Google "toddler recipes", "toddler meals", "food for toddlers", "healthy meals for toddlers"...go ahead...try it. One site you'll come up with right away is a site that claims that "this site is devoted to feeding toddlers". When you click on the "toddler recipes library" (sorry about all the quotes...I know its annoying) and click on "dinners" you will find THREE recipes. Now that's some devotion!
Continue on with your search and you will find hundreds of recipes for "kid-friendly" versions of pizza, mac and cheese, pigs in blankets and spaghetti and meatballs.
I really don't think we give the palates of toddlers (and big kids too) enough credit. Toddlers in most other countries in the world don't even know what a chicken nugget is. Go here to read about what toddlers around the world are scarfing up in their booster seats. If toddlers in Japan slurp noodles in fish broth and toddlers Denmark gobble up liverwurst or cod roe sandwiches then why are we so afraid to serve up a lentil every once in awhile. Toddlers in India don't turn up their noses at food seasoned with tumeric, curry and fenugreek and some parents are lucky if they can get their kids to dip a dinosaur shaped nugget into some ranch dressing.
My kid has eaten dinosaur shaped nuggets (as well as mac and cheese, pizza and thousands of goldfish crackers). Thankfully, she loves LOTS of foods and will try anything put in front of her. Very rarely does she truly dislike a food. I would like to keep her this way. I am an adventurous, healthy eater and I hope that she will always be too. The challenge comes in being motivated enough to find/create recipes and cook for just her since she eats dinner much earlier than Daddy and I. It always seems easier to pop something from the freezer into the oven or to make one big meal just for her at the beginning of the week that she has for several meals that week...how boring for her!
I think this great idea Kara and I have come up with will be just the thing to spice up my toddler chef performance.
I am devoted to feeding toddlers. ;o)