Flashback Friday: Let’s Nourish Our Toddlers Not just Feed Them! 07/28/2014

As a first time mother I was absolutely clueless on what type of meals to feed my son once it was time for him to eat regular foods. Up to that point I was mainly breastfeeding him and giving him puree baby foods, then once I noticed he was interested in what I was eating I began switching it up. I didn’t have a clue what to feed him. Friends and family told me to give him fries, hot dogs, etc. and even though he seemed to enjoy those foods it wasn’t something I wanted to feed him everyday. I wanted to nourish my child not just feed him, so I changed up his whole meal plan to something I thought was better for him. Of course I did my research, and in the end I came out with an overall healthier, happier, more energized toddler.

 It definitely took time though, Baby Alex was in the mist of going through that annoying picky eater stage. Our dinner table had become a battleground, but I had to take control of the situation, and that’s exactly what I did. I stayed calm when he thought mealtime was playtime and threw his food all over the ground, because I knew if he was hungry he would eat. I continued to offer him the nutritious foods and I let him decide how much he was going to eat, and as time went by he began to eat more and healthier without the fight. The war was over and i was victorious!!! Dinnertime had become a peaceful place again.

 So I wanted to write this post to help other mothers who may be struggling with giving their child a healthier meal. I put together a list of foods that I give Alex and along with the food I will put how it helps your toddler… Now let’s get Started.

  1. Avocado – Avocado has “good” fats that lower “bad” LDL Cholesterol, It also has a Super source of Fiber which helps prevent constipation, and it contains Vitamin E. Baby Alex loves avocado by itself andi usually will give it to him as a snack but if your child is not as welcoming to Avocado you can add it to salads, chili, dip for chips etc.

  2. Greek Yogurt – aka “The Perfect Snack”. Greek Yogurt helps aid digestion and contains healthy bacteria known to boost immunity.
  3. Oatmeal – Helps boost energy, and it has a good source of Fiber.
  4. Sweet Potatoes – Sweet Potatoes contain Vitamins B,C, and E, they also give your child a great source of Calcium, Potassium and Iron, and they are rich in complex carbohydrates and Fiber.and all you have to do to make this perfect with your meal is add some Cinnamon – which helps regulate blood sugar.
  5. Cabbage, Broccoli, and Kale – All of these green veggies contain Phytonutrients, and helps clear harmful toxins from your child’s body by releasing enzymes.
  6. Milk – Contains Protein and Calcium. (builds brain tissue) helps keep bones and teeth strong.
  7. Fruit – Gives your child Vitamins, Minerals, and Fiber. ( berries, Melon, Kiwifruit, Oranges)
  8. Blueberries – Ranked one of the healthiest fruits. It has anti-oxidants and promotes brain function.

  9. Black Beans –  Contains Protein, Fiber, and Calcium. It guards against Heart Disease and High Cholesterol. ” The Darker the color the better they are for you.”
  10. Salmon – Has anti-inflammatory powers, contains heart-healthy omega -3 fats, and it boosts brain development.

  11. Eggs – Contain Protein, Calcium, and Vitamin D
  12. Basil – Has Anti-oxidants, contains Vitamins A,C, and K, it also has Iron, Potassium, and Calcium. It Improves Digestion. You can add basil to Pasta, Pesto, or grind it up for soups if your child doesn’t like seeing green on their food.
  13. Tomatoes – Loaded with lycopene which protects against many Cancers. Did you know that cooking tomatoes make them even healthier!! it releases lycopene. Tomatoes go great on these quick meals… Pizza, pasta, and chili. Add some Olive Oil to absorb it more.
  14. Peanut Butter –  Contains Protein, Vitamin B, Fiber, Magnesium, and Potassium. Although its high in fat most are healthy fats. Spread it on Whole Grain Bread with fruit, bananas, or berries instead of Jelly or Jam. (If allergic Almond Butter)
  15. Lean Ground Beef –  High in Protein, Iron, and Calcium. Hamburgers, Meatloaf, ground beef added to spaghetti sauce, and chili are all potentially healthy meals for toddlers.

 Now before I go I just wanted to tell you all if you give your toddler a main meal just before his nap he may be too tired to eat. Give him a small snack instead and a meal when he wakes. Try to space his snacks evenly between meals too, that way your toddler will have energy to fuel his burst of activity.

**** Here are some good Snack Ideas****

  • Yogurt with berries or Fruit
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Grapes
  • Cubes of Cheese
  • Small Sandwich
  • Fruit Smoothie
  • Veggie Stick or Bread stick with Dip
  • Pumpkin Seeds or Rasins
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