Get (a little) creative for breakfast.
Art toast is a fun way to add variety to breakfast and work on some fine motor skills.
Judy recommends this starting at around 16-18 months when your toddler can more easily pronate/supinate at the wrist if using spoons for these toppings, but you can start earlier if your child is interested and you can assist!
Start with toasted whole grain bread (use gluten-free if needed, watch for honey if serving to babies) and smear it with a smooth base:
You just need something food will stick to.
In small bowls or on the side of your child’s tray/plate, put piles of chopped fruit, chia or hemp seeds (hemp hearts are tiny and soft), cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, applesauce...the possibilities are endless! Let them use spoons, tongs or their hands to add the toppings.
As they get older, they can smear the nut butter or cream cheese themselves - just keep in mind that a large glob of nut butter is a choking hazard.
A word on chia seeds: small amounts are safe for babies and toddlers as long as they’re mixed into or stuck on food and are not inhaled. Help your child add a small sprinkling to chia seeds to their toast using their fingers or a spoon, and shake off any excess that’s not stuck to the toast. Chia seeds get EVERYWHERE when dropped, so a small bowl of them is more appropriate for an older child who doesn’t throw their bowls. We use glass ramekins, but younger kids may need a non-breakable material if they’re prone to dropping.
If your child wants to pick off the toppings before eating the toast, that’s OK - the point is that they’re interacting with the food and having fun at the meal. If they’ll touch the toppings now, they’re more likely to eat them in many ways down the road.
Need help with encouraging more adventurous eating? Check out our Toddler Course.
Megan and Judy, co-owners of Feeding Littles, bring you helpful info on food, nutrition, picky eating, and feeding young children. Megan McNamee MPH, RDN is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist based in Scottsdale, Arizona. Judy Delaware, OTR/L is an Occupational Therapist specializing in feeding therapy with children 3 and under in Boulder, Colorado. Megan and Judy are both moms of two and love helping families develop a healthy appetite for all foods!