Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Meal Ideas for Your Two-Year Old or Toddler

For a few weeks when David was 2 years old, I tracked everything he ate. Now that James is 1, and starting to eat almost all finger foods, I revisited David's food diary for new ideas for what to feed James.

I kept the document on Google docs, so I could remember to update it throughout the day when I was checking my e-mails and such. I thought I would share with you some of the common meals my 2-year old ate for breakfast, lunch, after nap snacks, and dinner!

I hope some of these meals give you some new ideas for your little ones, too.

Breakfast - All of our breakfasts were accompanied by a fresh, canned or frozen fruit and 4oz whole milk.
Waffle with butter and syrup.
Pancakes with whipped cream.
Sausage patty or links. (I buy frozen)
Hash brown patties. (I put in the toaster)
Cereal bars.
Scrambled eggs with cheese.
Peanut butter, cream cheese or jelly on toast.
French toast sticks.
Pop tart or toaster strudels.
Cottage cheese.

Morning snack - Usually, snacks were given with water.
Baby carrots with dip.
Clementine orange.
Goldfish crackers.
Yogurt covered raisins.

Lunch - All of our lunches were accompanied by 2 tablespoons fresh or frozen vegetables, carrot sticks or alternating fruit and 4 oz whole milk. Often, David and I ate leftovers from the previous nights dinner.
Grilled cheese.
Chicken strips. (I buy frozen)
Mac n' cheese.
French fries or tator tots.
Pasta salad.
Spaghetti O's.
Grilled tortilla with cheese.
Chicken salad sandwich.

After-nap snack- Served with a juice box, V8 splash, chocolate milk or some other non-whole milk beverage, but never pop.
Gerber crunchies.
Pretzels and dip.
Cereal bar or granola bar.
Peanut butter on club crackers.
Cheese and tortilla roll up.
Graham crackers and yogurt.

Dinner - All of our dinners were served with 4 oz whole milk and fruit. We often had a dessert after dinner like ice cream sandwich, Popsicles or a sweet baked item.
Pork chops with rice.
Ham and cheese panini.
Steak. (David's favorite!)
Chicken Strips.
Garlic Bread.
Beef brisket.
Fried chicken.
Swiss steak with potatoes.
Grilled chicken.
Cheese burger pie.
Fried rice.
Pan fried potatoes.

Common Fruits
Clementine orange
Fruit cocktail
Canned pears

Overall, it helps David is a very good eater and likes almost everything. He is not a big fan of over "slimy" foods or red meats that aren't steak. He is not a huge fan of bananas. Sometimes, David puts up a fight to eat supper but ate great breakfast and lunch. Other days, he might have tummy trouble and not want to eat as much.

In addition to what we eat for meals, Pete and I have always stressed rules for eating "like a nice boy" to keep meal time pleasant. I love sitting at the table with my kids to eat. We talk, share things about our day, and laugh a lot. Meal time is a great time to learn! Some of our rules for the table are: pray, sit at the table and eat, eat with a fork or spoon (when he learned, of course), ask to be excused, drink all your milk, "just try one bite", and always asking what he did that day.

I would love any additional ideas for meal planning for your little ones, toddler or pre-schooler!

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