Once your toddler crosses his first birthday, the general consensus is that he should be able to eat everything that the rest of the family eats. But as Moms, we know that this is easier said than done!
Getting toddlers interested in regular family meals is a challenge in itself. They seem to be ready to scoff at whatever is being served and making them try even a spoonful is no small task. The main reason is mainly boredom, with toddlers needing a variety in both taste and texture. Many Moms complain that even if they have teeth, some children prefer swallowing their foods rather than chewing them.
Learning to control the tongue is a skill that has to be practiced. Having said that, some kids just have issues with the texture of the food. For them, introducing a new food can take many, many tries before they eventually come around. Some kids take to new foods after a couple of tries, but with kids like my son it’s more like 25 or 30 before he will reliably eat more than a bite!
5 Tips to get Toddlers to try New Foods
Here are few tricks that we tried with my son when he was REALLY little and hardly ate anything:
1. Keep offering the food you are attempting to get him to eat. He doesn’t HAVE to eat it, but he should be exposed to it. He may pick it up and play with it and feel it. That’s ok. He’s getting used to it–it’s a process.
2. Offer soft foods cut up in small pieces. He might be more inclined to actually put a soft bite of banana in his mouth than a crunchy cracker. Bananas, cooked peas and carrots, avocado, plain cooked macaroni, etc. And cut them smaller than you think necessary.
3. Sometimes it helped to give my son a spoon and let him try to feed himself. He might have only gotten a couple of bites into his mouth, but he was more likely to keep it in his mouth, chew, and swallow it.
4. Offer the new food first when he’s really, truly hungry. If you want him to try a banana but you offer it after his yogurt or whatever, he won’t be hungry and will have little motivation to try something new. Maybe while you’re prepping breakfast, sit him in his high chair and give him a few bites of the banana to look at/play with/attempt to eat while you chop up the rest of the banana to go in his breakfast.
5. Remain calm. We know this is extremely hard because it can be frustrating and nerve-wracking when your child eats a diet of about three bites! But if you are anxious at mealtimes, he absolutely will pick up on that. I can tell you from experience that it will not help the situation. Keep working with him and see if he improves. With our son we knew he could eat other things, he just didn’t want to eat some of them.
The recipes mentioned below are all easy to make, and perfect for Moms who have to multitask. They don’t take up too much time but don’t compromise on nutrition either. You can refer to the first version of the Toddler Food Chart here.
Indian Toddler Food Chart 2
Mid Morning Snack
|Chocolate Muesli||Paneer Wheat Biscuits||Capsicum Pulao||Spinach Fritters||Missi Paratha|
|Cheese Corn Sandwich||Ragi Cookies||Egg Rice||Chinese Spring Rolls||Creamy Vegetable Pasta|
|Suji Toast||Roasted Chickpeas||Carrot Cucumber Curd Rice||Cheese Corn Balls||Vermicelli Pulao|
|Instant Oats Wheat rava Idli||Fruit & Nut Granola||Dal Pulao||Idli Upma||Suji Kheer|
|Jowar Balls||Watermelon Smoothie||Beetroot Pulao||Carrot Oat Muffins||Cabbage Paratha|
|Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes||Maple Oats Bar||Carrot Khichdi||Curd Fritters||Steamed Dosa|
|Sweet Potato Dosa||Mango Yogurt||Steamed Rice with Vegetable Manchurian||Whole wheat Cooker Cake||Vegetable Pasta|
Points to Remember:
1. This meal plan needn’t be followed word for word, you can mix and match any way you like.
2. A glass of milk (150 ml) can be given with the evening snack.
3. Lunch can be served with tomato ketchup or curd, as applicable.
4. Feel free to serve your toddler a fruit or vegetable salad, but try to stick to mealtimes.
Here are the recipes mentioned in the food chart.
Breakfast Recipes for Toddlers
3. Suji Toast
5. Jowar Balls
Milkshake Recipes for Toddlers
Mid Morning Snack Recipes for Toddlers
2. Ragi Cookies
7. Mango Yogurt
Lunch Recipes for Toddlers
1. Capsicum Pulao – from Sharmis Passion
2. Egg Rice
3.Carrot cucumber Curd Rice ( You can skip the chillies in the recipe)
4. Dal Pulao (This is a lovely recipe from Cook, Click and Devour)
5. Beetroot Rice (This is another recipe from Cook, Click and Devour)
Evening Snack Recipes for Toddlers
4. Idli Upma
Dinner Recipes for Toddlers
4. Suji Kheer
6. Steamed Dosa
Dessert Recipes for Toddlers
1. Matka Kulfi
4. Suji Kheer
5. Banana Cake
6. Mango Kulfi
There’s enough variety included here to appease the fussiest toddler! It’s okay if every meal isn’t balanced and he eats only one food at mealtime. It’s enough if your toddler’s meals are balanced across the course of the week, with a good intake of carbs, protein, fruit, vegetables adn dairy. Of course, water is also very important, so ensure they have some with their meals and in between as well. Do try this meal plan out and let us know what your toddler thinks!!
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