As a parent of a toddler, I’ve quickly learned that my life is a lot easier if I let Dexter make small choices throughout the day. I give him options and he decides what he wants. It lets him feel like he has some control, while still allowing me to put some limitations on things. Almost every single day for lunch, I offer Dexter a couple of choices. Some of these choices include peanut butter and jelly, grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese, random leftovers, and his current favorite…snackies lunch.
Snackies lunch is just a term we started using for lunch that is made up of random little snacks. Just like every other toddler, Dexter goes through phases of loving certain foods and meals. Right now, he is very into snackies lunch.
Mom likes snackies lunch because I don’t really have to do much. I throw some random things on a plate and call it a meal. Dexter seriously gets excited when I put something new on the plate. I tell him to close his eyes and that it’s a surprise. Adding this suspense makes a big difference in his interest in eating.
I typically try to make sure lunch always has at least 1 vegetable. Of course there are days when I fail at this. One super easy way we incorporate veggies into Dexter’s meals, is with bags of frozen organic vegetables. I buy bags of organic frozen mixed veggies, peas, and green beans. I thaw them in a mug of hot water while I prepare everything else. I thaw them like this because Dexter hates when his food is too warm. I’ve learned that by thawing them in hot water, they will be the perfect toddler temperature.
Here are some of my favorite snackies lunch items:
- Frozen veggies
- Dried/roasted seaweed
- Cheese sticks
- Veggies and hummus
- Baked chickpeas
- Beet chips
- Kale chips
- Sugar snap peas
- Kalamata olives
- Trail mix
- Celery with peanut butter
This possibilities for snackies lunch are seriously endless.
This is also a great way to introduce new things to your children. Since you’re only giving them a small amount of something, they may not feel intimidated of scared. Everything else on the plate can be things they know and love, and then you add one new thing. Tell your child they only have to try one bite of the new thing. This motto has been tremendously helpful with Dexter. We’ve literally been doing it for years now, so he knows he must take at least 1 bite of everything on his plate. More often than not, he likes the new thing. And if he doesn’t like it, he doesn’t have to eat any more of it.
We also do snackies dinner whenever the adults are eating something that is definitely too spicy for the kids. We really make it a point in our family that we all eat the same meal for dinner, and that Dexter doesn’t get to throw a fit and get something special. But Dexter thinks pepper is too spicy, so sometimes he gets lucky with a special snackies dinner.