Roasted Veggies for Hungry Toddlers

Baby food is a bit of a tricky subject. You have countless options, stacks of books, and plenty of opinions. I have told you before that I generally ascribe to a moderate philosophy of several approaches. Nina Plank being one of my favorite theorists on the subject. At the end of the day, two factors became really important for our family.

First, baby food shouldn't be hard.

In order for homemade baby food to work for our family, it needs to be easy. With Behr we made a fair number of purees and paired these with a baby led weaning approach. However, the purees we did make were often a simpler form of a meal we were already cooking, or a few of the same ingredients pulled aside for his meal. For Hudson, purees did not go over well. (Its likely time to clean them out of my freezer). Ever the independent child, he much prefers to feed himself even if the process takes longer and results in less food.

I have adapted to his preferences and our family food likes by roasting vegetables. Once or twice a week, generally when I am already planning to use the oven, I wash, peel, and dice a few root vegetables, fill a tray and toss with olive or coconut oil and sometimes salt and fresh herbs. This root vegetable toss accompanies all of our meals and are easy to reheat for Hudson's tiny pincer grasp.

Second, rules shouldn't confine us.

When we travel, we don't always get square meals and we use mostly pre-packaged pouches for things like apple sauce and yogurt. While we prefer to limit process foods and package waste, I don't like carrying a lot of extra stuff when we travel. At home we make our own apple sauce. When we travel, our boys love the GoGo Squeez (there is no E on the end, drives me crazy) pouches which we get at Costco. With only two ingredients, I am pretty happy about them too.

We also eat a lot of bananas, raisins, peanut butter crackers, cheese sticks, apples and gold fish. While these aren't top of the list of our every day foods, our kids enjoy them. When we are on the road or at a restaurant, I would rather break my rules of what they eat than create a potential food battle. I appreciate the portability of these foods and that they are low mess. Since they are less likely to get food stains, we are more likely to re-wear clothes on our trip. Bringing foods I know my kids like to eat always makes our jam packed travel weekends run smoother. There is not need to have hunger tantrums because of an artificial rule I am trying to uphold in extraordinary circumstances.

When I originally wrote this post, I didn't have a second point. However, our recent trip to Boston reminded me of how we like to be flexible and eat differently to accommodate that when we travel.

What are some of your go-to foods for kids? 
And do you have rules that guide what you feed them?

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1 comment:

  1. I definitely have the approach of we all eat the same foods--as a mom of three who cooks just about everything from scratch, I refuse to be a short order cook! I started out each kid on homemade purees, but moved them to table food by 9-10 months. One thing I have learned that takes a lot of stress off of me is just make the best food possible for your kids, offer it, and if they don't eat it, don't fret. Don't make them a different meal, don't let them snack constantly, and eventually they'll eat what is offered when it is offered (this is for healthy children, not ones who have weight or other health issues of course). We love those applesauce pouches for travel too! At home we eat the applesauce I make myself, but I agree, we definitely relax the rules for being out and about. Cheesesticks, bananas, applesauce, clementines, little boxes of raisins, almonds, carrot sticks, grapes (those last four for the older kids), are all favorites of ours. We also always bring a loaf of homemade whole wheat bread, pb and jam to make sandwiches when on the road. then we can eat when the kids are hungry and can avoid stopping at a fast food place when out and about.



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