Baby Bites III: Mini Meals for Tiny Tummies

Baby Bites III: yummy meals for tiny tummies

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!

Missed a post? Here’s Baby Bites I and Baby Bites II

Baby Bites + Toddler Bites: Balanced Meals for Tiny Tummies

Dr Praeger's Broccoli Littles Dino Veggie Nu

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!

Baby Bites + Toddler Bites: Balanced Meals for Tiny Tummies

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!

Baby Bites + Toddler Bites: Balanced Meals for Tiny Tummies

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!

Check out the Chickpea page for more kiddo-friendly tips, tricks, and meal ideas

baby bites + intro to baby led weaning

baby bites II

:: NEW! toddler and pre-k lunch ideas ::

Kid Friendly Favs

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  • Sara

    Yes, thank you! I love having new ideas for my 13-month-old

  • Angela

    We are always looking for new ideas for my 16 month old, thanks Jenn!!!

  • annie

    YES!!! you give great tips! Not to mention your chickpea is so adorable!

    • Jenn

      aww thanks Annie!

  • barbara n

    Yes please! Always looking for new mini meals for my toddler!

  • Thanks for the tip about the littles! I tend to not buy prepackaged food for my kiddos, but sometimes it would be so handy! And when I do I am definitely a stickler for the ingredient list! I’ll check these out!

  • kate

    i like these posts.i find them interesting even though i dont have any kids of my own its just good to look at these things and find inspirational ideas.

  • Claire

    My LO is 10 1/2 months and eats like a plague of locusts, and especially since I (and he) is vegetarian, I’m constantly looking for good, healthy, colorful, ideally local/organic/environmentally sensitive, and tasty meals for him. (Or, as you say, hand him half a sweet potato and call it a day :)). Please keep up baby/toddler-themed posts!

  • Amy

    Keep em coming! Love the ideas!

  • Mo

    Love me some mini meals! I’ve been big into bits and bites meals lately. Eoin loves variety and these kind of meals are perfect

  • Jordan

    I’m a big fan of mini meals…for myself, since I don’t have kids lol. I’d love to see more posts with ideas!

  • Kara Antrim

    Love these ideas! It’s surprisingly difficult to come up with meals for Henry off the top of my head. Sometimes it’s nice to have a visual roadmap. You rock!

  • Beth Maddux

    I love reading about the Mini meals. It gives me great ideas for my little ones and I love that you are not afraid to spice up your baby food. I think it helps expand their palettes.

  • Vangie K.

    Although I don’t have any children of my own, I babysit my niece a lot and these little meal ideas are great inspiration for when she comes over:)

  • It was wrong of me, but I got in on the giveaway action, despite having no kids. I’ll be honest, those baby bites sound pretty damn appealing after a long day of work. #noshame.

    Your chickpea is just as adorable as her mama, which is pretty damn cute.

  • Is it sad that I think most of these meals sound delicious?! Seriously it looks like Chickpea ate better than I did some days 😉 I loved this whole series of posts and I totally pinned them for when I have my own peanuts waaayyyy down the line.

    Also those broccoli littles? I want a box just for me now.

  • Jessica

    I enjoy these meal posts! I get some new ideas for what to feed my 10 month old 🙂 he is also a great eater.

  • Emily

    Oh I love these posts!! I’m kind of sad that this is the last one…Our little munchkins are close in age and I love all the meal ideas! I also refuse to accept that my little lady is a toddler. She will be a baby forever. 😉

  • Mini is cute but bigger is my preference…

  • Beck

    I have an 18 month old who cares more about pretty much anything else above eating. These are some great and so welcome ideas! Especially seasoning the avocado! I eat an avocado almost everyday – maybe more when I was pregnant – so I’m shocked that my child is not an avocado lover. I’ve got to try this! Going to look out for these Dr. Praeger’s nuggets next grocery shopping trip too!

  • Crystal C.

    I would love to see more mini-meal ideas! My son is 1 1/2 and used to eat pretty much whatever we would give him…the last couple months he’s been SUPER picky and would pretty much eat just yogurt, cheese, and banana bread every single day. I think he might like the Dr. Praeger’s little bites!

  • Ann P-L

    I’d love to see more mini meals! I’m always trying to come up with new things to feed my littles!

  • I love these mini meal posts. Ideas for the future when I do have kids, but for now I get to spoil my best friend’s kid who is 7 months 🙂

  • natasha

    Love Dr. Praeger’s stuff…As for mini-meals well…I’m kiddie free though I’m an aunt so when I babysit I make up mini-meals all the time.

    Not sure though about needing too many more ideas but I love the Dr. Praeger’s stuff (:

  • Erin

    I would love to see more posts like this!

  • Very cute and good ideas too!

  • Stephanie

    Yes, I’d love to see more!

  • YES! I love these posts…I’ll try anything {and I mean ANYTHING} to get my picky toddler to eat a better variety of foods!

  • I would love to try these! Any way to get the kiddos to eat their veggies, right? And thank you for the meal ideas. I always feel like I’m giving her the same old thing…

  • I think mini meals are so fun to see because it is inspiring to see what healthy meals bloggers are feeding their children these days!

  • Yes! Would love to see more posts like this!

    • Jenn

      Only if you keep my blog reader filled with photos of your cutie! =)

  • summer

    Keep them coming, I love ideas!

  • Julie

    I love these posts. Gives me ideas for my little ones, who are on the verge of toddlerhood too!!

  • Julie

    These look great! I’m going to have to look for them the next time I’m at the grocery store.

  • Love this and I’d love to see more posts like this! Having an 8 month old makes it difficult to think of fun ideas for dinner and your posts always help me out!

    • Jenn

      I’m glad the idea help! Thanks Cait! I swear my brain has still not recovered from the 4-8 month mark where my little miss decided sleeping was for the birds! Haha it gets better! MWAH!

  • Laurel Seymour

    Great little meal ideas! With my first child I always had a hard time planning out little meals for her. These are great!

  • Mary

    Jenn thanks for sharing this post was perfect. I’m really trying to instill good eating habits for my 9 month old Grandson!

    • Jenn

      Thanks Mary! Happy to help!

  • I love seeing what other munchkins are eating! It always gives me good ideas!

  • Even though I totally am a college student with no kids, haha, I love these posts 😉

    • Jenn

      aw thanks Rebecca! <3 Happy Friday!!!

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