Any snack that involves potatoes and ketchup is sure to get two tiny thumbs-up from your little tater tot. Keep him happy — and meet his nutritional needs — by tossing sliced new potatoes with the skins left on (the antioxidants are mostly in the peel) with heart-healthy olive oil and seasonings such as a pinch of pepper or Parmesan (if your child's crazy for cheese). Bake, not fry, at 475°F for 35 minutes, turning occasionally to brown the fries on all sides. Or make sweet-potato fries for more vitamin A, fiber, vitamin C, iron, and calcium. Add ketchup and you'll have a content kid at your table, no matter what color the fries.
Mac & Cheese
Max out the mac potential by dishing out nutritious whole-grain macaroni enriched (up nutrients even more by looking for one with omega-3 essential fatty acids added). When it comes to the sauce, bypass the boxed cheese powder (and its scary list of additives) to make your own by melting cheese with whole or low-fat milk and a tiny bit of butter. Want some extra probiotic and protein goodness in this go-to toddler meal? Stir in Greek yogurt instead of milk and butter (it's even creamier than regular yogurt). You can also add in pureed tofu for protein and iron, or toss in pureed (or minced) cooked cauliflower or butternut squash to sneak in another serving of veggies. Peas are another addition typically well received by the high-chair set.
Dip With Veggies
Got a little dipper on your hands? Meet your toddler's green and yellow veggie requirements by giving him steamed baby carrots or broccoli to dip in cheese sauce, hummus (it's surprisingly toddler-friendly, plus it's high in protein and fiber), guacamole (it's full of healthy fat), or ranch dressing made with Greek yogurt. If it's crackers your tot's craving, serve whole-grain ones ("whole" should be the first word on the label). Other dips your toddler will dig in to: marinara sauce as a dunker for cheese sticks (vitamin C, vitamin A, and a calcium...