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Meal Plan for 2.5yr old

  1. #1
    shaanmom is offline Registered User
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    Meal Plan for 2.5yr old

    Hi Everyone,
    Yet another thread worrying about child eating/not eating/too much/too little.... a mom's worry will never end!
    My 2.5yr old's eating habits are very difficult (for me at least): he eats the SAME THING all the time. It's either rice (cooked with different combo of veg) or pasta with cheese sauce only (won't touch it with tomato sauce), or bread.
    He won't touch pizza or anything red (he only dips his finger into ketchup sometimes).
    He won't touch any meat so I have to really hide it.
    Won't eat fruit except for banana. Won't even look at steamed/raw veg.
    I honestly don't see how he's not bored.
    What happened? Up until he was 18mths, he was wolfing down salmon, avocado, all manner of fruit and steamed veg. One day he just spat it out and that was the beginning of the no, no, no...!
    I need fresh ideas! Already have the wonderful Deceptively Delicious but need a toddler meal plan (apart from Annabel Karmel). I would love to know what your kids eat (especially from Indian mummies)!
    Thanks!
    Last edited by shaanmom; 09-21-2009 at 12:59 AM. Reason: typo

  2. #2
    snagito is offline Registered User
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    Could be just a phase but its tiring I know! Do you think he might be ready for stronger flavours? How about letting him share some of your meals. Also reduce portion size so that it seems more manageable. Let him serve himself from a big bowl in the middle of the table into a small bowl for himself. Is he self feeding? If not then give him a plastic fork/spoon and see how he manages. Would he eat kitchri? How about keema with peas? Or a paratha/roti with or without jam.

    If he likes cheese you could try enchiladas and sneak some minced chicken or something into it too? Maybe sushi would work well as rice-based. Has he had pita bread. You could try that with some different dips. Omelettes? How about tuna or sardines with potato mashed together and then fried as little cutlets (dipped in egg and then breadcrumbs). Fish fingers might work well -with oven baked chips?

    On the fruit issue, could you try a smoothie? Our son loves choosing his own weird fruit combinations and blending them and drinks it all up with yoghurt added too. Hope some of this helps! Hang in there, it will get better.

  3. #3
    shaanmom is offline Registered User
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    Snagito, what great ideas!
    He sits with us at the table when we eat (after he's had his own meal as we eat much later) and serves himself rice only if it's there, & won't let us add ANYTHING. He loves his rice, but it must be either white (we sneak in all the white veggies and use home made organic chicken stock), or green (with spinach). He spits out keema (minced meat), so I have to literally make it into a paste and sneak it in the green rice. He eats chapati but won't let me fill it with anything. So we knead dhal and other veggies into the dough. We do a lot of sneaky things but at the end of the day it's all the same thing essentially! i will try the sushi. Tuna he spits. Potato he spits - either in cutlets or fries. Can't add to his chapati as a filling either. Fish fingers already tried, he spits. Will try the smoothie, though.
    Thanks, looking forward to more suggestions!!
    :-)

  4. #4
    Neha is offline Banned
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    Our son is a very poor eater. But we also try a lot of tricks to feed him. But recently we started asking him before he goes to school what he wants to eat for lunch and he will give us his choice and we add one of ours. If we offer him anything new he always says I dont like without even trying it. We always tell him that this dish is not for him and only for us and then he will eat him, We also use the same masalas like for our food except mirchi.

    He likes Idlis, Dosas, Evb when he eats fish we look in different ways and some days he will eat fish and rice and some day fish and chappati or only fish.

    Ask him what he wants to eat and and also get him involved in cooking or show how u make it. It worked for us as he thought he was cooking he wanted to taste it.

    He loves aloo parathas, make the chappatis and parathas soft.

    We make some puris for him using cookie cutters and then feed him with vegatables initally we used to only dip the chappati etc only in the gravy and feeD him once he got used to the taste of gravy we started adding vegeables

    Best of luck

  5. #5
    snagito is offline Registered User
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    How about noodles? The udon ones are really nice stir fried and you can buy small packets at the supermarket in the freezer section so that if he doesn't like them then it won't be wasted. You could have a slurping contest - and see whether you or he could 'slurp' each noodle faster. Then once he's into the noodles you could introduce a broth and show him how to drink it up while he slurps etc. Could be fun. I know it's sort of like pasta but at least expanding the range a bit! If he is not keen on the smoothie you could also freeze it in the ice cube tray with sticks and say it's ice lollies etc. Has he tried hummous? Also, do you have a helper that can make the Filipina lumpia (spring rolls) for you - can get a lot of veggies in that way - I know it's deep fried but oh well..! Also how about garlic bread with melted cheese and a little ham or chopped sausage. Puff pastry? You could buy the ready made sheets and then make him little pies/turnovers with some sort of filling. Just thought I'll give you a few more ideas in case helpful.

  6. #6
    shaanmom is offline Registered User
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    Hey Neha & Snagito,
    More great ideas!
    Neha, he won't touch fish, can't stand the texture so I mash it up in his food. The only "gravy" type food he'll eat is "sai baji" which is great as it's got all the veggies in it! And daal in which I add a few more things... But like I said, my problem is variety, he is happy to eat the same old thing day in day out....! He won't eat alu (potato) paratha as he doesn't like alu but we use other veggies instead like carrotts. Tried idli without success, and don't know how to make dosas... Like the idea of just making gravy for him, will get on that for tonight.

    Snagito, i like your idea - just need to be careful he doesn't slurp the noodles too fast, right LOL?! Tried making the ice lollies, but he doesn't like that, only ice cream or gelato (doesn't like the ice texture, only smooth dairy!). Lumpia is a good idea, will give it a shot. Hey, the chap is so skinny, I think anything deep fried is not a real issue at the moment! Puff pasty is also a good idea, I have a bit leftover, we can roll it & cut it out like play dough. I like that one.

    You know, I noticed that on the days when we run him ragged, ie, take him to valley sports ground for eg, he comes home and will basically eat anything we present. Even if he doesn't want it, he's just too hungry to complain. I try to do that as much as possible, and now with this fantastic weather, will be doing a lot more running around (good for my waistline which is a plus!).

    Come on ladies, more!!

  7. #7
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    many kids are the same way... they are called "white" kids... white rice, white bread, white everything. it's mostly because children have over 10,000 taste buds. as you grow the tastebuds begin to die. an adult has only 3,000. that's why you may like stuff as an adult that you didn't like as a kid.

    my son was EXACTLY the same (but we're not indian). around the age of 3, he slowly started to try other things. i pushed him to try one bite of something new. just one bite. if he didn't like it, fine. but, he had to try.

    he's now 4.5 and still a conservative eater, however, he just tried salmon sushi for the first time and liked it. he's also had mushrooms, prawn cakes, "chicken skewers" (usually chicken satay with no sauce), pineapple fried rice (with raisins!) etc. i have also found that when he DOES try something new, i make a big deal out of how delicious it is and he often agrees, then asks for more! (mushrooms are an example).

    to let you know my boy weighs the same as my 2.5 yr old girl!

    what i'm trying to tell you is:
    1) dont' worry about the repetative nature of what he wants to eat... most kids are like that
    2) gently push a little as he gets older (doing it now won't work too well)
    3) keep trying
    4) do what works
    5) relax, your child will NOT starve himself.

  8. #8
    MilkMonster is offline Registered User
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    Hmm, I know you asked for meal ideas but I just thought I'd share my experience with my 2.5yr old. He used to eat everything just like your son and for the past few months has become increasingly picky. I tried to accommodate him with many choices but I found this made the behaviour worse. He would refuse to eat almost everything that was on the table except for things he liked like strawberries and pancakes, rice, etc. So I decided to take a stricter approach.

    I would put the food out onto his plate (same food as ours) and told him he didn't have to eat it if he didn't want to but he had to sit while we all ate and that if he chose not to eat it was OK, but that he should know that there would not be any snacks until the next meal even if he got hungry. we had a few days of skipped meals and a terribly cranky boy but he got the message that he needed to eat/feed himself at meal times.

    He still won't eat everything but he will have a few bites of carrots and whatever else is being served on his own and we don't battle over food anymore. He tells me when he's finished and we won't try to get him to eat more after that. if he is hungry between meals (4 meals a day - 3 main and 1 snack around 3pm), I tell him he needs to eat more at meal time so he doesn't feel hungry and tired. that he needs to eat to have energy to play and grow and that he needs to wait until it's meal time to eat. it's been working out ok for us and i am no longer frustrated with his eating. I have a feeling that this finickiness has more to do with power than it has to do with the actual food since like you said, when he's hungry, he will eat everything.

    Another thing that i found very helpful was to just put 1 item of veg, a very very small helping of rice, 1 piece of meat, etc on his plate and let him ask for more food instead of me asking him to finish what looks like a huge portion to him. when he asks for more 'rice' or whatever it is he likes i will say something like, "yes i will get you some more, can you eat the 'whatever he doesn't like' while you are waiting for me to get it for you?' i take my time and usually since it's only 1 piece, he will eat what he doesn't like without a fuss. if he is adamant about not eating something we don't force the issue.

    in the case where he is playing with his food, we will just say "you must not be hungry since you are playing with your food" and take away the food. A few times he cried and insisted he was still hungry, other times he would be ok with me taking away the food so i guess some days he just has less appetite than others - especially when we've stayed at home for the day or had a quiet afternoon, which makes sense i guess.

    good luck!! hope this phase is over quickly!!

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