Friday, January 29, 2010

Toddler Food Back-ups

I'm a big breakfast eater. I'm also a big lunch eater. But supper, not so much. However since Linus started eating solid foods, I've had to focus on all three meals because kids, and especially Linus, need to eat.

Some days though I just don't feel like eating and the idea of making a whole meal that only Linus will eat seems ridiculous. That's why on  those days I've come to rely on back-up foods. Leftovers, of course, top the list of back-up foods but those aren't always an option. So, here's a list of foods I keep on hand for times when I need a back-up meal or just haven't gotten to the grocery store.

1. Sweet Potatoes- These are definitely our first go-to. I can just pop one in the microwave (after poking with a fork) for about 8 minutes, scoop out the insides, and serve. I usually add a topping. Some of our favorites include a little Lawry's; sour cream or Greek yogurt (less fat); or a little brown sugar with pecans.

2.  Frozen  Peas- The fastest, easiest way to add a little green to whatever leftover or meal I scratch up.

3. Yogurt Parfaits- I keep Greek yogurt, granola, and frozen berries stocked so I can whip a parfait up for snack or even dinner. They make a great breakfast too.

4. Spaghetti Lite- This is one from my childhood. Cook up a little of whatever pasta you have on hand and stir together with a can (or portion of a can) of seasoned diced tomatoes. Our favorite is garlic, basil, and oregano.

5. Baby Carrots- A bag of these guys keeps in the crisper forever. Older kids can of course eat them raw, but for Linus, I throw them in a microwave-safe bowl with a splash of water and zap for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes until tender. Linus will eat them plain most days. On the days he's being picky, I just add a sprinkle of brown sugar, and then he can't resist.

There's my list of back-up foods. Keeping these things on hand keep me from resorting to peanut butter and jelly day after day. How about you? Do you always make a full meal for dinner or do you use back-ups? What are some of your go-to foods for quick easy kid meals?


Andrea said...

Those are great! We sprinkle cinnamon on Oscar's carrots and he loves them! I also get the HappyBites salmon sticks from Whole Foods. They are fish sticks (good ones) and he can't get enough!

Anderson Fam said...

I love these ideas Abby. Bailey is a very picky eater and I feel like I am short order chef sometimes. She does not eat beef, or ground turkey which I use instead most times. I hope she will like more things down the road. I love smoothies and sometimes she will go for these. At least she can get her dairy fix and fruits.

Amy said...

our go-tos:
1. pasta with cheesy sauce (Annie's in a box or from scratch -- both take about the same time)... throw in frozen peas or some california blend mixed veggies and it's super!
2. homemade waffles (I make a giant batch and then freeze the extras)
3. tortillas filled with melted cheese/chicken/cooked veggies
4. our own concoction of small crackers (like goldfish) or pretzels, cheerios (honey nut or plain), dried fruit (like raisins and/or craisins), and chunks of string cheese -- good for snacks or meals!
5. homemade applesauce

Coco said...

I tried, and loved, your simple noddles, and even had it for left overs in the oven with a little cheese on them. They were a hit both times!

Convertible Girl said...

I'm ashamed to say that I feed my kids a lot of chicken nuggets and easy mac. But they also love grilled cheese sandwiches, pancakes and french toast -- the advantage with those three is that mom and dad like them, too.