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Seven Days, Seven Toddler Tested Dinners

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with Instagram (I’m @mommyshorts if you’d like to follow me) and one of the people I follow is a mom named Brandy.

Instead of posting incessant photos of her adorable two-year-old (like I do), Brandy posts the photos she uses for her “Toddler Dinner” series on her blog Mannly Mama.

What intrigued me about Brandy’s dinner pictures is that they don’t look perfect or complicated. They look like real life examples of what a kid might actually eat. She showcases both successes and failures and uses each meal as a learning experience.

Today, I got Brandy to answer a few questions plus feature seven days worth of successful toddler dinners. When you’re finished, be sure to check out her “Top 10 Tips to Get Your Kid On Board At Dinner” over on my blog today.

What is one  food your toddler hated that you got him to like?

Soup. I think at some point he got hot soup from daycare and determined that all soup was too hot no matter what the temperature.

How did you turn him around?

My husband did it. He over exaggerated blowing on the soup and made it into a big goofy production. Then the kid mimicked him and ate EVERY bite. Next time we had soup, he got out of breath eating it so fast and asked for more. I learned then that it isn’t all about the food but presentation.

How has your toddler feeding strategy changed over time?

I started out getting aggravated (as most parents do) but then started to try and think like a toddler.  The battle for control in their little heads is strong. I learned to make it about choices, serve more variety and make it fun to counteract the pending tantrums. It’s the end of the day. He is tired, we’re tired. Things can go downhill fast. I also learned that I wasn’t going to be a short order cook and if he didn’t like the meal, he would have to make do with leftovers from another night.

What is one food your toddler absolutely will not eat?

Avocado. You know, the go-to first food for baby lead weaning? HA. Never liked it as an infant and not now. I don’t really even try anymore. He is allowed to just not like something.

What is your #1 most helpful tip for feeding a finicky toddler?

Bribery. I know some people aren’t down with it but I think if you make the bribe a healthy choice, you aren’t hurting anyone. For dinner tonight, we told him if he ate all his dinner (chicken quesadilla, cucumbers and fruit) he would get a special treat. He ate it all and we gave him a strawberry & banana smoothie. He was over the moon. At this point I don’t even look at it as bribery but more part of the routine. We set the expectation that if he eats a good dinner, he is rewarded with some kind of “treat”. Hell, it is half the reason I choke down a salad at lunch so I can eat that cupcake after.

Below are seven tested TODDLER DINNERS (both hits and misses) from Brandy of Mannly Mama:

nggallery id=’124949′

  • Monday 1 of 7
    Monday
  • Tuesday 2 of 7
    Tuesday
  • Wednesday 3 of 7
    Wednesday
  • Thursday 4 of 7
    Thursday
  • Friday 5 of 7
    Friday
  • Saturday 6 of 7
    Saturday
  • Sunday 7 of 7
    Sunday

Read more of Ilana’s writing at Mommy Shorts
And don’t miss a post! Follow Ilana on Twitter and Facebook!

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