Toddlers are children from 12 to 36 months old. Certainly, children around this stage are transitioning from infancy into preschool years. Moreover, there are intellectual, social, as well as emotional developments here. On the other hand, physical growth and motor development are quite slow. For all these reasons, your child’s diet should be consistently and impeccably full of nutrients. These nutrients will absolutely ensure that your toddler will be in his/her most healthy state. However, the challenge is to hide vegetables from toddlers who can really be very fussy! How to hide veggies in food for picky toddlers? Well, you have to be a really badass parent. And by badass, I mean really full of tricks up your sleeves!
What to do if your toddler is a picky eater?
If you have a picky eater child, then you’re surely in for a big challenge. However, fret not because you can navigate through this. There are a lot of things you can do such as setting an example to your toddler. Eat vegetables as well as fruits in front of them. Really let them know that these foods are vital for their health. At the same time, their regular meals and snacks must be planned accordingly so their appetite is always ready. Moreover, make sure that they are relaxed before meal time so that they will fully accept what’s in the table. Basically, every meal time should be a positive experience for your toddler. It’s definitely important that the toddler won’t see meal times as a battle between you and him/her. Patience is indeed a key when feeding your picky eater toddler.
You can also involve them in the preparation of their foods, even starting from the grocery shopping. Through that, they can definitely appreciate the food more. It’s because you appeal to their curiosity. They will absolutely want to participate in the end which is tasting the food! Additionally, it may also be a good idea to have options of foods every meal time. Make sure that those are good options that will really entice them. Every day, there should also be a rotation of food options. That way, your toddler won’t be literally and figuratively fed up. You see, all of these in a gist is about getting really creative in the kitchen to win with your picky eater toddler.
Also, it may also be best if you don’t use foods as rewards. From time to time when children do good things like behaving well, parents quickly opt for rewarding with foods. This is just alright, but when it’s too much of a routine, it isn’t anymore. What actually happens is that the child will be attached to the reward food. He/she will have a high chance to be a picky eater.
Lastly, separate behavior issues from picky eating. When the toddler is screaming or basically throwing tantrums, that’s a behavioral issue. The problem arises when you treat that issue as picky eating. Instead of dealing with the issue at hand, you try to diffuse the situation by offering foods he/she likes. It’s definitely a surefire way to stick to some foods only and don’t give new foods a chance. Now, you didn’t solve the behavioral issue and just made your child to be a picky eater too. For these reasons, always be observant. Be a parent with an excellent discernment.
Foods where you can hide veggies
Older toddlers like popsicles because who doesn’t, right? Popsicles with fruits are quite common already. Now, how about popsicles with vegetables? Sounds odd but yes, it’s certainly possible. These veggie popsicles will make your toddler feel cool while snacking up healthily. Moreover, these will definitely be a big treat during summertime.
Dietician and Natural Foods Buyer Jennifer Egeland shared her favorite veggie popsicles recipes in Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health. Make sure to click on the provided link to see the said recipes. You can share it to your wife who’ll definitely lead in the kitchen. However, if you’re single, you can still do it since you’re a badass father! Furthermore, you’ll basically need fresh fruits, veggies of choice, blender, 100% juice or water, popsicle molds or ice cube trays, and freezer.
Cakes and Cupcakes
Aside from popsicles, what do toddlers like as well? Yes, you’re right again. Cakes and cupcakes are real treats, especially for toddlers who are three years old and above. Indeed, these are sweets that can also be pumped by fruits and vegetables from time to time. The latter is, once again, rather odd. Who says it isn’t possible? If you do, then you’re so wrong.
In FoodNetwork.com, Melissa D’Arabian shared a recipe for cupcakes that are both fruit and vegetable-based. It will only take about 20 minutes to prepare and another 24 minutes to cook. Make sure to click on the provided link to see the recipe. Additionally, The Health Food Store has their Superfood Veggie Cakes that are affordable and definitely a treat! These cakes are really healthy since they are consisting of kale and cauliflower. At the same time, they’re gluten free and only have 80 calories each.
How to hide veggies in food for picky toddlers? You may opt for another one of their favorites which is cookies! Just like with all the other food items here, your toddler won’t notice that they’re eating vegetables since they’re seeing treats! Additionally, just remember that cookies are okay for older toddlers.
In Super Healthy Kids, a recipe for Whole Wheat Veggie Biscuits is shared to parent of picky toddlers. Moreover, the biscuits are described as certainly kid-pleasing with finely-chopped veggies. Furthermore, the main ingredients are processed and chopped carrots as well as broccoli. Make sure to click on the link provided to know the whole recipe.
Potatoes are certainly healthy in general. Moreover, mashed potatoes which are often made with whole milk or cream, melted butter, and plenty of salt can be a bit too much. However, if you use low-fat buttermilk, you can replace those less-nutritious ingredients. Definitely take note of this tip, so you can share it to your wife or for you to do yourself in the kitchen.
Furthermore, take note that you can use mashed potatoes for your toddler’s healthy weight gain. At the same time, the phosphorus in potatoes aids in their bone development. Also, their sleeping, learning, and memory are helped by the potato’s choline content. Lastly, potatoes are known to be rich in Vitamin C which makes your toddler’s skin glow.
GK Food Diary has an amazing recipe for mashed potatoes with vegetables for toddlers. The preparation time takes around 10 minutes while the cooking time is around 20 minutes. At the same time, there are only few ingredients and the preparation is indeed easy. Just make sure to click on the link provided to get to know the whole recipe.
Macaroni and Cheese
How to hide veggies in food for picky toddlers? Try hiding them in the macaroni and cheese which all little kids love! Yes, this all-time favorite can be much healthier. All you need is to have an amazing recipe in your hand then you’re good to go.
Vegetables such as onion, cauliflower, and courgette can be hidden in the macaroni and cheese. The onion can certainly be thoroughly sliced. Moreover, the cauliflower completely disappears into the cheese sauce. Lastly, you can peel the courgette so that the white remains which will also disappear in the sauce.
In addition to this, Tasty has a wonderful recipe for macaroni and cheese with veggies. Just remember to click on the link provided to read the entire recipe.
That’s it from me today. If you like this blog post or if you have more suggestions as to how to hide veggies in food for picky toddlers, leave us a comment. Do the same too if you know more amazing and delicious recipes that may help other fathers with picky eater toddlers.
Always remember that your toddler’s health is at top priority. Your child is indeed in a very critical stage of his/her life. For this reason, incorporate vegetables as much as you can in their diet. And since toddlers are quite the stubborns, fight back by being sneaky! You’ll definitely have tons of chuckles while you’re preparing their meals! Certainly have an awesome, loving, and fulfilling parenting!