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Old 01-04-2007, 11:57 AM   #1
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Feeding your baby/toddler/child "different" foods

Does anyone have suggestions for foods that you feed your baby/toddler/child that are "different" from the typical stuff a lot of people feed kids? i'm trying to avoid the trap that my parents/DH's parents/day care providers, etc. of feeding kids the SAME OLD thing every day and this idea that kids only eat "kid" food, like PB&J, chicken nuggets, mac&cheese....and on and on.

for example, a girlfriend of mine, love her to death, but i've witnessed her "food trap" and she's stuck in it. her oldest would ONLY eat chicken nuggets, so she bought them in a bag and deep fried them each and every day for him.

another example, we were out to eat at a very nice restaurant that had a wonderfully eclectic menu. there was a family with three children (like four, six and ten probably) and my MIL said, "i REALLY think that there are other restaurants that those children would enjoy more". and i wanted to say, why?? b/c there are not burgers and fries and grilled cheese? not that i think there is anything wrong with kids eating those things, i really don't, it's just that doesn't have to be ALL they eat!

i hope i've explained myself well. i'd like to introduce these foods to my son NOW so he doesn't turn his nose up at them all later on cause they're "different". my son is 10.5 months old and has really started to prefer eating table foods, and no more baby food. can't say i blame him.

yesterday for lunch he had whole wheat crackers with a radish/cream cheese spread and he loved it. so what do you feed your little ones that's a little off the beaten path? thanks mamas!

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Old 01-04-2007, 01:01 PM   #2
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Re: Feeding your baby/toddler/child "different" foods

I'm guilty of falling in the same ole traditional kids food junk. But some ideas that come to mind are:

hummus with pita's
pumpkin butter (can use instead of peanut butter)
quesadillas with avocados

Hmmm, I can't think of anything right now.
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Old 01-04-2007, 01:18 PM   #3
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Re: Feeding your baby/toddler/child "different" foods

I offer foods and my kids have to try 1 bite. IF they don't like it they don't have to eat it.

I avoid the trap by not always cooking the same things, by not only offering the bad things, by trying new foods, and by not giving into "I don't like it, I want xyz" and then getting up and doing it.

There are foods my kids do not like and that's fine but they have to try it. I won't make an entire meal of things I know they don't like.

They don't like rice, though my 5yo likes salty rice. I have no idea what I did that 1 time I made it that she considers salty rice. They do have to try it because I make it differently. Dh and I are not big rice people either.

They don't like garlic, but they sure like garlic mashed potatoes and garlic chicken.lol

compared to other kids they may be picky in that they don't eat peppers but my kids also hate Lipton soup and Kraft dinner so I take it as a trade off.lol
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Old 01-04-2007, 01:33 PM   #4
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Re: Feeding your baby/toddler/child "different" foods

I've tried to feed my dd whatever we were eating, and so far it has worked well--she is a pretty adventurous eater for a 2yo! She eats:
falafel
hummus/pitas
cooked lentils or lentil soup (can you tell we like middle eastern food?)
creamed dried beef over biscuits
dried mango
I can't think of other "different" things offhand, but I'll post again if I think of any!
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Old 01-04-2007, 01:39 PM   #5
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Re: Feeding your baby/toddler/child "different" foods

We live in NYC so we have an abudance of food, but our son loves and prefers Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese. A lot of this stuff has sauce so that might be the appeal. He does love chicken so I cannot argue with that, but we do not do the other foods either. I just find not buying them or eating them makes it easy to avoid falling into that stuff. I definitely recommend making it your way of life and starting now. I did, and our son eats all uncommon American kid foods. He eats what I eat (plus some chicken usually. I don't eat the meat.) so that helps.

Hummous
Falafel
Curries
All chicken Indian dishes, not spicy
Soups (DS loves Vietnamese soups the best but he also loves the tomato-y broth to homemade veggie soup)
Pierogies
Rice+ beans are a big favorite here and you can make them 10000 different ways
Tamales
Miso soup
Rice+tofu+any sauce and veggies
Stir fry
Califlower has a lot of delicious uses and is easy to cook

Fresh fruit and veggies as snacks
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Old 01-04-2007, 01:43 PM   #6
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Re: Feeding your baby/toddler/child "different" foods

thanks for the ideas robin, it's funny b/c the one time we tried hummus he hated it so much he threw up but we eat hummus often so he will get again sometime!

some ideas for things that i like to do (some things i obviously give him in really really tiny pieces, ie craisins)

a "salad" of fresh mozzarella, shredded parm, avacado, and craisins, with a drizzle of EVOO and balsamic vinegar, a touch of sea salt and cracked black pepper. (these are the things that i toss into our dinner salad)

veggie "pizzas"- tortillas baked with a mixture of bell peppers, mozz cheese, and parm cheese, with basil etc. to season.

lots of homemade soups (cream of potato, black bean, butternut squash, though this isn't really "different")

what i really want to learn to do are rice balls, which are common for japanese kids to take in their lunch boxes. it's a big ball of sticky rice and in the center is a mixture of whatever mom puts in, like cucumber and cream cheese for example.

hmmm...i'm trying to think of what else we do.....
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Old 01-04-2007, 02:03 PM   #7
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Re: Feeding your baby/toddler/child "different" foods

get the super baby food book, it's awesome!!
http://www.superbabyfood.com/
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Old 01-04-2007, 02:06 PM   #8
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Re: Feeding your baby/toddler/child "different" foods

I total believe in feeding your kids various foods. We feed DD basically whatever we are eating. She like curries and all types of food and veggies. One word of warning I would like to give. Many of you mentioned hummus (which I love!), but it is made with sesame paste (tahini). Sesame is one of the most common allergens around the world and is the 9th most common allergen in the U.S. We gave dd hummus and it turns out she is allergic to sesame. You mentioned your baby threw up after eating hummus which is often a sign of an allergic reaction. My dd is also allergic to milk and throwing up is her main sign. She has been seen and tested by an allergist so I know her allergies are real and severe. If your child threw up after eating hummus, I would definitely be careful about giving food with sesame until you are sure he just didn't like it and wasn't allergic.
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Old 01-04-2007, 02:10 PM   #9
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Re: Feeding your baby/toddler/child "different" foods

I just got an ezine with a recipe for Tofu fingers and thought of this thread:

Tofu Fingers

2oz tofu
2oz fresh breadcrumbs made from wholewheat bread
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese (grated)
tiny pinch garlic powder
little beaten egg yolk

Method

Preheat the oven to 350 deg F.
Cut the tofu into thin strips.
Mix the breadcrumbs, garlic powder and cheese together in a small bowl.
Dip the tofu strips into the egg yolk, then roll them in the breadcrumbs until fully covered.
Placed on a greased baking sheet and cook for 10-15 mins, turning half way through the cooking time.

My 4 year old loves spinach alfredo pizza. Prefers it over traditional pepperoni.

Being in hicksville we don't have easy access to Indian or even Chinese type foods so he hasn't been exposed to those. When we eat out our choices usually consists of either pizza, bbq, fast food, or cafe style restaurants. So it's really hard for us not to fall into the traditional fare slump.
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Old 01-04-2007, 04:31 PM   #10
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Re: Feeding your baby/toddler/child "different" foods

I agree with PP who have said to feed them what you (parents) are eating. Whatever your child sees you eating will seem normal to him. My almost 3 yo dd loves exotic (ie not typical 'american') foods--Indian, Chinese, and Ethiopian are among her favorites. She does also like mac and cheese (the organic version) and pizza. I too know a family whose child will eat only 3 things--pizza, chicken nuggets, and mac & cheese--the mother makes one of these every night. I refuse--too much work! I wouldn't make an entire meal of things she doesn't like, but also do not make special meals only for her.
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