1. Begin when your child is young by painstakingly making all of his or her baby food for them. This may seem like a lot of work right now, but those hours slaving over your food processor and food mill will really pay off when your baby turns into a toddler and has an amazingly complex palate.
2. Once your baby is past pre-ground food, you can start them on a wholesome, nutritious diet that will lead to good eating habits for years to come! Beam as your little one gobbles down everything from pureed peas to Dim Sum in Chinatown.
3. Start your little guy or gal's day with a nutritious breakfast. Some whole-grain cereal, preferably without too much sugar and without high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oil. Offer a side of sliced fruit--bananas have always been a favorite--and a glass of nutritious organic milk.
4. Watch your toddler eat the cereal, ignore the bananas, and ask for "apple juice" instead. Note: you do not actually have any apple juice, you've never had any apple juice. Instead, you must decode whether today "apple juice" means orange juice or the blueberry pomegranate juice with the hidden veggies in it.
5. For lunch, make sure that you offer your toddler a balanced meal--lean proteins like grilled chicken, steamed veggies, some sliced fruit, and either milk or water to drink.
6. Your toddler will, most likely decide that none of this fare is to their liking. They will instead ask for "cheese," "crcker," and "ee-ohs bown. Try as you may, the kid is just not going to eat those cute little peas or bite size carrots. But you don't want him to starve, so dig out the goldfish crackers, some cheese, and--if the pleading doesn't stop--offer him his second bowl of "ee-ohs bowl" for the day.
7. Don't be surprised if he wants "mo ee-ohs bowl." He probably won't stop saying "mo," "mo mo," and "mo peese" until you comply by putting more "ee-ohs" into his book, topping it with some more dok (milk) and refilling the juice glass.
8. Fruit makes a great afternoon snack....but your kid's probably not going to eat it. Nope, he'll either want "ee-ohs bowl" or toast. Or both. Hopefully, you didn't buy the regular size box of oat-flavored ohs. Instead splurge for the gianormous "Honey Nut Scooters" from Sam's....you're gonna need it.
9. Dinner can be a great time to practice the social aspects of eating and to continue teaching your toddler the value of good nutrition. Offer him or her smaller portions of the food you've prepared for the rest of the family. Don't be surprised, however, when a seemingly child friendly meal, like spaghetti and meatballs isn't the hit you expected. Instead, prepare yourself for your child to scream "ee-oli" over and over, because he would prefer the blanched and fairly tasteless Gerber graduates ravioli. Don't worry, he's just being "social."
10. Congratulations on making it through yet another day of feeding your toddler! Your efforts to prepare nutritious, well balanced meals have been met with....err, um... some criticism. Never fear-- there's still the evening snack! As you pour the third bowl of cereal for the day, take some comfort in the fact that it's fortified.