When your toddler reaches two years of age, growth slows down and appetite decreases. You may think you have a picky eater on your hands, but that may not be true: toddlers are often unwilling to try things they are unfamiliar with. It’s easy to worry about the amount they are eating, and you can get stuck in feeding your toddler the same foods again and again, food that are not always healthful. By providing healthy options at mealtimes like in this sample menu for a 2 year old, everyone is participating in establishing good eating habits.
Using this sample menu for toddlers can help get you started on meal planning. To come up with more ideas, substitute a similar size portion of another food in the same food group. For example, instead of 1/3 cup of oatmeal, try 1/3 cup of quinoa or for a 1/4 cup of strawberries, try 1/4 cup defrosted mango. Write out your idea swaps and put them on your refrigerator, so next time your scrambling for a meal, options are right there.
Sweet Potato Oatmeal
Directions: Mash sweet potato and mix into warm oatmeal. Add in grounded flaxseed and cinnamon. Make extra sweet potatoes for tomorrow night and try these loaded sweet potato fries.
Very Berry Salad
Directions: Chop and prepare fruit in a bowl. Let sit for an hour in order for the natural pectins to release. Scoop into cup and top with a vanilla-flavored yogurt.
Whole Grain Pin Wheels
Directions: Spread hummus onto a tortilla and shred chicken and place evenly. Roll up and cut into nice little pinwheels. Check out these easy spinach and feta quesadilla made with a whole-grain tortilla. Meals for toddlers don’t have to be complicated!
Fruit & Veggie Smoothie
Directions: In a blender add veggies and fruit with liquid of choice. Ripe bananas are best for added sweetness. Spotted bananas can be peeled and sliced, stored in a container or bag in the freezer. Frozen pineapple chunks are good as well. It keeps the smoothie cool without watering it down with ice cubes.
Spaghetti with Ground Turkey
Directions: Cut spaghetti with a knife or kitchen scissors. Add in sauce mixture and even stir. Make turkey bolognese with pasta and veggies for the rest of the family.
Remember: don’t bombard your toddler with an array of different foods all at once! They should never feel overwhelmed or pressured—the experience of trying new foods should be a positive one. Chances are they will play with the food you put in front of them instead of eating it. It can be frustrating and discouraging at times, but just remind yourself that implementing healthy choices early encourages your toddler to pick healthy choices in the long run! Here are more 2-year-old meal options to try.
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