Hi readers of The Mommy Chronicles, Karen here from Goofy Can Cook. I’m really excited to be writing a guest post about foods for babies and toddlers. Thank you so much Melissa for giving me the opportunity to share some of these delicious recipes with everyone.
Although I’m not a parent myself I am a nanny to my 8 month old and 3 year old nephews. It’s easy to get stuck in a food rut, using the same foods and making the same dishes repeatedly. I find myself doing this with the two little men in my life. The youngest has started rejecting jar foods because he strongly desires to feed himself. This is rather difficult considering he still hasn’t mastered hand-mouth coordination. The older nephew seems to only eat the same three things over and over: peanut butter and jelly, dinosaur chicken nuggets, and grilled cheese. Sometimes we have to be reminded that they like many other foods, they just don’t know they exist yet. Rest assured you can feed kids healthy foods that interest them and don’t require hours of your time.
At this age they are just beginning to use their hands for eating. At the store you can buy puffs, yogurt melts, mum-mums, and other biscuits. Or you can easily make your own!
Zwieback toast essentially means “twice baked” bread. Here is a great recipe that contains no eggs or milk. These toasts are super crispy and great for teething gums. You can also make homemade yogurt melts by dropping dots of yogurt on parchment paper and freezing overnight. They will melt quickly, so only give your baby a few at a time.
Every child is different, but somewhere in this time frame they will start to want to feed themselves. Some easy treats to keep small fingers busy include yogurt melts, and cooked brown rice pasta. This will buy you some food prep time. If you give them any pasta, make sure that you overcook it to the point of mushiness so that they do not choke on any large pieces. Pieces of banana, avacado, and other soft fruits/veggies are great for keeping them busy.
As far as actual meals, these Stuffed pasta shells are a great starter point for introducing solid foods. Make sure they are plenty cool and the pasta is very tender. You can also start to introduce small bites of protein when teeth arrive. Try tossing cubed chicken or turkey with pasta sauce or pureed vegetables. Make sure to limit the amount of “chunks”, your little one is still learning to chew foods.
12 Months and up (including toddlers)
Now onto the “meat” of this post: walkers, talkers, and toddlers. The age when mom and dad run out of ideas and kids get pickier. Below are a couple dozen recipes for healthy snacks, meals, and desserts. Remember to give a few days after introducing new foods before feeding it to them again. This helps pinpoint any food allergies.
Apple Butter on toast/crackers
Veggie stuffed quesadillas
Broccoli cheese nuggets
These are just a few of the many ideas out there for toddlers. Below is a great list of websites that have baby and toddler friendly recipes!