What to do when your toddler is ravenous (and grumpy) and you need to feed them right now? The snack plate! I love this concept because it's so easy, especially when you do it in a pre-portioned plate or container.
The other day I opened the fridge and mostly saw leftovers (which the kiddo won't eat) and produce. She'd only had watermelon at school for her snack and needed to eat sooner than I had planned on serving dinner. And while we eat family meals 99% of the time, she was entering blood-sugar-crash-meltdown mode and I had to act fast.
I pulled out my star silicone mold, which I knew would make her happy since it's both a fun shape and a really unexpected way to eat a meal. And I filled up each compartment with a balanced range of foods. I included a fruit, a vegetable, a form of dairy (with protein and calcium), a bean for additional protein, and a snack food. Here's what's inside:
- Trader Joe's Inner Peas: These are basically the same as Harvest Snaps and are high in protein and fiber. They are a super tasty, but not too salty, crunchy chip of sorts. They are puffed though, so they are nice and soft for toddlers.
- Shredded mozzarella: For some reason, this is more fun for my girl than sliced cheese.
- Chickpeas: From a can, rinsed and drained.
- Sliced raw zucchini
She didn't eat everything that was here, but it was a really happy meal for her. And while I don't love the idea of making elaborate scenes with kid food—I really don't want to set those expectations and then have a sad kid when dinner just looks like regular food!—changing things up with a fun plate or presentation can go a long way.
Find the rest of the posts in this No-Cook Toddler Dinner series here!