Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Toddler Mealtime Makeover

I would not classify our daughter as a picky eater but she finds something she likes a lot and sticks with it for a while... sometimes three meals a day even... until she gets bored and in the mood for something different.  We've gone through phases of cream cheese toast, cheese sticks, french fries, grapes, peanut butter crackers, blueberry waffles, muffins, quesadillas, pizza... you get the idea.  Whatever she likes, she LOVES.  It can be intense... we're talking three meals a day of her favorite food kind of intense.  I remember one day during the waffle phase we got up in the morning and found that we had run out of blueberry waffles and only had chocolate chip left.  It was not a happy moment and you better believe Daddy put on his jacket, picked up the keys, and headed to the store immediately, coming home with boxes and boxes of blueberry waffles.  Our little girl having a full belly of something she is in the mood for is important to us.

But there are times, in between favorites, when it's been hard to figure out exactly what she's in the mood for.  It's at these times that I've found that just a little creativity with some of our old favorites can bring that belly-filling sparkle to her eye.  Even the most mundane snacks and meals can become super exciting with a little creative makeover.

We serve grilled cheese or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the form of butterflies, ducks, stars, moons, snowmen, and Christmas trees.
Cut creatively or use cookie cutters...

We serve cheese sticks and strawberries in the form of flowers, moons, and rainbows.
Cut down the middle before slicing...

We serve peanut butter crackers in the form of spiders.
Add some eyes and legs...

We did a whole birthday party of bug themed food.
This deserves a blog post of it's own but there was butterfly pasta salad, ladybug strawberries, caterpillar grapes, snail sandwiches, etc... 

We serve fruit pouches in the form of smoothies in fun cups.
Squeeze into a cup and mix with a little bit of juice (you could add yogurt too)...

We use our cookie cutters every day.

And we have full bellies and big smiles all around!

If you or your little one is bored of the same old stuff, it doesn't always take an extra trip to the grocery store to liven things up... (sometimes it does... i.e. waffles).  Even taking an extra minute at mealtime to get creative can make a world of difference.  It has here!

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