Toddler Nutrition, Food and Meals Oh My

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If you haven’t had a problem with your toddler and mealtime yet…

consider yourself blessed!

Trying to get your child eat to nutritious food is one thing, but getting them to eat at the table, have proper manners… blah, blah, blah is an entirely different story.

Here are some things to check out while you’re dealing with your toddler nutrition and mealtime battles.

Creating a happy, healthy relationship between your toddler and food

Parents always feel pressured to have those perfect family dinners (although I don’t think they’re “all that”). I think the first thing we should do is take a huge weight off of our own shoulders and stop worrying about whether everyone is sitting properly at the table and using the right utensils.

That will come, with time. When your kids are toddlers, developing a healthy and positive attitude toward food is more important than proper table manners. Dionna (@codenamemama) wrote a great post with ideas on making mealtime a positive experience that I wish I’d printed out and posted on my fridge when my kids were that age (in fact, maybe I should still do it now).

It is important to remember when dealing with your own kids and when handing out advice to others, that what works for one toddler, will not necessarily work for another.

That is especially true when it comes to picky eaters. There will always be some person ready to tell you that if you just put healthy food in front of your kids, they are guaranteed to eat it. My experience with a picky eater tells me that is FAR from the truth.

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Junk food could damage your toddler’s brain

Can’t wait to snap a photo of your toddler trying her first French fry? Well, you may want to hold off on that first fry.

A new study on food and your brain just came out with disturbing results: Fast food can make you dumb. Seriously. Trans fats — the kind found in fast food and processed food — are tied with lower brain volume and worse cognitive performance. In other words, junk food makes your brain smaller and slower.

It’s pretty hard to rationalize this one away. If you want your child to eventually do well in school, it sounds like you’ll want to lay off the fast food. And you may want to cut back on the boxed snack foods, too.

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My top 10 favorite weelicious recipes 2011

It’s the last weekday of 2011 (ahhhh!) and so I have compiled for you my top 10 personal favorite weelicious recipes from this year (ok, so I included 16 recipes, but who’s counting?).

My simple criterion was: what was most popular with my own family.

Some of these recipes, like the Grilled Cheese Pickle Panini and Chocolate Chip Granola Bars for school lunch, I made so many times this year that I lost count. I hope that this list inspires you to get in the kitchen in the New Year to make simple recipes that both you and your family will love!

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So do you have any problems with getting your toddler to eat? Have any tips you’d like to share?

Let us know all your toddler nutrition tips in the comments below.

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