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Before I had kids, I assumed that pickiness toward food was simply a result of not introducing a child to lots of different meals, textures, and flavors. Ha! The joke was clearly on me. I have offered my toddler just about every food under the sun and she ate it all…that is, until she turned two. Now her favorites from just hours prior are suddenly met with disgust and vice versa. Needless to say, mealtime is always an adventure!

Because of this, I’ve learned to get creative. I have found that food needs to be fun for her to be willing to try it. The more I can include her in the preparation and engage her in discussions about the colors and shapes that she sees on her plate, the more successful mealtime becomes!

One of our favorite ways to infuse meals with a little more joy is to turn everyday staples into friendly critters that keep her coming back for more. (For anyone avoiding peanut butter due to allergies, there are plenty of great substitutes including sunflower seed butter, coconut butter, and cookie butter.)

Here are some of our favorites:

DRAGONFLY

Cut a slice of celery and cover the trough portion of it with a thick coat of peanut butter.

Place two pretzels on the sides and line the center with raisins.

BUMBLEBEE

Slice a 1/4″ thick piece of apple into two pieces. Use one piece as the base for your bumblebee.

Cover one side in peanut butter and add a pretzel to the top to act as the wings.

Create stripes, a stinger, and an eye using raisins. Finish off with two small strips of celery to create the antennae.

SNAIL

Similar to the dragonfly, cover one side of celery with peanut butter. Use the other half of the apple slice from the bumblebee and stand it up in the center of the celery to act as the shell.

Place a pretzel on the top of the celery to act as the antennae.

There you have it! Three friendly critter snacks.

Mom tested, toddler approved!


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