, over age 1 for the honey) | and 2 tablespoons orange juice
- Place sweet potato mixture back into reserved skin bowls.
Use Decorative Touches to make eyes (olive slices, cooked beans), nose (raisin, carob chip), mouth (a line of raisins, crescent shaped apple section), hair (strings of cheese, carrot shavings) to mention just a few examples.