How to feed a finicky toddler

Ah dinner time. For some, a welcome whole family catch-up at the end of the day. For others, a bitter fight that ends with frustrated kids and parents.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Be sure to read to the end to find my favorite source of advice on feeding children.

Why is my kid suddenly so picky?

“Picky eating often surfaces around one year—a time when many children are beginning to feed themselves.  They can now choose what and how much to eat, giving them  some degree of control over their lives.” SOURCE

What can I try to save us from mealtime battles?

“Many parents worry about what their children eat — and don’t eat. However, most kids get plenty of variety and nutrition in their diets over the course of a week.” SOURCE

What food should I try feeding my toddler?

“When asked about what to feed a picky eater, I totally drew a blank and thought of all the food Milo routinely dumps on the floor. His pattern was so erratic that just when I thought he was finished with his meal, because he’d tossed half of it on the floor and started asking for either “dow(n)” or “nigh(t) nigh(t),” he’d actually begin eating his meal again with gusto.” SOURCE

What could I be doing that makes eating even more problematic?

“A toddler’s rejection of favorite foods is natural, but could become problematic when you mistakenly assume that it means “I hate this food and I never want to eat it again.” SOURCE

How can I make sure my child gets enough of the right foods?

“Toddlers from one to three years need between 1,000 and 1,300 calories a day, yet they may not eat this amount every day. Aim for a nutritionally-balanced week, not a balanced day.” SOURCE

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Tips on baking from beginning to end

Baking can be finicky and challenging.

Recipe directions provide the oven temperature, baking time range and usually general instructions to bake an item until it is “golden brown.”

But it doesn’t always turn out. Sometimes an item seems dangerously undercooked even at the max time. Sometimes the inside of your dish is undercooked while the outside is turning a rich black color.

But why?

Well, it all has to do with chemical reactions, the weather and finicky ovens.

I’m no professional, but here are my tips and tricks that I have learned and collected over time. I’m hoping that at least one of these helps you in your quest for perfectly golden brown baked goods.

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Tips on getting a toddler to eat

Oh the joys of feeding a toddler (speaking of which, that’s my toddler in the photo, enjoying chocolate ice cream in his first visit to Disneyland).

ToddlerEatingChocolateIceCreamActually, the joys in attempting to get your toddler to eat anything.

Not quite a baby. Not quite a child. It’s that in-between time that leads to confusion and frustration for you and your child on how to deal with daily life.

Let’s just get this out of the way first: do not believe that my child eats everything I make. In fact, he takes the BBQ-grilled pizza that my husband and I made from scratch for hours and chucks it against the wall.

It’s frustrating. It’s more than frustrating.

A toddler who refuses to eat (which is every toddler at some point) makes a parent worry about nutrition. It makes you wonder just how much protein is in those cute little yogurt-covered cookies.

Here are my tips on getting a toddler to eat:

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Kitchen must-have: a cast iron skillet

Some chefs stock their kitchens full of every gadget, trinket and tool. Others keep just a minimal supply of absolute must-haves. I consider myself somewhere in between.

And I recently left my part-time job at Sur la Tab so we can have leisurely family time on weekends. And that means I can now give my personal advice on what kitchen items are absolute must-haves.

My first item is a cast iron skillet.

Cast-iron-skillet

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