And baby makes three. 3 kids to feed, that is. With the boys being in preschool 2 days per week now, I really enjoy our lunches at home. They seem to be so much easier for me than packing a lunch to go. Maybe it’s because I often just warm up leftovers and cut up some fruit. Easy! And, Anna just loves to watch her brothers eat and they think it’s so fun that she gets to eat with them now.
Here’s a sample of my lunch for 3 this week. The boys had creamy chicken and black beans from the freezer, a leftover sweet potato from dinner the previous night and kiwi. Anna had porridge and sweet potato.
Creamy Chicken and Black Beans
in the slow cooker or crock pot
- 1 1/2 lb uncooked frozen boneless skinless chicken breast
- 15 oz can black beans, drained (or dried beans soaked overnight and cooked)
- 1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes OR 15 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
- 16 oz jar salsa
- 8 oz whole fat cream cheese
- Put frozen chicken breasts in crock pot, cover with black beans, tomatoes and salsa.
- Cook on high 4-5 hours or until chicken is cooked.
- Place block of cream cheese on top. Cook for an additional 30 minutes. Stir to incorporate cream cheese into sauce. The stirring
- should cause the chicken to shred.
- Serve with brown rice and guacamole.
- Roll in tortillas and add your sides of choice.
- Put a serving on top of salad greens and add any salsa, sour cream, or guacamole.
- Put on a tortilla and make into a quesadilla.
- This is a great recipe to freeze. I just store in serving size containers that I know I want to use for lunches.
Posted by tntmck on Mar 17, 2012 in Information
, Overall Diet
How much food should I be feeding my baby? How many calories does my toddler need? Is he eating too much fruit? Should I be preparing more protein? It’s so easy to question everything from milk intake to bowel movements. Sometimes I think we might be just a little too close to the subject. I’ve had times where I’ve needed to just step back and make sure I’m seeing the forest for the trees.
I discovered the following website http://www.mypyramid.gov recently. This link shows the food pyramid specific to your child’s age and weight. You can enter age and activity level for your child and it will calculate the exact number of daily calories needed. Oh my! I consider myself to be fairly Type A personality and this is too much for me! It seems to me that if you eat real food to fullness and true satisfaction, then things will fall in place. I think kids have this ability built into their little bodies. And, remember, they are growing. Things will ebb and flow. It is my job to present my children with healthy food options and encourage them to try things.
This government site goes so far as to provide a tracker to keep a tally of the daily requirements by grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, meat and beans. I seriously think I need to stay far, far away from this as it could easily become obsessive for no good reason at all!
I’ve shared some of my favorite meals in the past, but here’s another great place to find Toddler Meals. My philosophy is to share good food with my children and maybe we there will be a little chef in the making.
What do you think of the Super Tracker?
Posted by tntmck on May 23, 2010 in Meat
In an effort to continue towards our GOAL: Eating With the Family we made yet another yummy chicken meal this week. We’re also working more with plates, utensils, and cups as well as healthy snacks to keep happy tummies throughout the day.
This week, I decided that Jonathan and I needed something quick and easy to take for our lunches. Well, I also wanted this to be something the boys could eat, so I went for chicken salad. If you know me, you’re thinking I’ve completely lost it because I don’t like chicken salad. Well, let’s just say I’m trying new things and giving old things another shot.
- Zesty Chicken Salad A nice flavorful way to spice up the standard salad.
- 1 tsp. Italian herbs
- 1/8 tsp. garlic powder (+ more for salad mixture)
- 4 chicken thighs, skinned or boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon of omega–3 mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon flaxseed oil or garlic–chili flax
- chopped onions
- chopped peppers
- chopped celery
- Place chicken in a greased glass baking pan.
- Sprinkle herbs, garlic powder and paprika on both sides.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes or until chicken juices run clear when tested with a fork.
- Let chicken cool, then cut into pieces.
- Combine mayonnaise, flaxseed oil, onions, peppers, celery, and chicken. Taste, then add paprika and garlic powder as desired and mix together.
- Serve over lettuce or on toasted bread.
[I used thighs and they were super moist and yummy, but you can use breasts if you like white meat better. I forgot to get a picture of the finished salad...wow, what a let-down, huh?]
WHAT I LEARNED
The chicken salad is great for adult lunches, but the chicken makes perfect food for little fingers or those just learning to use a fork.
The chicken was a hit with the whole family! Be sure to check out this other chicken recipe to fill your fridge.
I love the versatility of this recipe for sandwiches, salads, and protein for little ones. I will make it again, maybe even this week!
On a separate note, Owen is using a fork and spoon well when the food is loaded on it for him. We’ve also mainly switched to using our regular plates as the solid, white, heavy plates don’t seem as interesting to “play” with during mealtimes. I did see a few times this week where I thought the appetite was decreasing a bit, but it turned out to be a ear infection and a fever which both resolved quickly and appetites came back in full force. The boys continue to eat food more quickly than I can prepare it.
Please share your thoughts or ideas.
Posted by tntmck on May 6, 2010 in Tips
I’ve read that it can take up to 10 times for a baby to acquire a taste for something new. Keep this in mind when you get a funny face looking back at you or peas dribbling down the chin and keep at it with your new foods.
If you’re experiencing a picky pre-toddler or toddler, then keep this in mind, too. It may not be for the same reasons, but the consistency is key as well as giving the message that you’re serious and aren’t going to be a short order cook for your kids. Also, keep the overwhelming factor in mind. It can happen that you’re offering too much at one time. Be sure your toddler can still see some of his plate under that wide rainbow of food that you’ve prepared. Still provide a full variety, but keep some of each option on the counter to add once the plate starts to look empty again. I learned this one the hard way and now don’t fill my boys’ plates too full. This helps us avoid flying hands and foods.
Please share your thoughts and ideas.
Posted by tntmck on Jan 30, 2010 in Uncategorized
This week was all about the plate. As I’ve mentioned before I’ve been offering various options of finger foods to the boys for a while now. Recently, I have been organizing options on a plate for them at random feeding times. This week, we jumped in with a full commitment to lunch. Every lunch this week was offered as finger foods for them to feed themselves from a plate. Some lunches were followed with spoon baby food, but some were not. I just played this by ear on how much they ate.
I didn’t make any new foods to freeze this week, but did make a new item for the refrigerator. Yogurt has been one of the early dairy introductions and I’ve served it plain, in cereal, or mixed with fruit (mainly blueberries or bananas). This week I blended frozen organic berries with organic plain yogurt.
As options on the plate, I included cooked sweet potato pieces, cooked whole wheat macaroni, whole wheat bread, cheddar and provolone cheeses, cooked turkey pieces, and tofu.
- Mixed Berry Yogurt I bought frozen organic mixed berries a couple weeks ago and stored them in the freezer. One morning, I thawed them in the refrigerator and was able to use them to mix into my yogurt. I just used my blender to chop up the pieces, but still left it a little chunky. I used Stonyfield Organic Plain Yogurt, but I have also used various plain and greek yogurts as well. I think it is important to avoid the low-fat varieties or ones with added flavorings or sugars. Beware of the ones marketed for kids as these often are the sugar and processed additive culprits. It’s easy enough to add your own fresh or fresh frozen flavorings. You can even make your own yogurt and Yoran describes this in her book, but I haven’t become so adventurous yet.
- The Plate I have various toddler-style plates, but the ones I’ve been using this week are the Sassy Dippin Dinner Plates and have a rubber ring around the bottom edge. They don’t stick to the table with a suction, but help it to stay in place with little hands reaching and messing with food. They also have lids, so you can prepare a meal ahead of time and leave it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. I do sit with the boys while they eat for two reasons.
- I like to see how they’re doing with their skills and want to make sure they are eating safe pieces and not too much at one time.
- I use this as a training time to teach them what is and isn’t acceptable at the table. They are not allowed to throw or purposefully drop food and this has been the week to teach them not to move their plates. The plate is not a toy and the purpose is to eat the food from your plate. This may sound crazy, but an 11 month old really can learn these things.
WHAT I LEARNED
I must say that I think the mixed berry yogurt has been one of the boys favorite yogurts so far and I love the ease of the frozen fruit and the health benefits of the yogurt. I’m not totally sure why they liked this one so much better than ones I’ve made before. It could have been that they are getting more used to yogurt, or I may have gotten the ratio of fruit to yogurt just right. Or, maybe they really liked the mixed berries. Whatever the reason, I hope this love for yogurt continues.
The boys liked the plates. We have not achieved self-feeding success yet, but both are practicing and learning. Every few days, new skills are learned and they are getting better. They also both get excited to be able to feed themselves. I will say that this has led to some negative reactions to being spoon-fed by mom at times.
This week was messy, but a good learning experience that we are continuing.
Please share your thoughts or ideas.