Learning to Feed a Three Year Old


Middle E is three. I adore him, but he is a three-year-old. And three-year-olds want to make sure you know that they’re in charge. Some days this is made even clearer at the table. Middle E will declare in his poutiest face that he has the wrong placemat. Or his brother is looking at him. Or he has been given the wrong fork.

I’ve learned to be calm during (most of) these little trials of parenthood. Just like me, he may tend to be grumpier when he’s hungry. So my challenge lately is how to get Middle E  some calories before he crumples into a ball of tears. That gives me about a 30-second window. I try to have my kids begin a meal with fruit and veggies. So this is the insanely fast way I’ve learned to slice apples and oranges.  Isn’t it the hallmark of motherhood to learn new skills in the face of adversity?

orange_cut-upIt took me a whopping 19 seconds to cut up the orange and I made sure to not rush. This is the same way I cut up oranges for fruit platters when we’re entertaining, too. The little nubbins on the end can be squeezed onto sliced bananas to keep them from browning.

apple_slice-fastApples took a bit longer, about 29 seconds. The big idea is to keep the hard, fibrous core intact by cutting around it. That way you never have to deal with cutting it out later (the way I used to make apple wedges.) This way also creates a flat surface so it doesn’t roll around. There is a little bit left around the core if one of your kids wants to crunch into it. One of mine always does. The slices are uniformly thin and pretty. (At the end of the day, I am really just another food marketer trying to get their attention.)

Kids are grumpy when they're hungry. Read here for the fastest way to cut an orange and apple. #dontpanicmom #fruit #toddlers

Do you have any toddler food tricks? Help me us by leaving a comment below or snapping a pic and uploading to the Don’t Panic Mom Facebook Page.

Read more about how I learned to feed Middle E in this post, Apple, Banana, or Orange? Learning to Set the Standard.



2 Replies to “Learning to Feed a Three Year Old”

  1. Candie giesey says:

    My kids are the same way right before meals (ages 4 & 1). I can usually buy myself a little time by giving them a quick snack. Frozen peas are very handy, already hulled and washed. For some reason my kids love them straight from the freezer and think they are a special treat!

    1. You are spot on. Frozen peas are healthy, inexpensive, and ready to serve. I usually do a quick thaw with a colander and hot water rinse. Thanks for the ideas! Keep ’em coming!

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