I'm very happy to proclaim that since Noah has become a better walker he actually is eating ALOT BETTER!! He's not nearly as grumpy therefore everything in our world and his is easier, including meal times. He's back to eating his veggies on an almost daily basis again too, Weeeeehooo!!
Quick side note: I've said it before, but I will say it again. I really think it is important for us to remember that our kiddos have food preferences. Yep, they are mini people, and they get bored with food JUST like we do. I forget this.. a lot... I really do. It's not that I'm trying to be close-minded, but sometimes I forget I have literally given him the exact same meal for an entire week. I would be bored of it too. Also, I realize some days he's just not 'in the mood' for a particular food. I have yet to give up on a food altogether if he's not in the mood though... we always come back to it.
Now onto the topic for today. I have realized that kids love ANYTHING Fry-ish looking. I have deduced that it is probably related to a dexterity issue because they are easier to grab, and hold onto. When Noah was really little and just learning to eat, cooked green beans were the easiest food for him to eat. It seems like if they can get a good grip, and aim for their mouths it will eventually end up in there. Fry shaped foods are much easier I have noticed, compared to something small like peas, or beans which take pretty advanced dexterity skills to pick up and accurately place into their mouths.
Now I realize that REAL fries are yummy and salty and fatty and delicious..... THOSE reasons are the main reasons why kids like them I'm sure, but I also think part of it really is that they can hold them easily. No my kid has not had a real fry yet, if you're wondering. But he has had a TON of 'Veggie Fries'. See below some of the veggie 'fry' like foods we have tried.
The picture above is from tonight when we tried raw asparagus for the first time. I was wondering if it would go along w/ my 'fry theory'.... IT DID! I NEVER would have guessed that my little guy would actually LIKE raw asparagus, let along be able to eat it with only 6 teeth, but he did.. and he loved it. He ate his asparagus and green beans interchangeably, double fisting and eating away. Be still my happy little heart haha. The small bottom right picture in the collage is of Noah eating broccoli this week... apparently we like broccoli again, thank goodness haha. Smaller pieces of broccoli and cauliflower make fun little 'veggie trees' FYI. Noah doesn't appreciate that this is cool yet, but I used to work with inner city kids who harvested organic vegetables that they planted from a garden outside of their school. They LOVED the idea of veggies as little 'trees', try it on your kids... see what they think.
The above photo is from a couple of weeks ago when Noah was eating Zucchini and cucumber 'fries'. His favorite veggie fry by far are cucumber fries, he has yet to reject them, even on a rough day. I mean really, who doesn't like cucumbers? I usually cut the skin off, but after seeing him chow down on raw asparagus tonight, I guess I don't need to anymore?
Other foods that I think would be great to try making into veggies fries for your little ones (if they have enough teeth) would be: carrots, summer squash, okra, sweet potatoes (the obvious one), bell peppers, & jicama. I can't forget to mention that an additional 'healthy fry' option would of course include the fruit version 'fry' made out of an: apple, pear, peach, orange, or tangerine.
Now meet: Sally the Steamer
I had planned on steaming veggies for Noahs' lunches anyways, so I went ahead and steamed the rest of the asparagus. It's just not worth it for him to choke. Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE my steamer? Blogger world, meet Sally the Steamer, I love her. She does a GREAT job! This was definitely the very best $30.00 I have ever spent (though I think it actually might have been a wedding gift haha). We didn't get to use it for a long time because it was packed away in our tiny little apartment after we got married. But once we moved into a house, my husband pulled it out one night and we have never put it back. Did you know that an affordable way to always have FRESH-er veggies in your house is to buy FROZEN veggies? Yes frozen, they are harvested at their peak of ripeness and flash frozen so they don't spend 4-6 weeks trying to get to where they are going, losing their nutrients along the way. Think about how long it takes for a veggie to get from another country to the U.S. hmmmm......??? If you can get Organic frozen veggies for a reasonable price, double yay!! Check the drier every day for 2 weeks for loose change/bills, and SCORE you could probably afford this beauty. If you are a busy working momma like me, all you have to do is fill Sally up with water then veggies when you get home from work, turn the timer on for 15-20 minutes, go change your clothes, change a diaper, and Voila! Veggies are done!! It really is that easy! And her clean up is super easy too... I just love her. This brand is an Oster.
Now, back to finger foods... I just figured out my little man LOVES meat balls. Well... only if they are heated for exactly 20 seconds haha, but he does love them! They are perfectly sized for his little hands, AND they really do fill him up. I seriously don't know why I didn't think of this sooner. Since he can't have eggs, all I did was take some fresh ground beef, roll it in a ball, put a little bit of seasoning on them and throw them in the oven. So. incredibly. simple! I plan on making these with Turkey, and Chicken and just adding them to my usual Sunday meal prep list. You should try them too!
Before I found out Noah was allergic to eggs we also tried these gems.. Veggie egg muffins.
They were yummy, they were delicious, they were easy to make, and they were healthier than most breakfast foods. I'm sad my son can't have eggs, but hopefully he will grow out of his food allergy. And of course he does always have my beloved veggie muffins, which are super easy for him to eat as well.
Recipes and MORE: I think I have stated more than once that I'm not necessarily the best cook, I do try, I do. This lady though, man she likes to cook, AND she has a whole blog on toddler finger foods WITH recipes and grocery lists - wohoo! Most of the recipes include eggs which is why I didn't feature them, but feel free to give them a try and let us know if you liked them!! I plan on trying a few for sure.
If you can think of any other foods that are healthy and easy for toddlers to eat, share away! I'd love to hear what has worked for you guys!!!
Hope ya'll have a wonderful rest of your week, and fabulous weekend!!
Love & Blessings,
The Veggie Momma
P.S. not a SINGLE patient of mine told me they didn't like veggies today. Ahhhh, it is the little things in life, my heart is happy :)