Prior to Hudson eating solids, I thought about cooking food for Hudson as a fun, adventurous time. I knew that toddlers weren’t the most predictable eaters, but I was in for quite the reality check when Hudson couldn’t eat anything with coconut (due to a severe sensitivity) and wouldn’t eat most vegetables or drink any milk, right out of the gate of stopping breastfeeding.
Since I use coconut oil and/or coconut flour in most of what I cook/bake and I refuse to let Hudson spend his toddler-hood eating nothing but macaroni and cheese and french fries, I had to get creative.
Please don’t get the idea that every mealtime at our house is a peaceful, cooperative time. Some days Hudson refuses to touch his food and only wants to eat bananas. Some days he decides he doesn’t like chicken. Some days he acts as if we’re poisoning him and screams through the entire meal. Some days he eats everything we put in front of him. It’s always a guessing game. But I’ve learned not to take it personally and go with the flow…
Things to know about our particular way of feeding Hudson:
- He cannot eat most nuts (strangely, peanuts are the only one that doesn’t give him any issues)
- He flat-out refuses to drink milk- so fitting plenty of quality fats, vitamin D, and calcium in his food is vital!
- At dinner, Hudson normally eats what we eat. Mark and I usually modify our meal not to have any type of coconut product in it so that he can eat whatever we make.
- There is only one meal (I don’t make completely separate “kids” meals!)
- I spend roughly 2 hours every Sunday afternoon prepping Hudson’s and our food each week– it makes our busy mealtimes SO much easier!
- I know everyone’s kids have different issues, palettes, sensitivities, etc…this post is not meant for comparison, simply ideas!
Things that make feeding a toddler possible:
- Non-breakable plates
- Toddler-friendly utensils
- Smoothie Cup
- Hudson’s favorite sippy cup
- Lots of bibs
- Lunchbots (for lunch at preschool!)– We LOOOOOOVE ours! It easily fits in his lunchbox and has the perfect portions!
- Bumbo Seat
- Scrambled Egg Muffins– eggs, meat of choice, veggie of choice– a compact, easy, healthy breakfast!
- Morning Glory Muffins–I also add shredded zucchini to this recipe!
- Green smoothies- I generally blend a 1/2 serving of protein powder and whole milk with frozen blueberries and pineapple and lots of spinach together for our smoothies and he LOVES it!
- Broccoli Mac n’ Cheese- Everything is better when it’s mixed with pasta and covered in cheese! 🙂
- Grilled Turkey & Cheese Sandwiches- I make a grilled cheese sandwich but layer on some Applegate Farms turkey slices in-between the cheese slices.
- Diced or Shredded chicken and Sweet potato slices- I use leftover chicken or slow cook a whole chicken and shred the meat to use in various meals throughout the week. Sweet potato slices are a HUGE winner with Hudson. I put a dab of Kerrygold Butter and cinnamon on the slices and heat them in the oven for about 3 minutes prior to him eating them.
- Spaghetti Squash & Parmesan Cheese-I sauté the cooked spaghetti squash in a tiny bit of butter and garlic and sprinkle parmesan cheese on while it’s nice and hot.
- Ground Beef & Greenbeans- Hudson has recently discovered ketchup so I toss his ground beef and greens in a little ketchup and he goes nuts for it!
- Frozen Veggie Tots- I buy mine in the frozen vegetable area of the grocery store!
Snacks (and as a side to any meal!)
- Grapes, cantaloupe, bananas, blueberries, apple wedges- Hudson LOVES fruit and I think if he had it his way, he would probably live off of fruit!
- Fruit AND vegetable pouches- I try to only buy pouches with 10g or less of sugar. The one pictured below is one of mine (and Hudson’s!) favorites!
- Yogurt- one of the ways I’m able to get some calcium and Vitamin D in him.
- Annie’s Organic Cheddar Bunnies
- Leftovers from an untouched meal
- Wedges of quality cheddar cheese
- Veggie Straws
I also need new ideas so please comment below and let me know what meals work for your toddler and family!