I was stressed out trying to decide what to make the boys for lunch today when my brain wandered to an article I read last year about feeding picky eaters.
Once I found and read the article again, I feel like “lunchtime” is not such a scary word. And if they aren’t full once they’ve eaten their grazing plates, I can always… feed them again! Lots of tiny meals throughout the day sounds pretty manageable.
Helpful Hints I gleaned from “Ask Doctor Sears”:
- Toddlers don’t need to eat as much as when they were very tiny, 1,000-1,300 calories a day will do.
- The boys will eat what is available — keep nutritional food on hand so that is their only option.
- The boys will eat when and how much they want.
- They will go through phases where they want all fruit one day and all veggies another. Try for a balanced week and not a balanced day.
- Use “nibble trays” — lots of different foods to snack on in small portions so it’s not overwhelming.
- “Grazing” keeps blood sugar at a good level and can stave off “THE CRAZIES.”
- Dip is good.
- Smoothies are good.
- Cutting food into shapes can make it more exciting.
- Make pictures with the food on the plate. (I love doing this!)
- Keep the boys favorite nutritious foods in the bottom of the fridge so they can get them when they are hungry.
- Don’t focus on eating “the right things at the right time.”
- Let them help prepare food.
- CHILL OUT.
It’s a little more complicated because we are not feeding the boys some of the foods this article lists anymore, but for the most part, it did help me relax. Just enough to get a grazing plate together for the lunch time hungries.
I need to go to the store with this type of feeding schedule in mind so I can have more stuff on hand for them to eat. Right now, most of what I have needs to be prepared and takes more than a couple minutes to put together.
Today’s lunch plate:
- Triscuits and peanut butter
- tricolor raisins
- green olives
- raw nuts
- frozen peas (they were eating outside, it’s HOT)
- whole carrots
- water with lime juice
I think they ate most of their food, but I tried to make something similar for Gerry and really found I was lacking anything substantial.
He ended up with:
- campari tomatoes and pesto for dipping
- kalamata olives
- berry juice
He came in and asked “is this lunch or a snack?” and looking at it now, I think I need to get a whole lot more nutritionally dense foods for lunches! He did make himself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich about an hour ago, so he might be okay until 2 or 3.
As for myself, my tummy’s a little upset, so i had half a peanut butter sandwich and some tea so far. I think I’m the pickiest eater of all of us, so I keep putting my own meals off because they are the hardest to dream up!
Some ideas for things to have on hand for lunches:
- Peanut Butter / Sunflower Seed Butter
- Whole grain bread
- Pasta Salad
- Pepper slices
- Steamed broccoli
- Whole grain cereal
- Veggie tortilla chips with flax seed
- Refried Beans for dip
- Tortillas for wrapping
I’m sure more will come to me 🙂