The dish: Bento box meal
The details: A bento serving style appeals to toddlers because the portions are small and varied enough to stay interesting.Mika Shino, author of Smart Bites for Baby: 300 Easy-to-Make, Easy-to-Love Meals That Boost Your Baby and Toddler’s Brain (DeCapo Lifelong Books/August 2012) arranges small meatballs, rice balls, chicken or pork cutlets, and finger foods with fresh fruits and vegetables. “The hope is that every time my son opens up his lunch box, he’s surprised, intrigued, and talks about his food with his friends.”
Another portable idea
The dish: Yummy yam balls
The details: Roast yams and apples for about 45 minutes (or until they are real mushy). Then mix with cottage cheese and shape into mini balls that kids can hold with their hands. These sweet snacking spheres pack a lot of nutrients (beta-carotene, fiber, calcium), says Shino, and don’t contain any artificial sweeteners or added sugar. Make a whole batch and store some in the freezer to bring with you to parks and other outings.
Photo by Smart Bites for Baby / The Bump