chickpea

Welcome to your guide to all things ankle biter!

I’ll continue to update this page with pint-sized meal ideas, musings, photos, and more. Check back often for all our recent shenanigans and updated chickpea-approved recipes! If there’s anything else you’d like to see on this page, shoot me an email at PEASandCRAYONS [at] gmail [dot] com

— updated August 2017 —

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

chickpea: year one

 . . . [ eats ] . . . 

Baby Bites III: yummy meals for tiny tummies

[ baby led weaning and recipes ]

  • Baby Pops [recipe]
  • Baby Bites: Adventures in Baby Led Weaning [part I]
  • Baby Bites: Adventures in Baby Led Weaning [part II]
  • Baby Bites: Adventures in Baby Led Weaning [part III] + Mini Meals for Tiny Tummies
  • What I Ate Wednesday: Chickpea Edition + Cake Smash Antics
  • Healthy Munchkin Muffins

[ toddler eats ]

Baby Bites + Toddler Bites: Balanced Meals for Tiny Tummies

[ recent favorite foods ]

Apples, black beans, granola, melon, everything bagels, fresh organic strawberries and freeze-dried strawberries, rice chex cereal with milk, bananas, mini ravioli or pasta with pesto, sweet potato pancakes, spinach pancakes, pumpkin muffins, baby pops [recipe], red grapes, mandarin orange segments, everything bagels, peanut butter on a spoon, pizza crust, avocado slices, organic macaroni and cheese, homemade peanut butter and cracker sandwiches, bakery croissants, cucumber slices, butternut squash and carrot muffins [recipe] rainbow fruit pops [recipe] and guacamole

She went through an anti-dairy movement for a while there, but my nugget is starting to eat mini mozzarella cheese wheels and organic yogurt again.

A constant favorite has been baked chicken thighs (she won’t eat chicken breast) with butter and seasoned with turmeric, garlic, paprika, and a little cumin. I have to make extra if P is around because he likes to steal bites off her plate!

Pesto bowties are also in heavy rotation around here again after a brief hiatus. Sometimes when we eat out I can charm them into putting pesto on the kid’s menu noodle dish instead of red sauce or cheese sauce and she gobbles it right up. Phew! Pesto to the rescue!

Another recent favorite? Sandwiches! So far the only ones that meet my tot’s approval are peanut butter sammies, PB cracker sandwiches, and cream cheese toast sandwiches or bagels with cream cheese. She still gives me some major side eye when I sling a slice of avocado toast her way but I keep trying!

Toddler Bites: Mini Meals for Tiny Tummies

Now that she’s a little over two, the toddler skepticism over new foods and even past favorite foods is at an all-time high. Don’t feel bad if you’re experiencing similar eating antics – it’s totally normal! I continue to offer new foods along with her go-to favorites in hopes that she will keep trying them and eventually add new favorites to the rotation! It’s discouraging some days but other days a total success!

I’m hoping that if I continue to offer new foods and veggies along with her favorite foods that she will keep trying and love them as much as she used to! I also keep sneaking them into her popsmuffins, hummus, and a variety of pestos. When all else fails? Guacamole! She eats it every time and I sneak tomatillo salsa into my guac for an extra antioxidant boost. Also? I really like it too so we get to share!

Cucumbers have also become an obsession again. We serve paper-thin slices of seedless english cucumber and pink lady apples at mealtime and she happily squeals “Cucumber chips! Apple chips! CHIPS!” and munches away. Whatever it takes, kid.

I’ve also recently let her in on the food prep, which has resulted in SO MANY VEGGIES entering this kid’s face. Phew! We made a big salad last week with spinach and broccoli and she was in charge of washing and drying them in my handy dandy salad spinner. Once they were clean she announced it was time to eat and took several bites of both. I had to refrain from running around in circles squealing. In other news, peas are still the devil and she will. not. touch. them. Maybe this is a job for the salad spinner?

Since lists and challenges are currently a big hit around here, we started a fun list of all the new foods she’s tried and how she felt about them. It’s exciting to add new things to it each day, even if some of them are a total bust! We’ve been able to take he pressure off of trying new foods this way and I’m pretty pleased with it so far. Today she tried pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. The latter was a total hit while the pepitas were deemed to messy (ummm okay kid!) and required a big gulp of water after.

I’m also breaking out my trusty Fruit + Veggie Chart (click here for the free printable) to help keep things fun and healthy. Join along if you can!

[ foodie fails ]

Mashed potatoes, any cheese that isn’t one particular brand of organic cheddar cheese, peaches, and pineapple have all been riding the fail whale around here.

We’ve also noticed that she’s not feeling the veggie love as much as she has previously but we keep offering them with every meal. I also bake with added veggies, amp up sauces with them, and swirl them into smoothies and pops. I get to decide what we offer our nugget to eat but it’s entirely her job to decide what (and how much) to eat.

That outlook takes the pressure out of the equation for us, though sometimes I need a reminder to chill the eff out. The more fun we have at mealtime the better!

Homemade Fruit and Veggie Baby Pops + Tot Pops

[ favorite baby pop flavor combos ]

:: recipe ::

whole milk organic yogurt or Greek Yogurt plus…

  • Strawberry, Broccoli, + Spinach
  • Apple, Pear, + Broccoli
  • Beets, Sweet Potato, + Strawberry
  • Spinach, Broccoli + Unsweetened Applesauce
  • Raspberry + Spinach
  • Sweet Potato, Strawberry, + Beet
  • Carrot – Broccoli Stalk – Grapefruit – Cranberry

We still make these even though little miss is almost 3 years old now (WHAT?! HOW!?) She also begs for me to make rainbow pops, which are my Tropical Mango Pineapple Strawberry Swirled Fruit Pops

bloglovin

. . . [ lifesavers ] . . .

I’ve come across some awesome products over the years that have turned into my go-to gifts for new mom friends. Here are a few affiliate links to our foodie favorites:

We swear by our Stainless Steel School Bus Plate (and there’s a lid for leftovers, score!) and this Silicone Car Placemat Plate might be our next addition, so cool! Our friend also turned us on to these fun interactive dinner plates for kiddos which look absolutely amazing!

These little gems are hands-down the best feeding aid for littles. We used ours through the baby years and part of toddlerhood as well since it makes such a good teether. Fill it with frozen fruit or crushed ice when teething takes over or fill it with fresh fruit and veggies for choke-free eats. It’s easy to clean and super duper durable, unlike those pesky mesh nets which are a total pain in ze butt!

Zoku Mini Pop Molds ROCK! We’ve had ours for 2 years now and we still use it regularly. The little bite-sized pops are a perfectly portioned treat and are also a lifesaver during teething years. When we want a larger fruit pop (a must during hot summer days) I use this handy dandy pop mold.

The Stainless Steel Straw Cups from Thermos have been our absolute favorite sippy cup during the tot years. They’re durable, come completely apart for easy cleaning, sketch-free and BPA-free. No fuss and no hidden gunk; done deal! We’ve been using them for years. As a baby, sippy cups were a challenge so we straw trained pretty early on with this cup.

[ kid-friendly eats]