Kid Meal Ideas
I truly believe that introducing your kids early on to all kinds of food creates healthy habits for your kid. Ainsley is not a picky eater and I truly think it is because of her eating habits early on. I mean they do not know that meat loaf gets a bad rep some times OR that avocado may be an odd first food for a kid... (that was Ainsley's hahah) but why does it have to be odd??
It is sad to think that we as women have SO much in common, especially us moms-- however, we spend SO much energy judging our fellow moms who could be allies... that ARE allies, we just choose to see them as something else entirely. I mean throughout my whole pregnancy I got people constantly telling me "are you sure you want to do that???" " you are crazy!" when I mentioned that I wanted an all natural birth---however if I would have done the same thing for the other side of it... that wouldn't be right either! I don't get how some mom shamming to your face is okay, but others is not.
An epidural or a natural birth
breast feeding or formula feeding or pumping
letting them watch tv or not letting them watch tv
letting them eat out vs. not letting them eat out
THE LIST could go on and on.... but what I think we need to accept is.. IT IS DIFFERENT FOR EVERYONE and that is %100 A OKAY. With all the social media we just immediately compare ourselves without even realizing. However, until we fully become happy with ourselves and confident in our choices, can we set the shamming aside. Think of how much better the world would be?
So this post is in no way trying to make it seem like Ainsley's diet is perfect and you will see a lot of meals that are missing a food group here and there. A lot of the food I feed her is based on how many teeth she has at the moment ( she is VERY slow getting teeth in) and what she is into recently and starting to voice what she wants--- which is also a really cool thing. This post is to hopefully help in any questions people have about picky eaters at home or their child starting more table food and just a sound board of ideas for breakfast & lunches ( because dinner is what we are having) The pictures are also not pretty hahah, meaning they do not have the best light and they are not organized any cute way. I wanted this post to be as real as possible, about how I get meals done with a toddler, as a single workin momma!
Here are our big 3 guidelines for dinner:
She eats what we eat:
One of the big "rules" or guidelines in our house is that she eats what we eat at dinner. Now granted she cannot eat chicken breasts well yet and some other things that are too hard for her teeth-- then we make her something different. But other than that, whatever I am having she is having. If it is something she is maybe not the fondest of, well she will eat it if she is hungry. I understand liking some things more than others, but I truly think not having your child eat what you eat, sets them up for just rejecting things, because they can and then getting what they want in return. It sets them up for bad eating habits later down the road.
You throw your food you are done:
This was the hardest for me. Ainsley is in the tossing phase. She LOVES her sports set and is constantly throwing the basketball & her dog's ball to play fetch with him. However, now we really think throwing our bottle and/or parts of quesadillas etc. is just a fun. I talk with her about my expectation, praise her with what she is doing WELL. I try to really watch not telling her what she isn't doing-- because once you mention " I like how you aren't throwing your food" --- very young children have a hard time deciphering between can/cannot, do/do not, are/aren't, when you interchange them all within a few sentences. So that is why they do the last thing you mention, which is a lot of times what you DON"T want them to do-- as well as it reminds them of that action and then they want to try it :)
This was hard for me though, because if she threw food after eating only a couple bites, is she really suppose to be done? The answer is yes. Consistency is KEY. If you say that you throw your food and then you are done. You must follow through with it. Trust me as a teacher on this & a mom. Once I stayed consistent she started realizing... mom is serious about this! If I want to eat, I don't throw food. Let me be honest, it took some time, but finally we are at the light at the end of the tunnel!
Sit down and eat together:
This one I know isn't as realistic sometimes, but we always try to sit down together and eat. Engaging in conversation, eating with her, showing her we are eating the same thing and all the details of how we eat, table etiquette etc. are so important for those little brains to soak up! It is one of my favorite times eating together, because we are able to just relax ( if the bottle is not being thrown across the table ;])
So now I am going to share with you all some meal ideas! I will also share the plates & her to go lunch container I am obsessed with. It is perfect for taking her lunch to daycare! I am not going to separate the meals by lunch and breakfast, just because a lot of times they can be interchanged for breakfast or lunch :) Please let me know if you have any questions!! ALSO some of the recipes come from my blog-- I did not want to link those below, because it would make it hard to read. Just know that there is a tab by dinner, lunch etc. or search section for my blog to find them :)
^^^ Her sectioned off plates & they are an amazing family owned company!
^^ Lunch container she takes with her to daycare
1. Multigrain 365 tortilla, with shredded Monterrey Jack cheese on top. Sautéed & cooked mushrooms in butter and a little red wine ( the alcohol evaporates) , with garlic salt. Homemade guacamole ( 1/2 avocado, My Brothers black bean corn salsa, little salt & lime juice)
2. Similar to the one above but this is a whole wheat cheese quesadilla, with shredded Monterrey & Jack mix. 1/2 of a pear and the guacamole like I mentioned above :)
3. Homemade basil white bean hummus ( See my blog post) on 365 cracker rounds, 1/2 of a banana & leftover vegetable soup ( we were having the soup for dinner)
4. Gotta love the lunchable style lunches:) Hand full of blueberries and steamed corn, 4 365 cracker rounds and mild cheddar cheese cut into cubes
5. Turkey, cream cheese + shredded cheese roll up in 365 flour tortilla, Tahini Chocolate Chip muffin for snack ( See blow for recipe), steamed carrots & 1/2 kiwi
6. Peanut butter & banana mini sandwiches, 1/2 Blueberry Glazed donuts from the blog, insta pot strawberry applesauce
7. Tuna (See blog for recipe) melt on multigrain toast with white cheddar on top, blueberries & steamed corn
8. Blueberry Van Waffle with almond butter, Stonyfield Organic kids whole milk yogurt ( one of the only ones I found with lower sugar content) with Fall crunch granola (see recipe on blog) topped with bananas and blueberries
9. Peanut butter & jelly 365 cracker round sandwiches, yogurt for a snack, strawberries & mild cheddar cut into cubes
10. Annie's Organic Mac & Cheese & then I added frozen peas into it once I have mixed the cheese and everything together, they thaw perfectly when mixed in and it is a great way to sneak veggies in! Clementine & banana oat bar (See blog for recipe) & insta pot apple sauce in pouches
11. Whole Wheat penne past with 365 pesto sauce, steamed sweet potato cubes & fruit salad (kiwi, strawberry & banana)
12. 1 egg omelette with Monterrey Jack mix, 1/2 piece of multigrain toast with insta pot strawberry jelly, insta pot cinnamon applesauce
13. A's FAVORITE breakfast: Stove top oatmeal-- quick microwave oatmeals can have SO much added sugar in it without even realizing it. So this quick and easy method, eliminates any of the unwanted additives and provides wholesome breakfast for you and little one
1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats in a medium pot over the stove
1/2 cup whole milk
BIG dash... I use so much, of cinnamon
- Bring to a boil and turn down heat a tad, but still want it boiling and stir until the liquid is almost all absorbed into the oats
-Then take half of a ripe banana and mush it with a fork into the oat mixture off the burner, mash it until it is creamy mixed in with the oats-- should not take long. Then bring back to burner and turn on low medium heat and add in 1-2 tbsp of maple syrup. Stir. until combined well and the top with any fruit or toppings of your choice!
13. Class French Toast on blog-- cut into hearts for fun :) With blueberries & organic maple syrup. It is important to us to buy the one that strictly only has maple syrup on the ingredient list no high fructose etc.
14. Whole wheat noodles with butter & garlic salt, whole milk cottage cheese with Everything But Bagel seasoning & strawberries
15. A picture of a lunch to go to the park :) We have an almond butter & strawberry jelly sandwich on multigrain bread, Annie's Cheddar crackers, pear & carrot cake energy ball
16. White bean basil hummus( on the blog on under appetizers) on Late July Rich Crackers (( these do not have enriched flour)), white cheddar cheese & strawberries
17. Very similar above, but this is a meal for her to take to daycare. Strawberries, white cheddar cheese, Late July Rich Crackers, blueberry muffin (on blog under breakfast) & Stonyfield Organic whole milk yogurt
18. Late July Crackers with almond butter, blueberries, white cheddar cheese, corn & blueberries
19. Homemade applesauce from the insta pot (( on my Instagram feed-- message me if you have questions)) Cashew oat bar ( on blog under breakfast & snacks) & banana
BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY.....
We have BALANCE.. we try and eat well 80% of the time and that 20% is 100% okay with us :) We do what we can, we are human, we are moms just doing our absolute best, which is all we can do!
I will continue to add to this page and let you guys know when I do! I am hoping this helped with any ideas and know that you are doing awesome mommas! Keep kicking you know what!!! We are behind you!
XO- Alaina & Ainsley