Thursday, April 21, 2016

An average day of eats for my toddler and me!

I swear I'm not a food blogger. I just eat...a lot. My son also enjoys devouring food that tastes impeccable. So why not share that along with everything else?

My son is pretty typical with his likes and dislikes concerning food. While he's not equipped with "average" toddler taste buds, he's semi-picky. For example, he likes salad just not on his burgers. He doesn't like tomatoes, but loves ketchup. He's all for carrots, but wont eat them steamed, yet he loves broccoli but will ONLY eat them steamed. To me they're simple requests, mostly because I've become accustomed to what his likes and dislikes are. Plus I'm somewhat the same. I enjoy bacon, but don't like it on anything. The 'Maple Bacon Donuts' from Great Maple were a first for me. (Read about them HERE.) 

Throughout my son's short years on this Earth, I've devised a perfect shopping list for his snacks, meals, and "emergency" foods. Snacks are obvious, during snack time in between meals. Meals, again obvious. Emergency foods, not so obvious. Sometimes when I decide to go out on a whim and whip up something new, it can be a hit or a miss for him. I implement his normal likes and dislikes, but I of course push certain new foods - or new ways to cook them - to see if maybe we could another dish to the "yes menu". Sometimes my son decides that my new recipe is repulsive because of one particular ingredient or another, which leads me to pull out the "emergency food". If he doesn't like my dish, I simply cook up something I have stored away for just these occasions. Now, I don't only use my "emergency food" for when he hates something, as it would go to waste. I simply add them into our meals during the end of the week if we haven't had any no-go's or I've just decided not to cook anything new. 

Emergency foods are: chicken nuggets, (The dinosaur ones from Costco. You can buy them from almost any grocery store in the frozen section. Everyone loves dinosaur nuggets.) Trader Joe's pizza, and a recent add, Dorito covered chicken tenders. (See the recipe HERE.)

The specific snacks that are constantly stocked in my fridge are: Trader Joe's granola cereal (We opted for the mango passion one this time. It was a hit.), whole wheat gold fish, Trader Joe's golden rounds crackers, Trader Joe's movie theater popcorn, Trader Joe's yogurt (just like Go-Gurts, but better), apples, Trader Joe's juice boxes, Trader Joe's to-go apple sauces, and Laughing Cow triangle cheese. My son absolutely loves to put his cheese on the crackers and apples. He also enjoys eating the granola cereal in three different ways: mixed with yogurt, as actual cereal, and of course plain. (I promise I'm not sponsored by Trader Joe's either. I just genuinely love them.)

I myself love the granola cereal with papaya, yogurt, chia seeds, and a dash of honey. It's often my breakfast of choice. My son's breakfast of choice is more often than not cereal of any kind. If he had it his way, he'd have cocoa pebbles everyday. Every other day he has to choose between yogurt/granola or eggs, to help balance things out. Plus on the weekends I make a special breakfast of his choosing. French toast, go out for donuts, or eggs on toast. 

Our dinner consists of some sort of salad (fruit or spinach), meat, and a vegetable. I'm telling you, not an average toddler eater. I think it's because when he was a baby, I would feed him homemade baby food using a Baby Bullet. Baby Bullet's freaking rock! I would simply prepare a meal (creamed spinach, meatballs, steak, potatoes, etc.), blend it up really well using water or a homemade sodium free gravy and boom! Homemade baby food. The Baby Bullet also comes with these cute little silicon ice trays, so you can freeze the extra food for later meals.

Today we had steak, spinach and arugala salad with a homemade dressing, and mashed potatoes. I cooked for almost 45 minutes, made countless dirty dishes, created a mess in the kitchen, only to be devoured in 10 minutes flat. Worth it. It was delicious as heck. 

Overall we tend to stick to a routine of foods. We do go out and try new things (as you can obviously tell from past blog posts), but when we are at home it's truly rare that we attempt a new recipe. Maybe for a special occasion, a rainy day, or a spur of the moment need for spontaneity. 

I truly recommend all these foods, as not only are they healthy and delicious, but they can be added to other meals for an even better option. Although my son does have a pallet that craves broccoli, I think you can use this as a "maybe this will work" grocery list. A friend of mine was having a hard time getting her son to eat carrots. When I told her about Trader Joe's to-go applesauce and how they had an "Apple/Carrot" option, she ran to the store and bought some. Her son loves them and now they are a must buy item for her. So hopefully this will help you guys too!

What are some of your kid friendly food favorites?

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