Table food for young toddlers.. Need Ideas!!!

  • Well my little Hazel is growing fast and now she is starting to tire of her stage three chunky baby food. She does well with most table foods as long as i cut it up really well, but she still doesn't have any molars to chew her food really well. In addition i'm trying to transition her into the three meals a day with snacks between each meal. So my question to all of you brilliant parents out there what are some good early nutritious table foods for young toddlers who do not have molars? i have dinner down pat, but lunch has proven to be tricky because she doesn't chew well enough for lunch meat sandwiches and can't have peanut butter yet. For Hazel the most popular foods in our house are... 

    breakfast: Oatmeal with fruit, scrambled eggs, omelets, bagels, toast

    Lunch: vegetable soup, tomato soup, chicken noodle soup, grilled cheese, mac n cheese

    Dinner: Cooked carrots, peas, green beans, bell pepper, pastas, chicken, ham, tuna (very sparingly)


    Any more suggestions out there to change it up a little?

  • Brinny-

    I read your posts and I think you must have a super mommy cape!  You do such an awesome job.  I also am amazed at how fast your baby girl is growing up.  It must be hard to keep track of her.  

    So far as nutrition ideas I am wondering fi you have been to the American Academy of Pediatrics webpage.  They seem to have examples and answers for everything kid related.  I'll go ahead and link you.  As you do your reading I'd love to hear if anything in particular was helpful.

    Here are two sites for you:

    American Acad. of Pediatrics:

    Nutrition and kids:


  • Well thank you Jess. I do try my best to do what's right for her and every member of my family, but like everyone else i am not perfect and sometimes feel i could be doing a better job. i am looking forward to spring so we can start playing outside with the dogs more. Poor pups must have felt so neglected this past year. Hazel is growing fast we have about 6 weeks until her first birthday. I can't help but look back over this past year and miss all of those quickly passing stages,especially since i'm putting together a memory book for her, but we are about to embark on toddler-hood with many more memories to come. Thank you for the link. I will definitely check it out. As you can see she has a pretty diverse diet, but i can't help but wonder if there are some more exciting nutritious combinations out there. I have learned so much from all of you on this site, so much of my success as a parent can be attributed to the good advice i have found here. So for that I thank all of you.

  • Agreed with Jess... Brinny you are amazing! Problem is, when I read your posts, I feel like an inadequate parent! Seriously though, since it seems like Hazel loves veggies, I would continue to do what you do and maybe process some pasta with some of her favorite veggies. The sites Jess provided are really good... thanks for sharing Jess!

  • Answerdad i wouldn't ever want you to feel inadequate. From what i have read you are an amazing dad and i know many that could take a few lessons from you. I have learned so much from you, Jess, Julie, and Bonnie among other parents on this site. I hold myself to such a high standard, after all i have a life and future depending on how well i can preform as a parent. So thank all of you for being there with your advice and experiences for all of us to learn from. I really hope there are other parents out there who take the time to read all of your posts as much as i do. I hold all of you in such high regard.

  • Glad to know that we can help! When my kids were little and when they started to hit about a year old, a favorite of theirs was pot roast. I would cook the pot roast in a slow cooker with potatos and carrots and they always liked that. You could also try mashed potatoes instead to go with the roast. I also grew up in New Orleans, so a big bowl of red beans and rice with some sausage was also a great choice at that age. They can pick up the beans with their fingers and make sure you cut the sausage up into bite size pieces. 

  • Good job! Some of my favorite foods to get some good nutrients in are making little meatloaf patties with veggies in them, smoothies for baby to drink that have spinach and things pureed in them, yogurt (both regular and in those tubes frozen), steamed squash with a little brown sugar, homemade pizza with veggies cut up in the sauce and some light cheese sprinkled on top, etc. Those are a few off the top of my head! 

  • Jess i did learn a few things on the AAP site. First is the staggering number of people that do not feed their children a variety of nutritional foods. I suspect it's partly because their children rejected the food once or twice so they gave up on it instead of continuing to offer it. That doesn't happen in our house. I also learned that her caloric intake should be at 1000 calories and half from a fat source (between 3 meals and 2 snacks roughly). she is currently getting only 1/4 of the daily fat she needs from table foods. that's just because i tend to cook lean meats and do not fry anything. We're still good since she is still on formula, but it is something i'm going to have to figure out how to accommodate in her diet without giving absurd amounts of dairy. Other than that she meets all of the other standards listed. She eats a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, meats, breads, and dairy. she isn't in the habit of grazing and has regular meal times. she doesn't drink sugary drinks (juice) more than once or twice a week. so seems like we're right on track with nutrition. thanks again for the link to the site.

  • Oh so glad that was helpful!  I think the AAP site is really helpful.  Sometimes you have to keep searching a bit to find what you are looking for-but it's the best information.

    Let me know if I can be of any further help!


  • Thanks Brinny... you are right... the variety of parents on StrongMoms provide a great resource for parents of young children and those who are expecting. Beans are a great source of protein and fiber and are perfect texture for little mouths at different stages of dental development. Mixed with rice and some ground beef or turkey makes a quick, easy and nutritionally balanced meal. I definitely like the idea of a casserole type meal because my girls tend to eat just their favorites when the foods are segregated, but mixed together they seem to do a better job of eating a little of everything.

  • Thank you Jess_BabyRN for the link. I tried to open the link and learned a lot from that link. 

    Brinny, your an amazing Mom. You feed your child a nutritious food the same with mine I always do research on what nutritious food I can feed to my little girl. I also feed here with vegetables, fruits and etc.. My baby girl is now a vegetarian as well she really loves to eat vegetables especially squash, carrots and potato.She also like to drink natural fruit juice. 

  • So glad that link is helpful, I like it a lot and it's good, solid, reliable info.  If I can be of any further help don't hesitate to ask!