5 Ways to Get a Toddler to Eat Dinner + Giveaway

5 Ways to Get a Toddler to Eat Dinner + Giveaway

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Krusteaz. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

For those of us who have kids, I think we’ve all been there. We spend time preparing dinner for a toddler only to have the toddler stare at the food and pout while saying, “No!” How many of you have tried bribing? How many of you have acted like a short-order cook? How many have felt mom guilt, helpless, and/or frustrated? Trying to get a toddler to eat dinner can be so tricky at times (or most of the time, especially if you have a picky eater in your home).

5 Ways to Get a Toddler to Eat Dinner

With a three-year-old at home, I’m familiar with the dinnertime rigmarole. Yes, he’s great 90% of the time but the other 10% can be nothing short of ridiculous as my husband try and get him to eat. Even though he has his moments, here are some tips that we have used to help get our three-year-old toddler to eat dinner.

1.) Have Kids Help in the Kitchen

Yes, having kids help prepare meals can make the process messier and longer than it would be if you just prepared the meal. But, kids will take pride and ownership in the meal if they can help during the dinner prep. Of course, you’ll want to assign your child age-appropriate tasks.

Thankfully, our three-year-old has always been an amazing eater. But, he does have his moments when it gets a little tricky to have him sit down and eat, especially since he’s no longer in a highchair so we have nothing to hold him in place while he eats. The other day, I had him help me make a pasta dish. He poured the contents into the pot, kept an eye on the pasta, and then added a few spoonfuls to his plate when the pasta was done cooking. The next thing I knew, he was back up on his kitchen stool getting more spoonfuls of pasta. And, the next thing I knew after that, he was back for a third helping.

Needless to say, he loved the process, took price and ownership in his cooking skills, and devoured plate after plate of his delicious creation.

5 Ways to Get a Toddler to Eat Dinner + Giveaway

2.) Serve the Same Food to Everyone

I refuse to be a short-order cook. My husband and I prepare one meal and serve the meal to our son when we sit down as a family to eat dinner. Yes, there are times when our son refuses to eat what is served to him. My son will eat almost anything so the nights that he refuses to eat are very rare. But, if you have picky eaters, try to make sure that at least a few items that are served for dinner will please your child. If your child sits down and refuses to eat, try not to worry. In the book, Guide to Your Child’s Nutrition, there’s a passage that states the following: “Children will not become ill or suffer permanently if they refuse a meal or two, but parents sometimes act as though youngsters might shrivel up and die.” Your child will be fine if he/she decides to skip a meal. They will start to learn that they need to eat what everyone else at the dinner table is eating.

3.) Eat Dinner Together as a Family

This is a big one in our family. My husband grew up in a family who always ate dinner together. The same goes with my family growing up. We all had busy schedules but my parents firmly believed in the importance of sitting down for dinner together as a family. We have started the same tradition in our household with our son. We love to sit down at the dinner table and enjoy dinner together as a family. Many nights, we turn off the television, turn on the music, and eat our meal. But, there are days when we keep the television on the “choo choo train” show (we can see the television from the kitchen table) so that our son will sit at the table and eat dinner with us. Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.

4.) Let Kids Feed Themselves

Obviously, this is a given for older kids. If you have a toddler at home, allow the toddler to feed him/herself. The other day, we were having pancakes. My husband and I use a knife and fork to cut our pancakes into bite-size pieces. We used to cut our son’s pancakes too. But, that has recently changed. Now, I hand my toddler a toddler-safe fork and knife set. I love watching him cut/tear his pancakes into bite-size pieces. He has so much fun being independent.

5 Ways to Get a Toddler to Eat Dinner + Giveaway

5.) Change Up Dinner Ideas

Did you know that February is National Hot Breakfast Month? Have you ever heard of the “brinner” idea? As in, breakfast for dinner? I loved it when my Mom made brinner … and my husband and I still love to do brinner every once in a while. And, guess what? My sons loves it too. I mean, who doesn’t love to dig into a big stack of pancakes during dinnertime? So fun!

Krusteaz, makers of premium pancake, waffle and baking mixes, today released the results of its third annual breakfast survey, a national poll conducted by ORC International, revealing that the “Breakfast Night” trend continues as nine out of 10 Americans say they eat breakfast for dinner. Forty-one percent are regulars, doing so at least 2-3 times a month, a 10% increase from survey respondents in 2015.

The Breakfast Night trend is most popular with millennials (93%) who also fire up their griddles for breakfast at other unexpected parts of the day such as lunch and late night snacking. Millennials are 84% more likely then Gen X and Boomers to eat breakfast for lunch and 83% more likely then Gen X and Boomers to enjoy breakfast as a late-night snack.

Millennials aren’t the only ones leading the Breakfast Night charge. Ninety-three percent of families say they eat breakfast for dinner. Most (69%) families eat dinner together at least 4 nights a week, which is an 11% increase from 2015 survey results, and over one in three (37%) say they do so every night. Amongst all surveyed, the preference to eat Breakfast Night is at home with loved ones (55%) rather than at a restaurant (29%).

5 Ways to Get a Toddler to Eat Dinner + Giveaway


In celebration of Breakfast Month, I’m offering a fun reader giveaway thanks to my partnership with Krusteaz. One lucky winner will receive the following:

  • Two boxes of the following mixes: Buttermilk Pancake Mix, Belgian Waffle Mix, Blueberry Pancake Mix, Wild Blueberry Muffin Mix, and Cinnamon Swirl Crumb Cake & Muffin Mix.
  • Fun kitchen items like a whisk, a tote bag, and pancake batter pens.
  • A selfie stick to help you document all of the fun!

All you have to do is enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. Also, be sure to join the Krusteaz Breakfast Night Twitter Party on Pancake Day (February 28) at 1:30PM PT and chat to win prizes throughout the hour using #Krusteaz and #BreakfastNight. And, don’t forget … from February 15-28, share your ultimate pancake and/or waffle spread on Twitter using #Krusteaz and #BreakfastNightContest. Five winners will be chosen to win $100. For more details, visit: http://www.krusteaz.com/breakfast-night-battle-sweepstakes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Krusteaz mixes are available in supermarkets nationwide. Krusteaz fans are encouraged to share photos and videos of their Breakfast Nights on Facebook (Facebook.com/Krusteaz), Instagram (instagram.com/Krusteaz) and Twitter (Twitter.com/Krusteaz). For fun and easy Breakfast Night recipes and ideas, visit Krusteaz.com/breakfastnight.

How do you get your toddler to eat dinner?

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Krusteaz. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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