Friday, January 15, 2010

What to Feed a Toddler?

Before the boys were born I had great ambition to make all their food from scratch. Organic! Fresh! Homemade! No Preservatives! It was all so idyllic. And for a few months, so EASY! We had boys who ate spinach on an almost daily basis. We had a freezer full of purees that ranged from the plain and simple apple sauce to the fancier mango-pear-squash combo and the always favored edamame-spinach concoction. It was awesome!

Then they started eating solid foods.

And I pretty much closed up shop on making everything from scratch. It's hard. I feel like such a poser. I can make my own chicken fingers and freeze them by the batch. I even made up a ton of meatloaf scooped it onto a cookie sheet to bake which resulted in a big bag of what we lovingly called "Meat Wads" that we could pull out of the freezer at will and the boys ate that up like it was the best thing in the world.

But fruit? Veggies? I'm severely lacking in that department.

I figure- they're beyond the puree stage, they want things to chew on. It's so easy to steam and puree and get creative. It's so boring to just steam and chop up a bunch of carrots. And their favorite spinach? Forget it- they don't want it anymore.

So we've fallen into this cycle of chicken tenders, mac and cheese, pasta, quesadillas, grilled cheese- easy things for lunch. I've even started to give them (gasp) Chef Boyardee and hot dogs! For shame I know. For dinner it's whatever we're having, which is hardly balanced.

How do I get my good eater's back? I'm thinking a smoothie would be a great start for getting more fruit but I need ideas for veggies. I'm not a big proponent of juice although we drink prune juice for dealing with constipation. Hopefully a more balanced diet will help with that too.


So after I posted this I found these two cookbooks that seem to be based around putting fruit and/ or veggie purees into other foods:
The Sneaky Chef
Deceptively Delicious
I think we're going to check these out from the library and give them a try.