Some of my go to meals for my toddler
I always try feed my 14 month daughter the same food that my husband and I are eating at home however she stills only has a few teeth and is learning to feed herself using a spoon or fork so this is not always possible.
I have a few common options I turn to in these cases to to ensure she still gets healthier options which include a lot of variety and expose her to different food types. Here are my go to choices for Emily's lunch and supper:
1. Fritatta or crustless quiche
I always recommend parents to have eggs in the house as they are really versatile from scrambled,boiled and then my favourite making an omelette or quiche. I generally find any veg I have in the fridge and add some cheese and herbs and you can either make into an omelette or bake in the oven for a crust less quiche. Some of my favourite ingredients include spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, onion, mozzarella and feta.
Sundays tend to be soup night in our house so Emily does end up eating a lot of it. It is good for toddlers to be exposed to a variety of textures and even though they were started on pureed food we often forget to still offer that smooth texture to them later into toddler hood . Some of my favourite include butternut, carrot , broccoli and cauliflower and Moroccan vegetable.
By these I mean ones you have made at home and not sugar laded chocolate chip or store bought ones. These are great for quick lunches and you can freeze them. I either make egg muffins or muffins using wholemeal flour, oats and other ingredients. I recently made pumpkin, oat and cheese muffins which Emily loved.
4. Mini pitas
Most kids love pizza however we don't like to give it to often. I buy whole-wheat pita breads and use this as my base and then add my own toppings and am able control the cheese to vegetable ratio. I make a lot of tomato mince and freeze it so I often add some of this tomato mince with vegetables to the pitas.
5. Cous cous
This is great option to give to introduce your child to different textures. I generally add chopped chicken and some veg like broccoli, butternut or grated carrot to the cous cous which you can cook in stock for extra flavour. I serve it all mixed it together . The great thing is how quick cous cous is to cook as you only need hot water.
6. Quinoa crumbed chicken strips
It is easy to buy chicken nuggets or strips from the shop however I found a great healthier way to cook them at home. Take chicken fillet strips and coat them in beaten eggs and then dip into quinoa seeds. Bake in the oven and you end up with crispy chicken strips for your kids rather than buying store bought ones.
Parents often find it hard to include fish into their childrens' diets so fish-cakes are a great way to do this. I make fishcakes for my husband and myself so I just make extra for her. I use sweet potato, onion, peppers, coriander and tinned tuna.
8. Macaroni cheese
Yes it may be an obvious choice but the great thing is about this is what you can add to it. Mac and cheese generally goes down well with toddlers so add whatever veg to it ( whole veg- I am not a big fan of blending veggies into food as it doesn’t expose the child to the vegetable). I use whole wheat pasta and then add tomatoes, broccoli,onion, mushroom or whatever is in the fridge.
9. Pesto pasta
It is easy to end up giving your child macaroni and cheese every night so pesto is a great alternative to spice up any pasta dish. Emily loves chicken pesto pasta. I also experiment giving her different pestos and made a pasta dish and added beetroot and mint pesto to it and she ate it.
10. Spinach pasta
Yes another pasta dish but this one I had to include as my daughter just loves its. Its is a great vegetarian option as well. I cook some spinach and onion and then make a white sauce. I blend some of the spinach and onion and add it to the pasta with the cooked spinach and onion and white sauce and it gives the pasta a great green colouring. Just made sure you shred up the spinach before cooking as you don't want big pieces of spinach which you child might find hard to eat and can create quite a large mess