Even though I just finished a book on toddler foods, feeding a toddler still remains a mystery to me. Every day I learn something new and every day I am surprised. I thought I would share a few observations and then share with you a really easy and healthy summer treat. Maybe we can make amends for my prolonged absence from the blogosphere?
Feeding a ToddlerMy two year old clocks in at under 24 pounds. This means there are some 9 month olds I know that weigh more than my toddler. As a food writer and recipe developer, sometimes I take this a little personally.
I have gone through phases where I thought I could fatten her up. The only thing that happened was that my waistline thickened. You can't force a kid to eat. Together, we made chocolate chip peanut butter cookies. She ate all the chocolate chips out of the cookies and then wanted watermelon. I ate three cookies. I made homemade macaroni and cheese for lunch. She only wanted cucumbers and I ate two helpings of mac and cheese. Probably not my smartest mama move......
Sprinkles are my gateway food. Are sprinkles the healthiest food in the world? Nope. But if they get my daughter to eat a 2-egg banana pancake for breakfast, I'm in. You will see I use them in the recipe below. I have no problem adding a sweet treat to foods when it's something I can control. I'm still not a fan of sneaky sugars (like sugar in flavored yogurts), but that's just me. And come on, sprinkles are pretty awesome.
We remain a one family, one meal household. I always serve something that I know she will like: bread, fruit, yogurt; but I am not making multiple main or side dishes. It's hard enough cooking one meal, I refuse to start making two. And besides, do you know how frustrating it would be to make a separate main dish and then have her not eat it?
The best way to get her to eat is to have her help me in the kitchen. My daughter will try and eat anything that she has helped me make, but only if she eats it right after she makes it. Wait an hour, and she won't touch it. I don't get it, but I have learned it. She tries new veggies, salads, dips, anything, as long as she can dump it in or stir it or do something that contributes to making it.
Frozen Yogurt Ice Cream ConesFor me, summer is not summer without ice cream cones. I have no problems with the real deal ice cream cones, but I'm always looking for a way to turn a normal junk food into something reasonably healthy. My daughter loves Greek yogurt and she's only had plain, so that is her favorite. Throw in some sprinkles, cut up fruit, and graham cookies, and you have have a sweet, frozen treat.
***This recipe is based on approximations. Don't bother measuring, make them by taste.
6-8 mini ice cream cones
Few healthy dollops of Greek Yogurt
Handful of cherries (or berries) roughly chopped and pits removed (for cherries)
Few good shakes of sprinkles
Handful of smashed graham cookies or crackers
1. In a medium sized bowl, mix together yogurt, sprinkles, crackers, and fruit.
2. Place ice cream cones in an ice cube tray or another dish with sides. I find the ice cube tray works best as it keeps them upright and prevents them from freezing together.
3. Spoon yogurt mixture in each cone and top with sprinkles. Freeze for a minimum of 2 hours. Serve out of the freezer.
What have you learned about feeding a toddler? What are your favorite summer treats?