Feeding a toddler is hard work. Not only do they need to eat about a thousand times a day, they also keep you on their toes as to what they’re going to like, what they’re going to refuse, and what they’re going to change their minds about.
And don’t even get me started on the mess.
Initially, my daughter would eat almost everything. I had read that around age one babies sometimes become picky eaters. I was somewhat dreading this, but at the same time, I couldn’t imagine my daughter becoming a picky eater, since she ate everything with such gusto.
Then, like clockwork, right around her first birthday, she started refusing foods that she had previously loved. Suddenly, she decided that oatmeal is gross (she wouldn’t be the first person who felt this way), soups are so last month, and Cheerios are bland.
So, I have my work cut out for me. I’m always interested in what other people are feeding their toddlers, as it gives me new ideas and inspiration. Sometimes, it’s a food that had never occurred to me to feed to my daughter, and other times, it’s a new twist on a classic that’s just different enough that she’ll give it a second chance.
Here are some of the random foods that my daughter loves. That is, these are foods that she loves today. Ask me tomorrow and it may be completely different.
Plain Yogurt- When I first introduced yogurt to my daughter, I gave her plain yogurt mixed with fruit (I didn’t buy fruit yogurt because they all had added sugar). One day, I decided to see if she would eat the plain yogurt without mixing fruit into it. To my surprise and delight, she loved it! Now, I just feed it to her plain and I give her fruit separately because I want to encourage her to enjoy different tastes.
Chickpeas (canned)- These are a super healthy and convenient finger food. I drain the chickpeas, peel them and split them in half (way easier than it sounds). I also serve her meals that have chickpeas in them, but I’m glad she likes them on their own because it’s a great snack, and it’s very portable.
Canned Flaked Light Tuna- I just drain the tuna, and put some on her tray. She eats it with her hands, and loves it. I don’t give it to her too often because I worry about the mercury content, but from what I’ve read, the canned light tuna isn’t too high in mercury.
Quinoa with orange juice- This was sort of an accidental discovery. My daughter wasn’t really interested in any part of her breakfast except for the orange. When she finished with that, I was searching for something else to give her, and I saw some leftover cooked quinoa in the fridge. I squeezed the juice from the orange into the quinoa, and…success! I’ve only tried this combination once so we’ll see if she likes it again the next time.
Pureed asparagus- My daughter has a hard time chewing little pieces of cooked asparagus, I guess because of its stringiness, so I still puree it for her. She refused to eat it from a spoon but when I put the puree on her tray, she happily shoveled in into her mouth. Well worth the mess.
If your baby or toddler has any unexpected favourites, I’d love to hear them!
Disclaimer: Please note, I am not a medical professional, and I am in no way providing nutritional advice, or doing anything else sketchy that would get me into trouble. I am simply sharing my own experience. Please discuss any nutritional decisions with your health care provider.