Yep, this is my second post about my toddler and eating habits. There will probably be a third, a fourth, and a tenth on this topic as eating is a huge part of our day. Constantly coming up with healthy options for her can be a struggle. And by struggle, I mean the main course dinner and lunch options. Breakfast, and side items like avocado are a piece of cake- it's the big ones that are so hard!
Since she is Miss Independent still and not quite able to use a fork or spoon on her own, I have to find foods that she can feed herself. Right now she will allow me to feed her applesauce or Yo Baby Yogurt with a spoon but sometimes she refuses and wants the spoon herself, which we all know is not going to happen!
So, on my last toddler post I wrote I was going to purchase the Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food cookbook and try out some of the recipes she has to trick your child into eating their veggies. My problem with some of the main entree recipes though, was that they were geared more to older children who can pick up a burger and eat the whole thing all by themselves, or eat a chicken salad sandwich with crunchy, choking hazard celery in it. My toddler? Not quite there yet.
After researching more and more recipes online, I have found there is some serious lacking of younger toddler food ideas. Why? I'm guessing because there are 14 month old toddlers who are still having choking hazards, and there are 3 year old toddlers who can use a fork and spoon. And it's much easier to find foods for 3 year olds.
I have finally found a few recipes. I took some of Seinfeld's recipes and tweaked them, here and there and also changed a few family favorites that my child will eat! (if you have any more suggestions, please comment below):
-Chicken and cheerios: Cut chicken into strips, salt and pepper them, then place the Chicken in a Ziploc bag filled with crushed Cheerios so that they are covered. Bake the pieces on a cookie sheet at 375 for 30 minutes. Then cut up into bite sized pieces.
-Turkey Meatballs: You can use ground beef in these too, but I am not a meat eater so I use turkey :) I also eat these with my husband as our meal, and they freeze well too! Mix the package of ground meat in a bowl with 1 egg, 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley, 3/4 cup of bread crumbs (homemade or store bought), 1 clove of garlic minces, salt and pepper to taste, and 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese. Roll into balls, and then heat some olive oil in a pan. Turn them to brown on all sides. Then add your pasta sauce of choice to the pan and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve with your child's favorite pasta shape. I of course cut up the pasta and meatballs into bite sizes and let her go to town on her highchair tray!
-Veggie Spaghetti: Heat up your favorite pasta sauce in a saucepan, and also start cooking their favorite noodle. I then finely chop zucchini, broccoli, peas and butternut squash (or whatever veggies your child will eat) and add them to the sauce, cook until soft and serve with the noodles.
-Pizza pockets: Take some ready to pop open biscuits or crescent rolls, and place in greased muffin tins (make them like little cups so you can fill them). Then fill the center dough with your child's favorite bite sized veggies such as broccoli, and peas, a dab of pasta sauce and some shredded cheese. Seal the dough up by pinching closed and bake according to directions on package. Yum!
-Quesadillas: This one is adapted from Jessica Seinfeld. Mix together pureed butternut squash and shredded cheddar cheese. Place a tortilla on a heated skillet, spread with the squash and cheese mixture. Then add black beans (or your child's favorite bean) with a little salt and pepper on them, then add shredded cooked chicken on top. Add another tortilla and press on top, cook for 2-3 minutes on medium heat, then flip over and cook another 3 minutes or until heated through. Cut into bite sized pieces.
-Annie's mac and cheese with peas (or whatever veggie your child will eat)
-Veggie dumplings in my grocer's freezer section, cut up into bite sizes
-Grilled cheese sandwiches; peanut butter and honey sandwiches on whole wheat bread
Ok moms, any other great ideas?? I'm always at a loss in this awkward eating phase!