Well, it happened. My sweet, squishy little chickpea is now officially a toddler.
As my Baby Bites series comes to a close, I decided I wanted to go all out!
The third and final installment of my little pet project is going to be a doozy, but hello! When is feeding a kiddo not a whirlwind?
The yogurt in the hair, the avocado in the nose, and the banana that somehow got smashed between poor unsuspecting toes…. and that’s just me!
You should see the other guy!
Let’s kick things off with a few meal ideas!
In general we tend to gravitate towards oats, sweet potato pancakes, and fresh fruit for breakfast, while lunch, second lunch [my girl can eat!] and dinner have a mix of whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and protein sources such as yogurt, cheese, beans, and meat. I have a heavy hand with herbs and spices and most foods are spiked with a sprinkle of cinnamon or garlic, turmeric or cumin, and even paprika, basil, oregano and, well, you get the point! Let’s dive in to some mini-meals!
Baby Bites III: Mini Meals for Tiny Tummies!
These seasoned broccoli and potato dinos are amazing!
The taste reminds me of a broccoli-spiked tater tot and I have to refrain from eating too many myself. They’re best straight from the oven [or toaster oven!] and smell absolutely divine.
Sometimes she’ll eat it straight up like it’s the best thing she’s eaten all day, other days I mix blanched broccoli florets with either homemade or store bought pesto [depending on availability!] and then mix it with a little freshly grated cheese and whole grain bowtie pasta or cheesy whole grain tortellini. Between the basil, the broccoli, and the whole grains, it’s a main course I can feel good about! We even add butter-garlic shredded chicken to the mix or just give her the entire drumstick to work on. This kid’s a beast when it comes to giving all food groups equal loving.
Though she’s a baby, of course, and what is the OMGBESTMEALEVER one day is thrown to the dog and cat the following day. It’s the nature of the game and if I have to just hand her a cheese stick and call it a wrap, I do. Kids have a great way of making up for lost calories the next time they eat.
I just have to keep reminding myself to silence that little voice that pops up and says “Noooo she didn’t eat enough!” and replace it with “Chill mofo, snack time is only in a few hours, she’ll eat more then!” And I do. And she does. Phew!
Oh hi! Rambling! Let’s get on with the meal mash-ups!
My daughter will not eat plain avocado. Though she *will* glare at you like you tried to serve her toxic sludge and promptly toss it over the side of the high chair for us peasants to clean up.
The solution? I season the crap out of it! a sprinkle of garlic powder and paprika and a pinch of salt and she’s as happy as a bird with a french fry. Clearly she just wants some guac. When I season it up or mash it with fresh tomatoes and onion suddenly she’s eaten an entire half avocado and gunning for my portion as well.
As for the fried rice, it’s this girl’s JAM! Ever since her first Japanese restaurant experience a few months ago, the chickpea has been hooked on fried rice and lo mein. I’m sure it’s the 100000 milligrams of sodium fueling her faceplant so I try to make a lightened up version at home and save the restaurant adventures for special occasions.
This particular batch had bean sprouts [she adores them! weirdo!], onion, carrots, scrambled eggs, and brown rice with a little butter, garlic powder and a tiny drizzle of low sodium soy sauce. Sometimes we add chicken for extra protein. If you’re new to making fried rice, I have a family friendly recipe [here] that can be made with quinoa or rice!
Oh and those dashing dinos up top are the Dr. Praeger Sweet Potato Littles. They’re fabulous with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top!
Another uber-typical meal for the chickpea involves what can only be described as a metric ton of kiwi (she knocks back a full kiwi a day!) along with asparagus spears, organic cheese, broccoli littles, sweet potato pancakes, and a chicken drumstick.
I left the drumstick out of the photo because the chickpea was happily munching on it while I took cutesy photos of her food.
Hopefully you enjoyed this little peek into our journey through baby-led weaning! It’s been a fun!