• Erin DiMaggio

Toddler Pumpkin Muffins


The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that toddlers get 1 cup of fruits and 1 cup of veggies per day. The United States Department of Agriculture suggests 2 servings of fruit and 3 servings of vegetables each day. Either way you say it, think of it like this:

One serving of fruit is a ½ cup of berries or a dozen grapes

or 1 medium piece of fruit. One serving of Vegetables is

½ cup chopped vegetables or one medium potato or 6 – 8 carrot sticks.

This sounds so easy! Right! I always thought it would be until I became a Momma. Now, I know that children like to control their environments and one way they attempt to do this, is by being selective about their foods. Children are in a constant process of learning to think for themselves, which sometimes looks like doing the exact opposite of what Mommy wants them to do.

Toddlers’ brains are not developed enough to think logically, rationally or be concerned about any ideas of fruits helping to prevent cancer thirty or forty years down the line. Nor are they concerned about heart disease or diabetes. As they get older explaining the value of fruits and veggies might bear more fruit later down the line but for now, if you are living with a two year old, remember, they live in the moment.

They want, what they want, when they want it.

The suggestion of 3 to 5 servings of fruits and veggies per day is really easy to give but there aren’t a lot of really useful suggestions when your kiddo absolutely refuses to follow the recommendations. So, how do we feed the highly selective and sensitive little being his or her proper serving of fruits and veggies with out forcing, punishing or bribing?

My 60% fail proof recipe is to put them in a muffin…the veggies not the kid!

Note: If you happen to be blessed with kids who willingly eat raw fruits and vegetables, then don’t waste your time trying to hide vitamins in a muffin. Natural, whole and raw is best.

But if you happen to be anything like me and maybe your toddler prefers to eat mud, chalk and marker tips and totally freaks out when you offer him or her a new, high-antioxidant rich food, then these tips might help you out.


Tips for Getting Your Toddler Eat Their Fruits and Veggies

  1. Cook it, blend it and hide it in anything they like.

  2. Get them involved in the process of preparing their own foods.

  3. Let them pick a new fruit at the grocery store or local Farmer’s Market

  4. Offer alternatives, “You can have the grapes or the apples, which one would you like?”

  5. Make it fun, get creative

  6. Don’t take their food preferences too personally - Parents whose kids eat veggies often like to take all of the credit for their extra crunchy granola babies. Sometimes, it is the parent and sometimes it is the kid. Usually, it’s a combination of a whole lot of factors.

  7. Eating should not be stressful. The whole purpose of serving good foods is to help your little one grow up to be a healthy adult. If you yell at your kid or force them to eat foods they don’t want, it diminishes the positive benefits of eating good foods.

  8. Remember: Too Much Emotional Stress is a not good for a developing little body. Be gentle and don't make eating healthy foods a stressful experience.

  9. Be flexible

  10. Set Limits With Love

  11. Remember: Every kid’s taste buds, palate, tolerance and temperament are different. This should be obvious by now but there are still a lot of old school folk who haven’t subscribed to the new models of human growth and development.

  12. Model healthy eating by eating good foods in front of them…this one has never seemed to make a difference. My older kids still say “Gross!” when I offer them a sip of my Kale smoothie. But at least you will feel healthier either way.

  13. Enjoy this phase of development if you can. Forgive yourself when you can’t.

Here's a little recipe I tried out with my two year old and HE ATE IT!!!


Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin is loaded with Vitamin A. Vitamin A is crucial for children’s growth and development. It helps with vision, bone growth and helps to protect the body from infections. Toddlers age 1 to 3 years need 1,000 international units (IU), or 300 micrograms per day. Check out this nutrition panel.


Ingredients:

2 cups of Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix

¼ cup of water

½ cup of sugar

1 can of pumpkin puree (15 ounce)

1/2 cup of butter (1 stick)

2 eggs

Prep 15 Bake 20 to 25minutes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)

Use fun baking trays. A friend of mine gave me these baking trays from William Sonoma and they have been a huge help.


Let your little one line the muffin cups with paper liners or grease a cool baking tray.


  1. Combine Pamela’s Gluten Free Flour and sugar in a bowl.

  2. Beat the eggs, milk and pumpkin puree until creamy and smooth.

  3. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ones.

  4. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin.

  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Stick a toothpick in the center of one of the muffins to see if they are done. If the toothpick comes out clean, then you can take

Note: When I am baking for everyday snacking, I always leave off the icing and leave out extra sugar. My kids usually like to lick the toppings and skip the good stuff and filling the muffins with too much junk defeats the purpose of giving fruits and veggies. These muffins are healthy enough to be a meal in itself.

Tips for Getting Your Toddler Eat Their Fruits and Veggies

  • Cook it, blend it and hide it in anything they like.

  • Get them involved in the process of preparing their own foods.

  • Let them pick a new fruit at the grocery store or local Farmer’s Market

  • Offer alternatives, “You can have the grapes or the apples, which one would you like?”

  • Make it fun, get creative

  • Don’t take their food preferences too personally - Parents whose kids eat veggies often like to take all the credit for their granola babies. Sometimes, it is the parent and sometimes it is the kid. Usually, it’s a combination of a whole lot of factors.

  • Eating should not be stressful. The whole purpose of serving good foods is to help your little one grow up to be a healthy adult. If you yell at your kid or force them to eat foods they don’t want it diminishes the positive benefits of eating good foods. Remember: Stress is a precursor to disease.

  • Be flexible

  • Set Limits With Love

  • Remember: Every kid’s taste buds, palate, tolerance and temperament are different. This should be obvious by now but there are still a lot of old school folk who haven’t subscribed to the new models of human growth and development.

  • Model healthy eating by eating good foods in front of them…this one has never seemed to make a difference. My older kids still say “Gross!” when I offer them a sip of my Kale smoothie. But at least you will feel healthier either way.

  • Enjoy this phase of development if you can. Forgive yourself when you can’t.

References:

http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/112/13/2061/T3.expansion.html

http://pediatrics.about.com/od/nutrition/a/05_fruit_veggie_5.htm


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