Toddlers. Sometimes feeding them is a challenge. They go from being these sweet babies who want to try all of your food to these little people who refuse food you spent precious time preparing with love. Then, the holidays come. For most of us, the holidays are an amazing time with family where we get to eat turkey and all of the fixings. But what do you do if you have toddlers who are just picky eaters? Here are some ideas for feeding your little people and still keeping a thankful heart.
Let’s talk about sweet potatoes. These are my favorite part of Christmas dinner. I like mine sweetened and with the tiny marshmallows on top. But if your kids are like mine, they won’t even try them. Try making sweet potato crunch. Get your kids involved! These sweet potatoes have corn flakes, brown sugar, and pecans. Surely, your little ones will love decorating the tops of these and just try a bite before they see how yummy they truly are.
Stick with fries if you have a French fry lover. My kids love fries. When we go out to eat, my son Levi usually will pick fries as his side, no matter what his entrée may be. Here is an easy recipe for French fries made out of carrots! Your kids will love dipping them and you will love that they’re eating a vegetable.
Desserts are a must. Most kids won’t turn down dessert, but for some reason pumpkin doesn’t tickly the fancy of my little ones. My kids do like ice cream though! Try this recipe for ice cream pumpkin pie. It has graham crackers for a crust and chocolate on top.
Keep kids involved. Let your little ones help plan the menu, cook the food, and set the table. Kids are much more likely to partake if they feel like they had a role in the fun. Keep the meal relaxed. Don’t sweat it if your little ones don’t try everything. Focus on teaching them how to be grateful for all you have and the food before you.
Consider the small victories. If your little ones really like a certain vegetable, go for it. I know my little Audrey will most likely not want many of the entrees I fix this year. So, I am sure a bag of frozen peas will be on my menu to make sure she has something she likes. It’s okay if it’s not fancy. It’s okay if your kids don’t eat everything. Praise them for taking a bite of a new food and make sure there is something on your table they will eat.
So how do you make sure your kids enjoy the holidays and still eat something you cook? No one wants a toddler who needs a snack after cooking all morning. Be creative. Get your little ones involved and just remember what is truly important this year, even if they haven’t discovered the amazing tastes of deviled eggs and stuffing. There is still time for that.
Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of three in Arkansas where is now hungry after blogging about holiday food!