So as some of you may or may not know, I am studying dietetics and I want to specifically work with children. During my first semester I learned a copious amount already in regards to what to feed kids and also learned about some ways to help with fussy eaters. This sprung the idea to have a First Friday dedicated to kid-friendly recipes and helpful tips for moms and caretakers to get their children to eat the foods they need to help them grow healthy and strong.
If you’re new to the world of kids, welcome! I don’t have any children of my own, but my little brother and I have an 18-year age gap. Helping and observing my mom, I learned lot first hand on different techniques. He’s 8 years now and it is still a learning process I very much enjoy.
Some basics: the foods that most often cause allergies are eggs, peanuts and milk – be sure to check with a pediatrician or parent (if you’re babysitting) before giving any items with these ingredients. Also keep in mind, if the child is allergic to milk, they may also be allergic to soy so you do want to be careful with soy products as well. Lastly, an allergy is different from an intolerance and sensitivity. A tolerance or sensitivity to a certain food will cause an upset tummy whereas an allergy may send a child to the hospital so it is very important to know which applies and never take a possible allergic reaction lightly.
In order to facilitate it, I will add foods that don’t contain eggs, milk or peanuts as much as possible.
Big rule of thumb that I will continuously say during these posts is that sometimes it can take 8-12 times for a child to want to try a certain food. Patience is definitely the key here. Don’t pressure kids to eat something they are saying no to nor pressure them to finish everything on their plate. Kids, especially during the toddler ages, want independence and to make their own decisions and it is important to allow them this freedom so they build a healthy relationship with food. They also tend to like foods they are familiar with so it may take a few times of presenting a certain food before they actually decide to try it. If they don’t want to eat broccoli, for example, it’s okay, just remove it from their sight and present it again another time. You’ll be surprised that eventually they’ll try it! Children between 3-5 begin to start using forks, spoons, and cups without spilling too often, and eat cut sized portions; however, supervision is still very much required. Sit with them and talk to them during meal times. This will prevent any chocking as well as provide bonding time with your little one(s).
Preschool-aged children also slow their growth, which means their appetite will decline during this time and that is perfectly normal. Their snacks should be mini meals since they won’t be eating too much at a time and should be nutrient dense; avoid sugary items as much as possible. For reference, the toddler size portion is about 1 tablespoon per year of age. Typically, they will let us know when they want to eat, and it is our responsibility to feed them healthy foods and snacks. Preparing snacks ahead of time will make this process much easier, especially when you are on the go. Once they start playing with their food or loosing interest during mealtime, it’s best to let them go about their day and try to feed them again later.
With all of this being said, let me share with you the first super easy and nutritious recipe!
Apple Donuts! This is a very easy & quick snack perfect for kids, teens, and even adults.
- 1 medium apple
- 3 tablespoons of almond butter
- 2 teaspoons shredded unsweetened coconut
- Apple corer
- Remove apple core with the apple coring tool carefully
- Slice the apple crosswise into 6-8 thin rings about 1/4 inch thick
- spread each apple with almond butter
- sprinkle the coconut shreds
You may also use, nuts (if no allergies are present), raisins, or cacao nibs
I hope ya’ll like this idea of kid-friendly recipes! I for one am having a fun time researching and putting them together and can’t wait to share more!
Until next time,