What to hand a hungry toddler

toddler with olive fingers

My kids are great eaters. Foodies, you might say. We raised them that way from the get go. Instead of chicken nuggets and french fries, we offered miso soup loaded with tofu as an early staple. Now 23 and 19, I could have paid for their college education with all the sushi they’ve eaten over the years. 

My daughter makes French macarons to die for. My son has a whole science project going on in his kitchen with all kinds of homemade fermenting vegetables, kimchi and kombucha. He even got me making my own sauerkraut and it's delicious. But I digress.

I don’t actually have the answer for how to raise eaters who aren’t picky and love healthy food, but one piece of advice might be to offer real food and not processed, packaged, artificially flavored albeit super easy alternatives.

Following is a list of foods you might consider handing your hungry toddler. And in addition to offering healthy options, consider making snack or mealtimes fun on occasion. Have a snack sitting on the front steps, or spread a picnic blanket out in the backyard or even on the kitchen floor. Include a favorite stuffed animal or doll at the table, or wear dress up clothes for something different.

Sure it takes more effort and energy but life is short and these are precious times. Slow down and enjoy them.

When choosing from this list, consider the age of your child and whether or not the foods might be a choking hazard.

Choose from:
Pitted dates stuffed with goat cheese, cream cheese or other cheese
Carrot sticks topped with pitted black olives
Banana slices or whole bananas rolled in coconut or granola
Homemade frozen yogurt popsicles
Melon balls, strips or cubes
Frozen blueberries
Butternut squash or sweet potato cubes (roasted in coconut oil - yum)
Raw zucchini strips or rounds
Baby trees - steamed broccoli dipped in dressing of choice
Plum tomatoes cut in half or smaller
Fresh corn kernels off the husk (raw or steamed)
Cucumber sandwiches - cream cheese spread between two cucumber rounds
Hard-boiled, deviled or scrambled eggs
Avocado strips or cubes
Orange quarters
Leftover waffle or pancake pieces (I prefer buckwheat or whole grain)
Apple sandwiches - nut butter of choice spread between apple slices

What are your go to delicious and healthy toddler foods?