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Toddler Meals for a Picky Eater

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

As our first year of Preschool is quickly approaching, so are my panic attacks. Not only do I have to start making sure my wild card of a child actually goes to bed early and gets up bright eyed and bushy tailed for school each day, but I'm also tasked with the monster problem of figuring out what in the world I should send in her lunchbox. Not a hard problem to solve, some might think. Well, think again. My daughter was given the name Wild Card at a young age, because the good Lord knows she is the most unpredictable little thing that ever existed. She's not what I would call a "bad" eater, except for the days she will literally only eat candy. Our main issue stems from the fact that one day she will love a food, and the next day if you try to offer said food to her, you will get the look of the demon as if you are trying to kill her. Therein lies my problem. Today she loves bananas, but God forbid I send a banana in her lunch tomorrow. She might never speak to me again. With this soul crushing task weighing on my ever-so-fragile mind, I had to start brainstorming. After weeks of asking for advice, reading articles and searching the web, I have finally come up with a growing list of creative meal/snack ideas. Keep in mind, these are in no certain order and can be combined in any form. 

  1. Ham and cheese roll-ups served on pretzel sticks
  2. Mini grilled cheese with tomato soup in a cup
  3. Mickey Mouse shaped peanut butter and jelly
  4. Butter noodles with zucchini and peas
  5. Macaroni & cheese cups 
  6. Cubed chicken with broccoli 
  7. Star shaped turkey and cheese
  8. Cheese quesadilla slices 
  9. Homemade pizza bites (made with tortillas)
  10. "Sushi" rolls - made with tortillas, ham and cream cheese 
  11. Pasta with shrimp and corn
  12. Homemade pizza muffins - crescent rolls, sausage, pizza sauce and cheese in a muffin tin
  13. Mini waffles with Nutella
  14. Ham, cheese and cracker stacks
  15. Spaghetti with mini meatballs

Each of these listed typically serve as the "star of the show" and are combined with one fruit and one vegetable. As I mentioned previously, Wild Card changes her tune from day to day on which fruits and vegetables she will actually eat. Here is a list of what has made the cut thus far:

Fruits - watermelon, grapes, bananas, peaches, plums, apple slices (with no skin because she won't touch it with the skin left on), strawberries, orange slices, blueberries, cantaloupe, pineapple, avocado

Vegetables - corn, peas, carrots, cucumbers, olives, squash, broccoli, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini 

After seeing some children who will only eat chicken strips and mac-n-cheese, I feel like we're moving at an OK pace. Honestly, my child may be weird about WHEN she eats what she eats, but she is actually open to more fruits and vegetables than I am. I can't complain that much. Our struggle is the ever-changing likes and dislikes of being a toddler. 

As always, we would love your feedback! What meals/snacks are working for your picky eater? Leave us a comment below! 

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