Tips for meals for just the two of us...

Mary Jo - posted on 11/03/2009 ( 15 moms have responded )

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My hubby travels every week and is home on the weekends. I'm trying to ween my 10 1/2 month old off of jar food. I need suggestions for quick/simple meals for just the two of us during the week. Before my daughter was born, I would just grab a sandwich or a bowl of cereal at night while he was gone.

My daughter also has a strong gag reflex which is not helping matters. I know that I need to get her used to "adult" food. But I have this crazy notion that I'm more in control of the nutrition that she is getting in the jar foods. And because it is pureed, it is easier for her to get down (while being quick and simple for me). Has anyone out there gone through this, and do you have any suggestions?

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Autumn - posted on 05/11/2010

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I only cook one day a week, and then I seperate everything into single portions and freeze them. It makes being home without my husband much easier and my daughter gets something different every day. When she was learning to eat the regular food we started off with thick soups and moved our way up. She didn't eat jarred food for overly long, because she didn't like it much. It depends on the child as to what they will eat, the variety comes with age.

Brigette - posted on 05/10/2010

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My husband travels, and has been since my children have been babies. Our favorite food, when dad is away, is still egg noodles with apple sauce and cinnamon. You can start with the smallest egg noodles and add any pureed fruit to them. Adding some cottage cheese can add some more protein. Slowly work up to bigger noodles and chunkier fruit sauces. Super easy and quick. Almost like dessert. I pad my dinners now with sausages and veggies. Some others are french toast with stewed berries, real oatmeal, and rice with apple sauce. Have fun and try lots of different things. Just remember, try each meal at least 3 times as they need to have a chance to get to know their new foods. Good luck.

Anonymous For Safety - posted on 04/08/2010

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I am going through similar issues with my 13 month old. Having always had to keep a tight reign on my food intake to maintain body weight, I use the time my husband is away to buckle down and eat less calories. This may mean a Lean Cuisine or bowl of cereal, etc. This obviously doesn't work well when trying to find something that is easy for her to chew and without a lot of sodium, etc. (i.e., grilled chicken isn't the easiest to chew!). I have found that when all else fails, she will hardly ever turn down cheese or peanut butter toast. Also, I continue to offer her foods that she refuses, such as scrambled eggs. I have found that if I bake chicken, I can make extra, and have it on hand to heat up for her the next day. You can also do steamed veggies and mashed potatoes, rice, soups (but watch sodium) and put all of these things in a puree/chopper thingey (which i purchased at wal-mart for under 20 bucks). That way, you eat, she eats, same thing, you can reheat or freeze left overs and she can have puree. Win/win. You may find that you actually eat better when thinking of nutrition from her point of view. So has been the case with me...I've actually lost weight from cooking more and eating less convenience foods! (I don't use much oil, butter, etc.) I don't know if any of this helps. For me, some days are good and some days are a challenge when it comes to food. This seems to be working okay for me but I know what you mean about worrying about nutrition. At least with jars you do know exactly what they are getting. Oh yeah, one more thing, sometimes I will put what she doesn't like on the spoon and then dip in fruit out of the jar. She gets used to different combinations and textures like that. Maybe that is also an idea?

[deleted account]

i do some soup with soupe cube, (best if done at home with a chicken or beef and vegetables, or soup cube with no preservatives and added things for the taste) with tiny pasta on it. for my daughter i add baby cheese (the cheese also make the soup cooler faster ;o) ) and for me some grana, i add a drop of olive oil. i'm sorry for my poor english... :oI

[deleted account]

Ive recently started making bigger meals and freezing them. I have a two year old and im pregnant so cooking a meal for myself and a child that dosent eat that much for dinner feels stupid to me. so i make bigger meals and freeze the leftovers so i can reheat them when the hubby is on travel. soups are great just leave out the noodles and add them in after. jambalaya freezes well as does chili. ive even made things like mini meat loafs to cook later on.

Jackie - posted on 03/09/2010

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I have an 11 month-old and I just cut things into miniscule pieces for her. She eats rice, chicken, veggies...you name it...she LOVES food. If you don't have a food processor of any sort, it certainly comes in handy. I just make it a point to cut her food into tiny pieces...whatever I'm having. The things I won't feed her are steak and nuts. She eats whatever my 5 year old and I have...with VERY few exceptions.

Some of my favorite things to cook for us are tacos...ground meat, pureed black beans & a can of green chilies and tomatoes (Rotel). Macaroni & cheese...from scratch...not the boxed junk. Fish fillets & broccoli slaw (I chop the broccoli slaw so she can eat it).

Usually, I'll end up fixing one meat for the whole week. This weeks' menu:
Monday: Fish Fillets w/ macaroni & cheese and apple slices (daugter gets natural applesauce)
Tuesday: Roast beef w/ roasted carrots, turnips and parsnips
Wednesday: Taco pie...leftover roast w/ pureed black beans & Rotel in a crescent roll crust topped with cheese
Thursday: BBQ Turkey Loaf & garlic smashed potatoes
Friday: Shepherd's pie (using leftover roasted veggies, and leftover turkey loaf & mashed potatoes

Saturday and Sunday, I usually make a big breakfast...like a double batch of pancakes so I can freeze the leftovers to use throughout the week. I also make a point to cook something my hubby likes since he eats out when he's on the road.

As you can see from my menu, most of the stuff is pretty easy for baby to handle, though some things need to be mashed further--either with a fork or the food processor. Another tool I happen to have is an ulu knife...it's crescent shaped like a mezzaluna but it comes with a bowl-shaped cutting board for chopping. I put baby's food in there and chop to smithereens.

When I feed her soup, I put bread in it so it's not so sloppy.

Hope this helps.

Kari - posted on 03/09/2010

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have you tried the graduate meals? i know that it's nothing something for you, but if she has a strong gag reflex those are great to get them started on. maybe you could do spaghetti just not put sauce on he or very little to avoid a mess and just cut hers up into itty bitty pieces.

Bethanie - posted on 03/06/2010

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I see this is an older post...but you can certainly take whatever you eat and mash/puree/chop it up into small pieces for your child. I think you are in a lot more control over what your child eats when you make it yourself, then when you buy it in a jar. Plus, the stuff in the jar is so BLAH! :)

Sabrina - posted on 01/19/2010

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I make alfredo sauce with whatever kind of noodles I have.For something quick I sometimes buy the alfredo sauce found by the spaghetti sauce. I will also bake a chicken breast and we share it. My kids just love pastas ( I am trying to steer away from the carbs) Some nights I will ground beef, chop some onion,add a can of cream of mushroom, some milk and whatever pasta the kids like and add it in and cook until the noodles are done. Then I stir in some sour cream and it's Beef Strogonoff. The kids gobble it up and it's easy to make. Good luck!

[deleted account]

Quoting Jessica:

My son has a bad gag reflex to anything potatoes. Fried Scalloped Mashed you name it. Which baffled my husband and I cause we luv em and I always cook with them. I am not to creative in the kitchen so I didn't know what to substitute it for. So I continue to make em to encourage him to eat him. But load him up on his meats, veggies and fruits cause he loves those. And the baby food I would slowly mix in the "adult" food with the jarred stuff so she can gradually get used to the different texture. Hope that helps.



Hi Jessica,



if your son still can't get the potatoes down, you can make "mashed cauliflower".  They taste just like mashed potatoes.  Just something that you might like to try.  I am sure that you can google it and find a recipe for them.  Good luck to you!

Kerry - posted on 11/23/2009

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My youngest son is 18 months and only just started eating "normal" foods, so I'm probably not very good at giving you advice on that but with regard to meals for you and bub I have found spaghetti is great and it can be blended and frozen too. I add carrot and zucchini to it to get some veggies in there and they just cook away and the kids can't even see them!!

I also buy sausages and freeze them into small packs (great for little ones to nibble on too)

Shannon - posted on 11/22/2009

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I have 2 yr old and a 4 yr old and I didn't use jar food. I was afraid it would make them picky eaters. They ate everything that we did (within reason, of course.) My best friend worked at an international daycare in the Hague and noticed that all the American babies had jar food, while all the other babies had pureed home cooked meals. Even the Indians, curry laden food was pureed for the babies. So I thought, if they can do it so can I. I started out by adding small amounts of foods to her favorite baby cereals and pureeing it in chopper together. The milk and cereal helps make it a soft consistancy that is easy to swallow. I gradually introduced more and more foods with less and less cereal added to it. I must say I really enjoyed it. They liked eating what Mommy and Daddy ate. They watched me take food from my plate, put in chopper and then into their bowls. We are southern and now they love things like cole slaw, deviled eggs, fried squash, they are not picky (except for beef, they really don't care for it). You can puree enough for two or three servings at a time. Eventually, having veggies separate from meats and fruits and such. Good luck!

Jessica - posted on 11/15/2009

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My son has a bad gag reflex to anything potatoes. Fried Scalloped Mashed you name it. Which baffled my husband and I cause we luv em and I always cook with them. I am not to creative in the kitchen so I didn't know what to substitute it for. So I continue to make em to encourage him to eat him. But load him up on his meats, veggies and fruits cause he loves those. And the baby food I would slowly mix in the "adult" food with the jarred stuff so she can gradually get used to the different texture. Hope that helps.

Tina - posted on 11/15/2009

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When weening both my kids I always offered a few little samples of finger food such as cooked vege sticks (carrots, zuchinni, broccoli stems etc) then would feed bub his/her pured meal so i knew they wouldnt be hungry and ,as u said, had all the nutrients they needed while also knowing they were being given opportunity to explore finger foods. I have a 5yr old and a 15mnth old and some of our favourite quick easy meals are pasta with simple ingredients, omlettes( which i hide HEAPS in), chicken drumsticks and salad and rice and tacos. I usually cook alot on the nights i do cook and then use the leftovers in a different way so it still seems interesting for both me and the kids.Roasts are really good for that but my favourite is to make a huge pot of savoury mince and use it for tacos/ with pasta or rice/ sheperds pie. Sheperds pie is also a great weening meal. Hope this has been helpful :)

Dawn - posted on 11/09/2009

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I actually enjoy cooking during the week for myself and DD who is 3 1/2. Since my husband is gone Monday thru Thursday, I tend to make two big meals and split them during those 4 nights. There are two cookbooks I really like for this: First Meals by Annabel Karmel, and Robin Miller's Quick Fix meals. first meals is a neat cookbook for children, and I really like a lot of their recipes. What's cool about their recipes is that I make the basic recipe for my daughter, then I'll add more for mine (like salad, a baked potato, etc.) Quick Fix meals is neat because she has a lot of recipes that you can "morph" into different meals during the week. For example, she'll have you cook chicken and then offer 3 different recipes using that chicken. Both cookbooks have great-tasting recipes that are easy and quick to fix!



Enjoy :-)

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