Feeding Shea is both something I love and hate. Love because it’s fun to see her try (and enjoy!) new foods, but hate because it’s also very time consuming and takes a lot of planning. Our daycare does not provide meals (again, good and bad), so we’re feeding Shea 3 meals/day with her lunch consumed at daycare.
Since I’m constantly on the look-out for ideas, I thought this post would perhaps be helpful. And if nothing else, it’s fun to see what 16-month-olds eat. 🙂
Breakfast is often leftovers. I don’t have time to cook breakfast every morning, so, as pictured (left), I made hashbrowns with a hard-fried egg (cut into bite-sized pieces), and Morning Star Farms veggie sausage. The next day (bottom right), was the leftovers + a banana, and day 3 (top right) was the last of the hashbrowns with oatmeal (old fashioned oats prepared with unsweetened almond milk, a bit of brown sugar, blueberries, and unsweetened coconut – my personal favorite combo!) + fresh blueberries.
Pancakes (weekends), peanut butter toast, scrambled eggs, and fruit are staples at breakfast.
On to lunch – my most challenging meal to prepare, assemble, and send.
Shea is always sent with 2 bottles (5 ounces – 3 of which are unsweetened almond/cashew milk and 2 ounces of whole milk). I aim for a fruit and vegetable with 1+ servings of dairy. It doesn’t always happen, but here’s 8 days worth!
Upper Left: whole wheat rotini tossed with marinara and peas, fresh pineapple chunks, a quinoa and pear squeeze pouch, NutriGrain bar, colby cheese stick, and rice chex/Cheerios.
Upper Right: whole wheat rotini tossed with marinara, peas, fresh blueberries, Yo Toddler yogurt, and tiny little cheese cubes.
Bottom Left: chicken tortellini tossed with marinara (cut in half), Yo Toddler yogurt, colby cheese stick, goldfish crackers, and fresh blueberries.
Bottom Right: chicken tortellini tossed with marinara (cut in half), butternut squash cubes roasted in coconut oil and cinnamon, dehydrated pea pods, grapes (halved), and a homemade zucchini muffin.
Upper Left: sunbutter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat (cut into sticks), Beech Nut fruit & veg squeeze pouch, Yo Toddler yogurt, peeled/cored/diced apple, colby cheese stick, and Boom Chicka Pop lightly salted popcorn.
Upper Right: whole wheat rotini tossed with marinara and peas (this is a favorite if you haven’t caught on 😉 ), cannellini beans, mini box of raisins, Boom Chicka Pop lightly salted popcorn, peeled/cored/diced apple.
Bottom Right: peas & corn, banana, mini rice cakes, cannellini beans, Beech Nuts fruit & veg squeeze pouch, Yo Toddler Yogurt, colby cheese stick
Dinner is often leftovers, as well, since Mr. P and I most often eat after Shea is in bed. This particular evening was Quorn “chicken” with leftover roasted potatoes, a dollop of homemade guacamole and BBQ sauce, and fresh blueberries. I tend to go with fruit, veg, meat/meat sub, and a starch of some kind + water.
We’re fortunate that Shea seems to love more flavorful dishes. For example, she LOVED leftover shrimp fajitas – peppers, onion, and shrimp. Devoured.
Sometimes, Shea will eat a LOT. Other times, she’ll leave the meal after only a few bites. It’s unpredictable, but as I’ve learned with childhood nutrition, parents act as the gatekeeper as to what’s offered, and the child dictates the actual selection and often, the volume consumed.
I love these little food storage containers. We have about 3.1 million of them because we use them CONSTANTLY and sometimes, I’ll ambitiously dice/cut or defrost foods Shea will consume over the course of several days and the containers are lined up in the fridge for a much more efficient meal time routine. 🙂 Sometimes.
For more on what Shea eats, check out #whatsheaate on Instagram. Yes, she has her very own hashtag. Someday, she will be mortified that I documented her meals to the extent that I do. But, until then…!
What are your favorite toddler meals/snacks? Please do share!