Thursday, November 16, 2017

Toddler Eats // Meal ideas

Feeding little people can be tricky for a few reasons... you run out of ideas, you run out of time, or (and this one is the worst) you have a picky eater.  As someone who has a very very picky eater, I've experienced major frustration when it comes to cooking for my kids.  I'm not really ever an extremest, I believe very much in moderation.  I try to cook healthy meals for my kids, making sure they get a good mixture of the food groups.  I also love rewarding my kids after a long week with ice cream.  Bottom line-I don't overly push or restrict anything.  I believe creating life long healthy eaters has to include balance!

The only rule in our house is you have to try one bite.  If after that one bite they decide they don't like it, they don't have to eat the entire portion.  BUT-if they do not eat, nothing else is offered.  I've been known to pack up breakfast in a tupperware container and take it with us on errands if they refuse to eat what I've made.  You better believe when they ask me for a snack half way through Target I whip a container out with their breakfast!

Speaking of breakfast, Sloan and Phayre ate a hot breakfast pretty much every day of their lives until Briar was born.  Since having Briar, Sloan has gone back to preschool three mornings a week.  There just isn't enough time to make a hot breakfast and get to preschool on time so I just introduced cereal. I usually buy cheerios and the girls are thrilled to be getting cereal now.  I also try to make egg cups once a week and heat those up on preschool mornings (see recipe below).

I documented what I cooked for the girls for one week in hopes that it would give you guys some ideas when cooking for your kids.  I'm not a food or health blogger so these aren't gourmet meals by any stretch.  I'm a busy mom of three and when it comes to cooking, I try to make healthy meals that my kids will actually eat.  You'll see that I usually try to hide vegetables in meals rather than offering them on their own.  The girls will eat veggies more willingly if they're mixed in a meal so I do that a lot!

We use Replay Recycled dishes for the girls and I absolutely love them.  I originally found their sippy cups I was instantly hooked.  They never ever leak, they're my absolute favorite.  We've since tried all of their dishes and they're all we use now.

Sloan sits in a booster seat at the kitchen table and Phayre still sits in a highchair.  We have the Skip Hop Tuo convertible high chair and I love it because it's a super simple design and easy to clean.  We've had a couple highchairs and they were AWFUL to clean.  I hate when food gets in tiny crevices!!  The Skip Hop Tuo is easy to clean and it's super lightweight.  We really enjoyed eating out on our back deck this summer and I loved that we could move P's highchair around so easily.

Breakfast: cereal, strawberries, and banana.
Lunch: turkey and cheese wrap, strawberries, and applesauce.
Snack: cucumbers and grapes.
Dinner: grilled chicken, corn on the cob, strawberries and watermelon.
(strawberries only last about one day in our house because the girls demand to eat them with every meal!)

Breakfast: banana and a breakfast quesadilla with egg, vegetarian sausage, zucchini, and cheese.
Lunch: grilled cheese sandwich, cucumber, mandarin oranges.
Snack: cantaloup, grapes, and an applesauce pouch.
Dinner: ratatouille rice bowls (rice with zucchini, yellow squash, onion, bell pepper, and chicken).

Breakfast: bacon and egg cup and banana.
Lunch: turkey, cream cheese, and cucumber roll up, olives, and watermelon.
Snack: yogurt and pirate booty.
Dinner: homemade chicken chow mein and watermelon (I pack the chow mein with veggies like carrot, celery, onion, peas, zucchini, and cabbage).

Bacon and egg cup recipe:
1. Cook bacon just enough so that it's cooked through, but still really soft and not crispy (I bake mine in the oven for 7-8 minutes at 400 degrees).
2. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray and then line each muffin hole with a piece of bacon.
3. I break up three pieces of whole wheat bread into quarters and drop a little piece of bread into each muffin hole.
4. Crack an egg into each muffin hole and then sprinkle the top with salt, pepper, and shredded cheese.
4. Bake at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes (until egg is cooked through).

Breakfast: cereal and banana.  
Lunch: avocado toast, salami, cheese, and cantaloup.
Snack: the girls actually had grapes, cheese, and crackers, but I forgot to take a picture before they ate it!  Oops :)
Dinner: Chick-fil-a because our afternoon errands ran long and we had a church event that night so I was in a major rush!
***We had an early doctor appointment and since we were out of the girls cereal, they talked me into letting them have daddy's sugary cereal.  Not our healthiest day, but everything in moderation remember!!

Breakfast: egg cups with watermelon and cantaloup.
Lunch: chicken quesadilla, pear, and carrots with ranch.
Snack: cantaloup and a granola bar.
Dinner: ribs, strawberries, mashed potatoes, and green beans (the girls ate their green beans while waiting for the rest of dinner to be finished).

Here is a quick list of our go to meals:

-scrambled eggs or omelet with meat and veggies
-breakfast quesadillas
-bacon and egg cups
-waffles or pancakes
-yogurt, granola, and berries
-cereal and fruit 

*I try to serve each of the below items with a fruit and a veggie.
-sandwich or wrap
-grilled cheese sandwich
-quesadillas (I hide all kinds of meat and veggies in quesadillas)
-avocado toast
-noodles with butter, parmesan cheese, and veggies
-fried rice (I buy a bag of frozen vegetable fried rice from Trader Joes and mix in shredded chicken)
-mac n' cheese (I buy the frozen reduced guilt mac n' cheese from Trader Joes)
-hotdogs (my girls love the organic all beef hotdogs from Trader Joes)

-cut up fruit and veggies
-cheese, crackers, and salami
-hard boiled eggs
-apple and peanut butter
-peanut butter toast
-granola bars

I hope this gives you guys some ideas when you're cooking for your littles!  If you have any questions leave them in a comment below!



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