June 1, 2010

The Voracious Appetites of Toddlers (and Preschoolers)

Lately, it seems like I'm spending all my time cooking or preparing food for my kids. Part of this is my choice since pretty much everything we eat is homemade. It takes time to prepare real, nutrient rich food! But in the last few weeks, my kiddos seem to have gotten a lot more hungry. So, I've been trying to find ways to get more calories in them while still keeping to our healthy lifestyle. My biggest challenge is actually balancing all the fruit and veggies they eat with, um, more "bulky" food. We've had a few days lately where they clearly had waaaayyy too much fiber in their diet. Hopefully, I'll get it figured out soon!

Here's how a typical day goes for us. Need I say...Everything is either organic or grown naturally and locally as often as possible? :)

Eggs, toast and some kind of fruit like an apple or banana.
Steel cut oatmeal (no sugar - they prefer a little salt and butter) with raisins
Plain organic yogurt with honey

Green smoothie - usually involves apple, pear, banana, frozen mango or strawberries and LOTS of spinach. We use water as the liquid and no sweetener. The fruit is super sweet and it tastes awesome!

PBJ sandwiches
Homemade pizza (with a lot of veggies and goat cheese)
Cheese quesadillas.
Cut up veggies, goat cheese and other finger foods

Usually more fruit of some kind but sometimes special "cookies" that involve mainly oats, honey, eggs, veggies like carrots and zucchini, apples, raisins, nuts etc.
or popcorn with trail mix stuff

Amazing stuff made by my husband - lots of veggies with meat or lentils.

When I write it out, it sounds like so much food. But, they only eat a little of everything and they DO-NOT-STOP-GOING all day! Plus, I believe in teaching them to listen to their bodies when it comes to food. I refuse either to force them to eat everything on their plates or to refuse them food when they're truly hungry. That said, I'm not into wasting food - so if they don't finish everything and they're full, I'll put their leftovers in the fridge for a later snack. Also, if my oldest is too "full" to finish veggies, she definitely doesn't get dessert - even though it's usually made with fruit.

Anybody have other healthy snack ideas for growing munchers? Please share!


  1. i got your delicious email and will respond soon soon!

    just want to say that i honor how conscious you are about feeding your little ones healthy, whole foods!

    cedar is a picky eater. oh man he loves carbs. it seems one of the only ways he will eat veggies is if i put them in his smoothies. he spits out a lot of the cooked veggies i put on his plate.

    although he will eat a whole avocado no problem and he loves fruit and yogurt and oatmeal but give him a slice of zucchini and he spits it. ; )

    love love.

  2. I agree whole-heartedly that teaching our kids early on to eat healthy (and leading by example) is the only way it will make a real difference in their lives. I am always excited to get new ideas on snacks and a more natural/whole ways to eat a favorite food! Thanks! And as you know, mine are ON-THE-GO all day, everyday! haha =)


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