Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Toddler Time--2 Year Old Meal Plan Ideas

Some of the most popular posts here at Courtney Cooks It are my ideas for baby and toddler foods.  So back by popular demand, Toddler meal ideas!  Once a month I'll be posting recipes, meal plans and snack ideas for your toddler. 
Currently Miss. Sophie is two,

which means most of my ideas will be ideally suited toward kids of her own age.  This kid is an eater though, so portion wise some of these ideas might work well for kids toward three!
Before we talk about what I'm feeding her today let's talk about what I fed her last year. 

  • When Sophie started eating solid foods I fed her what we ate.  I might pull back the seasoning a little and, of course cut it very small or puree it, but she basically ate the same thing we did. 
  •  I made sure she had a wide exposure to different flavors and a minimal exposure to sweets and processed foods.
  • I let her experiment with the food.  If she made a mess, well she made a mess!  They're babies, let them have fun!
Alright, back to the present.  Here are some great ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.  Sophie will typically have just one snack in the afternoon (after nap) but some kids are two a day snackers (The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than 2 snacks a day). 

Disclaimer: I AM NOT a pediatrician, dietician or any other type of -tician.  I AM a concerned mom who cares what her daughter eats.  I am sharing with you what has worked well for us.  

  • Greek yogurt and fruit or toast
  • Oatmeal with applesauce or fruit mixed in, topped with a little honey
  • Eggs, wheat toast and a fruit
  • Fruit salad with toast
  • Cereal, we like Chex or Fruity O's (from Cascadian Farms) topped with fruit
Lunch (one item from each category)
  •  Lunch meat (Sophie likes the Oscar Meyer, Carving Board), hard boiled egg, meatballs, cheese, mac and cheese or shredded chicken breast
  • Tomatoes, peas, corn, sugar snap peas or green beans
  • Fruit  I buy whatever happens to be in season.  If the fruit is out of season, expensive or sub par I usually reach for a natural, no sugar added, applesauce or a Dole fruit cup in fruit juice (never one that has been sweetened with sugar or sugar substitutes).
  • Pretzels, crackers, Triscuits or ghram crackers.
  • Dried fruits
  • Chex Mix
  • Fruit
  • Fruit/Yogurt squeeze pouch (I love these)
  • Smoothie
  • Pita/Veggies and Hummus
  • 1/2 a PB&J

....Whatever we're eating.  It's very rare I make anything special for Sophie.  If we're having soup I may drain off the broth so it's easier to eat, if it's spicy I might back it down for her.  If we're having something she's really not a fan of I heat up something simple like cheese ravioli, oatmeal, pasta or a grilled ham and cheese sandwich.  I think it's important to expose kids to different foods.  If we feed them 'kid food' at every meal how are we supposed to one day just expect them to eat regular fare?
I also give her a fruit with dinner, regardless of whether we eat one.  She loves fruit and it's a healthy dessert option!

I hope this might help you decide what to feed your toddler today.  Check back Friday for a great, kid-friendly, pizza dinner!

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