Wednesday, January 15, 2014

[Little Foodie] Toddler Meals

I have been meaning to write this post for months now.  I think I was asked back in the summer what Ashlynn's schedule was like and also her meals.

I'll shared the schedule in yesterday's Two Under Two'sday in what things are like around here, but now it's time to focus on the grub.

Luckily, we've been blessed with a really good eater.  Not to say she isn't without her preferences and some likes and dislikes, but overall girlfriend eats and makes our lives (and meal times) fairly easy without lots of thought, monotony, or separate special requests.

Some meals, like breakfast and lunch she usually rotates a variety of go-tos.  Most of them being quick to make and knowing they are fan favorites. Dinner she will usually eat what we eat, but when she doesn't - say some sort of baked chicken or more animal protein based dish - I'll give her extra sides that I know she will eat.  Only occasionally will she decide to completely push away a meal and because I want her to eat something will I just give her a yogurt or maybe half a pb and j.  I figure she generally eats well enough, so she won't starve when going light on a meal.  And my rule is no 'cooking' anything extra, but I'm too soft to iron rule with a "You Eat What We Eat, Or  You Don't Eat At All" fist.

Here's some of our usual menu... (check the recipe share button in the side bar for recipes!)

Breakfast 7-8am

scrambled egg, toast
cereal - kashi cinnamon harvest or honey sunshine
pancakes - normally on weekends
french toast sticks

She's pretty much always given a handful of blueberries while I'm getting breakfast together, as long as we have them.

Snack 11am

cheese stick
fruit snacks
animal crackers
graham crackers

She usually eats a banana and then a cheese stick.  I'll offer a graham cracker or some goldfish and usually she declines.  If we don't have bananas I'll give her a peach cup which I always keep stocked for back up.

And yes, her thing is to completely peel the banana and give me the "trash" and then eat her banana like it's corn on the cob.  String cheese too.

Lunch 2pm

yogurt (chobani or yotoddler)
peanut butter and jelly (sometimes a half, sometimes a whole!)
grilled cheese
cheese quesadilla
bean and cheese quesadilla
egg salad

That's a pretty complete list of our lunch rotation.  A lot of times she'll get another handful of blueberries or a peach cup depending on if she's still hungry or didn't eat a lot for snack.  Some days she eat a lot, others, I end up with two lunches.

Dinner 5:30pm

veggie lasagna
tuna casserole
tortilla chicken casserole
eggplant rollitini
veggie medley
frittata or quiche
butternut squash mac n cheese
cheesy orzo with a veggie
annies mac and cheese
quorn chicken nuggets with veggie side
... anything with egg noodles

She's usually offered whatever we are eating, these are her favorites and other easy items I'll make if we are eating something I know she won't eat, is too messy (I currently have a ban on quinoa and rice), or if we are going to eat after she goes to bed.

Overall, she isn't a fan of meat (we only eat poultry and fish).  She likes fish, but we don't eat it all that often maybe only twice a month.  When I make turkey chili she picks out the beans and only eats the pasta if we make a ground turkey or chicken sausage meat sauce.  If we do a turkey meat loaf she'll have a few bites moving on to whatever veggies and egg noodles I made to go with it.  Pretty much sneaking it in casseroles is the way to go.  She's a dairy-fein, just like her mama.  She pretty much requests cheese at every meal (doesn't get it!), milk, and can successfully feed herself yogurt with minimal mess.

So happy this girl makes meal time fun!


  1. Thanks for sharing your meals - it gave me some good ideas for lunch (always a struggle to plan)! My LO LOVES blueberries too. She also loves them frozen so when there's a big sale I stock up and freeze a bunch. The bags of frozen blueberries are way too messy. They're also a great teether relief! Will Ashlynn eat pouches of food? If she will - I use "the little green pouches" leftover from baby puree days and put yogurt in them = no mess! Plus cheaper because we can buy a big container.

  2. I love getting ideas from other moms! I've been making a big effort this month to give Noah more real food. I gave Noah blueberries the other day and he just smooshed them all between his fingers! He will eat them off my fork in a fruit salad but I guess he didn't want to eat them off his plate with his fingers ;).

  3. Thanks for the ideas! I may try a few of these meals and switch it up a bit. Do you have a recipe for the veggi lasagna?

  4. Thanks for the ideas! I'm always looking for new ones for Abbie!

  5. Sadie's shares many of Ashlynn's favorites except she LOVES seafood and any kind of meat! She's a huge cheese-lover, too. We follow the same rule of not making her "special" meals at dinner time and do exactly what you do...give her extra sides that she enjoys or something super easy like a little pasta that can double as lunch for the next day. Something quick and easy that I discovered (and she loves) is cooking up mini bow ties or penne and then turning it into a super quick Mac & cheese by using one of the laughing cow cheese wedges, a tiny splash of milk and sprinkling a little cheese on too. We usually use the creamy Swiss cheese, which melts pretty easily into the hot pasta, and then add the milk and a little extra cheese to make it extra-creamy. I usually stir in peas or broccoli with it, which she loves. She's a champ at eating with utensils, but the girl won't keep her food on her always ends up getting dumped on her tray so she can move and sort it around. I think she would love a booster seat at our regular table, but I'm not moving her out of her high chair until I know she won't spread every meal out on our table!

  6. You are so lucky to have a great eater! I think it would be so much fun to have a child who like to try new things or just enjoyed most healthy foods put in front of them. I think we would be trying new things all the time! Owen is picky, but it is getting a little better. Yesterday he ate pretty well, but he'll go through phases of only wanting something like pretzels or not eating at all. It makes me so sad sometimes. Ashlynn is a very lucky girl to have a momma who makes sure she has such healthy food to eat!! And I like your rule of not "cooking" anything extra, which I would totally do too if Owen ate more of a variety, but if I did that he might never eat dinner.

  7. Thank you for sharing. I love her plate. Where did you get it?

  8. This is great! I can't wait to start Weston on food! :)

  9. It's a Tommee Tippee plate, I'm going to post our favorite items tomorrow!

  10. It's located on the recipe share page, one of our favorites!

  11. Kids love sensory stuff, I try to not get annoyed when Ashlynn plays because I know she is just learning and discovering..... but I dont encourage it either ;)

  12. Smart idea, she's over the pouches, but maybe we could give it a shot!

  13. So smart and easy, we'll definitely try that!

  14. This makes me so jealous! Our meals consist of the same things,,,and it's always touch and go. ugh! Enjoy your happy little eater!

  15. Our eating schedules are almost exactly the same! I always considered the 11 to 11:30ish time the "lunch" and the 2 p.m. the "snack" but it makes sense to switch them. My son always eats a pretty big "snack" of hummus, crackers, cheese, fruit, etc so I guess I could consider that his lunch instead. Thanks for the idea! :-)

  16. I am always so impressed when you post about how she eats! Mason likes to throw everything on the floor...especially for breakfast when he is done! Cheerios everywhere. I haven't let him eat his yogurt alone yet because I am terrified of the mess! I usually don't have time in the mornings to re-clean everyone and everything before work but I should probably start trying on the weekends....and then follow up with an immediate bath! LOL

  17. Yogurt definitely is messy in the beginning, but it was the only way she'd learn. Now her mess in usually just around her mouth and a little on her fingers. Her bib catches her drips and I find yogurts without fruit in the bottom (Greek) have a less runny consistency so more gets to her mouth. Good luck, try to remember they learn through the mess!

  18. I think you have it right! Guadalupe is like nap to be pushed from 11:30-12 to 12:30-1 (will have to be when she starts school) and I thînk sleeping on a full stomach is better for her nap. Right now she usually wants snacky things - banana xheese etc, so I just leave the sandwich or yogurt until after.

  19. We used to have a good eater. Now lex wants "pasta" for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks! Homegirl won't eat unless it's plAin pasta! I'm showing Ashlynn to her in the hopes she'll snap out of it!

  20. I agree with the full stomach for sure! My little guy naps from 12-2(ish). It's so great to be able to trust your kids' hunger cues on their own and not push it.

  21. LOL! Guadalupe?! Oh man, I really need to proofread when responding from my iPhone. Pretty sure I meant, "I'd really her nap to be pushed..." Hopefully we get the schedule down in a few weeks!

  22. Ha!! I was thinking maybe you were from another country!!

  23. We just use mayo and spicy mustard. Girlfriend loves herself some spicy mustard!


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