EASY TO PREPARE TODDLER MEALS
We all want our toddlers to eat healthy, delicious meals daily. The reality is, that preparing the Instagram worthy, perfectly-balanced meals that we dream of takes time. And, like most moms, it can seem impossible when you are already juggling a million other things on your to do list. That is why I decided to dedicate my first blog post to a week's worth of easy to prep toddler dinners. These meals are aimed to be balanced while at the same time taking little prep work and cooking time. I'm not an expert. Just a mom. I know that these meals would be better if I made everything from scratch and spent more time cooking. And, in the future, I plan to have a post with more intricate meals. But, in the meantime I hope you enjoy these quick easy meals! Like other moms, I'm constantly looking for ways to improve. So if you have other tips and suggestions for easy to prepare toddler meals, leave a comment and share!
Before I get to the meals themselves, here are a few tips for shopping at the beginning of the week.
- Fresh Fruits and Vegetables: Husband and I want Bean to have as many fresh vegetables as we can during a week. When we do our grocery shopping, we pick two (or three if we are ambitious) fresh vegetables to cook at the beginning of the week and mix in meals throughout the week. We use the Beabea cook to steam vegetables at the beginning of the week. We also try to buy fruits that last longer in the fridge (ex. buy a bag of oranges instead of pre-sliced fruits).
- Frozen Foods: I know what you are thinking. Frozen foods are not as good as fresh foods. That certainly may be true. But, this post is designed to gives some ideas for quick, simple meals. So on occasion the meals below will mix a frozen food in with the fresh. The meals below contain frozen peas, chicken tenders, and meat balls.
- Bulk Foods: When Husband and I are shopping for the week, we try to determine if there is anything we can buy in a larger portion and use for multiple meals. For example, we buy an entire container of whole-milk yogurt. Even if we don't get through the whole thing in a week, it is still cheaper than the individual servings and works as a good add on to multiple meals.
On to the meals!
1. Yogurt, Peas, Clementine, and Low-Sodium Turkey: This meal is quick and easy. I purchased a container of whole milk yogurt, a bag of frozen peas, some low-sodium lunch meat, and a bag of clementine oranges at the beginning of the week. It took just a few minutes to put this together, and there was plenty of each food left to mix in with other meals throughout the week.
2. Chicken Tenders, Cauliflower, American Cheese: Bean loves steamed veggies, so steamed cauliflower was a big hit seasoned with a pinch of salt and some pepper. We use a BeaBea Cook for our steamed veggies and it takes about 20 minutes (including some time to cool). We also purchased a bag of microwaveable chicken tenders, which take about 2 minutes to cook.
3. Strawberries, Low-Sodium Turkey, Sweet Potato and Corn: We made the sweet potato and corn mixture in the BeaBea cooks and used it throughout multiple meals.
4. Frozen Meatballs, Cauliflower, and Strawberries: Yes, more cauliflower. If you steam a whole head early on in the week you can mix throughout meals.
5. Yogurt, Mangoes, Egg, and Cheerios: Breakfast for dinner! Eggs are a great food that can be prepped in the beginning of the week and used in various meals throughout the week. At the start of the week we hard boiled six eggs. Once they are boiled, the work is over and they can easily be added to meals when desired.
6. Peas, Mac & Cheese, Clementines, and Chicken Tenders: My guilty pleasure is mac & cheese. Honestly, that was probably the food that took the most time to prepare out of all the foods in these meals.
7. Hard Boiled Egg, Blueberries, American Cheese, Sweet Potato & Corn: This meal has it all. Fruit, protein, vegetable, and dairy.
I hope you enjoy these meals. I would love to hear some of your ideas for easy to prepare toddler dinners! Leave a comment and share your thoughts.