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How to Get a Toddler to Eat Like a Grown-Up

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In Kids' Lunch, take a look into what people in the food world and the world at large pack their children (and occasionally their significant others and maybe even their pets) for lunch. 

Today, Sara Forte from Sprouted Kitchen cuts adult meals into bite-sized pieces so that her 13-month-old can nibble as she cooks. 

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Curran is thirteen months, so he prefers to feed himself, but since he is low on teeth and utensil skills, he's limited in that sense. 

For my own sanity, I try to make a few somewhat nutritious things to have around while I’m preparing an adult meal so that I can give him some nibbles. I’ll cut up grilled chicken or a frittata into bite-sized pieces for some protein, and I always keep fruit around, which is easy to do in the spring and summer (and he likes the freeze-dried fruits, too).

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Vegetables have become more tricky, as I can't really get him to go for chunks of steamed broccoli or carrots anymore. I hide vegetables inside smoothies, muffins, a turkey meatball (shown above), or baked falafels and we do our best. The muffins in the photo above are made of cooked oatmeal, flax meal, steamed and blended greens, and mashed banana. I also make little veggie burger/bean balls as finger-food for him. I have a few other baby food ideas on my site and am hoping to keep that series going as he grows.

Curran is at a great age where he is curious about what we are doing and wants to try whatever we're having. I'll give him as much as he's willing to eat, and we are learning as we go: Some days he loves avocado, the next day he spits it out; I try to keep in mind that I feel like different things on different days, too. If I can't rally a mini meal and he has an almond butter and banana sandwich on wheat, no one is complaining.

Photo by Hugh Forte

Tags: sara forte, sprouted kitchen, kids' lunch