Preschooler Eats (4 Years Old)

Hi friends! How’s your week going? Hope you’re having a great one. I’ve had some requests to share some of the kiddos’ meals on the blog, and thought it would be fun since I’m always looking for new ideas, too. A huge development in our house is that miss P started solids a couple of weeks ago! I’m taking my sweet time to introduce new foods (just to make sure she doesn’t react to anything), and so far she’s had apple, oats, and sweet potato. She loves them all! I was cracking up yesterday because I was feeding her pureed sweet potato in between eating my own breakfast. Every time I put her spoon down to take a bite of my egg and toast, she’d start whimpering. As soon as I picked up her spoon again, she’d open her mouth widely, ready for the next bite. It was absolutely adorable. 

For Liv, she still eats a lot of the same things we do. We hit a bit of a picky phase, where it seemed like she wasn’t really into anything. I started to get worried since my voracious eater suddenly lost her appetite and only wanted sweets, so I mentioned it to the ped. She gave me some awesome advice.

Eating Advice From Our Pediatrician

“It’s your job to provide healthy food; it’s her job to eat it. Make her a healthy meal, and place it in front of her. Don’t give her any choices, or say anything about what she’s being served. [probably so she can’t object! Before I was asking her if she wanted a certain thing, and she would say chocolate or ice cream instead, haha.] Give her 5 minutes at the table -set a timer if you need to- and spend the time and energy you’d usually spend convincing her to eat her food on positive interaction instead.”

I’ll probably jinx myself by writing this, but it was worked brilliantly. I don’t say anything about what she’s being served, and sit with her at the table to eat. If she says she doesn’t want to eat, I tell her she doesn’t have to, but I’ll set a timer and she has to sit and hang out with me at the table for 5 minutes. If she’s looking outside, we’ll talk about the crazy green birds, or I’ll talk her to about her friends at school or what we have coming up that weekend. The entire time, she’s eating. I’m so so happy her appetite is back, and that she’s back to the foods that will give her energy and make her grow, with the *fun stuff* in there too. <3

Preschooler Meals

Preschooler Meals for my 4-year-old

PB&J roll-up with blueberries and new Bitsy’s Brainfood crackers

pbj rollup

Turkey meatballs with pasta and zucchini on the side

Turkey meatballs

Grassfed steak with sweet potato and asparagus

Steak with sweet potatoes and asparagus

(she LOVES steak)

Her favorite acai bowl from Tiki Port

Liv with her Acai bowl

Chicken pho

Chicken pho

Cheese quesadilla with BBQ chickpeas and blueberries

Quesadilla with blueberries and chickpeas

For breakfast, she has these pancakes almost every day. She absolutely adores them and it’s awesome to know she’s getting some oats, 2 whole eggs, and a banana for breakfast.

We’ve also cut down on sugars and snacking between meals at the ped’s suggestion (she said to wrap up any leftovers from her meal, and if she’s hungry later, offer her that again. Otherwise, just give her some fruit.), but this is a dessert we’ve been enjoying fairly often around here:

strawberries with So Delicious Coco Whip (coconut milk Cool Whip and it tastes AMAZING), and Flavor God chocolate donut sprinkles on top.

Livs favorite desssert

Any fun kiddo meals you’ve been making lately? What do you usually do for dessert at your house? We like to go out for dessert about once a week or get restaurant dessert, and will make fruit or strawberries with coco whip, or enjoy some chocolate or peanut butter cups together. While I was typing this, I just thought of banana soft serve. Maybe I’ll make that for Liv and her little friend when we have company tomorrow night. 🙂



More kiddo food posts here:

Quick toddler snacks and packaged finds

4 make-ahead toddler snacks

Preschooler eats

Baby protein

1 month of baby food, 1 hour, $20

Shout out to Brittany, who posts a TON of munchkin meals on her blog

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  1. Rachel on April 14, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    Can you please post the pancake recipe? Thanks!

    • Fitnessista on April 15, 2016 at 12:19 pm

      just added the link! xoxo

  2. Ashley @ DownHomeDuo on April 14, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    I love this – your pediatrician had some awesome advice! My twins are only 17m, so I’m not in the picky phase yet. However, they are complete garbage disposals. Sometimes I’m at a loss of how to keep up with them! I’ll definitely take it while I can though, you never know when they can change their habits. I’ve started having to order 2 entrees at restaurants for the three of us to share – otherwise I’ll have nothing to eat!

  3. Brittany on April 14, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    Ah, you are so sweet to give me a shout out Gina- thank you! All these look delicious and I had to laugh because Hailey loves steak too. Some fancy gals we have on our hands- uh oh 😉

    • Fitnessista on April 15, 2016 at 12:19 pm

      right?! liv can eat almost an entire small grassfed steak haha

  4. Stephanie on April 14, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    Is there a recipe for the pancakes you mentioned? I do not see a picture or link?

    I’ll be on the lookout for that coconut whip cream!

    • Fitnessista on April 15, 2016 at 12:19 pm

      sorry, i added the link!

  5. Susan on April 14, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    You must be living inside my head today! I enjoyed your post about hair products this morning (went to Ulta and bought some Pureology shampoo and conditioner this afternoon…they didn’t have the Lee Stafford hair growth product at my location, so I’m going to order it online or look at Walgreen’s!), and this post about a finicky eater is spot on for me at the moment. I have an 18-month-old who has just put the brakes on her appetite the past week or so for no apparent reason (doesn’t seem to be ill, etc.). I have been knocking myself out trying to convince her to eat, but just decided tonight that enough was enough, and that she’ll eat when she is hungry. I even read the book “How to Get Your Kid to Eat” by Ellyn Satter, and she says exactly what your pediatrician told you. It’s our job to put food in front of the kiddos, but it’s their job to decide if they are hungry, and how much to eat. I know this should be common sense for me, but it’s so disheartening to make what I think are healthy, tasty meals for her, just to have her turn her nose up at them. She does like the Bitsy’s Brain Food cookies, which I picked up Target after your recent post about those! In any case, thanks for the hair advice this morning and child-rearing advice this afternoon!

    P.S. My daughter had a fairly severe case of reflux until she was about eight months old (not quite as bad as P, but rough nonetheless), so I am very grateful that your little one seems to be moving beyond that nightmare!

    • Fitnessista on April 15, 2016 at 12:19 pm

      haha that is so funny! we’re on the same wavelength 🙂
      hope that things turn around on the food front. it made me worried when liv wasn’t eating very much, but thankfully, she’s back in the game
      YES. thank you so much. i feel like we’re finally in the sun.

  6. Brynn on April 15, 2016 at 3:24 am

    Even though my son is a bit younger that Liv, I follow the rule that what is cooked is what’s for dinner. If he’d like a different fruit, veggie or something that’s fine, but I’m not cooking separate meals. He’s not into meat, which is challenging.

  7. Lauren @ Oh Hey! I Like That! on April 15, 2016 at 7:42 am

    Would it be wrong for ME to eat these kiddo meals because they look amazing!

  8. Taylor on April 15, 2016 at 8:18 am

    love this post!! I think it is great that you don’t say anything about what she is eating. I have seen parents say “oh he/she wont like this or that” and then ofcourse the child doesn’t want to try it! great post!!

    • Fitnessista on April 15, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      we have never really done that, but we were guilty of trying to get her to eat more because she was being so finicky. now that we’ve stopped, it totally resolved.

  9. B on April 15, 2016 at 9:32 am

    This came at a perfect time! My husband and i just argued about my daughters eating. I agree that it’s our job to determine when and what she eats but her job to decide how much. Thank you for sharing

    • Fitnessista on April 15, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      xoxo! check out lindsay’s comment above for a great book suggestion, too

  10. Rose on April 15, 2016 at 11:09 am

    My 3 yr old loves those pancakes. I’m so glad you posted that recipe! She loves cake, ice cream and candy, but she happily accepts fruit salad in a pretty cup or a few pieces of dried fruit for dessert. She isn’t into fresh veggies, but roasted veggies are a hit.

    • Fitnessista on April 15, 2016 at 12:10 pm

      usually liv will eat raw veggies if some type of dip is involved 😉

  11. Megan on April 15, 2016 at 11:10 am

    I saw this in my feed, which is a mixture of news and blogs.

    I first ready this header as “Preschooler Eats 4 Year Old.”

    I’m so relieved that wasn’t the case.

    • Fitnessista on April 15, 2016 at 12:10 pm

      hahah! no cannibalism here 🙂

  12. Lindsay on April 15, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    A great book for feeding children is called “How to Get Your Kid to Eat But Not Too Much” by Ellyn Satter RD. She is a registered dietitian who specializes in childhood nutrition and feeding issues. Im an RD also and have a 3 yr old step son and 18m old daughter. I was first introduced to the book in college and then graduate school and have re-read it many times and referred it to clients hundred of times! One of the most powerful statements you can use with your kids at the dinner table is “You don’t have to eat it”. Make them sit with you at the table for a while but don’t ever force food- it never works to your benefit. It sounds like the suggestions your MD made came from this book which is so great and take a lot of stress and pressure off of you as a parent. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on April 15, 2016 at 12:10 pm

      thank you so much– i’ll definitely check it out.
      it’s crazy, once i started saying “you don’t have to eat it, just hang out with me for a few minutes” she started eating more. i had no idea how much energy we were spending trying to convince her to eat

  13. Debbie on April 15, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    It can definitely be difficult to get little ones to eat. My girls first food was broccoli and it has been one of her favourites ever since because to her it’s just a yummy food. Making it a positive and happy thing makes it so much easier. Will have to try out some of your ideas. Never even thought of having a timer but could be very useful for me with Miss 1.5. Debbie

  14. Natalie Rejto on May 12, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Can you give us the chickpea recipe? Thanks!

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