Ask the Internet–Toddler Food Edition

by Ginger on March 15, 2011

in Random

It’s time for another Ask The Internet! Where I ask you guys my questions–you’re way better than Google!

  1. Packable Lunches for Daycare? I desperately need some ideas for daycare lunches for Jackson. He only goes once a week, so it’s not like I need a LOT of ideas, but it would be nice to have a couple of different things in my repertoire. Right now, we generally send him with a PB&J, some fruit, maybe a cheese stick or some cottage cheese, and water. So, uh…ideas?
  2. Peanut Butter Even With an Allergic Classmate? So, related to my above question…we found out that one of Jackson’s little classmates is allergic to peanut butter. But when I asked specifically whether it was ok to bring peanut butter products, they said yes. Even though now there are signs around the room with the little girl’s picture saying “Allergic!” (no, I’m not kidding). So I’m conflicted. The daycare obviously has the liability and knows the ins and outs of that girl’s allergy and their obligation. I can’t imagine that they’d ignore that if it was life-threatening, just so other parents can bring a pb&j…but I still feel really awkward and more than a little uncomfortable about sending Jackson with peanut butter knowing one of his classmates is allergic. So…what would you do?
  3. General Toddler Food Suggestions? Yes, we have entered the stage where Jackson is more picky about his food than he used to be. He still eats pretty well the majority of meals, but I can see we’re possibly on the downward slope to…not eating as well. At the same time, we get into ruts as the grownups on what WE eat, so I’m a little stumped as to where to go from here. Jackson will sometimes eat what we eat (score!) and sometimes won’t (boo), but either way, with our schedules we often make two meals anyway, so that’s not a deal breaker for now. So folks, what are your tried and true toddler foods?
Kate @ ? Lililly March 15, 2011 at 1:34 am

Hmmm… well instead of peanut butter and jam (which just sounds disgusting to me even though i do know y’alls PB is sweeter than it is here) try a different sammie? Marmite or Vegemite (if you have it?), just jam? Or maybe Nutella, honey.

A yogurt always goes down well. Some chopped up carrot sticks, some plain unsalted crackers, maybe a mini muffin or a couple of pikelets. A box of raisins or sultanas are good for little fingers to practice getting in there with!

A banana is ZJ’s favourite food I would say. After cheese. He loves cheese.

Alexis March 15, 2011 at 4:50 am

For the PB thing try “sunbutter.” It tastes just like natural peanut butter, but is made of sunflower seeds. This is what we used when we had allergic kids at the daycare.

As for the food, really, if he is hitting the food groups, growing and not eating exclusively crisco, then maybe it is all just fine. Kids go through an age where they only eat like two things, not for any reason, just because they do. That doesn’t really help, but we are in the same boat and my NP said not to stress it, they snap out of it eventually. I only know 2-3 adults in my entire world who are so fussy that it is actually an issue so it must pass at some point….

Cherie Beyond March 15, 2011 at 7:53 am

Finally, years of packing day care lunches pays off! Here’s some things that have worked for us:

Muffins- I make a big batch of healthy muffins (whole wheat with fruit in them), freeze them, and then throw them in a lunch. You can split them and spread on PB or cream cheese for some protein.

Yogurt or cottage cheese- I buy the big container and then split it up into reusable containers, but you can do individual containers if you don’t mind the cost/waste. (I find the 1/2 cup size Gladware containers to be the perfect toddler serving.)

Frozen vegetables: this may just be my kid, but she loves peas, mixed vegetables, whatever. I just put the frozen veg into a container in the morning and it’s thawed by lunchtime. Weird, yes, but effect.

Other things I send include cheese/lunch meat and crackers, vegetables and pretzel sticks with hummus (less popular, my kid doesn’t like to dip things but I know some kids love it), and leftover pasta with cheese and vegetables mixed in.

As for general food suggestions, I’m kind of hard-core on the “eat what we eat” situation so I’m the wrong person to ask. I just don’t even want to start down the two-dinners road. If she doesn’t eat dinner, she doesn’t eat dinner. *shrug* So far she has eaten at least some of everything we’ve served her and she hasn’t starved yet.

Kate March 15, 2011 at 10:57 am

I’m with you on the you eat what we eat thing, I forgot to add that to my original comment. ZJ has basically been having dinner with us since he was able to chew and eat more complex stuff (and was going to bed after we made our dinner). If he doesn’t eat, he doesn’t eat… but he usually will pick at something on the plate and I’ve noticed if hes super hungry he will eat it, if hes not, he usually has his drink of milk and is not bothered.

He hasn’t starved so far yet either 🙂

He has a pretty big breakfast (but we are meant to have bigger breakfasts and smaller dinners anyway) and a hearty lunch so eh.

shasta March 15, 2011 at 9:24 am

Mittens is a fan of shredded chicken (I usually use the Swanson or Tyson canned stuff) seasoned with sea salt and pepper. Sometimes I make a little sandwich using a Hawaiian Sweet Bread roll or toast. She ends up deconstructing whatever I make so it has to be pick-apart-able. Other than that, she usually gets dinner leftovers or broken-down frozen food (taquitos, egg rolls, etc) for lunch. You could also try Nutrigrain bars, bananas, tater tots, sticky rice, frozen mini pancakes.

Also, I just saw sunbutter and almond butter at Trader Joe’s.

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks March 15, 2011 at 9:55 am

If the school said it’s OK to bring peanut butter, then I’m sure it’s fine. But, it seems like you have conflict over it, in which case, maybe it’s better for your soul not to send peanut butter to school. What would I do? I’d ask myself if it were my child who had the allergy, would I want other kids bringing the allergic product into the classroom? Therein may lie your answer.

Allison March 15, 2011 at 10:20 am

So maybe Violet is weird, but some of her favorite foods are smoked trout, extra firm tofu, and baked dinosaur kale with parmesan cheese and lemon juice. All travel well. She also likes dried cranberries which is a good alternative to raisins.

As far as the peanut butter, that’s hard. Kids like to trade food, and you want to encourage “sharing” as a concept…dunno.

Morgan March 15, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Such a challenge! We serve a lot of “snacky plates” in our house: little bits of this and that from all the food groups. The little girls love it and I don’t throw away sandwiches, etc. Choose any parts you know he’ll eat and put together a little sandwich keeper of all the little bits. Kinda like a buffet in a box. 🙂

At my son’s school … they had a “no peanut” table for meals … and that seemed pretty safe.

Hope that helps a little bit …
Visiting from SITS 🙂

Deidre March 15, 2011 at 4:09 pm

you could use almond butter – he probably won’t be able to tell the difference but then the classmate won’t be effected.

I don’t have kids – so I am kind of useless here for giving advice. But grapes? carrot sticks? trail mix (without peanuts)? noodles that are supposed to be eaten cold – like sesame noodles?

Ginger March 23, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Mine are into trail mix, fruit leathers (a bit healthier than fruit snacks, I hope), salami rolled up or with cream cheese in the middle, thin veggie sticks w/ ranch dressing (red & green peppers, cucumbers, carrots), pirates booty (LOVE), clif bars for kids, squeezable yogurt (although it can be messy), apple sauce, baked veggie chips (like Tera chips at Trader Joe’s), goat cheese on crackers….

Hope that helps a little!

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: