If you are like me, trying to feed your toddler is an all day task. Making sure she actually eats the food is number one. Number two is finding healthy, balanced meal ideas that don't take FOREVER to prepare. I am not an expert, but I am a believer in sharing what works for me. I truly hope that these simple ideas help you have some new ideas for your tots. We also are on a budget, so sometimes our variety is lacking, but that's something I am actively working on and will share my progress with y'all. I hope you get an understanding of how I structure her meals and it helps. :) Please comment with your top tips so that we can all help each other. This mama thing is tough, but together we are better.
Some general guidelines and tips for each meal:
-A protein source ideally cooked in healthy fats like olive oil or coconut oil.
-1-2 veggies or fruit either steamed or roasted in healthy oils. (Babies need those healthy fats like whoa.)
-Water on the side. Skip the juice because it tends to curb these little eater's appetites.
-If your little doesn't like a food right away, leave it on the tray, walk away (still visible obviously, just not paying so much attention), and let them figure it out. Often times, when I'm not hovering Calista will eat whatever she was fussing about moments before.
-Don't be scared to try a new food 5-10 times.
My husband usually knocks this one out, which makes me super happy. Here are some fool proof daddy options.
1. Protein: Whole-milk yogurt mixed with a little natural applesauce, cinnamon, and baby oatmeal.
Carb: above oatmeal.
Fruit/veggie: entire banana or apple.
2. Protein: Scrambled egg(s) in coconut oil.
Carb: My favorite gluten free, high healthy fat pancake recipe. baby-pancake-success.html
3. Protein: Egg muffin with spinach and tomatoes.
Carb: Paleo sweet potato biscuits from The Paleo Kitchen.
Fruit/veggie: Veggies in muffin, also a banana.
This is probably the meal that varies the most. It's also the hardest one to spend time on so often I'm throwing together random leftovers or it is time for her shake.
Most of you know that we drink Shakeology in our house. Calista and I drink the vegan formula that simply has 70 foods in it. Examples of ingredients are flax seeds, chia seeds, pomegranate, spinach, prebiotics, probiotics (yes, they are different), green tea, pea protein, to name a few. Basically this means that we do not need to take multivitamins in our house and if the fridge is empty, she still gets all of her goodies, other than breastmilk that is. :)
1. Shakeology: 1/2 scoop vegan chocolate with unsweetened almond milk, frozen chopped spinach (babies need iron), half a banana and flax.
2. Protein: Baked chicken thigh.
Carb: I'll keep it real here... Puffs
Fruit/veggie: Roasted broccoli AND grapes.
3. Protein: Cottage cheese which is still hit or miss, mostly miss.
Carb: Leftover biscuits or pancakes
Fruit/veggie: Sweet peas AND roasted carrots.
MEAL THREE aka dinner:
1. Protein: Slices of cheddar
Carb: roasted sweet potatoes or sweet potato fries (Trader Joe's has good ones)
Fruit/veggie: sautéed zucchini chopped into quarters cooked in oil. *Note: zoodles will end up on the wall 😂
2. Protein: Beef meatballs
Carb: Sometimes for dinner I double up on veggies and skip traditional carbs.
Veggies: more roasted carrots. It's a phase I guess. Also, berries or grapes.