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Making Food Fun For Toddlers

There comes a time as a parent when you realize the difference between catering to your children and making magic for your children. At least for me.

I’ve never been one to make separate meals for my toddlers, who just like all other toddlers are for the most part very picky eaters. We don’t force them to eat anything they don’t like, but we do make them at least try stuff.  Of course I do take care to not make overly ‘exotic’ dishes when we eat together, because that’s just asking for trouble.

Not that I have time to be making a 7 course Indian spread or a sushi feast from scratch these days. (Miss that. Oh, I miss that.) Jamaican food, however, and traditional Anishinaabe style dishes are easier to get them to eat, for whatever reason. And I do make curries – I just have to keep it moderately tame. As for sushi? Well, the boy still isn’t a fan, although he actually tried it last week when he would only give it a side-ways glance before. As for the girl? She loves her some sushi. That’s my girl.

Food is a pretty big deal in our house. Often when different holidays roll around and the opportunity to make food fun arises, I’m all over that action. My little people? They lose their toddler minds when I make themed food, or faces, characters, animals and shapes with food for them.

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  • Easter Fun With Food! 1 of 10
    Easter Fun With Food!
    Making creative food dishes for your kids can be a great way to get your kids excited about eating and talking about special upcoming holidays and the traditions your family share. Click through to see my little ones engaged in some Healthy Bunny and Chickadee food-glory.
  • Trying New Things 2 of 10
    Trying New Things
    In this case: celery from his personal bunny rabbit plate. (The whiskers.)
  • Showing Me Some Love 3 of 10
    Showing Me Some Love
    Unfortunately I wasn't quick enough with the lens to catch their initial reaction - you'll have to trust me on this. It was a good one. Jaw drop inducing in fact. (Them.)
  • Thinking About a Vegetable Garden 4 of 10
    Thinking About a Vegetable Garden
    We were talking about starting up a small vegetable garden this spring, and I had just asked my boy what kind of veggies he would like to grow. Deep in though here. (Him.) Busy eating apple. (Her.)
  • Easter Bunny Whut? 5 of 10
    Easter Bunny Whut?
    More eating and thinking, trying to wrap his head around this whole Easter Bunny thing I was telling him about.
  • Little Ham 6 of 10
    Little Ham
    As seen here about to get into some arugula eating antics.
  • Yea Right, Mom! 7 of 10
    Yea Right, Mom!
    Nice Try! I'll show you what I think of arugula.
  • Can’t Win Them All 8 of 10
    Can't Win Them All
    But at least he tried it. Which is a nice switch from furrowed brows and running from the table.
  • Thirsty Munchers 9 of 10
    Thirsty Munchers
    Just cute.
  • Before the Carnage 10 of 10
    Before the Carnage
    All pretty like before being devoured. If you'd like to check out how I made those adorably yummy looking bunnies and 2 more healthy treats, come on over!

I seriously had no idea how well-received it would be before the first time I started doing this sort of stuff. Being a crafty sort of person, I can admit that I just wanted to try it out occasionally, because I enjoy making and creating in the kitchen. It’s like making a craft with food. A M A Z I N G, says the craft geek. Extra bonus points go to the fact that my kids will eat, or at least try, every single ingredient that I use when presented on their own personal edible bunny plate, say.

Raw veg? In the mouth. All of the everything, so much fun. They eat it all. I can’t get them to eat like that when presenting them with a regular ole dinner. No way, no how. There’s just some sort of magic woven into it all. In watching my kiddos last night, it apeared to be more of an adventure.

They marvelled at each of the ingredients and how it was all put together. My eldest asked questions about what certain foods were that he wasn’t sure about and PUT THEM IN HIS MOUTH. This is huge people. So yes, I’ll be doing a fair chunk of this style of food prep for my kids, because look at those faces! That’s all the reason I need.

If you’d like to see how I made the Easter themed foods you saw up there, perhaps in wanting to whip something off like that for your own, then come and visit me over on my blog. The time it takes to prep food like this isn’t much more than that of cooking a dinner, making a stack of sandwiches and a salad – it’s really not all that time consuming. All you need is a little bit of imagination.

More Babbles From Selena…

Selena is a crafty, culinary mom. Regular writer here and on Disney Baby. Part-time mischief maker, all the time geek. Proud of her Anishinaabe roots.

Elsewhere on the internets…

Via her humble beginnings, mastering in general mayhem: le petit rêve

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