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When I was pregnant with Caleb, the only thing I could keep down are fruits and vegetables and lemon water. As my pregnancy progressed, I was able to each starches like french fries, potato tots and toast. Any type of meat was basically out of the question.
As a result, my child loves fruits and vegetable. He eats meat but he can have an entire meal that’s nothing but a plate of fruit. We just came back from a brunch where I fixed a plate for myself and Caleb. I had eggs, potatoes, and various types of fruit. My child would only eat the fruit and he didn’t stop eating fruit. I believe I went back to the buffet 10 times before we left.
Now that Caleb goes to a school that requires us to pack a lunch for him, I’m trying to determine what’s best for him. He loves fruits but now he also likes peanut butter and jelly and nutrigrain bars, both high in sugar. His doctor has already warned us about packing theses items daily as he should only have 50g a sugar a day. But he’s two and we are just trying to get him to eat…something.
We’ve developed a menu of items that Caleb seems to have no trouble eating. We’ve also tried to keep him away from candy and cookies as much as possible. So here’s the menu:
Mixed Berry and Yogurt, Fruit Cups, Jello Cups:
Low-fat yogurt, mixed berries and granola — come together to make this creamy, crunchy lunchbox goodie. The yogurt “sundae” is filled with calcium, healthy fats, whole grains and even vitamin C. We can also get away with substituting this for “ice cream”. While some may argue that fruit and jello cups are filled with sugar, we opt for the no or low sugar option.
Creamy Hummus and Smoked Turkey or Chicken:
Caleb loves peanut butter and jelly or banana but one thing I realized that we have underutilized as a sandwich spread is hummus. It is super-flavorful and nutritious. Adding turkey or chicken depends on what your toddler prefers. We’ve also learned that Caleb loves grape tomatoes and sliced cucumbers.
Wagon Wheel Pasta Salad:
Loaded with vegetables and a touch of ham and cheese, this one-dish lunch will quickly become a weekday favorite. Wagon wheel pasta adds a bit of whimsy to the nutrient-packed meal.
Brown Rice and Bean Burrito:
We found a wonderful recipe for vegan bean burrito. Caleb doesn’t eat the tortilla but he will eat the beans, rice, cheese, salsa and mixture of onions and peppers. Black beans provide fiber and protein that will help keep kids satisfied and energized.
Asian Chicken and Quinoa Salad:
This delicious recipe will entice any kid to try quinoa. Toss the quinoa, which is full of protein and fiber, with vegetables, chicken and a simple lemon-sesame dressing and you’re done.
These are all ideas for lunches but if you have a toddler, you know you are happy if they are eating healthy any time of the day. I would love to hear your thoughts. If you have a recipe for a toddler snack, leave it in the comments section below.
And as always, enjoy life’s sweet spots….