How does it always seem to happen that your precious little baby that once ate whatever you fed him, now hates nearly everything? I swear my toddler knows and prefers everything that is artificially colored and flavored. He doesn’t seem to want anything that is even remotely close to a healthy toddler meal. It can be so hard to feel like our toddlers are getting the nutritious and healthy meals they need, especially since they are programmed to like what they like, not what we want them to eat. I partnered with Yumble to bring you some tips and tricks to help you feed your toddler healthy meals that he or she will actually eat.
The Easiest Way To Feed Healthy Toddler Meals
Mealtimes is one of the most dreaded parts of my day. I myself am a picky eater and struggle to eat as healthy as I should. Now that I am in charge of feeding a 1-year-old 21 meals a week, plus snacks, it is even more dreadful. It can be so hard to come up with healthy toddler meals.
Then when I do find something to make for supper, it can feel like I spend all this wasted time preparing food that I know he won’t eat anyway. So how can we make mealtimes easier on everyone, while trying to maintain some amount of sanity and nutrition?
First, let’s break down what is actually a serving size for toddlers. It might be less than you think!
Healthy Toddler Meals Serving Sizes
- Vegetables: 1 Tablespoon for each year of age
- Fruit: 1/4 cup (cooked or canned fruit) or 1/2 a piece of raw fruit or 2-4 ounces of whole fruit juice
- Protein: 1 ounce of meat or 1/2 an egg
- Dairy: 1/2 cup of milk or 1/3 cup of yogurt or 1/2 ounce of cheese
- Grain: 1/4 to 1/2 slice a bread or 1-2 crackers or 1/4 cup dry cereal
How Many Servings Are Recommended For A Day?
- Fruit: 2-3
- Vegetable: 2-3
- Protein: 2
- Dairy: 2-3
- Grain: 6 servings a day
Someone once told me to not worry so much about each meal, or even each day, but think about the big picture. I like to think “did my son get enough fruits and veggies this week?” It can take some pressure off of each meal to try to offer healthy choices but know that overall things will likely even out in the end.
It also helps to know that toddlers are programmed to like what they like. Way back in the caveman days, toddlers had to learn from a young age what foods were safe and which ones were poisonous. So even to this day, our toddlers are hardwired to eat what is familiar and known to be safe and are internally wired to be skeptical about anything that looks new or different.
Tips For Getting Your Toddler To Eat Healthy Foods
1.Keep Offering Choices.
You cannot control what your toddler puts into his or her mouth, but you can control what is offered to them. Even if they throw it off their plate night after night, continue to offer it. They can never eat it if it isn’t served to them. Plus, the more they see it, the more familiar a preferred healthy toddler meal will become.
2. Try Presenting Foods In A Different Way.
My son doesn’t seem to like the cooked veggies we put on his plate, but he loves to eat things off my plate! It might be easier to trick a young toddler than an older child, but try feeding them off of your plate. When I put a piece of carrot on my fork and offer it to my son, he will often take it without even realizing he is ignoring the exact same carrots on his own plate. Try putting the veggies in a fun bowl, or cut and display them in a fun way. Also, getting your young one involved when making the meal can help as well!
3. Prepare Food In Different Ways.
Perhaps you hate fresh broccoli, but dont mind it steamed. So night after night you make steamed broccoli, but your child doesn’t like it. Try offering it to your child raw, or with a dip, etc. Sometimes our kids will like different things from us. We need to make sure we don’t just follow one simple way of preparing our food and theirs night after night.
4. Offer The Veggies First.
My son has a hard time waiting for his food. When I am making supper, I start with the veggies so they are done before everything else. Once my son is in his highchair, I present his veggies to him first. If he is hungry enough, he will likely eat, or at least try them. If not, he will ignore them (or occasionally play with them) until the rest of the meal is ready. I do get surprised by how often he will at least taste it because there are no “better” options available.
5. Try Yumble
Yumble offers super easy to make, healthy toddler meals. It can be tiring to spend so much time planning out meals, purchasing the food, preparing the meal, and serving it to picky toddlers. I have found that Yumble takes so much of the work and hassle out of this daily chore.
Yumble Subscription Meals For Kids
Yumble makes subscription meals for kids of all ages. You can refine your search based on your child’s age range, but overall I think parents can pick any meal based on their child’s food preferences or needs.
How It Works
- Pick a plan- Pick the plan that best meets your family’s needs, whether that be 6, 8, or 16 meals per week.
- Chose your meals- Yumble offers tons of meal options based on your child’s age and diety needs. All are made with quality ingredients so you know your kids are eating meals that are both delicious and nutritious.
- Yumble meals are delivered straight to your door at no additional cost! They always arrive fresh in their refrigerated box. Your Yumble box will also come with fun mealtime activities such as table discussion topics and sticker sheets to add more fun to family mealtime.
- All meals are fully cooked and refrigerated. They can easily be microwaved in just 90 seconds in the microwave-safe tray.
- Transfer to your child’s favorite dinner plate and enjoy!
Now I would love to tell you that Yumble magically cured my picker eater and encouraged him to eat every last vegetable on his plate, but that wouldn’t be true. What I can say is that Yumble introduced my son to a variety of new foods that I don’t know how to cook. My son was able to try new things that I never would have made myself. Plus, it challenged us to step outside of our normal mealtime rut.
Yumble was well received in our house. I loved the ease and convenience of not having to think about preparing healthy toddler meals each day for my 14-month-old son. It’s great that it is so quick and easy, with no cleanup or mess. My son enjoyed the kid-friendly meal options we presented him with and did surprisingly well with trying new things. Go ahead and try them yourself risk-free!