If you’re reading this, you’re in the same boat as we are… certainly not sitting on your own personal island, sipping tropical drinks, and eating an endless buffet of Filet Mignon, lobster tail, crab, and just about every delicious food you can imagine, without having to choose just one. Nope, we didn’t win the Powerball Jackpot either, and I’ve decided to spend my time writing instead of making dinner. I guess we’ll figure out something when I get to it, but I can tell you, it definitely won’t be steak and seafood or a several course Italian meal. Instead I’ve been thinking of different budget-friendly, kid-friendly meals for all of those of us who didn’t win the Powerball Jackpot last night.
Summer’s finally here and we’ve decided to continue school sessions for our daughter since it seems to be going pretty well lately. She enjoys all the activities they do and has made a few friends. (Granted, her closest friend is not attending summer sessions, but there are others.) Recently, we decided to switch one of her days to Wednesday. We did not realize that requires us to stick to fully disposable brown bag lunch ideas. This might have been a huge mistake so we’ll see if we decide to keep going with it.
If there’s one thing my daughter will eat on a regular basis, it’s chicken. Well, chicken or fruit. But let’s stick with chicken breast recipes for now. Chicken breast recipes are great ones to try for your toddlers because they’re often meals the entire family can enjoy. Easy chicken breast recipes can turn into great family dinner ideas, which in turn become extra easy lunch ideas for the next day. I’ve recently gotten my daughter, who is almost three now, to try a variety of different chicken dishes, and even turkey. It’s no longer just “chicken and fries, AGAIN” as she likes to say.
Most fruits and vegetables tend to be extremely colorful. Their colorful nature makes them attractive to young kids, which is great since they are such healthy choices for toddler meals and snacking. Creating a rainbow fruit tray with your kids is a great way to ensure your children get the right amount of healthy, juicy fruits. It is also a fun activity to try with food as St. Patrick’s Day approaches! Making a rainbow fruit design can also be a lot of fun for the whole family to enjoy. Mom or Dad can cut up the fruit and the kids, with a little help, can make the rainbow shape on a special plate. This activity is enjoyable for all ages and encourages healthier eating for your family.
Enough with this winter already! If I see one more snowflake—or ice ball—falling from the sky, I am going to scream. I’ve given up hope on wishing for warmer temps for the time being and have instead focused myself on living vicariously through memories I have of tropical vacations before starting a family. (Who has tropical vacations anymore after starting a family?) Channeling the warmer, tropical state of mind, I’ve taken to making tropical themed food ideas for my little one. Consider these suggestions for tropical food for toddlers, featuring islands, palm trees, fish, dolphins, penguins, and more.
You may be wondering where we ever came up with Mickey and Minnie Mouse turkey burger sliders. So there’s no shortage of Minnie Mouse in my home, and Mickey is a fast second favorite. My two-and-a-half-year-old daughter simply can’t get enough. Unfortunately, she rarely gets enough to eat, either, because she much prefers to run around the house, read books, play with her toys, chase the dog, look at the floor, you know, anything but eat.
My daughter loves Minnie Mouse so much. In fact, for her first day of school picture, we made up a chalkboard with some of her favorite things and what she wants to be when she grows up. You guessed it—she wants to be Minnie! Not only that, but Natalie also wants to be Minnie for Halloween and she tells “Minnie” more things on her play phone than she tells me or her daddy when we try to talk to her about her day or about school. Minnie for the win! So in honor of her favorite character—okay, okay, and in a creatively selfish attempt to get her to eat more food—I created a Minnie Mouse lunch that you, too, can easily create for your little ones. (If you have boys, keep reading still—just a small adjustment will create Mickey Mouse instead!) Continue reading Homemade Minnie Mouse and Minnie’s Bows Lunch for Kids (Mickey, Too!)
You know it as well as I do… If you’ve had the same leftovers day in, day out for the past three or four days, you’re going to be sick of whatever it is for a while. Toddlers get bored with food just like adults do, maybe even more so. Sometimes the preparation or the recipe can even be different, but if it’s still chicken, or pasta, or a sandwich, we can all easily get tired of the same kind of food over and over again. Continue reading Toddler Meal Ideas: A New Take on Old Favorites
Making lunch for a toddler is tricky enough when you’re at home in the same room together, able to raid the fridge, freezer, or pantry at a moment’s notice. Now make it a first day of school lunch, to be eaten away from home, in a room full of complete strangers, an hour earlier than normal lunch time. Trying to pack a lunch for the first time for my daughter’s first day of preschool was a harrowing experience. And by that, I mean I think it probably took me several hours to do, on top of a little worrying…. Continue reading First Day of School Lunch
In the earlier days, our daughter would gladly (and hungrily!) eat shredded cheddar or shredded parmesan cheese like it was going out of style. She loved cream cheese on her bagels, daily. And she didn’t mind other kinds of cheese here and there. She liked to try new things. Now she’s fallen prey to the overwhelming stereotype that toddlers are apprehensive about cheese. It’s hard to conceive of this, as cheese is one of the few things I personally like to add in abundance to many of my meals, especially in Italian cooking! Continue reading Introducing “Dog Butter” – Tips for Getting Picky Toddlers to Eat (Don’t Say It!) Cheese