I never imagined how much time and energy feeding a baby/todler would require. My daughter’s next meal is always on my mind: What should I make? Will she eat it? Is it balanced? Do I need to go back to the grocery store? And I know a lot of other mothers feel the same was. I’d love it if T ate everything that my husband and I eat, but unfortunately, she isn’t there yet, so her meals often involve preparing something separate.
Here are my two go-to meals that my daughter loves, but are also nutritionally balanced and make extra so that I can freeze the reserves.
My sister gave me this recipe and T LOVES it. When she was a baby, I spooned it to her and then she started using her hands to feed herself (very messy), and now she is on to using a spoon (sort of). This dish is really standing the test of time. And, sometimes, my husband and I will eat it for dinner too (minus the immersion blending…)
- 1 lbs 85% lean ground beef
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes in sauce
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 med onion
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
*optional to add in 1/2 a cup of lacinato kale
P.S. I often double this recipe.
– Sweat the onions, garlic, carrots, and celery together. Add in the meat and brown. Stir in the tomatoes and tomato paste. Simmer for 15-20 min, stirring. Remove bay leaf. Roughly purée with immersion blender.
* I serve with alphabet pasta (I buy at Whole Foods).
* Now that T is older, I add parmesan cheese on top. I waited until she was older, due to the salt content.
* I freeze single size portions in this.
Sweet Potato Quinoa Patties
There are so many variations you can make with these patties and all of the combinations I have tried turned out; I’ve subbed baked chicken for the quinoa, added shredded carrots – you can’t go wrong. Instead of frying them, I have also tried baking them, but I don’t find them nearly as good. These are also very portable, which is perfect when you need a meal and are on the run.
- 1 large sweet potato – skins removed
- 1 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 cup cooked broccoli – then chop
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
- 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme (more to garnish)
- dash of sea salt/pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus more as needed
– Prepare quinoa according to package instructions (I let the quinoa sprout first. See here.)
– Preheat oven to 400 degrees, rub sweet potato with olive oil and pierce with fork. Bake for 45 minutes or until soft. In a large bowl, mash with a fork to remove all chunks.
– Add all other ingredients except for the olive oil, and combine well.
– Form mixture into balls golf ball sized, flatten into a patty. Cook in olive oil or grape seed oil. Brown on both sides. Remove and let drain on paper-towel lined plate. Transfer to non-stick coated foil sheet for 15 minutes at 350.
*I serve topped with sour cream, which my daughter also loves.
*These freeze well.
Here is another take on the patties I found on Baby Led Weaning Ideas:
- 1 cup grated zucchini
- 1/3 cup shredded cheese
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp chopped onion
- olive oil
– Grate zucchini until you get 1 cup’s worth
– In a bowl, mix all the ingredients except the oil
– Heat some oil in a pan on medium-low heat
– Scoop the mixture into the hot pan
– Fry in olive oil until golden brown