Last week, in a mad rush to get Grace home, fed, bathed, and put to bed in less than 45 minutes, I made a regrettable decision.
I pulled into the Hardee's drive through, ordered french fries, and started handing them to her one at a time in the back seat. And I hung my head in shame.
A meal I'm not ashamed to feed my kid: potatoes, carrots, and cheddar cheese.
As a mom trying to give my baby the best nutrition, I truly, truly try to make events like that the exception--not the rule. I put in a lot of effort to make sure my daughter eats a relatively healthy, balanced diet. It's no small feat with an almost toddler who rejects anything green!
With out crazy work schedules, it can be exceptionally difficult to make sure Grace has a proper breakfast, lunch, and dinner every night. Enter: Baby Food Prep!
By taking an hour or two to prep Grace's food on Sunday, I save myself TONS of weekday stress. Most of what I "meal prep" are finger foods. They're pre-cut into small pieces, easy for me to re-heat and serve or easy to throw in her lunchbox in the morning. We also use Wee Sprout reusable pouches for purees...it's the only way I can get her to eat greens lately!
Some samples of the foods I prep every week:
A sample of our weekly spread, clockwise from left: Pear, pea, and spinach pouches, steamed carrots, fruits, Kodiak Cakes pancakes, egg yolks, and roast potatoes.
Carrots: Chopped into bite-sized pieces, then steamed
Potatoes: Chopped into bite-sized pieces, then roasted in the oven
Sweet potatoes: Poke a few times with a fork, place in the cold oven, then roast whole at 425 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the potato in about 15 more minutes
No actual prep! Fruits last longer when you hold off on washing and chopping them. We always have bananas, strawberries, and blueberries. Lately, Grace has loved apples, which I just peel and slice.
Pancakes: I'll make a big batch on Saturday or Sunday morning. We've been using Kodiak Cakes mix and love them!
Pasta: We've tried it all! Rotini seems to be the easiest for her to eat, but she also recently enjoyed ramen noodles. I just cook it according to package directions then re-heat with a little water.
Sandwiches: I'll cut PB&J or grilled cheese in half, and give it to her the next day for lunch. I usually only prep this a day ahead of time, since bread can get soggy.
Enjoying mushroom ravioli and sweet potato!
Egg yolks: I like to 1 whole egg + 1 egg white for me, so I just fry the extra yoke to the side and grab them for weekday breakfasts
Avocado: We've always sliced avocado with the skin on so Grace can grip it better
Shredded cheese: An easy one! No prep required.
Purees (aka sneaky green veggies) for pouches
Apple (or pear), pea, and spinach puree from Baby Foode
Apple, green bean, and broccoli puree from Baby Foode
Peach, cauliflower, and ginger puree from Baby Foode
There's tons of fancy baby food/puree machines out there, but our Nurtibullet hasn't failed me yet! Plus it's useful pre-and-post-baby.
We have followed Baby Led Weaning practices since we started solids at 5.5 months. BLW isn't anything fancy -- its basically the concept that kids should feed themselves from an early age. Besides some oatmeal cereal, we haven't touched purees at all. There's some lofty reasons (like the concept that babies who decide when and how much they want to eat become good intuitive eaters) and practical reasons (we like to eat a family dinner versus feeding her then feeding ourselves) we decided to go this route, and overall I am very happy with it!
What are you baby or toddler's favorite foods?