By: Celide Barnes Koerner
Feeding a toddler is always a challenge. A toddler with a food allergy just makes it a little more challenging.
Here are some basic rules to keep in mind with this age group:
- Cut the food into pieces that are easily managed by their small hands.
- Keep foods separate; allow your child to decide if he or she wants to mix them or not.
- Arrange the food on their plates with shape and color in mind; this makes food fun and interesting.
- Make sure hot foods aren’t too hot and cold foods aren’t too cold.
- Allow your child to help in the preparation of the food when you have the time.
- Allow your child some choice and control during the meal.
Ideas for Breakfast
- Mini-muffins with small bowls of milk-free margarine, jelly, or honey on the side
- Silver dollar or cookie-cutter-shaped pancakes with condiments on the side for dipping
- Fresh fruit cut into wedges – apples, pears, peaches, oranges, and melons
- Fruit shake made with your child’s favorite fruits
- Snack mix made with favorite cereals, pretzels, popcorn, chopped dried fruits, and egg-free marshmallows
Ideas for Lunch
- Thinly sliced meats rolled up
- Cucumber slices, carrot curls, broccoli bushes, celery sticks, or tomato wedges served with a bowl of safe salad dressing for dipping
- Baked potato wedges or skins served with ketchup on the side
- Egg-free pasta in shapes chosen by your child
- Serve hot, topped with vegetable oil or milk-free margarine and a sprinkle of garlic salt
- Serve cold, topped with a safe Italian dressing. Allow your child to mix in some chopped meat and vegetables.
- Miniature pizzas; allow your child to top with favorite vegetable and/or meat pieces
Ideas for Dinner
- Small meatballs with various sauces for dipping
- Potato pancakes in cookie-cutter shapes
- Baked chicken-wing drumsticks with sauces for dipping
- Corn tortillas stuffed with
- Vegetarian refried beans
- Marinated chicken
- Ground beef or turkey
- Favorite raw vegetables
- Miniature meat tarts filled with meat or poultry stew
Teething Biscuit Idea: Pretzels
Milk-free, Egg-free, Peanut-free, Soy-free, Tree Nut-free
1 T. yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups flour
Preheat oven to 425°. Lightly grease baking sheet. Combine all ingredients to make dough. Knead the dough until soft, 5 to 10 minutes. (It should be easy to handle. If not, add more flour.) Shape into traditional pretzel shapes, or other shapes such as letters or numbers. Place on cookie sheet and bake 10 minutes.
Celide Barnes Koerner is a registered nurse at McKusick – Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md.