Typical Toddler Fare at our House

My motto when it comes to meal time in our family is that everything in moderation is okay.  I also go by the rule of “eating the rainbow each and every day.”

I know when I went on a diet after having my sons, the idea of giving up a food for the sake of weight loss was hard, but cheating wouldn’t do more than stall my weight loss progress.  That was nothing compared to being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that meant pretty much the entire “American” diet was off limits, FOREVER! Where cheating is not an option…  ever.

I won’t go into what that meant to me at the time, as we all have very similar stories…  the feelings of deprivation, frustration, isolation, maybe even depression (all of the those for me!).

Fast forward 5 years and I can now say this for sure…  I am happy (yes, HAPPY!) to be a celiac.  Because of this aspect of my life, I have been forced to consider everything I put in my mouth.  The journey has evolved over the years from simply feeling successful after managing to avoid gluten, to becoming aware of trans fats, artificial colorings/flavorings, preservatives, and every other hard to pronounce ingredient that comes in a package of processed “food.”

When Sam came of toddler age but had not yet been put on the GF diet, I admit, I fed him some of the typical “toddler fare” of chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, Spaghetti O’s, etc. BUT, I also encouraged him to try everything.

Sam at 3: “Can I eat those onions you are dicing?”
Mom: “Sure”

I never said, “no, you will not like it!” Well, unless it came to household cleaning products. 😉  I let Sam decide what he wanted to try and I would not let my taste buds influence his acceptance of a certain food.  I also freely admit that I had a hysterical time watching him try new things.  Parenthood, I LOVE it!!

Honestly, some of his favorite snacks were diced onions, steamed mussels, calamari (or as Grandpa called them: “spiders” because of the tentacles)…

Have you ever noticed that if you tell a little boy that something edible is a spider or green worms with blood and guts (spinach spaghetti noodles with marinara sauce), that he will most likely eat it up???

Due to my constant companion, Mr. Celiac and the awareness it has brought me of the food we put in our bodies, I have been able to modify our taste buds and cravings from the food we used seek out like fast food, to when I give Sam a PB&J sandwich (Thank you Udi’s!!  Sorry, I still cannot believe I am eating real bread again) and I ask him what kind of chips he would like to go with his sandwich, he says “no chips, fruit salad please.” 😀

Even Luke, whose favorite meal is an Oscar Mayer Light Hot Dog (this boy is 2, and can eat 2 entire hot dogs, hence the light hot dogs!) and fruit salad (“Yummy, Yummy.”  Gotta love those Wiggles…  that song has been stuck in my head for 6 years!).

Even when I put chips on their plate, they never finish them.

A typical lunch for Luke: Oscar Mayer Light Hot Dog, Fruit Salad and cut up Raw Veggies with Dill Dip.
Dill Dip Recipe

3/4 c. Sour Cream
3/4 c. Mayo (I use Kraft Light Mayo)
2 tsp. Dried Parsley
1 Tbs. Minced Onion
1 tsp. Seasoned Salt (I use Lawry’s)
1 1/2 tsp. Dried Dill Weed

  • Mix together and refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to blend. Serve with your favorite cut-up raw veggies!
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