How To Make Dinners for Toddlers

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters. You don't need to make a separate meal for your toddler every night. How do you make dinners for toddlers that adults can eat too? Here's how.

Step 1

Keep it simple. Don't add a lot of complicated flavors that your children may not like. Especially avoid trying out new meals that introduce several new foods for your toddler. If they do not like any of these new foods, they won't be able to eat the same dinner as the rest of the family. Simpler meals have a better chance of being a hit with your children.

Step 2

Make substitutions. When cooking the dinner, separate the foods that your toddler may not like to ensure that they can eat the ones they do. For example, don't include mushrooms in a soup that they would otherwise eat; you can add mushrooms separately to the adult portions. Keep your child's tastes in mind, and use ingredients or side dishes from the meals that they don't like to assemble a meal that they will eat. Keep simple foods on hand, like chicken nuggets, for when you are cooking a meal that they are unwilling to eat. At the same time, don't be afraid to try new foods with your toddler. You may be surprised at what they like!

Step 3

Make dinner fun. You can make dinner more fun for your toddler by serving vegetables in fun shapes. For example, you can make a mashed potato snowman with vegetable features, or arrange vegetable sticks in a circle. Bring out the dipping sauce to encourage your children to eat their vegetables. Cheese or noodles can also make dinner more appealing for toddlers.

Step 4

Use the food pyramid. Prepare a healthy meal with a mix of fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, and starch.

Step 5

Serve appropriate portions. Pay attention to the size of the foods you are serving. Make sure that anything you give your toddler is already cut into bite-size pieces. Serve smaller portions of any parts of the meal they will eat.

Step 6

Don't despair if they don't eat. It's not uncommon for toddlers to eat full meals at breakfast or lunch and then be disinterested in dinner.

Cooking for a family of adults and young children can be challenging, but you don't have to cook two separate meals. Your toddler should be able to eat most of the meals you are serving, with a few substitutions. Only you know which foods your toddler will eat, so plan the meals around their tastes while making them sophisticated enough for grown-ups, too. It may take a little trial and error to please both toddlers and adults with your dinners, but you can surely find meals that both children and adults will eat without complaints.


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