Today’s Toddler Dinners post comes by request. Teresa taught me the basics of photography a few years ago and I have just adored her ever since. You may have seen her viral post a earlier this year…so yeah..she is amazeballs. Anyways, Teresa is due with a baby girl and sent me a message the other night.
“I am requesting a post! With your toddler dinners (I am obsessed!) … they always seem effortlessly (ha!) balanced. Do you have a mental checklist you’re running (2 fruit, 1 meat/protein, 1 carb) or are you just like…”voila! It happens but I don’t plan it.””
Well the short answer is yes. I shoot for 1 carb, 1 protein, 1 fruit and 1 veggie. Breakfast is usually the slack meal because I can’t come up with veggies every breakfast. I focus on protein and some fat for breakfast for energy. To some, this sounds like a big hurdle but I can assure you it just takes a little thinking. I am no culinary genius. Sometimes protein is cheese cubes and fruit is apple sauce (watch that combo). I just like to have a base line. Don’t think I am thinking about this hours a day or anything. This is designed to be throw together in 10 minutes. It’s why I just keep staples around. So today I thought I would share things I just keep on hand for when you are running in last minute and need fast lunch.
- Whole grain pretzel sticks
- Cheddar bunnies or goldfish
- Microwavable rice
- Frozen waffles
- Whole garin cereals
- Cereal bars
- Chicken nuggets and fish sticks
- Black beans
- All natural hotdogs (Ollie loves the chicken ones from Trader Joes)
- Peanut butter
- Frozen options: pineapple tidbits, blueberries, mangoes, frozen grapes (cut up)
- Dried options: raisins, tart cherries, crasins, fruit leather
- Shelf stable: Apple sauce, pouch mixtures (can have veggies in there too)
- Apples, pears, bananas, oranges, grapes, seasonal fruits
- Pepper slices
- Baby carrots (steamed for Ollie)
- Celery sticks (Landon loves celery…don’t ask me why)
- Steamed broccoli (just a few florets in a glass bowl warmed up)
- Raw spinach salads
One thing I will say is that by living this way for years now, we just have fresh food in the house more often. We joined Papa Spuds earlier in the year and just love it. i always have fresh produce in the house and it makes it so much easier. When we are out of fresh fruit, I feel strange. Making balanced meals has made me balance ours more too.
So how do you balance? Do you want to do better at it?