Hey mama, I see you. If you’ve come to this post that can only mean one thing, you’re desperate. Desperate to make anything your toddler will love. We’re in the same boat, so hop in we’re goin’ on a wild ride to a town I like to call disillusion.
The first thing you need to do to make a PB&J sandwich your toddler will love is take a deep breath, they can smell fear, afterall.
DO NOT TIP OFF YOUR TODDLER!
This is the most important step. If at any point you wonder where you went wrong go back and read step 1 again.
Prepare their sandwich on an adult plate. This can be anything that your little one doesn’t normally eat off of. If you prepare their sandwich on their plate they will expect their food to be ready right away. If this happens the next couple of minutes could be full of meltdowns (either from the child or you..ha we’ve all been there).
So do not let your toddler know that you are making their food. Expectations will build. They may imagine a plate full of wonderous amazing ‘snacks’ which they’ve convinced you they love, but one day (or 5 minutes later) they hate that snack and never want it near them again. Yeah it happens. It’s normal. We’re fine. We’re good.
Okay next step.
So once you’ve got your non-child proof plate, discretely gather the required ingredients. I cannot emphasize the word discretely enough. If your toddler is aware that you have opened the pantry their selective hearing will kick into high gear and suddenly they’re climbing up your leg and speaking in gibberish at 50 mph. Trying to convince you that they need a treat. Because this silly little thing called object permanence has kicked in and they’ll never forget that one time you gave them *whispers* sugar from the pantry.
In order to successfully gather your ingredients keep your toddler distracted. Here are some different techniques:
- Throw a toy a few feet away.
- Start a noisy toy somewhere, where they’ll be safe of course, but so they won’t be able to see you (place them so their back is turned to you).
- Put out a small bowl of dry cereal for them to snack on (this is a risky technique because they might get full from just a few pieces of cereal).
- Play baby shark.
- Turn on Cocomelon (oh yes, we’re calling in the big guns on this one. TV).
No matter your technique you’ve gotta be quick to get that pantry open and obtain the right ingredients. Nab that peanut butter like your life depends on it!
Okay, once you get the peanut butter it’s time to acquire the jelly. If your distraction is still in effect go for it! Leap for that jelly! If your distraction has already worn off, try another from the list. Toddlers adapt quickly and the same distraction may not work twice in a row.
Bread. You got the bread right? If you answered no, then repeat step 2.
If your toddler is having a meltdown at this point. Go back to step 1, your toddler probably sensed food was on the horizon.
Now it’s time to create the PB&J your toddler will love. Do not kid yourself on this step.
CUT. OFF. THE. CRUST.
Just do it! Even though your toddler ate the crust once and didn’t make a fuss doesn’t mean that’ll ever happen again. So don’t chance it. You’ve come too far to just let it go at this point. So cut off the crust, and keep your chin held high.
Then lather that crustless piece of bread in peanut butter.
Now you have 2 options, you can do this to 2 pieces of bread or just do a half sandwich, and make them look like fancy French horderves (not that they’ll care).
If you decide to do the whole 2 slices of bread thing and make an “adult-like” sandwich, then slap that jelly on there. Then slice and dice that sucker.
Now, this is how I make my toddler’s sandwiches because the excess bread just gets thrown on the floor and she’ll eat maybe half of one square. Oh, and she also pulls apart the bread and just licks out the middle. Okay now that you have that graphic image in your head of how my little dinosaur eats this might make a little more sense.
After cutting the crust off the single piece of bread and covering it in peanut butter, cut the bread into “fun” shapes (squares I cut them into squares. But they’re not just any squares at our house they’re fun squares *help me*).
Then add a small amount of jelly to each “fun squared piece of sandwich”.
Transfer the cut sandwich to a child proof plate, and serve.
And now pray! Pray that your child eats because we all know that toddlers don’t eat! Like how do they have so much energy when they throw half their food on the floor or just won’t touch it?! Like baby, it’s food. Eat it, it’s not the plague you don’t have to social distance from your food. Just eat it.
Reminisce the time when your toddler ate everything you gave them:
I wish you the best of luck in feeding your picky toddler. You’re not alone if this post made you smile, share with your friends so we can all join in comradery of having professional food critics for toddlers.