Toddler Meals : Eating Out

Eating out at restaurants is not always easy with a toddler. In the beginning when BabyBird was younger (around 18months or so) I would always bring finger foods with me and other things to keep him occupied while we waited for our food. At that time he wasn’t interested in the crayons and the colorable menu most places give their younger patrons to keep them busy. But as we approached his 2nd birthday, he got a lot better at restaurants and eating out. Here are a few of our favorite places:

Chipotle – One of his favorite places. It’s convenient, quick and healthy. He loves standing in line and watching them put his plate together and usually eats most of his tray of food.

chipotle

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Noodles & Company – Loves, loves, loves their Mac & Cheese and usually eats the entire bowl. Best part of Noodles is the causal dining environment. You order at the counter and they bring the food to your table (no tipping required) so you aren’t juggling a toddler and a tray of food at the same time or being waited on by a server.

noodles

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Turley’s – Our local breakfast spot. There’s rarely a long wait for a table, and servers and staff are great with kids. From cutting the straw for their sippy cups (kudos to the waitstaff on this one!) to the fresh and organic food this is one our favorite weekend places. He loves the blueberry pancakes and thankfully he out grew the stage of dipping it in ketchup.

pancakes

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Protos Pizza & Lucky Pie - Local pizza joints. Both places are great with kids and I think it’s almost expected that when you are dining in a restaurant that mainly serves pizza that it will attract kids & family. So although it is a longer wait, you get the added bonus that if your kid acts up nobody’s heads are going to turn because they also have a kid at their table too. Plus their pizzas are delicious and always a hit.

pizza

Toddler Meals – Tip for Picky Eaters

Last night I made a yummy pot of chicken and dumplings soup. Because winter hit hard here in Colorado and it suddenly became 20 degrees. So that calls for soup.

It was bubbling away all afternoon, and I thought surely this would be a hit with everyone, toddler included. What’s not to love? Chicken, carrots, celery and onion in a yummy creamy broth and dumplings. That would be my toddler who only ate a few bites of the soup {but ate everything else on his plate plus an applesauce} so we called it a night and off to bed he went.

I scooped up what was left on his plate and put it away in the fridge. Today for lunch I used his leftovers of the soup as a sauce to go over some pasta noodles. Guess what? He ate the whole plate. Take that, picky eater!

 

Tip: If he doesn’t eat his dinner, no worries. Save it and try again tomorrow for lunch. You might be surprised at the result.

 

 

 

Summer Time Toddler Meals

During the summer it’s so easy to find simple and healthy meal options. Especially with farmer markets and having a lot of fresh and local produce that is easy to find. But it can also be hard to find the time to cook a meal indoors when it’s 100 degrees outside. Here are some of my favorite go to toddler meals.

 

baked herb salmon // buttered curly pasta with roasted broccoli // strawberries // blueberries

The salmon was a so-so hit this time. I think since it was in it’s own compartment he didn’t really touch it, but I think next time I’ll just mix it in with the pasta. The broccoli and fruit are always a hit.

 

avocado // Annie’s shells & cheese with peas // cherries // grapes

Anything with cheese is an automatic hit and he’s always loved peas. Maybe even more than broccoli. Yup, you read that right, my kid loves broccoli. I have a cherry de-pitter and it is a great kitchen gadget to have for the summer. However it does look like you murdered someone in the kitchen sink when you use it. Cherry juice everywhere.

 

Nom nom nom,

 

 

Toddler {organic} Snack Ideas

The in-between meal time where the kiddo needs a quick fuel up. These are my usual go to snacks {minus the obvious things like fresh fruit} that are easy and portable to bring along to playdates and car rides.

 

 Annie’s Bunny Crackers – they come in a variety of flavors, but the best are the cheddar and white cheddar bunnies. Taste is pretty much like a Goldfish Cracker and are the perfect size for little fingers.

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Snapea Crisps Baked Peas in the Pod – found in the salad section of the store, these are super yummy and quite addictive. They are small snap peas that are baked so they come out with a crispy shell and easy and fun to munch on.

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Horizon Organic Colby Cheese Sticks – individually wrapped cheese sticks aka super convenient to grab out of the fridge as you dash out the door and throw into the diaper bag. Just remember to place it next so something cold in the summer months or else you’ll end up with a melted cheese stick. Speaking from experience.

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Cascadian Farm Organic Honey Nut O’s – in other words, Honey Nut Cheerios. A classic. Haven’t you seen those Cherrios and Pampers commercials? Except I did not give these to BabyBird until recently, since they contained a nut flavor and I thought were kind of hard to bite down and eat. {BabyBird does not have molars yet}

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Back to Nature Classic Rounds – otherwise known as Ritz Crackers. Soft, buttery and great with a slice of cheese on top.

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Santa Cruz Organic Apple Sauce – comes in a variety of flavors from apricot to tropical to mix it up a little. This was one of the first soft foods that BabyBird learned to self feed with a spoon. It took a couple of weeks for him to master the spoon work from applesauce cup to mouth but now he’s got it down and gets more in his tummy than his bib.

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Horizon Organic Milk Box – yet again a connivence item. Plus these shelf stable milk boxes are great for lunch boxes or day trips since they do not need to be refrigerated.

There was a recent report out that certain organic foods that contain carrageenan which is a seaweed based stabilizer that is used to thicken and keep dairy-like foods consistent and that don’t separate when sitting on the shelves. It’s been classified as a “possible human carcinogen”. Check out The Cornucopia Institute’s shopping guide on which foods to avoid.