Grazing Trays

Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Mom's of picky eaters UNITE! Every day it is a struggle for me to get my two-year-old to eat. He loves hot dogs one day, the next, forget about it. For the most part he is a healthy eater, he loves his fruits and veggies! Lately, he has even been eating bites of steak, ham & chicken nuggets ... YEA!!

When you have a child that is picky, and doesn't really eat much at all, is stresses out everyone in the family. Our dinners are planned differently, our daily routines are put on hold until Braeden eats at least a little something be for we leave.

A couple of months ago I started doing research and found a variety of ideas to help kids who are picky to eat. I have tried many of them, but here is what I found to work the best, and here is out it's explained ...

Toddlers are picky eaters by nature. They gain weight more slowly, so of course, they need less food. They don't sit still, not for food, not for anything. Instead of trying to force your child to sit down and eat, it is important that our job as parents is to buy the right food and make it available to our kids. How much they eat and when they eat is really their responsibility. One day your kid will eat all fruits, the next all carbs, you never know what they will be in the mood for, and which day. Toddlers need anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 calories a day. From what my doctor told me, they may not eat that many calories every day. One day they will, and one day they wont. So really we should aim for a well-balanced week, instead of a well-balanced day.

So what have I done to create this atmosphere is offering a "grazing tray." Every day I put together a tray of nutritional food. I put mine in a cupcake pan, it was easier that way for me. I add nutritional food that he can have whenever he likes. I put it on a small table in our family room where he plays all day. That way, when he gets a little hungry, he just heads over to his tray and HE gets to decide what to eat. This has made life SO SO SO much easier. He is happy because he feels like he is in control, and I am happy because he is eating healthy!

Of course we still sit down and have meals at the appropriate times. I also offer Braeden NurtaPals, which he loves.

So overall he gets all the nutrients he needs to eat, and there is no more stressing out!

Anybody else have creative ways to get kids to eat?

Here is what my fridge looks like during the week full of Braeden's food portioned out!



Summer said...

I thought I was the only one who did this! LOL I have a very picky 3year old and I read about this in Parenting Magazine when she was two and it works wonders for us too! I never used the muffin pan though....what a great idea....I am gonna have to start trying that out! If you get any more tips please pass them on!

Have a great day
Your kids are adorable
Summer :0)

Hattie said...

That's a great idea! I have a different problem. I have a snacker! He'll eat all his meals, but wants a bazzillion snacks too. I think I might have to try a snack box and only put a few snacks in it a day and when he eats them all they're gone and he gets no more for that day! Hope it works, wish me luck! Ha!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this idea and can't wait to try it!!! Um, of course my kids are old enough to know better...but they are WAY picky! ;) And the organization of your fridge...OMG...that makes me happy! :)

Shannon said...

That's such a great idea!!!

Jamie Kubeczka said...

This is a wonderful idea.. especially for someone like me. It is so hard to try and get my kids to actually sit down and eat and your right, it stresses you out. They love to snack, in fact that's all they do. Thanks for the tip!

Jamie said...

This is a great idea! Thanks for sharing :)

Mommyto3andahusky said...

great idea!!

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