The worst thing about being a working mom (out of the home) other than the fact that I never see my kids, is dinners!! M-F I rush out of work, pick up the kids from daycare and rush home to get food in front of them before 6:30pm. Some evenings that only leaves me with 15minutes to throw something together. And there is nothing more defeating than working hard on preparing a dinner to have your toddler prefer dinosaur chicken nuggets over it. So, I surrender, he wins. It's all a phase and its not worth it. Maybe once a week we will try to get them to eat what we eat in a once again epic fail but most of the time here's the rotation. Quick, easy, toddlers are happy, mommy is happy and they are mostly healthy (at least not going to kill them).
The Rotation: (editors note: I serve all of these with either a steam fresh veggie of some variety, a microwave sweet potato, or sweet potato tator tots)
1. Trader Joes Fish Nuggets: There are certain items I ONLY get from Traders Joes! Fish sticks is one of the them. The Gordons brand at the grocery store seem to be all breading and barely any fish. These beauties and Fish nuggets with lots of fish.
2. Trader Joes Individual Bella Napola Pizza: Confession...my kid eats pizza twice a week. Nothing goes to waste because we can pop one of these individual pizzas in the oven for 10 mins. I feel ok about this.
3. Trader Joes Individual Spinach Lasagna: This ones a bit of a fight these days but they'll still choke it down. Read the nutrition value on this guy...tons of Vit A, C, Iron. Microwaves at 50% power for 9 minutes and comes out tasting homemade. This one I feel REALLY good about!
4. Organic Mac n Cheese: Because its organic its good for them right? Let's try not to think about the powdered cheese. Im starting to have to make two boxes because my 1 year old will eat a whole box by himself. sigh! We keep white cheese shells, and the yellow farm one in stock and Hunter LOVES picking out the kind he wants. "Mom I want the white one" "ok, buddy you can have the white one" We mix in peas with their mac and cheese. Hunter V will eat them, James Penn has mastered working the mac and cheese around in his mouth in order to separate out the peas. He swallows the mac n cheese and then spits out the pea. Its quite impressive actually.
5. Dinosaur (Dino) nuggets: Hunter has been eating these since he was born. (not really) but close to it. Probably have bought 100 boxes of these in the past 3 years (ok thats an exaggeration too) but you get the drift. The only brand of nuggets I will buy and of course we serve with a veggie. Hunter V get's "dip" with his (BBQ) is his "dip" of choice.
5a. I've even gotten really crazy the past couple weeks and bought the Dino chicken patties and made BBQ chicken sandwiches for them. A good little variation to the typical nugget.
Ok, so I don't ONLY feed my kids frozen food...I promise. I think I have mentioned it before but I love this cook book for kids. The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet. It goes up to 18months and one of my favorite recipes in here is a Toddler's Shepherd's Pie made with ground turkey, mixed veggies, mash potatoes and cheddar cheese. I'll make about 4 in little ramekins and freeze to just pop out and cook in the oven when I get home.
And these veggie pizza pin wheels are a new favorite. I LOVE that she purees veggies into her pasta sauce. I never serve plan pasta sauce EVER anymore. I always make a batch with pureed veggies in it and keep it handy in the fridge or freezer. But fore warning...dont add too much spinach or it will turn your sauce green. oops.
Lastly, steam fresh veggies or the like. How did our parents survive without these?? Target just started making a variety pack of individual servings...made was it a good day when I found this out.
Alright friends...spill it!! I'm always looking to add a new easy recipe into the dreaded rotation. xo