Over the holiday weekend, I had the opportunity to share Muffin Tin Meals with my niece. We had all just returned from a long walk. We were a bit late for lunch and the kids were all starving!
My mom made quesadillas with leftover turkey, cheese, and guacamole. I quickly prepared some "Muffin Tins to Share," with carrots, red pepper hummus, berries, apricots, candy cane cheese, and a left a spot for the slices of quesadilla.
My daughter was very excited to share a muffin tin meal with my niece!
There had been some talk of going to sit on the swing behind the house. My daughter was still hungry so I gave her some quesadilla to take out on the swing, and also gave her a few pieces for my niece. A few minutes later, my daughter came back in and announced that my niece had gobbled the quesadilla right up!
This brought to mind a lesson that I had learned with my own kids- particularly my youngest: Never assume that the food is the problem. Sometimes, particularly with my youngest, I felt like "Sam I Am." "Will you eat it in a boat?" "Will you eat it with a goat?"
Sometimes a different utensil does the trick- My sister discovered this on Thanksgiving when my niece didn't want to eat any turkey. She put the turkey on a toothpick and my niece ate it right up (as if it wasn't the same turkey she refused to eat just a minute before!)
Sometimes a different location will work (like the swing.) When my son was one, he would rarely eat dinner unless he was sitting on my husband's lap. Sometimes he wants to move to a different seat at the table before he'll eat.
Sometimes the presentation of the food is wrong... cut/ not cut, on a dish, in a bowl... if my son is expecting a whole banana and I cut it for him, he won't eat it.
Sometimes my son won't eat until I put it on the fork for him and feed it to him (despite the fact that he's been feeding himself for quite some time.) Sometimes he's just not hungry-- yet. I often leave his meals sitting out for a while after the meal to see if he returns later. If he doesn't, I don't stress it. If I'm really worried that he's hungry, I'll offer him a healthy snack later, but I make sure that meal time is over and that having the snack is not connected to not eating the meal so that it's not seen as a "replacement."
I've often seen my two year old eat a food one week and not eat it the next. I've even seen him skip dinner, only to eat the exact same food for lunch the next day.
Toddlers and preschoolers can be quite a mystery.
Have you ever thought that your toddler/ preschooler wouldn't eat something only to find that they ate it when presented in a different way or at a different time? !
Check out Muffin Tin Monday for more fun muffin tin meal ideas.