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Meal Prepping 101

Janel F.
JANEL F.
Registered Dietitian
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Whether you are prepping daily lunches or for weekly dinner options, Tinyhood's Registered Dietitian, Janel F., will help you understand what you need to get started.

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Ask Janel, our Registered Dietitian!

Message Janel
JANEL ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Toddler eats same foods again and again
MARIA, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

Hi Janel,
Any tips on getting my 2.5 y.o. toddler interested in expanding her palette and trying new foods? We haven't had much luck so far...

Janel
JANEL

Hi Maria,

What foods is your toddler eating/liking for breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks? Without knowing much, I can provide some tips and hopefully more detail once I hear back from you.

Are you eating meals together - as many as possible? Are you eating the same foods as a family? This is one of the best ways to get your child to eat and enjoy more foods, is by seeing what parents are eating/enjoying and sharing mealtime with them.

Also, at 2.5, your toddler is old enough to be in the kitchen with you helping you prep meals, so pull up a stool and let him/her wash fruit and veggies, spread pb+j with a spoon, stir pasta, etc.

Always put something new on the plate (like a new veggie, meat, grain, etc.) with something familiar that your child likes (like a dinner roll, grilled chicken, etc.).

Never coax, bribe, force your child to eat - this almost always backfires! Instead, pat yourself on the back for exposing your toddler to new foods (by eating with her, family foods, new things on the plate) even if the food never makes it into her mouth. The more we expose, the more opportunities there are for your child to ultimately try new things.

Janel

JANEL ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Tips to get toddlers to eat salad?
EMILY, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

Now that it’s warmer out, my husband and I eat a lot of salads. Any tips for getting our toddlers to also eat salad - lettuce, spinach, etc and other raw veggies? Thank you!

Janel
JANEL

Hi Emily,

Generally toddlers actually prefer crunchy veggies (over steamed/roasted/softer ones) so this is a great opportunity to introduce size/texture appropriate raw veggies that you and your husband enjoy. Kids generally love raw veggies best when paired with a dip - whether salad dressing, hummus, plain greek yogurt, or even a cheese sauce, they make a great vehicle for dips. While there are certainly some toddlers who love leafy greens, it can be tricky to get most to enjoy them as they're not especially crunchy, so start small, with a few spinach leaves on the plate plus other veggies to dip. Also, by eating with your child and modeling good eating behaviors, s/he will be more likely to try/enjoy the foods that mom and dad are enjoying!

Janel

JANEL ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Family friendly recipes
PAULA, PARENT OF 5 YEAR OLD

What are the best resources for family friendly recipes that will last for a few days? We have been using the crock pot a lot this winter but looking for some lighter recipes.

Janel
JANEL

Hi Paula,

While I don't have a specific favorite, there are many great family friendly, bulk style cookbook recipes on the market. My favorite recipe resource is always Pinterest, as I find the photos so inspiring, and it's easy to search "family dinner ideas," "easy summer dinners," or "big batch cooking," for example. In cooler months, I love making hearty pasta or grain salads, like a cold whole wheat pasta salad with tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, and chilled shrimp. Or something like a quinoa salad with grilled chicken strips mixed in and your favorite spring/summer veggies with a light balsamic vinegar/oil dressing and fresh herbs. You can easily double the recipe when you cook these so you have plenty for leftovers or a summer BBQ! If you have a grill, a simple grilled meat/veggie side with some baked potatoes or corn make an easy meal, and you can cook double so you just have to reheat the next night. Even simple sandwiches like grilled cheese or grilled chicken taste better on an outdoor grill!

Janel

MAXENE

Is there any reason I couldn't puree oatmeal and feed it to my baby? I make the oatmeal for breakfast for the rest of the family anyway.

Janel
JANEL

Hi Maxene,

Yes you can absolutely puree oatmeal and feed it to your baby! Depending on your baby's age and if s/he is progressing well with lumpier textures of solids, you may not even have to pureee it.

Janel