Here’s an ongoing collection of tips and ideas I’ve picked up along this adventure of creating a teeny tiny foodie. A lot of of this has been trial and error! Hopefully, some of these tips will help you, too!
The types of tips and ideas I’ve listed below are:
- -Tips and Ideas for Creating a teeny tiny foodie
- -Tips and Ideas for Cooking with Your Little Foodie
- -Tips and Ideas for Battling the Tricky Toddler at Mealtime
- -Time Saving Tips in the Kitchen
- -Tips and Ideas for Saving Money on Fruits and Vegetables
- -Tips and Ideas for Eating More Fruits and Vegetables
- -Tips and Ideas for Healthier Eating for the Whole Family
I’ve included links to the posts where these tips and ideas are mentioned, too.
And, I’d love to hear any tips you have to share, too! Please either email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or reply at the bottom of this page to leave a comment.
Tips and Ideas for Creating a teeny tiny foodie
- -Get your little foodie into the kitchen. Whether it is playing on the floor or at the counter, being around food as it is being prepared is part of the foodie experience. Read more about this tip by clicking here.
- -Read books about food and eating to, or with, your little foodie. Reading books about food and eating will introduce him to new words and ideas when the foods from the books show up on his plate, they won’t be so scary to him. Read more about this tip by clicking here.
- -Play like a little chef with play food, play kitchen tools and toys. Playing and acting helps little people learn about the world so playing with play food helps them learn about food and cooking. Read more about this tip by clicking here.
- -Bring your little foodie food shopping with you. Whether you’re going to the grocery store, the corner deli or the farmers market, bring your little foodie with you so she can be part of that experience. Little foodies that aren’t so teeny tiny can help pick out ingredients or even play a matching game by trying to find the “real version” of their play food. Read more about this tip by clicking here.
Tips and Ideas for Cooking With Your Little Foodie
- -Before you begin cooking, show your little foodie all of the ingredients in their original form so he can see the “materials” you’ll be using. Let him touch, smell and taste ingredients if possible.
- -Tell your little foodie what you’re doing while you work in the kitchen. This will not only expose him to new sights and sounds of the cooking but new words, too.
- -Give her tasks she can do such as helping you mix ingredients or pouring ingredients into the dish–even if it is with your help.
Tips and Ideas for Battling the Tricky Toddler at Mealtime
- -Give over control of the feeding. I’ve found that often my toddler is acting out because she wants to “do it” herself by feeding herself with the spoon or fork. I just try to breathe through the crazy mess she makes. 😉
- -Arm yourself with tools such as utensils and plates made for toddlers. I love the stuff made by OXO Tot. My favorites from them right now are this plate and these utensils. I’m also really into this plate and this sippy cup made by Tommee Tippee.
- -Introduce “new” or potentially “controversial” foods earlier in the day such as at lunch. That way, you can still offer a bulky dinner you know you’re toddler will like and he won’t go to bed hungry.
- -Resist the urge to empty the kitchen to find something your toddler will eat.
- Offer “rejected foods” more than once and in different forms. Read more about this tip by clicking here and here.
- -Don’t be afraid to end a meal that feels more like a battle than anything else. Move on with the day and offer a lot more food at the next meal.
- -Or, take a break from the meal and revisit it in another 10 minutes.
- -Sit down and eat together whenever possible.
- -Offer more than one item in a meal. Include at least one items your little one likes alongside something new or that she won’t always eat. That way, she will at least eat something at that meal.
Time Saving Tips in the Kitchen
- -Get all the prep work out of the way before you start cooking. For example, measure out the ingredients, wash and chop all produce, prepare the proteins so you can just add ingredients as you go. It’s more time in the beginning but it will save time in the end.
- -Always make extras. That way, there are leftovers to reheat quickly or extra ingredients you can easily turn into a new meal.
- -Work on a few parts of a meal at one time. For example, start boiling water for the pasta or rice before you begin chopping vegetables.
- -Organize your kitchen tools so the ones you use most often are easy to get to quickly. And if, like me, you live in an urban apartment with little storage space in the kitchen think vertically and use wall space to store tools or pots and pans where possible.
Tips and Ideas for Saving Money on Fruits and Vegetables
- -Shop seasonally and locally. The easiest place to do this is at a nearby farmers market.
- -Find the produce that is on sale at the grocery stores. This is typically the produce that is local and therefore seasonal, too.
- -Flash-frozen produce is a good option, too.
- -I’ve gotten loads of great ideas from Let’sMove.org. Check it out for more great advice! And here’s the link to a post where I talk about this idea, too.
Tips and Ideas for Eating More Fruits and Vegetables
- -Add chopped, pureed or grated vegetables to foods you already eat such as pasta, eggs and sauces.
- -Include at least 1 fruit or vegetable as part of every meal.
- -Add finely diced or freeze-dried fruit to yogurt, oatmeal or cereal.
- -Mix pureed fruits into oatmeal or yogurt.
Tips and Ideas for Healthier Eating for the Whole Family
- -Keep prepared foods in the fridge. Dedicate a couple of hours once or twice a week to prepare food for the next few days. Cook some vegetables, grains and proteins that you can then mix and match for different meals to bring to work or reheat and eat at home. I talk more about this in a post. Click here to read it.
- -Substitute whole grains for refined grains. If you don’t already like whole-wheat pasta, whole-wheat flour or brown rice, start slowly by mixing in ¼-½ whole grains to your recipe.
- -Limit the amount of snacks per day.
- -In terms of cooking methods, opt to bake, sauté or steam rather than fry foods.
- -Enjoy “treats” in moderation.
- -Limit, or exclude, processed foods. I try to buy packaged foods that list 5 ingredients or less on the label. I’ve learned so much about this topic from Lisa Leake who writes 100 Days of Real Food. Check it out for even more ideas.