Q&A: hot weather foods for toddlers

Now that we're past Canada Day and US Independence Day, we can settle into the long, hot days of summer here on the north side of the earth. Which is great in some ways (tank tops and sangria), but can be challenging for other reasons. Ally writes:

"Help--summer is screwing us up! I've accepted that the later bedtime/early waking is not going to go away any time soon. Fortunately I just started freelancing a few months ago, so shifting the sleeping schedule isn't killing me like it would be if I had to be at work at a certain time. But I'm starting to be seriously concerned about my son's nutrient intake (he's 2). He'll eat a decent breakfast (toast or cereal and eggs and banana) but then the rest of the day it's like pulling teeth to get him to eat anything. It's like it's too hot for him to feel like eating. I can get him to eat slices of cucumber and frozen grapes, but is this enough?"

It sounds like he really only wants cold, wet things during the day. So try to find cold, wet things that are high in nutrition. Watermelon is one of the most nutritionally-dense fruits there is, and if he goes for cucumber he'll probably eat watermelon. Other melon varieties are good, too. So is kiwi. If he'll eat the seeds (some toddlers won't), kiwi is a good nutritious choice.

If you can get enough protein into him in the morning, all the rest of it will even out. Remember that you're supposed to look at the nutrition he gets over a week, not day-by-day (this goes for adults, too, by the way). Fruit (unless he has problems with the sugar in fruit) is going to be the easiest way to cover his bases when it's too hot to eat much of anything else. Just be warned that if he eats too much fruit it can affect his poop, so heads up.

You don't mention if he's drinking plenty of liquids, so I assume that's not a problem. Lots of kids cut down on the milk in the hot weather and switch to water, so he may be doing that, too.

Anyone else going through this?