6 Tips for Making Mealtime Work with your Toddler

It’s dinnertime! You just spent an hour or more preparing a delicious dinner, all while small changes to make it more toddler appropriate. You made sure all of the ingredients were cut into small, bite-sized pieces. And you toned it back on the pepper and other spicy ingredients. Your toddler has a healthy and balanced meal for dinner and you’re confident that they are going to enjoy it.

However, when you set his or her plate down in front of them, they wrinkle their face and want nothing to do with it. They don’t even want to touch it – much less take a bite of it. In hopes that they will change their mind and that you won’t make matters worse by encouraging them to eat it, you walk away so they can inspect it on their own. Two seconds later, the plate goes flying and the delicious dinner you just prepared, specifically for them, is all over the floor.

This can be infuriating! What are you supposed to do now? Feed them your go to peanut butter and jelly sandwich and throw in the towel? Be as it may, sometimes that might just be the right thing to do. Fortunately, here are six tips that will make meal time easier.

1. Always introduce new foods along with familiar foods.

Take the pressure off yourself and your little one. By including foods your toddler already loves, you can be confident that your toddler will eat something off of his or her plate. It can be very frustrating to be in the situation explained above. This method will help you to feel confident that your toddler won’t be going to bed hungry. And therefore you won’t have to try to bribe them into eating something they’re unsure of. When the pressure is off, your toddler will be more likely to give it a try.

2. Don’t force it.

By all means, encourage your toddler to try new foods. Ask them to give it a taste, or ask them if they like the food. This way, it is their choice and they can make an unbiased opinion of the food on their own. Forcing your toddler to try something will almost always result in them never wanting the meal again. It will almost always make matters worse, and all meals will become a battle for both of you.

3. Offer healthy fruits and vegetables as snacks between meals.

Many toddlers refuse to eat their vegetables at meal time, and many parents start to worry if they aren’t getting enough nutritious foods because of it. One way to make sure they eat more nutritious foods is to offer them as snacks in between meals. Oftentimes when a fruit or vegetable are the only items offered, you will find your toddler really enjoys them! Cut out the goldfish, and instead offer him or her cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and some of their favorite fruits.

4. Teach your toddler sign language.

Two of the best signs for meal time are “finished”, and “more.” The word “finished” is signed by holding two hands up with the palms facing you and then turning them outward. “More” is signed by putting all of your fingers together, and making your hands kind of kiss. This can be super helpful in keeping food from flying because your toddler doesn’t want more of it, and knowing that your little one is still hungry for more. These are easy signs to teach them. All you have to do is show them each time you take their plate or give them more food. Your toddler is so much smarter than you might expect him or her to be!

5. Sit down and eat with them!

Toddlers are more likely to give something a try when they see someone else enjoying it. Sit down with your toddler at meal times and eat some of the same food they are eating. Besides being helpful in convincing them to eat their food, it also teaches them table manners. Have them sit in their chair while they eat, and until you are done eating as well. This will help when you’re out at dinner in a restaurant. Your toddler will learn that they must stay in their chair until everyone else is finished.

6. Don’t give up!

If your toddler refuses to eat a meal you’ve prepared the first time, it doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t like it later. Some toddlers have texture issues that they will eventually overcome, and others just might not be in the mood for what is being offered. That’s okay. Give it another try and you’ll be surprised how many times kids will like it the second or third time it’s offered.

Sometimes you have to take a deep breath and try to be more patient with your little guy or girl. I know how tough meal times can truly be but the more calm and collected you are, the better behaved they will be. Stay consistent, smile through the messes, and take each moment in stride as your toddler learns how to properly behave at mealtime. Try out a few of these tips, and feel free to share how it goes in the comments below.

The 5 Core Areas for Child Development

Hey guys! I thought it was important to break down some of the foundation of where my posts come from. I want to write and share things with you based on my foundational beliefs about toddlers and children.

I chose the name Basik Training originally because I wanted to open a preschool that taught kids the basics of becoming good, wholesome people who were kind to others. My idea was to teach them good manners, to enjoy learning, and to care for themselves. Since I never actually opened a daycare, I want to share my message with you here in this blog.

I have taken the time to break down for you the foundations of helping your toddler develop into an outstanding member for society. We are responsible for our children. As a parent, you are obligated to provide them with everything you can to help them manage their life the best way possible.

The following five areas are the most important to focus on for ages 1-5.

1. Health & Wellness

Becoming a healthy adult starts with childhood. It is your responsibility to provide your child with the skills to be and remain healthy, and it can be fun! You have the ability to teach your little one to enjoy fruits and vegetables and to enjoy going outdoors for fun physical activities. Help your little one out! Provide him or her with healthy meals and snacks. Take them for a short hike and show them how refreshing it is in nature, or turn on some music and have a dance party once a day. By teaching your toddler to enjoy this part of life can help them so much later!

2. Social Skills

If you have a toddler, you know how interesting they can make social gatherings! Show them how to properly interact with strangers. Teach them to trust their intuition, but to be respectful at the same time. Show them how to treat their friends, and help them understand why. You have the obligation to raise emotionally intelligent children who know how to handle themselves in social situations.

3. Ethics & Discipline Tips

In addition to social skills, ethics and values are key! Babies aren’t born knowing that stealing is wrong. They don’t know that lying is a bad thing to do. It is up to you to teach your toddler what is right. It is also up to you to teach them that the world is good, that they are loved, and that we should show other people love.

Sometimes, in order to teach your child right from wrong, you must discipline your children. This is not a bad thing! In fact, teaching them how to behave is very good for them. Always keep in mind though, there is effective discipline and very ineffective discipline. It’s important to know your child well enough to know what style works best for them.

4. Self-Awareness & Mindfulness

Every human being is different. We all love differently, learn differently, and think differently – and that is normal. Knowing how to calm yourself down in a tense situation can be very helpful. Getting to know your toddler and helping them to figure out what works best for them can help them so much! For example, some kids wake up after their nap happy to see you and wanting to cuddle while others are grumpy and need their space. There is nothing wrong with that! Help them out by giving them what they need.

*In addition, I find this category super important because of the amount of technology we have available to us. Although it can be helpful in many ways, it can also be very distracting! Teach your child how important it is to disconnect, and how to focus on what is happening around them. Learning to live in the present can help reduce stress and make everything in life more meaningful.

5. Education & Life Skills

Last but not least, education and life skills are a very important area to train your child in. From birth through age five, your little one is going to change and develop tremendously. You can begin teaching them numbers, letters, and colors as early as you want to. You can also help them learn everyday life skills based on their development. Your toddler is capable of putting his or her toys away, putting their laundry in the dirty clothes hamper, and many other small tasks. Toddlers love having their independence, and you’d be surprised how much they enjoy helping! Give them tasks they are capable of and observe how much it can actually be fun for them!

Basik Training is based off of these five core categories. These are the five most helpful areas to help your child develop skills in that will help them in every stage of their life. I will be sharing many more ideas, tips, and tricks to help you instill these foundational skills into your child.

6 Food Prep Ideas for your Toddler

Mealtime can be one of the most challenging parts of your day with a toddler. It’s incredible how big of a mess such a small person can make in very little time! Luckily, I have found that taking some time on the weekend to do a little food prep helps to make mealtime each day much easier.

In this post, I will include six of my favorite foods to prepare ahead of time. These foods are sure to keep a toddler full of good nutrients and energy, and to take the headache out of preparing your toddler’s meals.

This week, I urge you to pick one or two of these foods and get ahead of the game. Your toddler will thank you… actually no, they probably won’t thank you. But, I’m sure you will thank you!

1. Sweet Potatoes

Thankfully, I know very few children who refuse to eat sweet potatoes. When they’re prepared correctly, sweet potatoes don’t need anything added to them to make them taste good. They are loaded with good vitamins and carbohydrates that your toddler needs.

Preparing these are simple. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Rinse your potatoes. Then, pat them dry and wrap it with aluminum foil. Place them in the oven and let them cook for about an hour. You can tell when they are done when a butter knife can slide right through the potato with little to no effort.

I would suggest eating a serving right then and there. Then, remove the potato peel and store it in your Tupperware container for the week. You can serve sweet potato along with any meal, and know that your toddler is getting something they enjoy that is also full of vitamins.

2. Muffins

Another great tip that I have found useful, is whipping up some healthy muffins together. Your toddler will love the activity of cooking in the kitchen with you. It is a great learning activity that can be useful to you as well.

I enjoy making a delicious pumpkin, banana, or zucchini muffin with as many clean ingredients as possible. You can serve one along with fruit for breakfast, or you can give it to your little one after dinner to help them fill up on something you know is good for them.

Try these recipes:

Chocolate Chip Banana & Zucchini Muffins | Recipe by: The Nutrition Twins

Flourless Pumpkin Muffins | Recipe by: My Whole Food Life

Blender Banana Oatmeal Muffins | Recipe by: Well Plated



3. Veggies

Another great idea is to go ahead and make a vegetable to go along with meals throughout the day. You can make a pot of green beans, mixed veggies, broccoli, corn, or steamed carrots. Since you will have this on hand, it can easily be added to a meal or snack.

My go-to for preparing flavorful vegetables  is to start with fresh or frozen, organic vegetables. I like to cook them in low sodium, organic chicken broth. I add a bit of butter, salt and pepper. The chicken broth add flavor to the veggies, which will make your toddler more likely to eat them.

4. Rice

Another food option I like to include in my toddler’s food prep is rice. Go ahead and prepare a couple of servings of regular brown rice, depending on how many people will be eating it during the week.

What’s great is, there are so many ways to change it up. One day, you could toss it with teriyaki sauce and mixed veggies and call it fried rice. Another day you could add butter, salt, and pepper, and then top it off with the mixed veggies you prepared this week.

5. Raw Fruit & Veggies

In my experience, I’be found that planning and efficiency is what helps me to meet my goals. If I want to make sure my toddler is getting all his or her servings of fruits and veggies, I must plan and make it easy!

Pick your toddler’s favorite fruits and veggies, and get a head start by chopping them into bite size pieces.

Be sure to keep in mind, not all fruit keeps well after it’s been been chopped. I find that strawberries can become sweet like candy when they’re cut ahead of time. Some other fruits and veggies that keep well are pineapple, bell peppers, cucumbers, grapes, watermelon and more.

6. French Toast // Pancakes

Who doesn’t love pancakes and French toast? Most kids that I know love both of these breakfast foods. The best part about making these is that I often make way more than I need, and get to save the rest for a sweet and filling breakfast all week! I like to freeze leftover French toast and pancakes, and then pop in them in the toaster in the morning.

The best part? You can make a healthier version of pancakes that you and your toddler will love. Try this Banana Pancakes recipe out this week!