Sunday, October 2, 2011

Toddler meal and snack ideas

My son just turned two and, as most toddlers, can be a picky eater at times.   I also find that there are nights when I make a dinner that is not kid friendly, and I need some quick alternatives to feed him.  "ABC soup", or homemade alphabet soup, has been a great one pot dish that is healthy but exciting for a him to eat.
 I also find that most days he loves fruit for a snack, but some times its a no go.  Of course he loves desserts, so I've come to call healthy breads and muffins I make "cake" and "cupcakes".  I also freeze yogurt and call it "ice cream".  He doesn't know the difference and everyone is happy.  I hope that you and your children enjoy these ideas as much as we do. 

ABC Soup
2 cups V-8 juice
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups your favorite fresh or frozen vegetables 
1/2 cup uncooked alphabet pasta, or other shape

In a medium sauce pan, bring the V-8 juice and chicken stock to a boil over medium/high heat.  Add the frozen veggies or fresh,  and allow them to cook for 10 minutes.  Add the pasta and cook an additional 10 min or until pasta is tender.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 min or until you are ready to eat.  This is one of Owen's favorites!!!

Homemade "Ice-cream"
Owen used to eat yogurt for breakfast everyday, then one day he wanted nothing to do with it again.  Now he won't eat it, so I needed to find another way to feed it to him.  Why not frozen and call it icecream? 

1 large container of your child's favorite yogurt (I get whole milk french vanilla)
dixie cups
plastic spoons

Spoon yogurt into dixie cups about 3/4 way full.  Stand spoon up in each cup and place cups onto a cookie sheet.   Place in the freezer for a few hours or until hardened.  Cover in pastic wrap or place in freezer safe bags to last for weeks or even months.  When your ready to eat one, just take out of freezer and peel back the paper cup.  You can even throw it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften the "ice-cream" before serving to your child.  Enjoy!

Banana "cake"
Recipe from
Check on the bread after 60 min - mine was done but the recipe says 70 min
  • 2 eggs
  • 1¾ c. sifted flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1/3 c. vegetable oil
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1 c. mashed bananas (about 3 bananas)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C).
  2. Beat eggs well in a small bowl.
  3. In a medium-size bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In a large bowl, add the vegetable oil. Add the sugar a little bit at a time, and continue beating until the mixture is fluffy.
  5. Add the eggs to the mixture in the large bowl and beat well.
  6. Add some of the flour mixture to the large bowl and beat well. Then add some of the mashed bananas and beat some more. Continue adding flour, then bananas, then flour, then bananas, until everything is mixed in.
  7. Pour mixture into a greased baking pan. Bake for 70 minutes.
  8. Flip your banana bread out of the pan, let it cool for a bit, and cut it into slices to eat and share!

Healthy Carrot Muffins, or as I call them, Carrot "cupcakes"
This recipe is from the food network website, my usual go to site for all recipes.  SO delicious!!!
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch fine salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 medium carrots, grated (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple, drained
  • Special equipment: 12 cup muffin tin and paper liners


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line twelve 1/2-cup muffin cups with paper muffin liners.
Whisk the flours with the brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In another medium bowl lightly whisk the egg, then whisk in the vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.
Quickly and lightly fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula. Stir in the carrots and pineapple just until evenly moist; the batter will be very thick. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Turn muffins out of the tins and cool on a rack. Serve warm.

Cook's note:  I did not have any wheat germ, so I left it out.  I also freeze half the muffins for a later date to keep them fresher.  

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