Sometimes, I post pictures of Anneliese’s lunches on Instagram and twitter, and I usually get a lot of comments like:
- “Wow, that looks great!”
- “Will you be my mom?”
- “Yum! I want to eat that.”
- “Does she really eat all of that stuff?”
Let me respond.
- That’s because it IS great!
- Um… don’t hate me, but no. But I will show you how to make some kick-ass lunches.
- You should! Break out the shopping list!
- Sometimes yes. Sometimes no. But it’s an option for her, and she usually eats some of everything even if she doesn’t finish it all. For things I know she isn’t a fan of (tomatoes, for example), I’ll give her just a little bit to taste. I keep offering, and sometimes she changes her mind about things. Like the other day, when she ate avocado slices. She NEVER liked them before, and I’ve offered them to her lots of times. Or the time when she stole half of my salad after I offered her a bite, because suddenly she loved it. She had no interest in lettuce (no matter what was in or on it) before that, but I kept offering it.
So Tiny Tummies will be an occasional feature here on Joyful Abode. I don’t know if it’ll be every week, but when I have a few lunches rounded up, or a good recipe to share, I’ll do a post. You can always find them when you need some inspiration by clicking on the Tiny Tummies button in the sidebar.
And even if you already follow me on instagram or twitter and have seen some of these before, hopefully it’s helpful to have them all in one place for reference.
Sometimes these lunches are big. Sometimes they’re little. It depends on Anneliese’s appetite that day. I might include Joey’s lunches when he is eating a bit more, too. Sometimes they might not seem balanced, but I go for all-day balance… so if she ate nothing but fruit for breakfast, I’ll try to make her lunch pretty protein-heavy. So don’t take these out of context, and use your judgment when deciding what to put together for your Tiny Tummies.
Also, now and then there might be a “less healthy” food. Because we are human and certainly not perfect.
Usually these lunches are simple foods, not fancy recipes, rarely “bento-fied” or kawaii. But I do try to arrange them in a pleasing way, because we all like food that looks good better than food that looks like cafeteria slop. Toddlers included.
So are you ready for some toddler lunch ideas?
Toddler Lunch 1
- Cheddar cheese
- Apples, peeled because they’re not organic, and cut up
- Sliced kiwi
- chicken breast (leftover from dinner the day before) with lemon pepper
- baby carrots, cut lengthwise to make them like “fries”
Toddler Lunch 2
- Full-fat plain yogurt with frozen blueberries
- Celery sticks with cream cheese and pecans
- Homemade applesauce, warmed up a little
- Half of a banana “to hold” (Anneliese asks “Hold banana?” when she doesn’t want it sliced, and wants to peel it herself.)
Toddler Lunch 3
- Hummus with carrot sticks
- Celery with almond butter
- A “less bad” hot dog, cut up (I read all the packages and picked the one that sounded the least awful)
Toddler Lunch 4
- Half of a banana “to hold”
- Deli roast beef
- Cheddar cheese
Toddler Lunch 5
- Chicken breast with lemon pepper
- Mashed sweet potato with butter
- Steamed green beans and carrots with butter
Toddler Lunch 6 — “Number 4” Theme
Sometimes it’s fun to have a “theme” for lunches… like a certain number, color, shape, and so forth. So this one is 4.
- 4 pieces of celery
- 4 raisins
- 4 sugar snap peas
- 4 pieces of watermelon
- 4 slices of cheddar cheese
Are you excited about more Tiny Tummies posts?
Is there anything in particular you’re wondering about the way we do lunches? Do you have questions about any aspects of lunch-prep? What are you hoping to see in Tiny Tummies?
Just let me know in a comment below!
And be sure to pin/tweet/share this post to save it for future reference, and to share with other parents!