ideas for healthy meals?

Mary - posted on 06/23/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )

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my daughter starting to reject baby food. i'm feeding her more and more table food. she's learning to like some rice, vegetables, beans, and fruit especially. doesn't always want to eat what i'm eating and is fairly picky. any ideas for simple, but healthy meals for a 13 month old? what do your kids like to eat?

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Amanda - posted on 06/23/2009

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My daughter isn't really "picky" but something she LOVES one day she'll refuse the next. I do many similar things with fruits and veggies as many of you do, and scrambled eggs. She loves cheese and would eat it at every meal if I let her. I get the cheese sticks and cut them down. She loves yogurt too. I also get veggie burgers, broccoli pancakes, and spinach pancakes (the brand is Dr. Praeger's). They are frozen and cook up quickly in the toaster oven. She loves them and it's a great way to get veggies into her without a fuss. I also give her pasta a lot with homemade sauce. I get a bag of mixed organic greens (edamame, peas, spinach, asparagus, etc.) steam it and puree it and add it to the tomato sauce. She doesn't even notice. I get her the organic, preservative free cereal bars and graham crackers and cheddar crackers. I've made her healthy muffins using fruit (bananas, applesauce, wheat flour, wheat germ, cinnamon, etc.) and I made black bean burgers once. She'll pretty much eat anything I eat as long as it's not too spicy and it's easy to chew and swallow (she only has 5 teeth!) try the website wholesometoddlerfood.com for more ideas.

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Hi Mary - I completely understand! There's only so much that is soft, small and considered edible by a one year old. For snacks try string cheese, sliced down to her size. I've also done shredded cheese but she may be too old for that now. We also use the 4 oz yogurts that Dorraine also mentioned. It sounds like fruit is not an issue, Emma is a huge fan of cantaloupe and blueberries and kiwi (that surprised me). Not a fan of apples though. .and the blueberries are currently flying around the kitchen like mini grenades!! Oh well. She loves chicken! I've taken to doing a roaster on Sunday. Cut into bite sized pieces - save some for a couple of days, freeze the rest. Take out as needed. I boil down the rest and make a simple soup out of it. Toss in some carrots/celery onion. . and done (few spices too : ) ) . Boil some pasta and you have a nice healthy soup. Also freezable (not the pasta though, I don't think) We've tried mini hotdogs but they also turn into missile launches: ) My most recent invention was to take ground beef/chicken/turkey.. . and make mini (real mini) meatballs. Bake them or fry them and they are perfect bite size morsels. . a couple pounds of grn beef will make enough to last a very long time. It takes a little time to do, but once it’s done. You’ve got a lot for quick meals. Again keep some out for a couple of days for quick meals and freeze the rest. try different sauces on them as you go along. Scrambled eggs in the a.m. are a big hit. More like an omelet that gets cut to bit sized pieces. I whisk a little milk into before cooking.. .( no more than 3 eggs a week i hear). Also have blended cottage cheese with fresh fruit. IF you have a mini food chopper, this works great. IF not, try a little preserve or jam mixed in. Other than that, it's mostly the standards over here until I can add to the culinary cabinet. This reminds me that I need to post something around veggies!! Good luck. . I hope you find some great ideas. I’m also going to revisit this post to see what other Moms are doing. . .

Anna - posted on 06/23/2009

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making chicken nuggets is really easy, they taste so much better my son loves them.

Cathralynn - posted on 06/23/2009

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I go along the same lines as Alicia. At every meal I try to feed something from each food group. My daughter rejected spoon feeding at 8mo! I feed stuff like: crackers, whole grain toast and pasta, wheat mini bagels and cream cheese, whole wheat waffles, pretzels, scrambled eggs, any kind of cheese, chopped fresh fruit (loves), canned steamed or frozen veggies (not her fav but keep trying), yogurt, sugar free jello cubes and graham crackers as a special treat every once in awhile. For snacks I love freeze dried fruits and veggies (the only ones she will eat!) and the snap pea crisps (found in the produce section with the freeze dried stuff) cause I can leave em my diaper bag and they don't go bad. My daughter will absolutely always eat scrambled eggs and broccoli cheese, those are her favs. Since she's been a year old we give her some of what we eat for dinner (and try to eat healthy) but so far she eats no meat and really only seems to like pasta dishes. Good luck!

Dorraine - posted on 06/23/2009

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Hi Mary and Alicia,

Mary, my 13 month old LOVES the Perdue Short Cuts chicken - the plain and the italian...I give it to her cold. I too am trying to hold off on the nuggets for as long as possible. She also love the wheat elbows with pasta sauce, carrots (I buy the frozen or canned for now) and the frozen mixed veggies. I also buy the baby yogurt with the fruit and cereal mixed in - this is great for breakfast or on the run. She has also started eating wheat mini-bagels and even though this isn't totally nutritious...spaghetti o's (she doesn't like the meat ones though).



Alicia, you gave me some great ideas as I feel like my daughter eats the same things over and over.



I am going to check back and see what other things people suggest.

Alicia - posted on 06/23/2009

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My son isn't very picky and still it is hard to think of things for him to eat! I have vowed not to get frozen chicken nuggets, fish sticks, and the like until I am totally out of ideas!! I make him pancakes and waffles for breakfast. I make a big batch and freeze them so its really easy in the mornings. I try to use whole wheat flour and granola to make them healthier. He also loves sweet potatoes and squashes--again i make a bunch and freeze them. Usually cube them up and bake them so they are easy for him to pick up. Fresh berries, bananas and grapes (cut in quarters) are a big hit. I keep a bag of frozen peas and of mixed veggies in the freezer and just thaw small amounts for him as needed. We do cream cheese and jam sandwiches for lunch or just toast a piece of bread with cheese. Sometimes he loves meats, sometimes not. He seems likes them more when marinated and there are some lower sodium marinades which is good. My favorite easy fruit is to take an apple, peel it, and slice it up, microwave uncovered for 3 mins and it tastes like apple pie filling! He loves it. Sprinkle some cinnamon before cooking and it's even better! Canned mandarin oranges, peaches, applesauce--all big hits.

Mostly for dinner we try and feed him what we are having but sometimes it just isn't practical and that's when things in the freezer really come in handy. Maybe as she gets used to eating table food, you can try to feed one "new food" along with a few things you know she likes so it isn't too much at once. But I would recommend giving the new food first to give her time to try it before showing her the stuff she really likes or she might never eat the new one!

Really, I find it tough to make sure he's getting what he needs and find new, easy ideas. I try to think ahead when I go to the grocery and get a couple of fruits and veggies for him for the week and I keep most of "his" food in one drawer of the fridge so I can open it and easy see what there are for options. And my stash of frozen things that I make in batches is always a good fall back!

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