Toddlers are very picky people. It can be hard to get them to eat healthy food and make meals they will eat! Luckily, I found an awesome meal prep option called Yumble that prepares really delicious and nutritious meals that my picky toddler actually likes!
This blog post is for all of the parents out there who has a picky toddler!
Okay, do not judge me for what you are about to read.
I absolutely, positively, hate feeding my picky toddler son!
It is the most annoying part of my day.
When I started feeding my toddler food when he was about 5-6 months, I said to myself that I was only going to feed him Homemade Baby Food. Not only that, I was going to only feed him vegetables for a long period of time before I started feeding him fruit because I wanted him to learn to love and appreciate vegetables. I had a plan and I had everything I needed to stick to it! I even bought the Baby Breeza Reusable Food Pouches to make food and vegetable pouches to have on the go! Between me making my own baby food and breastfeeding my son, I was going to have one of the healthiest kids around.
Along with that, I had some rules I was going to follow when it came to feeding my son. Those rules were:
Absolutely no fast food
No cookies, cake, muffins, or pies
No processed foods
No potato chips
No soda or sugary juices
Now, ask me how I am doing with my rules. To be honest, I have completely failed in half of these rules, but I have broken all of them. My child has had all of these crappy foods but there are some rules that are definitely not consistent or I have found ways to make them not-so-unhealthy. For instance,
- He does not drink soda AT ALL but if I buy him fruit juices I only buy him the Honest Kids juice or Fruitables. They are the only mommy-approved juices that I will buy. I guess that isn’t so bad.
- He does, every now and then eat boxed Mac and Cheese and if I have to feed it to him, I will buy Annie’s organic brand of mac-n-cheese.
- He doesn’t eat cake often because when I hardly bake cakes, he has never had pie, but boy does he loves his cookies. So I will only give him one after he has had a good dinner. As far as muffins, I make my Banana and Zucchini Muffins because it has some vegetables in them and they aren’t completely horrible for you.
- My mom got him hooked on those nasty Cheese Puffs and he was an addict with those things for a while. Now I just don’t buy them or keep them around. He likes the Veggie Sticks or I’ll get the Gerber puffs. My husband is a huge potato chip eater and he always wants to eat those. So we allow him a few every now and then.
- As far as fast food, we don’t buy French Fries anymore only chicken nuggets and, if I can get to a Chick-Fil-A, I will get them from there because they have the grilled chicken nuggets option.
Now that I am reading this list, I guess we aren’t doing so bad but it is still nerve-wracking to try to get him to eat anything different. One day he will eat something different and totally love it. The next day its like he hates it. I don’t know what to do! There have been plenty a night where I won’t put up a fight and just make him a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich. Hey, at least he’s fed. My husband tells me all the time to just give him what he wants. If he wants cereal, oatmeal, PB&J, just give it to him. But I had to stop to ask him, “ How long do we continue to do that? After all, we are raising an adult who is just in his toddler version. If we keep giving him what he wants, he will turn into a brat, he won’t want to try anything else, and it will be difficult for others to try to feed him.”
You see on my side of the family, there is a risk of heart disease, heart failure, diabetes, and high blood pressure (rare cases), and dementia. On my husband’s side, there is cancer and high blood pressure. All of these health problems are now transcended onto my son. Allow your mind to absorb that for a minute. All of these life-threatening illnesses and diseases are possible and, currently, dormant in my son. That thought keeps me up a night just as much as the fear of a stranger violating my child or him being bullied.
As parents, we have a responsibility to make sure our children start off with a healthy lifestyle as much as possible, educate them on their family medical history, the causes of those illnesses, how they can prevent them, and for us to enact the same lifestyle we hope our kids will eventually cultivate. I am not suggesting, that a child cannot have a cookie, a piece of cake, or a Happy Meal from time to time, but it is important that those food options are balanced. So, imagine my frustration when it comes time for me to feed my picky toddler who only wants a cookie, chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, and now, noodles and sauce for dinner. It is beyond frustrating!
If you have a picky toddler, let me share with you somethings you shouldn’t do based off my experience to try to get them to eat:
- Don’t be rigid when it comes to a set dinner time. When I was working at home, I would make sure that he would eat by 5:30 every night. I would put him in his high chair and serve him his food and expect to him to eat like a normal human being. Like most of you, I thought this would help provide a routine for my kid. NOPE! Although I don’t experience a lot of issues with this, there have been times when he just wasn’t ready to eat at 5:30 and I had to learn that was okay. I would let him out of his high chair and let him play and once he saw me eat, he would then want to eat. There have been plenty of times where my kid would eat off of daddy’s or mommy’s plate and that was okay.
- Do not assume that he/she will eat whatever you make because of its food. NOPE! Listen, I don’t enjoy being a short order cook myself, but you need to expect that there will be times that no matter how you cook something or how much you think they will enjoy a dish you’ve made, they very well may not want it. Don’t give up. I still put something green on my son’s plate every night. I don’t expect him to eat it, but eventually, I know he will. You have to present to them the food you want them to eat often. In this article, it states that you have to present food to a toddler 10-15 times before they will actually eat it. So keep trying.
- Please do not think that just because you are the parent, you should not adjust to your child’s eating preferences. There are times I would go into feeding my son and will think that he is going to eat what I put in front of him because I am a mommy and he is a son. Now there are times where I am a bit more stern, but I also had to learn to adjust to his eating preferences if I stand a chance of him trusting me to feed him and to get him to eat anything healthy. For instance, Calvin doesn’t not like big bulky foods, like sandwiches. So there was a time where I gave him small bits of cheese and turkey meat to eat them separately and he actually ate it! Also, Calvin likes mushy smooth food, so when possible I will make his food a little more mushy and soggy because I know that I have a better chance of him eating whatever is in front of him. Yes, you are mommy or daddy, but we also have to partner with our kids to get them to make the right choices from time to time.
These are the biggest lessons I’ve learned when feeding a picky toddler.
Everyone has their age preferences when raising a kid. My preferred stage is when they are infants. I love babies. A crying baby does not bother me one bit! But my husband is different. Infants and toddlers are not his jam. So we both are applying patience we didn’t know we had at this time in raising our son. We have already started to experience the meltdowns, temper tantrums, and the daredevil stunts that almost immediately forces us into cardiac arrest. The only thought that gives me comfort during this stage is that it won’t last forever. I’m sure in a few years, we will barely remember most of this stuff. In the meantime, we have to learn to be patient and to realize that he is a toddler, we are the adults. If we can’t keep ourselves composed when raising this little person who doesn’t know how to talk, who can’t communicate, who has only been in this world for, not even, two years then WE are the problem, not our child. This behavior of a toddler is to be expected, so we can’t let it get to us. Also, there is nothing wrong with needing a break and using your resources when feeding a picky toddler.
I came across an AMAZING food prep resource called Yumble.
I LOVE THIS DELIVERY SERVICE! Okay, now that is out of the way.
I am a working mom who does Marketing at a major division I university (and my alma mater) called UC, the University of Cincinnati. I work Monday-Friday 8-5 and I no longer work from home. In order to get a halfway decent meal on the table, I am now a true believer and converter of using meal prep kits. I SWEAR BY THEM. I have bought them from the Fresh Market, Hello Fresh, and, lately, Kroger. I buy two a week and cook something on my own 1-2 time a week depending on leftovers. It makes my week go by a lot easier because I don’t have to think about what I’m going to cook for dinner and if I have all of the ingredients. I’m telling you, if you are a busy person or even a stay at home parent, using meal kit services will bring down the stress in your home by 10 decimal points.
The meals that you get using Yumble are healthy, tasty, and versatile to the foods your kids love. You can still order mac-n-cheese, chicken nuggets, and even pizza from Yumble! The best part of it is they are made with natural and better ingredients that are more nutrient dense for your kids. I would love to say that my kid ate every single meal that I picked, but he did eat the majority of the meals and I couldn’t be happier.
Here are the meals I ordered:
Chicken Dippin (ALMOST WINNER): He ate the chicken nuggets, but not that banana chips or dried veggies ( they were too hard for him)
Pull Apart Chicken (WINNER): This came with shredded chicken, cauliflower, and pureed sweet potatoes. HE ATE THE ENTIRE MEAL!
Protein Poppers (WINNER): I ate a few myself and he KILLED these poppers!
Yes Please Mac-N-Cheese (WINNER): He ate a little of the sweet potato and carrot tots.
Bowl of Yays (WINNER): He ate half of this dish
Cinnamon Apple Pinwheel (SAD FACE): He didn’t like this meal too much
Do you see the variety in these meals? I could never come up with these dishes on my own and I loved having the convenience of them already made. Even if my picky toddler just picked through these meals, I still considered that a win because he was trying something new.
If you struggle with what to feed a picky toddler, I highly, highly recommend using Yumble. I am a cheap person and count all of my coins but this is a meal service that is worth the investment.
To prove it, if you decide to try Yumble, you will get 30% off of your first two orders!!!!
Discount Code: brownsugarfoodblogger30
I know after you try these meals, you will find room in your monthly budget to buy these meals. I am not getting paid to tell you guys this so trust me. The only incentive I have is sharing a wealth of knowledge that I know hard working parents like yourselves will appreciate.
If you have a picky eater, tell me your story! What did you do and give me some advice on how to feed a picky toddler!