27 Responses to “I’m not feeding my toddler enough. I need more ideas!”

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  1. Emily

    Seems a little light on the carbs. Pasta, mac and cheese, quesadillas. I made a great tortellini salad tonight. You could bake zucchini or banana bread. Hummus sandwiches. Turkey and cheese roll ups. Boiled carrots. Tater tots.

    Put cheese in those eggs. Put butter on anything that makes sense. Add sour cream.

    Luke, on an average day…

    Nurse
    Two eggs with cheese, half a cup of blueberries
    Mac and cheese (a cup?), yogurt, half a peach
    Afternoon snack is fruit and string cheese
    Whatever we have for dinner (tonight was veggie pasta) and tonight he also had half an avocado
    Nurse

    Just feed him variety until he loses interest. They will not starve themselves.

  2. BethT

    I’d try giving him the whole piece of toast in the a.m., and maybe some steamed veggies and rice or pasta with lunch? For snacks, Lucy also sometimes likes a half sandwich cut into smaller pieces.

  3. BethT

    Oh and Lucy loves smoothies too! Don’t have to use a lot of cow’s milk – can use water + yogurt + fruit.

  4. devin

    I agree about the carbs. My 13 month old has never met a carbs she didn’t
    Iike. And even though she eats fruit and vegetables fairly well, it seems she isn’t filed up unless her meal contains carbs.

  5. Heather

    I’m not really sure because I don’t have any kids (yet), but my nieces and nephews always eat variations of what the adults eat. So for example, if my mom made chicken soup for a holiday the little ones would have less broth and more of the pasta, chicken and carrots from the soup. And also, it would make sense to me to give him a little more at his meals. Like Beth suggested, a whole piece of toast, a little more chicken, etc. I’m trying to think of the snack foods I see them eating, but I can’t think of anything different from what you’ve mentioned. They love cheese, frozen whole wheat waffles, bananas. Can Raffi eat Sunflower butter? Sweet potato wedges? I think I’m just naming things I like now.

  6. Maureen

    I find it so easy to get into a rut! Especially when my son is throwing the food he doesn’t want to eat on the floor! My son likes veggie straws and are great for on-the-go. I will also give him cottage cheese and can get him to try new things when I mix it in with the cottage cheese. He loves pita and hummus. I make oatmeal banana muffins- very little sugar, that are great for snacks or breakfast. I found the recipe on Pinterest along with ideas on what to feed a toddler.

  7. Amen to the carbs…we have to be pretty careful about what types of carbs Kherie gets because she has some tummy issues and seems to do better the more whole grains she gets, but I find she seems to stay fuller longer if I give her a good mix of carb, protein, fruit/veg. throughout the day.

    I have noticed thought that since starting her on some cow’s milk she doesn’t drink as much of it as she probably was breastmilk, so I am trying to offer her as much water throughout the day as she wants so she still is staying hydrated!

  8. My kid is 10 months, around 17 pounds, and eats a LOT but she doesn’t really do snacks.

    Typical day:

    Wake up, drink breast milk

    Breakfast – 4 tablespoons baby oatmeal, 1 egg, 1/4 cantaloupe (yes I know that’s a lot of cantaloupe). If she doesn’t get oatmeal, she’ll eat 1-2 eggs with a slice of bread, sometimes more bread if she requests it.

    After nap, wow’s milk (from 3 oz. to 5 oz., depends on what she feels like)

    Lunch – tuna sandwich (one full bread slice), lentil soup, whatever fruit I have on hand

    After 2nd nap, drink breast milk

    Dinner – whatever we’re having, for example we just had green curry chicken with peas, red pepper, and rice… she ate almost as much as I did. A whole banana, too.

    If she’s up for it, some cow’s milk before bedtime. Depends on how much she eats for dinner.

    I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend the Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook!! I was really struggling with finding lunches for my baby and this cookbook is full of great recipes that I can cook for ALL of us, not just the baby.

  9. The BLW cookbook has a great recipe for drop scones that are great for on the go snacks.. I stuff them with spinach.

  10. Under feeding him?? A half avocado? A CUP of peas?! I guess my daughter is a light eater because holy cow that’s a lot of food. She’s the same age (Sept 19 baby) and weighs 18 lbs. but only eats a percentage of that! She nurses 3x a day and the middle one IS her mid morning snack.

    Snack ideas:
    crackers
    applesauce
    Babybel cheese
    oatmeal (not the baby oats, the real stuff we’d eat) with fun mix-ins or as overnight oats mixed with yogurt
    Chex
    hummus w/a dipper
    smoothies

  11. Funny reading Jessie’s comment above – I was going to say the quantities seemed small! Cullen doesn’t really get any snacks, so maybe that’s why his meals are bigger. Here’s our typical day…

    Nurse
    Breakfast – 1 whole banana, 1 whole plum/peach
    Nurse
    Lunch – 2 tablespoons hummus on tortilla strips, 1 cup blueberries
    Nurse
    Dinner – 1 cup veggies (sweet potato, mushrooms, squash), 1/2 cup beans, 1/2 avocado
    Nurse

    I’d try just offering him MORE at each meal, and see if it holds him over longer. Does he give cues that he’s done, or do you just decide it’s over? I think Cullen would literally eat forever, so I have a hard time knowing when to cut him off.

    • RhodeyGirlTests

      @Emily Malone, I think sometimes he wants more variety because he starts screaming and I take him out of the highchair but then he wants a snack 10 minutes later. I might try offering 4-5 things instead of 2-3 and see if it makes a difference.

      This morning I just gave him the whole piece of toast with almond butter plus an egg made with butter and topped with cheese and he ate both (minus what ended up on his lap) as well as a cup of blueberries. Guess I will keep offering more quantities and types!

  12. Maureen

    My daughter is older now (4) and her brother hasn’t yet reached the point of solid foods but some of our favorite things used to be…….
    - Mini egg fritatas (I’d make them on the weekend and bake in a muffin tin with all sorts of mix-ins veggies, cheese, meat, etc.) They freeze great and can be used for means and snacks.
    - We always kept bags of frozen organic mixed veggies and cooked chicken or beans in the freezer, we could then easily mix them together and add barbecue sauce or something on top for an easy/filling meal
    - Applesauce
    - I’ve also always made my own trail mix for her, when she was young and still couldn’t eat nuts it might be a bag of cheerios, some dried fruit, dried coconut & granola……those are always staples I have in the cabinet anyway and it’s something quick that you can put in a bag and take with you when you’re out
    - Totally agree with hummus like some people mentioned above it’s a great snack and there are so many things that can be dipped in it
    - I’ve always made a lot of whole wheat french toast/muffins/zucchini bread and other freezer friendly items on the weekends. Once made they’ll last a while and make for quick breakfasts or snacks if I take them out and heat them when needed.
    - Homemade veggie & bean burgers
    I’m so looking foward to the food stage again in a few months with my son!!

  13. It seems like a pretty normal amount, really. But go by how hungry he acts, they’re pretty good at self-monitoring at this age. Robby also likes whole fruits (nectarine, pear, etc…), organic versions of Nutragrain bars, popsicles, and…you’ve pretty much got the rest!

  14. Briana

    Mia snacks all day! some of her favorites are those dates rolled in coconut [which seem high in sugar but i read a study on how amazing dates are for us], rice cakes [we usually get organic brown rice - apple/cinnamon - only 2g of sugar!], raisins, trail mix with the larger nuts pulled out, bread with peanut butter or jelly [krofter's makes a jelly with no added sugar] or just straight out of the bag, cheese, crackers, lots of fruit, pickles [though i try to limit these], organic puffs [we've kind of phased these out but if she sees them at a friend's she still loves them], pretzels and pretzels dipped in hummus [one of her favs], chips and salsa, peas.

  15. april

    wow…wish my 2 1/2 year old would eat like that. she hardly eats anything. I have no suggstions for you, sorry. I just wanted to share my hardship.

  16. My daughter is only six mos but some snack ideas for the future: kale chips, little mini homemade date balls (dates processed with almond butter and whatnot), freeze dried berries, homemade granola bars and muffins, leftover whole grain pancakes or waffles, hard boiled egg, beets, raisins, tortilla roll ups, cucumbers. hope some of those ideas help!

  17. Hilary

    I know you said he might be allergic to peanuts, but what about other nuts? My 2 yr old loves macadamia nuts and roasted almonds, which are great for snacks. He also eats tons of meat. Rotisserie chicken, steak, chicken salad (or any chicken dish!), hamburgers – I make that the center of his meal. We don’t give him many carbs usually. I think the protein really helps keep him full longer than the carbs, which make them snacky all day.

  18. Ginny Ashton

    Such a helpful post Sabrina, thanks! Ellie is really into black beans these days. She especially loves them mixed with a little bit of mild salsa and warmed up & all mashed together. She also likes homemade black bean/chick pea burgers.

  19. Brittany

    OMG is there such a thing as over feeding ??? My ten month old boy just had breakfast : 2 tablespoons yogurt with half a kiwi, a small blueberry pancake plain, and about a quarter of a piece of bacon. With probably 1- 2 ounce of water. And he got a 7 ounce bottle first thing this morning. he is 18 pounds

  20. My almost one year old is skinny and eats a tremendous amount. We do a lot of steamed veggies. You could just add those in at every meal, and I don’t think you could go wrong. My bug loves boiled beets and sweet potato and just munches away. He eats tons of steamed broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini. We just give him pieces, and he stops when he’s full. He LOVES hummus, plain black beans and salmon (when we eat it). My doctor said babies self-regulate, so when he stops eating, the food goes away. We cook enough veggies to last a couple of days and keep feeding them until they’re gone.

  21. Kathy

    When my 3 year old was little she loved sweet potato fries. I would just cut a sweet potato into fries and bake until they were soft. I also steamed or roasted a bunch of veggies. Her favorite was zucchini. I really wish she still ate like that. Now she is super picky about everything.

  22. Jen

    Maybe bulking up the meals will make him less snacky? I have no idea the quantity that my 10 month old eats, but I just keep adding more until he doesn’t seem interested or starts throwing it. I only give him a few pieces of anything at a time…if his tray is overwhelming, I think he just ends up throwing it all. Some items that I include in snacks/meals:
    -lentils w/ applesauce
    -steamed veggies (he especially loves broccoli, I keep a bowl in the fridge and feed them cold)
    - rice cakes (plain) with applesauce, etc on top
    - grilled cheese
    - quesadillas (melted cheese in a tortilla)
    - whole wheat bagel/english muffin w/ butter, jam, cream cheese, or applesauce
    - pouches like Ella’s or Plum Organics – they are a bit pricey, but he sucks them down. They are perfect for on the go, and there are many combinations (fruit and vegges, and some even with quinoa, etc. in them) I order them off of Amazon.
    - frozen peas – easy to add to any meal/snack
    - mandarin oranges – I try to get the kind that is not packaged in syrup to avoid added sugar.

  23. I know I write about toddler food all the time, so you probably know all my ideas, but what about ravioli? H loves it and I’ll drizzle on a little extra olive oil to pack in some calories.

    And sweet potatoes. H eats a ridiculous amount of sweet potatoes. So easy to slice into sticks and roast.

    It seems like Raffi is eating like a champ, though!

  24. Mangos/peaches, carrots, prunes/dates, and banana’s…

    Once you learn how to cut a mango, it makes for a great little treat for the little ones. I cut the mangos into 2 halves, down both sides of the pit, and then trim around the edges. You can melon ball out the mango from each halve and cut those in halve if you want. It’s a really soft fruit and kids eat. it. up! Cut up peaches and pears are fantastic too, and you can put them in a little container or baggie and bring with you anywhere.

    Banana’s… the na-na food. So good for him, and so easy to bring any where and break apart for him to nibble on when he is ready for a snack.

    If you flash steam cut up carrots and put a tbsp of cane sugar in the water, it gives them a little more sweetness, without the sugar, and are a tasty treat cold or at room temp if you take somewhere.

    Prunes and dates are great too and you can find them in almost any store (her in the south at least) individually wrapped in counts of like 25 per pack. So these are easy to throw in your purse or diaper bag or pocket!

    Oh, one more, sweet potato sticks! So yummy and a big hit with us. You just cut into little spears (like fries) or cube them (my fave way) and bake in the oven. Not sure if you are introducing him to spices yet, but a couple sprays of coconut oil and a touch of nutmeg and cinnamon seal the deal in my house!

    I’ve gotten great recipes from http://www.homemade-baby-food-recipes.com – like mini zucchini bread muffins, and tiny sweet potato and apple pancakes (which you can also substitute with pumpkin, considering it’s almost fall). The muffins and pancakes are very healthy and will help fill in where he needs a bit more carbs, but still be easy to digest.

  25. Melissa

    Emily and Sabrina – I’ve been reading both of your blogs for about a year now and it’s been so nice read about moms going through similar experiences. My son, Cruz, is 11 months old (12 mths on Oct. 2nd) and he eats A TON! He is formula fed, but still takes a bottle 4 – 5 times a day and eats 3 meals and one snack. He eats about every 1.5 hours. Luckily he is not very picky, but I don’t know what I’m going to do when the bottles stop.

    Any ideas? Do you think they will just eat even more when the wean off the breastmilk/formula? Will they need meals and snacks all day long? How am I going to afford to feed a growing boy?! j/k

    Thanks for sharing your journey with the rest of us.

    • Sabrina

      @Melissa, Hi! I just pack Raffi in with more and more food now. I feel like all my money is spent at the market, but he’s hungry! He’s now down to 2 nursing sessions a day and only drinks a few oz of cow’s milk so he is eating a LOT more. It’s out of control. I am trying to pick foods that are dense but I’m having a tough time too.

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