The Toddler Gets Lunch too…

by on August 13th, 2012
8 CommentsComments

I am on a slight lunch packing reprieve since the older kids don’t go back to school until the end of August. Currently I am only packing lunch for the grownups and also one to bring to daycare for our toddler, Trevor.

Trevor was such an accepting eater as a baby but as a toddler he has become so picky. Picky eating is so common in toddlers or at least that is what I like to tell myself! Ugh! So I am trying to dive in and tackle project picky eater!

I am using the nibble approach where I offer smaller portions of many different items hoping that he will eat some. Each day I mix items that I know he will eat along with items he may not eat (challenge foods) in containers with little compartments or organizers. You may have seen this approach before using muffin tins or ice cube trays. The more times a challenge food is offered the more likely it will eventually get tried and maybe even accepted! If I am lucky! I really want to raise healthy a eater!

I long to be a bit more creative with his food but since Trevor is not 3 yet I have some guidelines to follow. I must avoid food picks and hard raw veggies which can be choking hazards in kids under 3 and many foods need to be cut into small bites (like grapes, hot dogs etc). At home I can use discretion on those types of items but at daycare the guidelines must be followed. Trevor’s pickiness itself is also a little limiting since I have to make sure that he does actually eat something! Within these guidelines I try to offer him colorful and fun foods! So I scour the web and spend some time trying to think up new things. I hope to inspire him to eat new foods and maybe you’ll find something to inspire your toddler too!


Toddler Lunch of the Day (on left):
Turkey Meatball, half of a croissant, grapes and granola clusters


Grownup Lunch of the Day (on right):
Orange, Yellow and Green Pepper strips, Grapes, Strawberries, a Dill pickle spear and a Sandwich made from a homemade soft pretzel with Dijon mustard, sliced pineapple, cheese, lettuce and sliced turkey.





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  • That homemade soft pretzel looks amazing!

  • You can cut Vs out of the sides of carrot coins to turn them into flowers before steaming them soft enough for him to eat. I amused my friends by bringing a potluck veggie casserole with my veggies all cut into shapes.
    Also, mini cookie cutters can cut the soft centers out of cucumber coins, or peel the cuke first, then you can have circles with shapes AND shapes!

    A swizzle stick has knobs on the end, and you can use a straw to cut holes through foods and serve them on the stick. Or same thing, but with little pretzel sticks (and a mini-straw like from a juice pouch or toothpick, if possible,) depending how moist the items are and how long they’d sit there until eating time.

    *side note: good thing I caught the typo’d “a” instead of “e” in veggies! o.O

    • Deb

      Thanks for the suggestions. :) I have thought about cutting the carrots and cooking them but have yet to try that. I do experiment with the cucumbers and cutters. Oh and I have swizzle sticks so maybe I’ll give that a try too but unfortunately I can’t use pretzels. Hard pretzels are actually called out as a no no in the toddler guidelines we need to follow. He does actually do ok with pretzels too!

  • John & I are both big fans of the nibble approach! At least once a week he’ll ask for a “snacky dinner” and typically I’ll make one for myself, too :)

  • baileee

    Will you be posting picture of the big kid lunches when the time comes?

  • Hey Deb! Love your website. I work with a really picky toddler and am totally going to start using the method you described here! Can you direct me to a website with more information on that method, or give me more on it? I think it’ll be a great thing to do with my little man!

    Thanks so much,

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