1 WEEK: EASY, HEALTHY MEALS.
DAY 5 = BBQ TURKEY BURGER & ASPARAGUA.
It's Friday, so I won't take up too much of your time with chit chat about this meal idea. It's pretty self-explanatory, and I hope you try it because Husby and I firmly feel this burger surpasses 95% of the burgers we've had at sit down restaurants.
And it's base is a turkey burger!
When I list processed cheese for thue
Primary "New" Foods Since Moving to Full Meals
Oatmeal (see Tip)
Whole wheat pancakes
Fruit (Anything at this point! I buy all fresh fruit in the summer)
Frozen mini ravioli (see Tip)
Homemade mac & cheese with vegetable & whole wheat noodles
Cheese (see Tip)
Vegetables (I still buy most frozen for ease of preparation)
Ok, so the food above is a nice list but not really that helpful if you feel lost. So here are my tricks:
Processed Cheese is not the same as a standard Kraft single.
For homemade mac & cheese I use only vegetable and whole noodles, then add in some peas, carrots, corn or any other “small” vegetable. Then I take a slice of processed cheese and melt it over top. Processed cheese melts better than cheeses like cheddar, swiss, etc. and create a more attractive mouth feel for kids. Who am I kidding, it tastes better in applications like this to adults, too.
KRAFT SINGLES ARE NOT PROCESSED CHEESE. Unless you buy the “Deluxe” Kraft singles, you’re buying processed cheese PRODUCT.
I know my fair share about cheese (I work in the foodservice redistribution industry), and processed cheese product has no federal standard of identity. This means that manufacturers can literally put just about anything into it as long as a certain percent remains real cheese. You may not notice a huge taste difference, but there is a HUGE health difference.
Processed cheese is simply giant (like 500-lb) cheddar blocks that are melted down to a liquid then run in ribbons on a machine to create the pretty little shiny slice you eat. So take your pick, but real cheese is always going to be worth the extra couple dollars to me to avoid filling my child with oils and fillers.
If you’re still using that baby oatmeal you have to mix with milk or water, stop. I’m talking the real oatmeal now. If you add fresh fruit to the PLAIN oatmeal it’s very tasty and a great way to avoid adding refined sugars and/or butter for flavor. Try it. Even my husband and I choose to eat our oatmeal this way now! Our favorite fruits to add to it are bananas, strawberries and blueberries.
Frozen Mini Ravioli
So I priced out the Gerber ravioli the other day and holy buckets I could believe the price and the sodium content. Their food is shelf stable, so they need to add a broth to preserve the delicate little pasta pieces. Ew. Have you tasted those? I did the other day and it’s just not for me. I try to live by the idea that if I won’t eat it I shouldn’t give it to my daughter, so I buy a much cheaper, much healthier option!
Mini frozen ravioli can be found in the freezer section of virtually any grocery store. Around here I can buy a 1-lb bag of quite a few varieties (i.e., cheese and spinach filled) for just over $4.00. I boil a batch at the beginning of the week and send a small cup of them, without broth or sauce, for lunch with her. She loves them, I spent less than 1/8 ofthe baby food version and saved her almost 250mg of sodium. Win.
Easy cheese choices are things like fresh mozzarella pearls (also what I used on the Margherita pizza in this recipe). I cut them in half and she devours them!
What Makes a Meal?
As far as compiling a full meal from everything available to your not-so-little one’s pallet, I still stick with the eat the rainbow policy. Here’s an example of what Adelyn’s meals were today:
1 scrambled egg
1 whole wheat pancake (4-in diameter)
2 strawberries cut up
Spinach & cheese ravioli
1/2 cup green beans
1/2 cup blueberries
2-oz cottage cheese
1 cup loosely packed vegetable/wheat noodles with 1/2 cup tightly packed peas and corn with 1 processed cheese slice melted and mixed in
1/2 cup plain yogurt
I could probably write a book about meals, ideas and combinations for Adelyn, but I doubt the rest of the world is quite as interested in her nutrition as I am. So for now I'll leave you with this. :)
Do you have any good ideas on toddler foods when all they're teeth aren't in yet? Or even when they do come in? Because heaven knows I'll probably need some guidance again when that milestone hits! Leave a comment or send me an email via the contact page!