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Easy Breakfast Recipes For Children

Without a doubt, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating breakfast can benefit a toddler in a lot of ways. It can boost a toddler’s immune system, improve his mood and increase attention span. Plus, making breakfast a part of a toddler’s daily routine paves the way for healthy eating habits and a fit body. Check out these popular easy breakfast recipes for children that are sure to entice your toddler to open his mouth and fill his tummy.

Rainbow Pancakes

What You Will Need:

•    Pancake mix
•    Food coloring or pureed fruits and vegetables (try blackberry, mango, raspberry or carrots) to make different colors
•    Non-stick cooking spray
•    Maple or chocolate syrup
•    Whipped cream topping (optional)

Procedure:

•    Prepare pancake batter by following the instructions on the box.
•    Separate the pancake batter into small bowls (depending on how many your toddler wants to eat).
•    Mix food coloring or pureed fruits and vegetables to make colored batter.
•    Preheat pan on medium-low heat.
•    Spritz cooking spray on the frying pan to keep the pancakes from sticking.
•    Pour the bowl of colored pancake batter into the pan and cook until ready to flip.
•    Cook on the other side for another minute and place on the plate.
•    Continue cooking the rest of the colored batter and stack them.

Sunrise Parfait

What You Will Need:

•    ½ cup cereal or granola
•    1 cup mixed berries (sliced)
•    1 cup sugar-free vanilla yogurt

Procedure:

•    Layer the sliced mixed berries, yogurt and cereal in a cup or bowl.
•    Serve right away and enjoy.

Breakfast Burrito

What You Will Need:

•    2 eggs
•    Red, yellow or green peppers (minced)
•    Bacon or sausage
•    Shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese
•    Whole-grain tortilla
•    Salt
•    Pepper

Procedure:

•    In a pan, cook the bacon or sausage over medium heat.
•    Place the cooked bacon or sausage in a paper towel to drain the excess fat and set aside.
•    Crack the eggs and add the minced peppers. Use a whisk to beat the eggs over medium heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
•    Lay tortilla on a plate and spoon equal amounts of the scrambled egg and shredded cheese and place the bacon on top.
•    Fold or roll the tortilla from the bottom.

Breakfast Mini Pizzas

What You Will Need:

•    1 large egg (beaten)
•    2 tablespoons prepared marinara sauce
•    2 tablespoons grated Italian cheese blend
•    2 slices pepperoni
•    1 whole-wheat English muffin (divided and toasted)

Procedure:

•    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
•    Spray non-stick cooking spray to a small skillet and heat over medium-high heat.
•    Add egg and whisk for 1 to 2 minutes.
•    Spread marinara sauce on English muffin halves. Top with scrambled egg, cheese and pepperoni.
•    Place muffins in the oven for 3 minutes or until cheese has melted.

Framed Eggs

What You Will Need:
•    Egg
•    Wheat bread
•    Butter or margarine
•    Cookie cutters

Procedure:

•    Cut a shape in the middle of the bread using a cookie cutter.
•    Melt butter or margarine over low heat and spread both sides of the bread with the mixture.
•    Place bread in pan and fill the hole with a beaten egg.
•    Turn bread and egg over and cook for 3 minutes.

Bagel Gone Bananas

What You Will Need:

•    1 whole-wheat bagel (toasted and cut into half)
•    2 tablespoons nut butter (peanut, cashew or almond)
•    1 small, sliced banana
•    1 teaspoon honey
•    Pinch of salt

Procedure:

•    Mix nut butter, honey and salt in a small bowl.
•    Divide the mixture among bagel halves and top with banana slices.

Kraz (Spinach and Cheese Egg dish)

What You Will Need:

•    10 oz. chopped spinach
•    6 eggs
•    2 pints cottage cheese
•    1/2 lb. Cheddar cheese (grated)
•    1 cup melted butter
•    5 tablespoons flour

Procedure:

•    Cook and drain spinach according to package instructions.
•    Combine butter and flour.
•    In a separate bowl, mix eggs and add cottage cheese, melted butter, cheddar cheese and cooked spinach.
•    Place in baking dish and cook at 350 degrees for an hour.

Preparing breakfast for your toddler is as easy as pie. All it needs is a little creativity. With these healthy and easy breakfast recipes for children, you can give your toddler a boost in the morning sans the fuss.

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Tips For Choosing Preschool Lunch Boxes

Now that your toddler is starting preschool, he will need a container to hold his eats and keep them fresh until lunchtime. Nowadays, it is not enough to pack a child’s lunch in a brown bag. You have to buy a lunch box that fits your preschooler’s personal style but is totally functional. Here are some things to consider when choosing preschool lunch boxes.

Consider What You Will Put Inside

Not all preschool lunch boxes are the same. Thus, you have to figure out what your preschooler will be having for lunch every day. Once you have figured that out, it is time to pick which type suits your little luncher best.

If you will be packing lunch food that can break or smash, choose a classic lunch box. Classic lunch boxes are available in metal or plastic. They are very sturdy and easy to clean. Plus, they are offered in different colors and designs so your toddler will surely love toting one with his favorite cartoon character’s photo plastered on it. But since they are not insulated, you will need to put an ice pack to preserve your toddler’s food.

If you are packing your toddler’s lunch in plastic containers, a soft lunch box will do. You can take your pick from insulated lunch boxes which keep food fresh, hot or cold for a long time. They are made from polyester, available in cute designs and are machine-washable. However, these bags easily stain and most models have zippers which can be difficult for your preschooler to manuever. Uninsulated lunch boxes are made from vinyl-treated, coated cotton or oilcloth bag. They are lightweight, a cinch to clean and great for tiny hands with their easy to open and close Velcro. The only downside to uninsulated lunch boxes is that it does not have insulation. You will have to buy an ice pack if you put meat and dairy.

Get The Right Size

Size matters when it comes to preschool lunch boxes. Go for a preschool lunch box that is spacious enough to accommodate your toddler’s lunch food, water bottle and juice yet small enough that the contents will not move around when jostled. Also, getting the right size is very important so your little one will not need wheels to bring it to school.

Choose A Design Your Toddler Likes

Your preschooler will be the one carrying the lunch box so see to it that the lunch box you choose pleases your toddler’s taste and complements your toddler’s personality. There are so many cool designs on the market from cartoon characters, superheroes, animals, nature, musical instruments, vehicles, robots, stripes, fairies, florals and so on. Preschool lunch boxes are also available in almost every color, from neutrals to brights to pastels. If you are having a hard time selecting a design your little luncher will love, bring your toddler to the store.

But beyond the design, choose a preschool lunch box that is easy for your little one to handle. Lunch boxes with a fold over the top Velcro closure are ideal for smaller children than lunch boxes with zipper closures.

Make Sure It Is Safe

The most important consideration parents should make when choosing preschool lunch boxes is the safety of the lunch box. If you plan on buying a preschool lunch box made of vinyl or plastic, see to it that it is PVC (polyvinyl chloride), lead and phthalate free as this can be harmful for your toddler’s health and well-being. Most preschool lunch boxes today were made to meet child safety requirements, but just double check the label or ask to make sure there will be no future problems.

Preschool lunch boxes are a fantastic gear for storing and preserving a toddler’s food and drink. Choose one that will reflect your toddler’s inner self. If your preschooler loves carrying it to school, he will be more than glad to eat the healthy lunch inside.

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Five Yummy Vegetable Recipes For Children

Everyone knows vegetables are a key part of a healthy, balanced diet. But sadly, most toddlers beg to disagree. Solve your feeding problem with these yummy vegetable recipes for children.

Veggie Packed Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups macaroni pasta or small shell pasta
  • 1 jar (24 0z.) spaghetti sauce
  • ¼ cup grated cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup low-fat cream cheese
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil

Procedure:

1.)    Boil pasta according to instructions.

2.)    Add pasta to a large bowl and mix in shredded cheddar cheese and olive oil.

3.)    Blanch frozen mixed vegetables.

4.)    Using a blender or food processor, add cream cheese, sauce and vegetables. Blend well until the mixture is thick.

5.)    Mix sauce with pasta and serve.

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Ingredients:

  • 2 to 4 pieces of zucchini
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • Your toddler’s choice of vegetable (bell peppers, eggplant, squash, tomatoes, onions and mushrooms are good choices)
  • ¾ cup Parmesan cheese
  • Bread crumbs (for toppings)

Procedure:

1.)    Boil zucchinis for 1 ½ minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool.

2.)    Once cooled, slice the zucchinis in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to take out the flesh.

3.)    Pre-heat a pan and put 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the sliced zucchini flesh and your choice of vegetable.

4.)    Ask your toddler to stuff the zucchini shells with the sautéed vegetables and top with Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs.

5.)    Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Mini Meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 500 g lean ground beef, minced
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • ½ cup sliced spinach
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1 cup of mushrooms
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Procedure:

1.)    Combine applesauce, egg, carrots, spinach, onions, mushroom, salt and pepper in a bowl.

2.)    In a separate bowl, mix bread crumbs and minced ground beef. Fold egg into beef mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

3.)    Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Mold beef mixture in 1-inch balls.

4.)    Place meatballs on a foil-lined baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes.

5.)    Place small plastic forks on top of the meatballs. You may also serve a dip to make it tastier.

Pizza Potato

Ingredients:

  • 3 potatoes
  • ½ cup marina sauce
  • 1 broccoli
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese (grated)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup small basil leaves

Procedure:

1.)    Place potatoes in a baking sheet and add a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of oil. Microwave for 3 minutes.

2.)    As your potatoes are cooking, steam broccoli and carrots until tender then puree them on a blender and add marina sauce until smooth.

3.)    Slice potatoes in half and plump with a fork, pressing the insides of the potato to the sides forming a mini bowl.

4.)    Fill the potatoes with the mixture, sprinkle cheese on top and microwave for 3 minutes or until cheese melts.

Cheddar Broccoli Soup

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup minced carrots
  • ½ cup chopped rib celery
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 cans of chicken broth
  • 1 box frozen chopped broccoli (drained and thawed)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 jar double cheddar sauce

Procedure:

1.)    Add oil in pot over medium heat.

2.)    Add veggies and cook for 3 minutes.

3.)    Put chicken broth and bring to a boil to high heat. Reduce to medium heat and boil for 10 minutes.

4.)    Place mixture in a blender and puree.

5.)    Return mashed mixture to the pot.

6.)    Add cheese and broccoli. Cook for 10 minutes and serve.

These vegetable recipes for children will make feeding vegetables easier for parents. Try them out and do not be surprised if your toddler asks for more.

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Seven Best Snacks For Kids With Food Allergies

Finding nutritious and yummy snacks for kids with food allergies can be a challenge. Here are seven best snacks for kids with food allergies that are easy to prepare.

Fruit Skewers

Give fruits extra flair by serving them on skewers. Slice fruits into big chunks and let your toddler cut them into smaller pieces using a kitchen knife for children. Apple, banana, grape, pear, strawberry and watermelon are a good match. Alternate the chunks of fruits on the skewers. Serving fruit skewers with a dip makes this snack more delightful for your little one. Fruit skewers or fruit kabobs serve as a healthy snack for kids with food allergies.

Petite Pizzas

Children will definitely go crazy over this snack. Provide the ingredients and let your toddler get creative in making his own pizza. Give him half of an English muffin, have him put on a dollop of tomato sauce and let him choose which toppings he wants – grated cheese, pepperoni, sliced olives, bell pepper and diced vegetables. Bake the pizza until cheese melts and watch your toddler chomp with gusto. These are perfect snacks for toddlers who are allergic to eggs, fish, nuts or soy.

Veggies and Dips

Prepare a variety of vegetables – carrots, celery, cucumber, corn, lettuce and mild radishes. Ask your toddler to wash them and then cut the vegetables into small chunks. Use different bowls for the vegetables and offer some sour cream and some herbs and spices. Veggies and dips is a great snack for kids with food allergies, particularly those allergic to eggs, fish, nuts, peanuts, soy and wheat.

Quesadillas

This one is another classic snack even kids with food allergies can enjoy. Fold a flour tortilla in half and fill with cheese and some vegetables, glaze the outsides of the tortilla with butter and cook in a pan or sandwich grill. Once golden brown, cut it into smaller pieces for easy eating. Serve salsa, bean or sour cream for dipping. Quesadillas are perfect snacks for toddlers who are allergic to dairy, fish and wheat.

Gluten-free Crepes

Crepes are one of the most popular snacks for children. Make this snack for kids with food allergies possible by using cooked fruits (apple, banana or strawberry), minced onion, tomato and zucchini or scrambled egg as fillings. Fill the crepe with your toddler’s choice of filling and add a little sugar, cinnamon or nutmeg. Use goat’s milk or Daiya cheese instead of cow’s milk.

Sesame-free Hummus

To make hummus, you will need washed and drained chicken peas, minced onion, cumin, lemon juice, salt and water to taste. Slice some bell pepper, carrot, celery and cucumber into strips to dip into the hummus. Add some extra olive oil for more flavor.

Rice Crispy Bars

You will need 2 packets of unflavored gelatin, 2 cups allergy-friendly powdered sugar, 2/3 cup rice syrup, ½ cup water and 8 cups of Kellogg’s gluten-free rice crispies. Combine powdered sugar, rice syrup and water on a pre-heated pan and bring to a boil with continuous whisking. In a separate bowl, empty the contents of the gelatin envelopes and immerse in ½ cup water. Quickly stir mixture until smooth. Place gelatin and gradually drizzle the hot candy mixture in a bowl. Beat the mixture until it is fluffy. Pour in 6 cups of Kellogg’s gluten-free rice crispies and stir. Next, ask your toddler to lather his hands with palm oil and have him mold and shape the rice crispies. Lastly, place them on a wax paper to freeze for 15 minutes.

There you have it. These fun and scrumptious snacks can provide a safe and healthy way to satisfy kids with food allergies.

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What To Feed A Vegetarian Child

Deciding to go vegan is a good move for good health. However, if meat is not on the menu for your toddler, feeding your little one can be quite tricky. Here are some tips on what to feed a vegetarian child to make feeding easier for you and your toddler.

Protein Alternatives

When feeding a vegetarian child, see to it there is enough protein in his daily diet. Protein is very important in order for the body to function normally. But since you will not be offering meat and poultry products (which are packed with protein) to your toddler, look for other sources of protein such as beans, legumes, nut and seed butters, dairy products, whole grains, silken tofu (mixed with mashed bananas for a tastier treat), soy chicken nuggets and some meat substitutes like veggie burgers.

Iron-rich Foods

Feed your vegetarian child enough iron in his diet. You can find plenty of green foods that are rich in iron. Examples are dried fruits, soy products, baked beans, broccoli, lentils, spinach and iron-fortified breads, cereals and pasta.

Vitamin B12 Foods

Vitamin B12 is vital for normal growth and development. Vitamin B12 is found in many non-meat sources such as cheese, eggs, soy milk, breakfast cereals, tofu and nutritional yeasts. However, if your vegetarian child refuses to eat dairy, then he will need a vitamin B12 supplement. B12 supplements are necessary to prevent anemia or nerve damage.

Calcium-rich Foods

Dairy products such as egg, cheese, soy milk and yogurt are good sources of calcium. Generally, most vegetarian children love eating dairy. But, if your toddler is being picky, feed your little one broccoli, navy beans, sweet potatoes, leafy vegetables and orange juice which are also great sources of calcium.

Vitamin C Foods

To improve the absorption of nutrients, serve some vitamin C-rich food at every meal. A bowl of cereal topped with strawberries, pasta with tomato sauce, papayas, lemons, grapefruits, kiwi, dark leafy vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers and a cup of orange juice will seal the deal.

Vegetarian Soups

Children love soup. Soups are full of flavor. Make sure you include vegetables when making soup to ensure your vegetarian child is getting sufficient servings of vitamins and minerals. Prepared soups such as vegetable and tomato are very tasty. But, they may contain beef or chicken broth so see to it you read the labels carefully.

Energy Foods

Energy foods contain plenty of calories for ideal growth. Feed a vegetarian child a variety of energy foods packed with carbohydrates such as whole grain breads and cereals, dairy goods, fruits and vegetables, nuts, spreads and oils. These are foods that will help your vegetarian child put on weight and develop muscle tissues naturally.

Vitamins and Supplements

Vegan children need vitamins and supplements to ensure they are getting the nutrients found in meat and poultry. Make sure your toddler gets his dose of vitamins every day. It would be best to consult with your pediatrician for the right supplement and dosage.

Feeding a vegetarian child is not as complicated as it seems. Be imaginative. Experiment so you can come up with vegetarian dishes that are not only healthy but colorful and appetizing.

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What To Feed A Sick Toddler

A sick toddler normally loses his appetite which makes feeding a struggle. However, it is essential for a toddler to take in as many nutrients as possible to boost his immune system. These foods are perfect for keeping a toddler well-fed when he is feeling under the weather.

Plenty of Fluids

First of all, it is very important for a sick toddler to stay hydrated than stay fed. Whether it is a case of diarrhea, vomiting or low-grade fever, the body needs all of the water it can get in order to counter the infection. This way, even if your toddler rejects to eat but is able to drink, his immune system is still continuing to function. Make sure your toddler stocks up on these fluids:

  • Water
  • Milk
  • Oral rehydration solution (e.g. Pedialyte)
  • Broth
  • Popsicle
  • Apple juice
  • Hot cider
  • Orange juice mixed with ginger ale
  • Warm and fresh lemonade

Soups

For colds, sore throats and a congested nose, feed your toddler warm foods such as soups. Chicken soup has anti-inflammatory components and acts as a vaporizer, reducing nasal mucus which helps in your toddler’s breathing. You can add cooked macaroni or whole wheat cracker crumbs if your toddler has some appetite. Serving tomato soup with milk also helps. Just dilute the tomato soup with milk instead of water. It will reduce the tomato’s acidity and provide a tasty and creamier concoction.

BRAT Diet

The BRAT (bananas, rice, apple sauce and toast) diet consist of foods that are tasteless and low in fiber. These foods are best offered for toddlers who are suffering from gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, dyspepsia, gastroenteritis and vomiting. These foods are great sources of vitamins and minerals that will not upset the stomach.

CRAM Diet

Another alternative that can sooth an upset tummy is the CRAM diet. CRAM stands for cereal, rice, apple sauce and milk. These foods have more fat and protein content making it a more effective remedy than BRAT according to child health experts.

High-fiber Foods

Offer your toddler foods rich in fiber if he is constipated. Breads, cereals, apples, oranges, raspberries, artichokes, broccoli, carrots, celery, green peas, lentils, prunes and prune juice help stimulate bowel movement to keep stools regular.

Yogurt

Non-fat yogurt is a cool and smooth food you can give your sick toddler. Yogurt is nutritious and easy to eat and digest. Plus, the probiotics can actually help fight off some of the bad bacteria that dwells in the stomach which are very helpful in treating diarrhea, typhoid and vomiting. Just make sure you avoid offering sugary yogurts to your little one as his tummy can reject sweet foods which will only aggravate his condition.

Regular Diet

If your toddler has fever, continue with his regular diet. Your toddler still has the appetite to eat but only in small amounts. Add dips, sauces or butter to his food to increase calorie intake. Give him crackers, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, pudding or his favorite food.

The main idea is to keep your toddler healthy even when he is sick. Keep him hydrated and offer comfort foods. But, never force your toddler to eat. Just offer small, frequent meals throughout the day. His appetite will return once he is feeling better.

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The Benefits of Organic Food To Toddlers

Organic foods are the trend these days. Due to its increasing popularity, a lot of parents are divided between feeding their children organic food and conventionally produced food. So how can you decide which is good for your toddler’s health? It is actually pretty simple. All you have to do is to know the benefits of organic food to toddlers. Here is some information to help you out.

Reduces Exposure To Toxins

Feeding your toddler organic foods decreases his exposure to antibiotics, fertilizers, pesticides and growth hormones found in conventional meat and vegetables. Organic foods are grown untreated and do not contain any modified organisms. According to child health experts, children who are exposed to such toxins at an early age are more susceptible to develop medical problems and developmental delays. This is because their immune systems are still immature, making their small bodies collect deadly levels of pollutants quicker.

Offers More Nutrition

Studies have proven that organic foods are more nutritious as compared to commercial foods which is extremely beneficial in boosting a toddler’s cardiovascular and digestive system. For instance, organic milk has more antioxidants, vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (a substance that helps fight-off cancer) because the cows eat high levels of fresh grass, grass cover feed and clover pasture.

Minimizes Illnesses

Because organic foods are loaded with vitamins and minerals and do not contain any chemicals, a toddler’s risk of developing allergies and other diseases (e.g. asthma, cancer and skin disease such as eczema) are significantly reduced.

Makes Introduction of “New Foods” Easier

Toddlers can be picky eaters. Your little one might be hesitant to try out something new especially if it is green and tasteless. Organic foods help your toddler transition to new foods at his own pace. Untreated cranberries, organic graham crackers, organic yellow squash, baby carrots and asparagus are perfect examples of finger foods your toddler can try and accept in his daily diet.

Organic Food Tastes Better

Toddlers crave for food that are appetizing. With organic foods, you will not have any problem making your toddler eat because fruits, vegetables and meat are fresher which means they taste better.

Good For The Teeth

It can be very difficult to control your toddler’s desire for sweets. But with organic foods, you can take control on how much sweet your little one can eat every day. Organic foods do not contain additives such as artificial sweeteners, food dyes and other ingredients that can cause damage to your toddler’s teeth. Colorful, nutritious frozen pops made from organic yogurt, organic banana covered with sunflower seeds and organic yogurt topped with granola are perfect treats that will satisfy your toddler’s sweet tooth without harming his teeth and health.

The advantages of organic food are evident. So do not be afraid to try this option. Not only are organic foods healthier, tastier and makes feeding easier but it will be better for your child, your family and Mother Nature.

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Creative Ways To Get Your Picky Eater To Eat Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are important to a toddler’s health and development. However, a lot of children loathe eating them. If your toddler is one of them, here are a few strategies that can help you make your picky eater eat fruits and vegetables minus the food wars.

Hide Them

Try concealing fruits and vegetables into your toddler’s favorite foods. Do not feel guilty about being sneaky. After all, you are doing this to ensure your toddler gets all the vitamins and minerals he needs to thrive. For example, you can grate some carrots into the spaghetti sauce or mash and add them to macaroni and cheese. If he loves pizza, puree some squash and blend them into the pizza sauce. Add finely chopped vegetables to soups, between lasagna layers or mix them into meatballs. Scramble pureed broccoli or cauliflower into eggs. This way, your toddler is still able to eat his favorite dishes while eating something healthy without him knowing it.

Switch Them

Use soy sausages instead of pork links. Add spaghetti squash to angel hair pasta and then smother with sauce. Substitute taco meat for packed veggie crumbs. Another great idea is to include mushrooms into pasta instead of hotdogs. Moreover, do not just stick to ice cream and other treats for dessert. Spice them up by offering your little one some chocolate covered strawberries, banana pudding, oatmeal cookies with raisins or fruit cake.

Bake Them

Almost all toddlers love baked goodies. Take advantage of that and make some muffins. Instead of adding chocolate chips, add some fruits and veggies such as apple and zucchini to make apple and zucchini muffins. Add white-bean puree in cookie recipes or a pack of frozen spinach into brownie mix. Add beets in chocolate cake. Your toddler will not hesitate taking a bite because the goodies still tastes sweet.

Shape Them

Excellent presentation makes food more appetizing so why not experiment with them to make sure your picky eater gets his daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Use cookie cutter shapes to create pancakes in the shape of his initials, cut eggplant, carrots, mango and watermelon into a star, heart, moon, circle and other fun shapes. Arrange cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks, celery, potatoes, corn and other colorful fruits and veggies to form a smiley face, house, sun, etc.

Blend Them

Children love smoothies. You can try mixing almost every fruit and vegetable in a blender and add some ice cubes for a cool and healthy beverage. You may try mixing some milk to make it a little sweeter.

Dip Them

Toddlers love dipping things. The next time your toddler wants to munch, slice some baby carrots, celery, lettuce, apples, pears, bananas and peaches to make a vegetable or fresh fruit salad. Place some yogurt, cream cheese, low-fat cheese, tomato sauce or a cup of ranch dressing into a small bowl and let your toddler dunk away.

Finally, for these tips to be effective, you have to eat fruits and vegetables yourself. Practice what you preach. If your toddler sees you eating them with gusto, the more encouraged he will be to include them in his daily diet.

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Winning The Food Wars With Picky Eaters

It is normal for parents with picky eaters to have food fights at the table. Here are some ideas on what you can do to end them and make mealtime much more pleasurable for everyone.

Give Your Toddler Free Will

As a parent, it is your job to make sure your toddler eats healthy foods. However, nagging, getting angry or controlling what he puts in his mouth or how much food he should eat will only increase power struggle. Hold your tongue and let your toddler decide and serve himself. This will make him feel more in control and is more likely to reduce mealtime squabbles.

Provide Food Your Toddler Likes

Another technique to stop power struggles during mealtime is to serve at least one food you know your little one likes. For instance, if your toddler loves eating pasta, prepare that along with another dish such as vegetables. By doing this, you are ensured your toddler will eat well. Plus, he might even sample the “green stuff” next time. But, avoid short order cooking. If you made chicken noodle soup for dinner yet he opts for bread, resist the urge to whim up a bowl of cereal for him.

Try and Try Until You Succeed

Just because your toddler rejected the vegetable salad you made does not mean he will not eat it forever. According to studies, children naturally reject new foods. But, the more you serve a food, the more likely he will eat it. Serve a particular food several times a week and watch your little one chow down with gusto.

Let Your Toddler Get Hungry

It is okay to let your toddler get a little hungry (but not starving) before a meal. However, do give him light snacks throughout the day. Children are more willing to sit down to a table and eat different types of food if they are hungry, even foods they are hesitant to try.

Get Your Toddler Involve

Ask your child to help you plan and prepare meals. Have him choose between steamed carrots or baked potato wedges. Ask him what dessert he wants. Make him your Sous chef and ask him to wash the vegetables, mix ingredients or slice bananas with a plastic knife. The more invested your toddler is in the meal, the more likely he will eat it.

Control What You Can

You cannot force your toddler to eat, but you can control what foods are available. Keep junk foods and sugary beverages out of your pantry. Prepare a small bag with yummy snacks in advance. Serve smaller servings of less nutritious foods or make them a side dish.

Be A Role Model

Eat a varied diet yourself. If your toddler sees you eating healthy foods, he will want to copy mommy. In addition, if you do not want your toddler to scream at you because he does not want to eat his corns, curtail your own screaming as well.

Keep in mind that your toddler is in control over what he puts into his body. So take it easy and use these tips to make mealtimes enjoyable for your toddler and your family.

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Toddler Feeding – Foods Toddlers Should Eat Every Day

The only way to make sure your toddler is eating right is to strike a balance between what he is eating and what he should be eating. This toddler feeding guide will help you figure out what foods you should feed your toddler every day.

Whole Grains

Whole grains are very essential to your toddler’s diet. These are packed with fiber, vitamin E and magnesium which can help reduce your toddler’s risk of asthma, diabetes and heart disease. Toddlers need approximately 6 servings of whole grains per day. Serve your toddler bread, cereal, crackers, oatmeal, rice, muffins and pasta. These foods are very versatile since you can toast, spread sandwich filling, serve and mix them with other food.

Dairy Products

Dairy foods are packed with calcium and protein which are very important for the development of strong bones and teeth. The recommended intake is 4 servings per day. This could be a glass of whole-milk (at least 500 to 800 milligrams), soy milk, cereal, low-fat yogurt, fortified fruit juice, pudding and cheese (cheddar, mozzarella or string cheese).

Fruits

Fruits are the perfect healthy snack. They are loaded with vitamins and minerals that are essential to a child’s health. Give your toddler ½ cup diced fruit or ½ of a medium piece of fruit each day. Apple, banana, blueberries, cantaloupe, orange, seedless grapes, strawberries and watermelon are easy for a toddler to consume.

Vegetables

Vegetables are probably the most complicated food to serve to children. However, vegetables are a must in every individual’s diet because they are rich in nutrition and contain unique disease-preventing elements. To make vegetables more appetizing for your little one, choose small cooked veggies (e.g. lima beans, peas, corn) and slice boiled carrots, squash, spinach, eggplant, sweet potatoes and broccoli into bite-sized pieces. You can also serve these with your toddler’s favorite dip or add them to soups and pastas to ensure he gets 5 portions of veggies a day.

Protein-rich Foods

Protein contain nutrients such as vitamin B, iron and zinc that helps build and restore tissues in the body that children need to grow. Toddlers need about 2 servings of protein every day. Fish like cod, tuna, sardines and white salmon, meat, chicken, turkey, beef, tofu, beans, hummus and shrimps are the best sources of proteins.

Healthy Fats

Children need fats in their diets to be healthy. Healthy fats supply vitamin E, zinc and nutrients that are necessary for brain growth and formation of hormones. The key is to know which fats are good and bad. Saturated and trans fats are “bad fats” because they increase cholesterol and weaken the immune system. Monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats are “good fats” since they are good for the heart and one’s overall health. Foods that contain “good fats” include nuts (peanuts, pecans, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds), pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds, tofu, avocado, peanut butter, olives and fatty fish (e.g. tuna, salmon and mackerel). The suggested daily intake of healthy fats for toddlers is 2 servings.

Keep in mind that this is just a guideline. Not everything on your toddler’s plate has to be a “super food”. As long as you offer a couple of servings of these foods every day, your child is guaranteed to get the nutrients he needs to be healthy and strong.

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