I have no idea what to prepare for my 15 month old and I for lunch. Every week I labor over it when planning groceries. I finally come up with something, and guaranteed DD either won't eat it, or I never get around to cooking it, and it all goes to waste. I like for our meals to be pretty regular (i.e. the same one or two things each week, with some variations), but I just haven't come up with a basic lunch idea that works for us. Everyone always says "Oh, she just eats whatever I eat," but I have no idea what to eat myself! DD doesn't like bread, so sandwiches are out. She does like soups, but I'd love to have something that doesn't require so much cooking, especially in summer. DD only has 2 teeth and is not motivated enough about food to work hard chewing things. She also hates anything with a granular texture, like meat, and spits out any part of the food that doesn't squish, like blueberry or bean skins. She's good with a fork and spoon. Oh, and she generally has noodles for supper, so those are out, too. Any ideas? Anything healthy and easy to make that your toddler really likes?
What's for lunch???
Just have a sec...same boat here...my LO (also 15 months) loves split pea soup. It is super easy to make from scratch. Just buy a bag of dried split peas. Our LO still nurses for a lot of his nutrition and I share your feelings about meals. We put whatever we are eating on his tray (tonight it was ravioli, pizza, salad, corn and cantaloupe). He ate a few bites of corn, some cantaloupe, and one bite of pasta. Will write more another time.
ETA p.s.: There is a super snack thread somewhere on MDC with something like 250+ posts. Check it out.
most days for lunch we usually have quesadillas (i make a mixture of refried beans, black beans, and sometimes rice and corn which lasts about a week, you can do cheese too).. super easy-- put whatever you want on a flour or corn tortilla and bake in the oven on 350 for about 10 min's, or toaster oven on toast (what I do) until they start to get crispy. We have sour cream, salsa, and guacamole for dipping. On the side we have some kind of fruit (usually pears, peaches, or grapes). If we are extra hungry-- veggies and hummus.
other days we have your standard PB&J (with almond butter and local fruit preserves or bananas instead or honey..) with fruit on the side. If she doesn't like bread, you could make a nut-butter/banana sandwich by cutting a banana in half and then slicing them the other way and putting the nut-butter in between the slices.
what about yogurt? or smoothies?
Aw - I feel your pain :)
I make my DS (18 mo) a green smoothie for dinner EVERY night (sheesh) but he downs it and it's healthy, so whatever, right?! I am afraid he'll tire of it (we've been having green smoothies for dinner since 10-11 months...) Anyway, here's the recipe:
1 leaf of kale
1/2 cup spinach
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup frozen mango
2 bananas (frozen or fresh) I use one of each...
1 cup almond milk (or cow, rice, coconut...)
I use a high powered blender (vitamix) BEST PURCHASE EVER, but it blends everything - no lumps, no bits of green stuff!
just play with the amounts of ingredients until you like it - the way I make it, you can't taste anything "green" - it's just sweet :)
my dd will eat cut up fruit, rice, chicken, veggies, hummus, and peanut butter.
She also likes crackers and cream cheese.
yogurt and bananas are also favorites.
Lentil soup is easy to make and freezes well and she adores that (me too!).
Deviled eggs were a new find last week as is potato salad. She was over the moon, almost ate the whole bowl.
Tuna salad with crackers.
I might also serve DD pasta twice in a day if I had left overs...she ALWAYS has noodles for dinner? Doesn't she get bored? Mine changes what she likes every few days...it's be nothing but scrambled eggs for a week and then suddenly she wants nothing to do with them. I have gotten to the point where I avoid the switch by switching pre-emptively.
Quinoa -- add in whatever veggies she likes, frozen peas are one good option -- add sauce or dressing, I usually make my own dressing in a mini-blender but you could just throw in a jar of dressing if it's easier
Casseroles... shepherd's pie... lasagna... etc. Again, just make a big batch on the weekend and refrigerate or freeze individual portions to heat up each day.
Tacos with refried beans, avocado, tomatoes...
Mostly we just eat leftovers for lunches though -- whatever we had for dinner the night before, so I just focus on having variety at dinner.
My little one loves raisin toast these days, so I give her strips of that. I try to chop up fruits and veggies for her every meal. She likes to dip things so she's had whole grain crackers and hummus a lot lately. Quesadillas are easy and versatile. With soups, you can make a batch and then freeze it in smaller portions, since most will freeze very well.
1 lb broccoli florets
1 russet potato, cut in cubes
4 cups vegetable stock
Boil stock, then add broccoli and potato. Reduce heat and simmer for 12-15 min (until you can poke both with a fork.). Blend until smooth.
My son and I eat this over brown rice a couple of times a week. Yes, making a big batch of soup and freezing it is a good idea!
Meals are hard for us too since we can't have dairy and DS is becoming picky with vegetables. Other favorites are: sweet potato fries, peas, any kind of bean, hummus, tortilla chips, avocado, any fruit, green smoothies, salmon or chicken with rice, avocado sushi rolls, pancakes ( you can put anything in a pancake!)...
Good luck! Mmmm, now I'm hungry...