Tag Archive | "toddler feeding"

Common Choking Foods For Toddlers

Introducing solid foods to your toddler is an exciting adventure. Your child is exposed to a variety of food, encouraging him to eat more which is beneficial for his nutrition. However, the following foods for toddlers can jeopardize his safety.

Hard Candies and Gums

Hard candies, chewing gums, gummy bears, fruit roll ups, caramels, jelly beans and even marshmallows are very dangerous to toddlers. They have a tendency to slip down your toddler’s throat easily and get lodged there. Also, since candies and gums are not good for your toddler’s teeth and health, these items should be avoided entirely.


Everyone loves munching on popcorn, especially children. However, this food is a popular choking hazard. The size, shape and texture of popcorn make it a very easy food to choke on. Plus, unpopped seeds also increase the choking risk and even if seeds are too tiny to choke on, they can still get wedged in your toddler’s airway and lead to an infection. Save this food when your toddler is older. But if you must offer popcorn, make sure you keep a close eye on your child.


Hotdog is probably one of the most coveted foods of children. But did you know hotdogs are also very unsafe? Not only does hotdog contain very minimal nutrients, but the roundness of a hotdog makes it easy to get stuck in your toddler’s windpipe and since it is squashy, it can adapt to the shape of the airway making it hard to remove. To reduce the risk, cut a hotdog lengthwise and then slice them into small pieces (noodle-like strips).


According to child health experts, toddlers ages 1 to 4 should avoid eating nuts. Nuts are hard and tiny, making them hard to chew with baby teeth and they can glide down whole and get jammed in your toddler’s throat.

Apples and Grapes

Sure, fruits contain plenty of vitamins and minerals toddlers need. But, certain fruits with seeds such as apples and grapes pose a choking risk to toddlers. Why? Because the dry and hard texture of apples and the tiny shape of grapes can easily get caught in the narrowest area of a toddler’s throat. Make sure you extract the seeds, peel and slice apples and grapes into small pieces or mash them.


Carrots are healthy but they also pose a suffocation risk because of their firm and dry shape and texture, making them very hard to chew. Hence, it is very important that you puree them or slice carrots into thin strips before serving.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is very difficult to ingest, even adults have a hard time swallowing it. Thus, give your toddler just a few servings of peanut butter as possible (spread a thin layer on bread or crackers) and make sure you give him something to drink.

Remember that toddlers are more exposed to choking hazards, hence, being cautious is a must and safe eating practices should be observed. Always serve small servings. Teach your toddler to sit while he is eating, to eat slowly and swallow before opening his mouth.

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Common Toddler Feeding Mistakes Parents Make

Keeping your toddler in tiptop shape includes managing what your toddler eats. However, there are certain toddler feeding blunders parents make. Here is how you can avoid them.

Mistake # 1: Setting A Bad Example

The most common mistake parents make when it comes to feeding their children is setting a bad example. If you do not eat well yourself, how can you expect your toddler to do the same? Eat a lot of nutritious foods in front of your toddler. If you say no eating of chocolates before dinnertime, do not sneak out and grab a bar. When your toddler sees you enjoy fruits and vegetables, he will more likely have a healthy attitude towards eating right.

Mistake # 2: Force Feeding

If you pressure your toddler to eat a certain food, you create a power struggle which will only upset the two of you and make him feel he has no freedom. Remember, children do not accept new foods right away. They need time, so try not to make a big fuss when your toddler refuses the food you offered. Serve him foods you know he will like and just try again after a couple of days.

Mistake # 3: Short-order Cooking

Do not serve your toddler a different dish just because he is a picky eater as this will only increase the bad habit. Offer your toddler the same food you prepared for the family but give him choices. For instance, if you are having sandwich for breakfast, have him choose between peanut butter and jelly or tuna filling. If you are having vegetables for dinner, make sure there is at least one item your toddler will enjoy. Hide vegetables in food (e.g. broccoli mac and cheese, puree vegetables and mix them in dips or sneak them into soups or meat).

Mistake # 4: The Clean Your Plate Rule

Asking your toddler to finish his food will only result to overeating and make him uncomfortable with food. Serve your little one child-size portions so he is more encouraged to eat. Also, if he stops eating because he is full, let him leave the dining table.

Mistake # 5: Giving Up Too Fast

Just because your toddler did not like green beans once does not mean he will never like it again. According to pediatricians, it takes about 10 to 15 tries before a toddler accepts new food. Let him watch you eat it. Place a few servings on his plate. Have him touch it, put it in his mouth and let him spit it into a napkin - eventually he will accept it.

Mistake # 6: Depriving Sweets

Minimizing your toddler’s sweet and sugar intake is fine, but completely eliminating them to his diet is not okay. Children love sweets and the more they are deprived, the more likely they will overeat them. Plan balanced snacks. Allow him to eat dessert after dinner. Try healthier dessert alternatives such as low-fat pudding or yogurt or strawberries with whipped cream.

The secret to avoiding these mistakes so you can provide your toddler a nutritious diet is to strike a balance between controlling his foods and giving him some freedom of choice.

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Healthy Breakfast Ideas For Kids

Health experts recommend everyone to start the day with a hearty breakfast. However, when you have busy mornings and a picky eater, this can be impossible. But, there is hope. Here are some healthy and quick breakfast ideas for kids every parent can try.


Cereal is a convenient, child-friendly breakfast food for children. Cereal is loaded with carbohydrates, fiber and protein. Buy at least 2 or 3 different brands of cereal so your toddler can mix and match them. Go for whole grain, high fiber cereals since they are packed with more nutrients than sugar-based cereals. Here are some of the best breakfast cereals for children:

  • Cheerios
  • Earth’s Best Tot Cereal Bars
  • Nature’s Path EnviroKidz Penguin Puffs
  • Kix
  • Wheaties

To make it tastier, let your toddler choose a mix-in (e.g. milk, yogurt, almonds, honey, banana or dried berries) of his choice.


Oatmeal is considered as a child’s comfort food, especially during the cold season. It is very easy to prepare. Plus, you can top it with a handful of sliced apple, sprinkle almonds, raisins and a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg or top it with maple syrup to make it extra scrumptious.


Ask you little one if he prefers scrambled eggs, a sunny side up or an omelette. You can serve the eggs on top of toasted bread, bagels or English muffins or with cheese, sausage, bacon or cold cuts (ham, salami or roasted beef) on the side. This breakfast food will truly keep your toddler full and merry for hours.


This one is another classic breakfast food for children. You can buy instant whole wheat pancake mix from your local grocery and add slices of fresh fruit, raisins, chocolate chips, nuts, grated carrots to the batter for added nutritional value. Top it with honey, whipped cream or plain yogurt and serve.


You can either buy a box of frozen waffles or mix up the batter the night before and simply toast them in the morning. Again, offer some toppings such as berries, bananas, strawberries, peaches or apple sauce to make it more nutritious.

Fresh Fruits

Fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals and they can be prepared in many ways. You can slice at least 5 to 6 kinds of fruit into        small cubes and combine all of them in a big bowl and top it with unsalted granola or nuts or fat-free whipped cream.

Or, you can make fruit kabobs. Chop up your toddler’s favorite fruits and thread onto wooden skewers. Serve it with a bowl of coconut dip or plain yogurt mixed with honey.

Fruit Smoothies

Fruit smoothie is another all-time favorite. It can satiate your toddler’s sweet tooth because it is sugary yet very rich in vitamins and minerals. Add a handful of bananas, strawberries, mangoes, watermelon and low-fat yogurt or milk in a blender. Pour the mixture into a glass and add a silly straw to make it more exciting.

With these fun and super easy to prepare breakfast ideas, preparing breakfast for your toddler and making sure he does not skip the most important meal of the day need not be a struggle anymore.

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Ways To Introduce Food To Your Picky Eater

“I do not want to eat that Mommy.” is a statement mothers hear too often. It is very common for a picky eater to prefer certain foods which can hinder his body of nutrients essential for his growth. Take your picky eater on a food adventure and widen his food preferences with the help of these tips.

Make Use of Your Toddler’s Senses

Get your toddler to touch the food and say, “Feel how shiny this apple is honey.” or “Look, your cauliflower looks like a tree.”. Smell the food and say something like, “Wow, this apple smells really good.” and then encourage your toddler to do the same. After which, you can move on to licking, taking a small bite and then a normal bite. Tell him that it is okay if he spits it out if it tastes bad to him. While he is chewing his food, tell him to listen to the sound in his mouth and say, “The apple is very crunchy, right baby?”. This technique usually works in helping picky eaters become more comfortable with food.

Go To The Grocery Store or Farmer’s Market

Exposing your picky eater to a place filled with different kinds of food is the best way to introduce food in a subtle way. The produce aisle will look just as appealing as the candy aisle. It has every color, size and shape of foods you can imagine. The next time you go to the store or market, make it an adventure by handing your child a small bag and have him choose one fruit and veggie that he thinks looks cool and yummy. Without a doubt, your toddler will be so excited to eat his hand-picked goodies once you arrive at home.

Visit Farms

Another way of introducing foods to your picky eater is by visiting farms. Schedule a trip to a dairy, fruit or vegetable farm during the weekend so he can see how cheese is made, how potatoes and oranges are grown or how milk is produced. The more your toddler learns about a food, the more interesting it becomes.

Cook Together

The next time you think of a dish to cook for dinner, ask your little one to choose a recipe. Let him help you in the kitchen. He can get the ingredients out of the fridge, wash the vegetables, crack eggs or stir the sauce. The more involved he becomes in making a meal, the more likely he is willing to try and even enjoy it.


Make food fun to eat for your picky eater by cutting foods into various shapes using cookie cutters. Serve carrots, broccoli and other veggies with a favorite dip. Slice potatoes into wedges, sprinkle some salt and grill them (for a healthier alternative to French fries). For dessert, slice a variety of fruits into small chunks, place them together in a bowl and add some cream. Or, mix them in a blender to make smoothies.

Camouflage It

When all else fails, the best way to introduce foods to your picky eater without his knowing is to hide them. For instance, add wheat bran into pancake batter. Put a small amount of pureed spinach or broccoli into scrambled eggs, soups and pasta sauce. Sneak a few pieces of chopped turnips into a pot of boiling potatoes, mash them together and serve. When baking bread, add some squash or zucchini. This way, he is able to enjoy his favorite foods while getting the adequate nutrients he needs at the same time.

Making your picky eater eat the good stuff is not always easy, but it can be done with a little creativity and cleverness.

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Toddlers and Milk – What To Do When Your Child Will Not Drink Milk

Milk contains vitamins and minerals that are essential in keeping toddlers in tiptop condition. But, during the transition from milk to solid foods, some toddlers stop drinking milk. With the help of these strategies, parents can make toddlers and milk the best of friends once again.

Start Small

Offer small amounts of milk. You can start by giving your toddler 1 glass of milk during lunch and dinner and gradually increase the amount. This way, you avoid overwhelming him when you order him to finish it before he can get something else.

Make It Tastier

Change the taste of milk to make it yummier so your little one develops a liking for it and enjoys having it every day. Buy chocolate or strawberry milk. These are fool-proof. Toddlers love colors and seeing their milk in a different color aside from white will make them excited to try it. Or, you can try mixing his milk with chocolate or strawberry syrup. Using semi-sweet chocolate in place of the syrup also works.

Offer Choices

Try different kinds of milk. You can choose from cow’s milk, goat’s milk, soy milk, skim milk or lactose free. Often times, a change of taste is all it takes to make your toddler drink more milk. But, do make sure that your toddler is not allergic to any of them. Seek your pediatrician’s go signal first before experimenting.

Another effective tip is to serve him dairy products such as curd, custard, cheese, yogurt, low-fat ice cream or pudding.

Make The Delivery Appealing

Make drinking milk a fun activity by giving him his own glass, using a fun straw, a sippy cup with a Superman design or a special container. Remember, toddlers do not pay any attention to boring things so think of ways to present milk in an attractive manner.

Add Milk To Your Toddler’s Foods

A sneaky yet very effective way to ensure your toddler gets his daily milk intake is to get milk into your toddler’s diet. Pour milk over his cereal. Use milk when making dips and creams. Instead of water, add milk when making soup. Cook macaroni and cheese. Or, make a fruit drink with the milk. Simply add slices of apples, bananas, mangoes, strawberries or any fruit and milk to a blender. Mix them well and you have a fruit drink your little one will enjoy.

Make Milk The Only Drink Available

Do not give your toddler an opportunity to choose his beverage by placing juice and soda on the table. If you do not give him options, he has no choice but to drink the milk.

Drink Milk Yourself

Toddlers love mimicking their parents and what better way to encourage your toddler to drink milk than by drinking milk yourself. Drink milk on a regular basis. Drink in front of your toddler. Better yet, drink together, clink your glasses and say “Cheers!”.

There you have it. By following the tips mentioned above, you can get your toddler to drink milk in a blink of an eye.

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Weaning A Toddler From Breastfeeding

As your child grows older, changes must be made. One of these changes is to stop breastfeeding. But, change is never easy and is often unwanted, especially by toddlers. Here are some tried and tested tips for weaning a toddler from breastfeeding.

Take It Slow

When you begin the weaning process, take it slow. Your baby nurses not only to feed but also to feel a sense of security only you can provide. If you go cold turkey, your baby may feel he is unwanted. For example, you may choose to wean your baby from breast milk at noon but continue breast feeding at night. Or, try replacing one nursing session for a bottle or sippy cup with milk. Cutting the duration of the nursing sessions also helps. Remember, weaning does not happen overnight, so give him time to adjust.

Distract Your Toddler

The best way to take your toddler’s mind off it is to provide a diversion. Avoid sitting in your favorite breastfeeding spots with your toddler. When he starts to whine, offer him his favorite snack, play or read a book together, cuddle him or head out for a walk.

Be Creative

Now is the perfect time to introduce your toddler to a variety of nutritious foods. Combine different dips and spreads with vegetables or crackers. Slice his favorite fruits, place them in a bowl and add some cream to make it flavorful. The key is to make his food look as eye-catching as possible so he is encouraged to eat and enjoy his meals.


Even if your toddler is not yet a pro at talking, he can understand you. Give him a simple explanation about this change. Use words he can comprehend when talking to him. Say something like, “Honey, you are going to be a big boy. Big boys have a lot of fun eating different foods. You do not have to nurse now.”.

Affirm Your Love

Reassure your love for your precious angel. Shower him attention and affection. Snuggle. Hold his hand. Give him a hug and a kiss. Play together. Go on a day trip. This way, your little one will know that you are not abandoning him, you are just bidding farewell to breastfeeding.

Be Firm

It is normal for your toddler to be resistant during the first few days of weaning. In order to wean your child from breastfeeding effectively, do not give in to his complains, pleas, crying and outbursts. It might be agonizing to watch your toddler in pain, but eventually, your toddler will get used with the idea.


Each time your toddler feeds from a bottle or cup, praise him for a job well done. Simple things like treating him to ice cream, taking him to the zoo or giving him extra 5 minutes to play in the playground will seal the deal.

Remember, weaning your toddler from breastfeeding takes time and effort. But as long as you are consistent and considerate of your toddler’s temperament, the transition will go smoothly for the both of you.

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Drinking Water For Children – Ways To Get Your Toddler To Drink More Water

Children should drink at least six to eight glasses of water a day. However, drinking water for children can be a constant struggle. Here are several ways to get your toddler to drink more water.

Make It Available

When you think your toddler is feeling thirsty, give him water. Even if he is not thirsty, ask him to drink a few sips. Once he starts, he will realize he is thirsty after all. Also, leave a sippy cup filled with water where your toddler can easily reach it so when he does get thirsty, he can just reach the cup and drink.

Do Not Offer Options

If your toddler is the type who prefers to drink soda and juice over water, it would be best to keep soft drinks and juices out of his sight. Or, you may impose a rule that your toddler is only allowed to get to the next beverage until his cup is empty. Sure, he may whine and complain at first, but that is okay. He will get used to it in no time.

Give Your Toddler His Own Water Bottle

Have a variety of fun and colorful sippy cups, water bottles and jugs available. You can buy affordable BPA-free plastic sippy cups, bottles and jugs. Have him pick out his own special containers. He will surely have a fun time filling and refilling the containers by himself.

Use Straws

If you give your little one a straw to drink with, water will taste yummy to him. Straws are inexpensive and readily available in grocery stores. Buy some heavy duty plastic straws, preferably straws sold in multi packs of different colors so you can wash and reuse them. Swirly, sports, connectible and glow straws are a big hit and they make drinking water more entertaining.

Flavor It Up

Water is tasteless, which may be the reason why toddlers detest drinking it. Flavored and colored water might just be the answer to your problem. Add sliced lemon, lime or orange to water. This will give the water a little color and taste. You may also put some food coloring in the water. In a clear glass, add 1 or 2 drops of food coloring so your toddler can see the color flow and transform his water from plain to cool.

Turn It Into A Game

Why not make drinking water a playtime activity? Here are two fun examples to try:

  • Buried Treasure – Place a slice of lemon or banana at the bottom of a clear glass of water and let your toddler try dragging up the fruit with the pressure from a straw. Your toddler will gulp up a lot of water just so he can retrieve the fruit.
  • Musical Cups – Fill a few clear glasses to different levels and have him tap them with a pencil. Explain to him that with every sip, the notes will change in pitch.

Keep It Cold

As much as possible, offer a cold glass of water. Put some ice cubes in his glass to keep the water cool. Toddlers love drinking anything cold especially after playing outside. It will be such a refreshing treat.

Set An Example

Be an example and drink water yourself. If your toddler can see you drink water, he will do it as well. Remember, children tend to imitate what they see, especially their parents’ actions.

Water is crucial to a toddler’s health. It keeps children healthy and when they are healthy, they feel good and perform better.

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Gag Reflex In Toddlers

Gag reflex is an automatic reaction of the body that helps prevent choking. Children have a gag reflex when the back of the tongue is touched to prevent toddlers from consuming something that could cause them harm. As you introduce solid foods to your toddler, you will have to be cautious about introducing combination baby foods containing meat and vegetable bits.

What Causes This Problem?

Toddlers might gag on something they should not have in their mouths (e.g. toy parts, sequins, buttons, etc.). They might also choke if they eat too fast, have too much food in their mouths or if they do not like the taste or texture of the food they are eating (lumpy foods such as hot dogs, gummy candies, caramel, meat, nuts, popcorn, fruits with seeds and cheese).

Toddlers with chewing and swallowing problems or those who have delays in their motor skills can also experience gagging.

How You Can Help

Help Your Toddler Relax

Encourage your little one to relax during meals. Do not let him play, run around, walk or jump while he is still chewing his food. Do not try to feed him more than he is inclined to. Talk to your toddler about a fun encounter, how his day went, what he did and so on. Play soothing music. Eat beside your toddler. A calm and comfortable eating environment will help your toddler eat slowly.

Add Texture To Your Toddler’s Food

As much as possible, avoid buying store-bought food. Prepare his food yourself so you can control the texture of the food. You can do this by adding graham crackers or wheat germ into your toddler’s smooth food. This will make the food less smooth, but there will be no surprise chunks. Start off slowly, and as your toddler gets used to the new texture, you can add more. This will help your toddler get slowly accustomed to the feeling of texture in his mouth and throat.

Encourage Self-feeding

If your toddler is capable, allow him to feed himself. Children with sensitive gags often do better if they eat on their own. Just teach your toddler to pick up one piece of food at a time and to carefully chew and swallow before placing another piece of food into his mouth.

Play Games That Decrease Oral Sensitivities

If your toddler has no physical problems with the mouth or throat yet constantly gags, there are things you can do to help him adjust. Play face-touching games using a Koosh ball, stuffed toy or warm washcloth. Have him bite on chew toys (teething toys with bumps and different textures). Let him touch your face and guide his hands to the different parts of his body as well. This way, you introduce your toddler to endure facials sensations and make a positive association.

Seek Medical Help

Getting a medical evaluation can resolve this problem. Your toddler’s doctor can check for any physical problems (e.g. esophagus is too narrow or does not function efficiently). If there is a physical problem, the pediatrician can refer you to a feeding specialist who will come up with an individualized program to help reduce your toddler’s gag reflex or your child may need to take medications and undergo therapies.

Gagging is only temporary. It will take time, but with patience and ingenuity, you can help your toddler learn to tolerate textured foods more easily.

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Tips For Buying Your Toddler’s Feeding Supplies

Now that your little one has grown older, he will need feeding supplies that will teach your toddler how to feed himself. Below are some feeding products your toddler should have.

High Chair

Beyond utensils, you will need a seat so your little can join in the family meals, you can eat your own meal and feed him at the same time and make cleaning up easier. It may be very tempting to feed your toddler on your lap, but having a seat where you can strap him in, walk away to get more food is just more practical. You do not need to buy a fancy high chair, just look for one with waist and crotch safety straps and a wide base to prevent tipping.

Small Spoon and Fork

Your toddler will need his own spoon and fork especially at this time when he wants to act like mommy and daddy and be a big boy. You can either go for a rubber tipped or plastic spoon and fork (although the latter is easier on his tender gums). Whatever you choose, make sure that they are PVC-free, temperature-safe and with soft handles designed for little hands to promote self-feeding skills.

Plastic Bowl

Your toddler will want a plastic bowl he can call his own. Buy a plastic bowl that is BPA-free, PVC-free and phthalate-free in a bright color that is microwave-safe so you can reheat food easily and with a suction cup that attaches the bowl to the high chair tray to prevent the bowl from sliding off.

Sippy Cups

By now, your toddler is ready to try drinking from a cup. Prevent fluids from oozing out of his mouth by giving him a spill-proof sippy cup. A sippy cup has a valve that controls the flow of fluids. Look for one that is BPA-free and phthalate-free, with a silicone spout for easy transition from baby bottle to sippy cup and easy to grip handles.


Bibs come in the cutest colors and designs. Though there is nothing wrong with fashionable bibs, it is better to choose simple bibs that are easy to put on and off and easy to clean. Save the stylish bibs until your toddler has mastered self-feeding. Go for bibs that are big, washable, stain-resistant, with a pocket in the front (for catching drips) and Velcro fastening.

Placemat and Splat Mat

Buy placemats to put on your toddler’s high chair so you can simply wipe them and clean the high chair after every meal. A splat mat is a piece of plastic covering you put under the high chair to protect the floor from spills. Splat mats are available in different patterns and sizes. If you are on a budget, a beach towel, vinyl runner or an old tablecloth works just fine.

Food Warmer

A food warmer is a handy electric gadget with a thermostatic control that warms food quickly without burning them. It is also very portable so you can take it with you when you travel.

Food Mill and Processor

A hand-turned mill allows you to make food for your toddler by simply removing the metal turning mechanism, putting a bit of food into the grinder, replacing the device and turning it. Just a few turns and the food is crushed into tiny pieces, perfect for your toddler’s tiny mouth. A food processor is a more convenient device for making toddler food. It does not require liquid to move the particles around its blade. So just one touch of a button, your toddler’s food is ready.

Having these feeding supplies at hand helps your toddler master his self-feeding skill - a very important skill he should learn at an early age.

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Popular Party Foods For Kids

Children love parties. The games, prizes and balloons excite them. Of course, party foods keep them going as well. To make sure toddlers enjoy eating their food, try these classic party foods for kids. These will make their tummies happy and will keep that big grin plastered on their faces for hours.


Pasta is one all-time favorite of kids and even adults. Spaghetti is one great party food that you can do really cheaply. Regular spaghetti will do, but if you want to put an exciting twist to this meal, opt for pastas that come in fun shapes like penne or bunny and alphabet shapes.

Kid Pleasing Spaghetti

You will need:

  • 8 ounces spaghetti (cooked and drained)
  • 2 ½ cups spaghetti sauce
  • 1 ½ pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 3 tbsp. Butter
  • 1 ½ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 ½ cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 2 tbsp. Flour


  • In medium heat, cook beef and onion in a pan. Drain. Add spaghetti sauce. Boil for 10 minutes and mix the pasta. Set aside.
  • Melt butter in a pot. Mix salt and flour. Add milk and let it simmer.
  • Stir in Parmesan and cheddar cheese. Mix until it melts.
  • Place spaghetti in a baking dish. Top with spaghetti mixture and cheese. Bake under 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.


Toddlers go crazy over pizzas. To make it more fun, why not let each child build their own mini pizzas.

You will need:

  • English muffins
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Fresh Parmesan cheese (shredded)
  • Sausage
  • Pepperoni
  • Few slices of mushroom, bell pepper and onion


  • Pre-cook spaghetti sauce, sausage, pepperoni, bell pepper, mushroom and onion.
  • Let toddlers lather spaghetti sauce onto the English muffins. Have them pick out the toppings they want. After which, sprinkle Parmesan cheese.
  • Use toaster ovens instead of a kitchen oven to cook the mini pizzas. Heat the pizzas for 10 minutes under 300 degrees Fahrenheit.


Since it is a party and children prefer different types of sandwiches, it is best to make simple sandwiches they can eat like a regular meal. Use cookie cutters to cut loaf breads into shapes. Burger buns are also perfect. Add some oven baked potato chips or fries and a few slices of carrots, lettuce and peas to complete the meal.

Sloppy Joe Sandwiches

You will need:

  • 1 ½ cup leftover spaghetti sauce with meat
  • 1 green bell pepper (seeded and chopped)
  • 4 burger buns (halved)
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp. mustard
  • 2 tbsp. Dried basil leaves


  • Heat spaghetti sauce, mustard, ketchup, green bell pepper and basil leaves into a saucepan under medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes and bring to a boil.
  • Ladle mixture onto the buns. Serve hot.

Kids Trail Mix

Finger foods are another favorite of toddlers. Make it a healthy food by adding fruits and nuts. Just put it in a large Ziploc bag and shake to mix. Pour them in a cheery looking bowl and serve.

You will need:

  • 4 cups whole-wheat cereal
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup dried fruit bits (cherries, cranberries, blueberries)
  • ½ cup assorted nuts (peanut, walnut, almond or cashew nuts)

Chocolate Chip Cookies

You will need:

  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Baking soda
  • 1 tbsp. Vanilla extract
  • 16 tbsp. Butter (softened)
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs (beaten)


  • Mix baking soda, flour and salt together in a bowl. Combine eggs, butter, vanilla, sugar and cocoa in a separate bowl.
  • Stir flour mixture into butter mixture until combined. Add chocolate chips and mix.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place palm-sized dough into greased baking sheets.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.

Make Your Own Ice Cream Sundae

Children love ice cream, so you will thrill them all when you announce they get to decorate their own ice cream sundae. Give each child an ice cream cone or a glass and let them pick out everything they want.

You will need:

  • 3 gallons ice cream (in Chocolate, Strawberry and Vanilla flavors)
  • 1 cup assorted fresh fruits (chopped)
  • 1 cup colored and chocolate sprinkles
  • Hershey’s chocolate or strawberry cream
  • Whipped cream
  • Chocolate chips

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