What do you cook for your 15 month old?
I need some good healthy ideas. He is very good at eating lots of carbs, now how do I get him to like protein? I need new ideas. Do you serve your toddler fish? How? Any suggestions and new ideas would be greatly appreciated.
I am sooo interested to see the responses to this one, as I feel like I feed my poor kid the same thing over and over again!
He is a fan of beans, so we give him black beans and pinto beans straight out of the can (rinsed off). We also give him eggs, either hard boiled or scrambled. We do fish, although he rejects it almost as often as he gobbles it up - either we cook it fresh (usually only when we are having it for dinner) or I buy frozen filets at Whole Foods and put those in the toaster oven for him.
Let's see.... lately he's done better eating the same stews/soups that I make for us. This weekend I made chicken and dumplings in the crock pot with carrots, peas and potatoes and he thought that was pretty good. He's also agreed to eat lentil soup the last few times we've had it, which has been a pleasant surprise.
In a pinch, I make him grilled cheese or Annie's mac & cheese and have even been known to throw a hotdog in the microwave now and again. He also loves hamburgers and will eat meatloaf as long as we refer to it as "a hamburger".
When Chowpup was a Pup many moons ago, she would only eat carrot sticks, little pieces of hamburger and escargots. Sometimes she would eat a lettuce leaf. Shall never forget the look on the waitperson's face when we ordered and this barely two year old asked for escargots. PS she grew up to be a terrific cook, with a wider taste in food.
Most kids love tofu. You can cut it into little cubes (the firmer the better) and feed it to them raw with a bit or soy sauce--or fry it in a bit of oil with ginger. My son is three now and this is his favorite comfort food.
just another take on your inquiry:
both of my children, now ages 3 and 6, eat most whatever i put on the table for the family. except for their early months of breast milk and purees, i have never prepared anything special for them. sure they showed preferences in the beginning, but they've grown to appreciate different dishes. i attribute this to their exposure to many different foods, as well as food education.
in terms of exposure, we've always made a practice of eating out with them at a variety of restaurants, many of them ethnic. i also make sure to try new dishes at home all the time. they love commenting on the new dish as well as enjoying repeat dishes. and sure there are meals that they only eat a little of because it's not their favorite. but as i slowly repeat the dish, they tend to eat more and more of it. i've found that it usually has to do with the introduction of new tastes and textures.
both of them shop at farmer's markets with me, and we take time to meet and talk with the farmers. this seems to give the food relevance and thus, they gain an appreciation for it. at 15-months-old, my older child used to beg me to visit the tomato man first every time we visited the market. he then proceeded to eat our tomatoes like apples as i shopped the market. these days, our first stop is the date stall. they dine on dates while we stroll the other stands.
i also make sure to incorporate them in the "fixing" of meals in the kitchen. nary a day goes by when one or both don't wander into the kitchen, pull up a stool, and offer to help. sure it takes more time, but that's kind of a given with kids. the best time to start this is holidays when i've tended to have more time off of work and more time to plan a kid-friendly holiday project in the kitchen, i.e. donuts at hanukkah.
i realize that this whole approach does take more time, but we figure the investment of time here and there will help to broaden their food horizons early on and hopefully that will mean less time for the parent as the years pass because their kids will eat AND enjoy anything you put on the table. that's good livin' to me.