The Busy Mom's Diet

Do you make a separate meal for your kids?

by Emily on September 6, 2012

toddler meals

Thinking about it Thursday:

As Miles gets older, I find myself pondering a new question at meal times: Do I make Miles eat the same foods we are eating, do I make him a separate meal, or do I find some middle ground in there? I have some thoughts on the matter, but I am hoping that I can harness the power of my mama friends to give me your 2 cents and experiences in order for me to come up with a game plan for tackling this issue.  (Note: Miles has no apparent food allergies so far and is developmentally average for height and weight, so those issues don’t apply in my particular case).

The way I see it, we have 3 options: I could make him eat whatever we are eating, I could make him a separate meal, or I could offer him what we are eating and then supplement with other options.

The Case for Making Him Eat What We Eat:

  • Less cooking time (I’m a busy mom, it’s in the blog name for goodness sake!)
  • More variety in food consumption (I think, if Miles got to pick, he would eat penne pasta for every meal)
  • Convenience of being able to eat with friends or at school without demanding a special menu.
  • Less waste (It is hard to cook one toddler sized portion of anything without wasting, even with strategic use of left overs)

The Case for Making Him a Separate Meal:

  • His little developing body and mind needs nutrition, so we should get that for him however he’ll take it.
  • Meal time is family time for us and I don’t want it to turn into fighting/power struggle time.
  • I don’t want him to think food is the enemy.
  • He has plenty of time to develop his pallet.

Finding a Middle Ground?

  • I am trying to always offer him what we are eating first and then supplement with additional fruits, pastas and things he loves if he doesn’t get enough down.
  • For lunch, I usually give him a toddler specific meal and then breakfast and dinner are similar to what we are eating. (Here are some of my baby and toddler meal recipes)
  • I am trying to incorporate veggies in a creative way that either camouflages them or makes them appealing by dipping them in hummus or something.
  • We are eating together, so he sees us eating the same food and feels like a big boy.
  • I am not sure how to handle it when he flat out refuses a vegetable. (He’s one, so we can’t really have two way communication about specific veggies yet)

Help!  What do you do or what did you do when you had a toddler?  Did it work?  Would you do it again?

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