A big thank you to PlaytexBaby™ for sponsoring this post, and for making mealtime fun!
One of the questions that I get asked the most since I began blogging, is “what do you feed your kids?”. As much as I’d love to tell you guys, that after five years of parenting, I’ve figured out all of the tricks to get my kids to eat whatever it is I put on their plates, that would be a lie. I distinctly recall when my oldest was a baby, our pediatrician warning me not to become a “short order cook!” What he meant by it, was to feed my kids whatever my husband and I were eating, and not to get in the tedious habit of making them something different simply because they didn’t like what we were having. It made perfect sense to me at the time… why make more work for myself than necessary? Those were the good old days too. Max was a great eater back then, and rarely turned down what we offered him, so it didn’t seem unfeasible… until that all tragically changed one day. Our “great” eater became a super picky eater, seemingly overnight. Suddenly, a toddler who loved fruits, vegetables and meat, wanted nothing to do with them. I continued to offer a wide variation of foods, he continued to refuse them, and I was beyond frustrated. It even got to the point where we had to begin supplementing with meal replacement shakes to ensure that he was getting the calories and nutrients that he was lacking from refusing all of the foods that he no longer wanted to eat. Finally, I decided that I didn’t care if it was more work for me, I just wanted my child to eat. Don’t get me wrong, of course I want my kids to eat a well-balanced diet, but I realized that for us, sometimes that means getting creative (AKA sneaky), finding the foods that they actually will eat, and working with that. I’ve learned to choose my battles. If the only fruit one of my kids will eat is an apple, and he wants an apple every. single. day. with lunch, then so be it. It’s a fruit, and I’d rather he eats that, then turn down (or waste) a bunch of other things.
Thankfully, Max eventually began to outgrow this phase, but low and behold, Ella began the same habits, right around the same time, and I don’t doubt that we will go through it with Theo eventually too. I don’t have any answers as to why this keeps happening, other than kids will be kids. I don’t have any magic tricks up my sleeve that will get your kids to eat anything and everything imaginable… All I have to offer is what has worked for us, and what has gotten us through. If you’re going through something similar with your kids, I thought that the least I could do was offer up the advice that I have from our own experience.
When it comes to meals, my kids really like sectioned plates, and to be honest, I do too. I feel like they are a great way to offer a fruit or vegetable, a protein, and some type of grain to my kids. They like feeling like they have they’re own personal smorgasbord, so it’s a win all around. The PlaytexBaby™ Use 3 Way Plates are our favorite, paired with their Toddler Utensils. The plates are BPA free, great for getting portion sizes just right, and I love that they can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for when the mood strikes to prepare meals ahead of time, or when my kids don’t finish their food. The utensils are great because they have stainless steel spoons and forks, and they’re just like the ones that adults use, but they’re perfect for little hands.
I thought it would be fun to break down, by meal, some of the options this #PlaytexMom uses #ForBetterBeginnings and to fill our plates throughout the day…
whole milk vanilla yogurt
Garden Lites muffins (one of my favorite ways to sneak fruits and veggies into my kid’s meals)
Fruit (my kids have varying tastes, but strawberries, blueberries, bananas)
deli meats (turkey or ham)
apple sauce (my kids love the pouches)
grilled cheese or PB&J (groundbreaking, I know!)
apple wedges with peanut butter
cheese, crackers, and turkey pepperoni
soup (chicken noodle, tomato, and butternut squash are faves)
whole grain chips (such as Sun Chips)
whole grain pasta with sauce and meatballs (cut up)
steam in the bag mixed veggies (for some reason, my kids actually love these)
mini pizzas (my kids love to help with these, we use small pitas, or mini pizza shells. They also love the Bambino frozen pizzas from Trader Joe’s)
macaroni and cheese with broccoli
cheeseburger bites (cheeseburgers cut into small bites)
corn (on the cob and off)
noodles with butter
smiley french fries
yogurt covered raisins
dried strawberries (we find these at TJ’s too)
fruit snacks (as a treat)
*Also worth noting, we love Kidzshake milk shakes for getting in some extra nutrients!
I realize that a lot of these mealtime options aren’t exactly revolutionary, but I always like to read about what other moms are feeding their kids, because sometimes I feel like I’m in a rut and in need of a little inspiration.
Our favorite PlaytexBaby™ plates and utensils can be found here. Be sure to follow @playtexbaby on Instagram for the latest on their amazing products as well as lots of parenting tips and inspiration.
What are some of your favorite things to feed your kids?