Tag Archives: toddler foods

Real food, hold the sprinkles.

I was inspired to write a quick post after reading this post about Pop-Tarts and their “Made for Fun!” tagline, written by Giselle, The Granola Mama.

I have very little patience these days for anyone who uses lack of time or money as an excuse for feeding their children processed, artificial, unhealthy, sparkly, candy-coated food (like, for example, … Pop-Tarts.) :mad:

…or food that comes with a toy, or food that has zero nutrient value, or…well, you get it.

If your life is anything like mine right now, you might have about 5 whole minutes each day to throw together something remotely edible. Be it breakfast, lunch or dinner, those processed foods can look reeeeeeally tempting at times. And, honestly, there are a few that are not half bad. But – when they start marketing them to your children with FUN as the major selling point, WE HAVE A PROBLEM.

The solution?

  • Grow what you can.
  • Get to know your local farmers and farmers’ markets.
  • Buy in bulk to save $$ and packaging.
  • Use your leftovers.
  • Start with whole, natural ingredients, then experiment!
  • Don’t assume your kids won’t be interested. Let them help, let them choose, let them get excited – chances are, they’ll eat it!

Here are just a few of the meals I haven’t shared on the blog lately because, well, they’re just not that blog-worthy or remarkable in any way.  But they’re fast, cheap, relatively healthy, and my kid eats all of them.

And not one of them contains sprinkles.

It doesn’t always make for a pretty photo, but it certainly can be done.

Zukes, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and Fontina cheese.

Mushrooms, onions, spinach and tomatoes, quickly sauteed...

...and served over whole wheat couscous.

Flatbreads with a jar of tomatoes, basil and a cut-up string cheese. I know, not my finest moment. But still not a Pop-Tart!

 

Garden beets, leftover dal, part of an avocado and a whole wheat pita. On a paper plate! (We already packed most of the kitchenware.)

Chickpeas, asparagus, tomatoes and oranges in a vinaigrette. I think I tossed some pasta into this, too.

A snack platter of berries, fresh mozz and colorful tomatoes.

A tiny grass-fed beef slider with pineapple mixed in.

Organic strawberry and almond milk yogurt pop, with a straw in the holder to catch drips. Now THAT's made for fun!

OK. Rant over.

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Do you avoid heavily processed foods? How? What’s your best go-to recipe when you need an affordable, healthy dinner, like,  5 minutes ago?

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Filed under Parenting & Family, Recipes & Food

Frontera Fresh Guacamole Mix

Cookout season is upon us! Chances are, you’ll be called upon to bring a dish to countless occasions in the coming months, so I thought I’d tell you about a new favorite of mine!

Frontera Guacamole Mix, straight from the kitchen of Chef Extraordinaire Rick Bayliss! (He is toooo cute!)

Quick and easy is the name of my game lately, and this mix fits the bill. But in all honesty, the key selling point for me is the all-natural list of ingredients – fresh tomatillos, fresh tomatoes, green chiles, fresh onions, fresh cilantro, fresh garlic, citric acid, salt, and pure cane sugar. No funny stuff! (A BIG plus since my toddler would eat it by the handful if I let him.)

This mix adds lots of the flavor you want, with little to none of the calories, added fat and sodium you don’t want, allowing your lovely ‘cados to shine through!

 All you have to do is cut the avocados in half and scoop them out! I add 3 and give it a quick spin in the food processor.

If you like it a little chunkier, just mash by hand. You’ll have fresh, zesty guacamole in a matter of minutes. It’s perfection on a sandwich, in a taco or dropped into a bowl of white chicken chili. Grab a bag of chips and you’re good to go for a “bring a dish” party (you don’t have to tell ‘em how easy it is! ;) )

Since this guac warrants a quality chip – might I suggest Tostitos Artisan Recipes Roasted Garlic and Black Bean Tortilla Chips? I tried them recently, courtesy of Foodbuzz, and they earned a solid 2 thumbs up from my crowd. I don’t buy chips often, but I dig that Tostitos chips are all-natural. Who needs a fake chip? :?

Plain chip pictured in photo - not a Tostitos chip.

When I have them, I like to add a few chopped tomatoes, straight from the farmer’s market, for eye appeal.

…and don’t forget to put the pits in so your guac doesn’t turn brown! ;) (Thanks for the tip, Alysha!)

I’ve served this at a few gatherings now, and I’ve learned one thing: there are guac people, and there are non-guac people. Verdict? The true guac people love Frontera Guacamole Mix – Look for the affordable 4.5 oz. pouch in your local produce department!

*Note to Mr. Bayliss: Now, how about an organic version? Just a thought… ;)

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Are you a guac person or a non-guac person? What’s your favorite way to eat guacamole?

3 Comments

Filed under Product & Service Reviews, Recipes & Food

Little Punkin Pancakes

Did you guess what I made with our neck pumpkin? (Pumpkin soup sounds heavenly, but not this time!)
We made this guy into pumpkin pancakes!

Since little man is nearing toddlerhood and starting to eat table food along with us, I’m finding myself even more conscious of texture, ingredients, and nutrient value than I was before. He’s really insistent on trying what’s on my plate, so I want to make sure my plate is filled with something that’s good for both of us! Pancakes are not usually the first thing to come to mind when I’m thinking “healthy,” but the size and texture just really fit the bill right now.
I really have no desire to buy him prepackaged pancakes from the freezer aisle, so I made these seasonal yummies! Who wants a plain old pancake when you can pack it full of fresh, nutrient-rich pumpkin!?

I love this recipe because it’s made with fresh pumpkin (no cans!) and spices, and no sugar is added. The mild yet spiced flavor pairs perfectly with some pure maple syrup or, in our case, some organic applesauce for just a touch of sweetness.
It’s also really easy, and makes about a million baby-sized pancakes that can be frozen (between sheets of waxed paper.)
(Or, you can make half a million baby pancakes and a few big ones for Mommy and Daddy!)
I looked through all my pancake recipes to find some suitable ratios, but the end result is an original, so I’m calling it:
Little Punkin Pancakes :D
  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin*
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 tbsp canola oil

Sift all dry ingredients together in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs, pumpkin and vanilla. Add milk and oil and beat until smooth.

Add liquid mixture to dry mixture.

Blend until no lumps are left.

Spoon onto hot griddle (1/8 cup for little pancakes, 1/4 cup for large pancakes.) Watch until bubbles form and edges of pancake look dry; flip. Leave on griddle until cooked through. Transfer to a plate; serve warm with syrup or applesauce.

*While some pumpkins can be very fibrous, neck pumpkins work well for pies and recipes like this one. Choose one with a loooong neck. Wash pumpkin, then split and lay in a baking dish, cut side down, with about an inch of water. Roast until soft throughout. Let cool, then scoop flesh out with an ice cream scoop and puree. Easy!

*Next time? 1/2 pumpkin, 1/2 banana, and coconut milk instead of the moo.

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What’s your favorite pumpkin recipe?

Your favorite toddler recipe?

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Filed under Parenting & Family, Recipes & Food