Toddler Meal Ideas

Meal Ideas Toddlers

I’m NOT an expert when it comes to making toddler meals, but I am two kids in and working on eating with #3. What we feed our children has come a long way from the 80’s when frozen chicken nuggets, mac n cheese, and applesauce were king. A lot of this change is simply from the passing of time which hopefully brings knowledge…the idea of when we know better, we do better. It’s also from folks obsession with taking pictures of food and placing it on social media. And partly from the “real food” revolution (paleo, whole30, etc.). Now I won’t pretend to be a person who has ever done whole30, and my kids get churros at Costco….but day in and day out we find balance with meals like these below. So if you are in a rut of PB&J and a fruit cup, here are some simple breakfast and lunch ideas from an average mom doing the best she can! 

BREAKFAST

I think it’s important to always have some good protein at breakfast time. We traditionally think meat, but protein is found in cottage cheese, greek yogurt, and eggs too! Costco has great prices on organic greek yogurt, organic eggs & organic raw honey. And the Kirkland brand organic maple syrup is AMAZING. I didn’t put cereal among my ideas, but I do let them have it on Thursdays. They don’t go to preschool on Thursdays so I don’t have to worry about them getting hungry and bugging their teachers at 9:00am. They bug me for a snack instead :)

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Cottage Cheese | Banana Muffin | Clementines 

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Plain Oatmeal (sweetened with honey) | Applegate Sausage | Blueberries and Clementines 

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Whole Wheat Waffle | Scrambled Eggs | Cheddar Cheese

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Plain Oatmeal (sweetened with honey) | Pears | Homemade Granola

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Cottage Cheese on Toast | Scrambled Eggs | Clementines

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Plain Greek Yogurt with Granola & Blueberries | Whole Wheat Waffle with Real Maple Syrup

…..

LUNCH

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Deli Everroast Chicken | Cheese Slice | Pears | Green Beans | Sweet Potatoes

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Chicken & Cheese Quesadilla Rolls | Veggie Straws | Blueberries

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Chicken & Cheese Quesadillas | Berry Medley | Veggie Straws

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Veggie Muffins | Grapes | Cucumber Sandwiches (with hummus)

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Grilled Ham & Cheese | Apples | Avocado

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Gorton’s Panko Fish Sticks | Apple Sauce | String Cheese | Carrots

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PB&J Squares | Avocado | Veggie Straws

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Veggie Muffin | Cheese Squares | Grapes | Raisins 

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Deli Turkey | Raspberries | String Cheese | Avocado

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Grilled Chicken and Cheese | Apples | Hummus & Shredded Carrots

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Ham Rolls | Veggie Muffin | Cheese Slices | Hummus & Peas

…..

My kids LOVE hummus so I like to mix in all kinds of veggies. They also like dipping carrots and cucumbers in hummus. Costco has some yummy veggie muffins if you aren’t up for making your own. They are in the refrigerated section. We also eat a lot of dinner leftovers for lunch. The plates and bowls are from IKEA. We have two sets and use them constantly! 

So what are your go to breakfast and lunch ideas? Do you find yourself in a rut? Try mixing things up a little bit!

Happy New Year & Ham Sliders

ham and cheese sliders

Happy New Year! How is 2018 treating you so far? We kicked it off (London style) with 14 other families and about 25 kids under 5. It was our 3rd Annual New Year’s in London Party. It always starts about 4:00 and we toast New Year’s with our friends in London at 7:00 our time. Yall I feel like it is one of my best ideas. It is always so much fun, a little crazy, and we are in our PJs by 8:30. That is my kind of party! I’ll do a post about it one day.

I realize I haven’t posted in about 3 months and I’m sorry. I feel like I am constantly catching up on this little blog now that I am wrangling three kids. I have managed to get about an hour when everyone is napping/resting but it seems to get filled up with cleaning, dinner prepping, bible study and episodes of the Crown (please tell me you are watching too!). I do take lot of pictures and always have good intentions to share with you. I can promise I’ll be back to share about Poppy this week. Here is our Christmas card picture. The kids are growing so fast!

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Poppy was SIX months old on Sunday. How can it be? She is such a JOY and we are soaking up all of our days with her and her brother and sister!

So for our New Year’s party we knew we had lots of mouths to feed both big and small. We settled on making Ham and Cheese sliders. They are a regular menu item around here and are always delicious. Plus they are easy to make and can feed a crowd. I first found the recipe in a Better Homes & Gardens recipe edition at my mother in laws and have only tweaked it slightly to make it our own. 

You will need King’s Hawaiian Rolls (everything tastes good on those!), sliced ham, white american cheese and Laughing Cow’s garlic and herb soft cheese spread. Spray a baking dish or pan with non-stick spray of some kind and then layer in this order…bottom of the Hawaiian rolls, sliced ham, white american cheese. Then spread the garlic and herb spread on the top of the rolls before placing them on the slider.

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Then poured over the top is melted butter, Dijon mustard, garlic & parsley. You can add more or less of these ingredients depending on your liking of each. For 12 sliders I use 4 tbsp of butter melted, 1tsp of chopped parsley, 1 tbsp minced garlic and 1 tbsp of Dijon mustard. Mix it together and pour over the top. 

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Finally, cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Then uncover and bake for another 5 minutes. These are incredible, however if you are 4 or under like the little ones in our house, you might prefer just melted butter on top of yours! 

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Ham & Cheese Sliders
Yields 12
Simple. Quick. Delicious Ham and Cheese Sliders on King's Hawaiian Rolls
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. King's Hawaiian Rolls (12 count)
  2. 5 slices of deli Ham
  3. 4 slices of White American Cheese
  4. Laughing Cow Garlic & Herb Cheese Spread
  5. 4tbsp melted butter
  6. 1 tbsp minced garlic
  7. 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  8. 1 tsp parsley
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a baking dish or pan with non-stick cooking spray. Slice the Hawaiian rolls and lay the bottoms in the dish.
  3. Then layer ham and American cheese.
  4. Spread the garlic and herb cheese on the inside of the roll tops and place on the sliders.
  5. In a small dish mix melted butter, garlic, parsley, and Dijon mustard. Pour over the top and cover with aluminum foil.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5 minutes.
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Recipe
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Recipe
A Step In The Journey http://astepinthejourney.com/
Another great recipe with these Hawaiian rolls are these hamburger sliders you can bake in the oven. I also love using them for meatball sliders. You can’t go wrong! See you in a few days for a Poppy update!

DIY Fluffy Monster Slime (that isn’t sticky)

DIY Fluffy Monster Slime

How excited are you that is is OCTOBER?!!?! I would argue that it is one of the best months of the year, especially if that cool fall air has kicked in. Unfortunately, that is not the case here in Georgia. It is a nice balmy 82 degrees, the perfect weather for shorts and a tank top. We are hoping it will cool off my Halloween so we are sweating as we trick or treat this year! But aside from the weather woes, October is here and we are excited! And one thing that has us all super excited is this DIY Fluffy Monster slime. It is awesome, isn’t sticky, and best of all, will entertain your little ones for HOURS! 

I have to thank my friend Caroline for sharing the recipe with me…I’d seen her girls playing with is on her Instastories feed and I knew we needed the recipe in our house PRONTO. Chickadee has been playing with it for days and it even pulled Sprout away from his trains for a little bit, which is quite the victory! We happened to have all the ingredients on hand, but if you don’t I bet your neighbor can help you out. Here is the step by step picture tutorial. I’ll leave the recipe at the bottom if you want to print it off and see everything at once. 

First, you will need…

1 tbsp Borax, 1 cup of warm water, 8oz (2 cups or two regular bottles) of liquid glue, 3.5 – 4 cups of shaving cream, 1/2 cup water, 2 tbsp contact solution, and food coloring (optional)

fluffy slime ingredients

1. In a bowl mix together 1 tbsp of Borax with 1 cup of warm water. Stir until the Borax dissolves and your mixture turns clear again.

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2. In a SEPARATE bowl, mix together 1 cup of Elmer’s glue, 1/2 cup of water, and 3.5 – 4 cups of shaving cream. Stir with a spatula until well combined. 

DIY Fluffy Slime 3

DIY Fluffy Slime 4

3. Then stir in the contact solution to the white fluffy mixtures.

Now is a good time to add in your food coloring (you can also however add it at the end and knead it into the fluffy slime after it comes together). If you are making green you can mix a few drops of blue and a few drops of yellow)

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4. Now for the Borax solution. This is what makes our slime NOT STICKY!! While stirring slowly add the Borax solution 1 tablespoon at a time. The slime will begin to pull away from the edges of the bowl. When it begins to form a ball that isn’t sticking to the bowl you’ve added enough (it took me about 4 tablespoons)

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DIY White Fluffy Slime

5. If you didn’t add the food coloring already, you can add it now. Just knead it into the fluffy slime until it is mixed together well. You will want to wear gloves or be prepared to have green fingers for a few days!

After your kids play for HOURS! you will want to store the slime in an air tight container or a ziplock bag. It will last quite a while and give your days of entertainment. Click the recipe below if you would like to print the DIY Fluffy Slime directions for later crafting!

DIY Fluffy Slime
Easy DIY Fluffy Slime that isn't sticky!!
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Total Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 tbsp Borax
  2. 1 cup Warm Water
  3. 1 cup Liquid Glue (2 bottles or 8oz)
  4. 3-4 cups of Shaving Cream
  5. 2 tbsp Contact Solution
  6. Food Coloring (optional)
Instructions
  1. 1. In a bowl mix together Borax and 1 cup warm water until dissolved and water is clear
  2. 2. In a separate bowl mix together glue, 1/2 cup water, shaving cream, and contact solution until well combined
  3. 3. Mix in Borax solution ONE tablespoon at a time until slime pulls away from the bowl and forms a blob (3-4 tablespoons)
  4. 4. If you want to dye your slime knead in several drops of food coloring (to make green use 4 drops of blue and 3 drops of yellow)
Notes
  1. Make sure you wear gloves and word on a cutting board, bowl, or parchment paper if adding food coloring. It will dye your hands and could stain your counters until it thoroughly mixed in! Then you should be good to go!
A Step In The Journey http://astepinthejourney.com/

 

Enjoy your hours of fun!! or should I say freedom :)

Stuffed Taco Bell Peppers

Delicious Taco Stuffed Bell Peppers

Yall, I cooked dinner! And it had more than two ingredients (unlike this 2 ingredient pizza dough)…I’m a little proud of myself. We are definitely settling in to life as a family of 5. Last week was the final week we had friends bringing us dinner and it’s back to the real world. We are beyond grateful for almost two months worth of 2-3 meals a week from our amazing friends! They are very talented cooks. And I will be sharing some of their recipes with you soon. 

Poppy is still sleeping through the night like a champ (most nights) and loves being along for the ride as we are in and out with her big brother and sister! Today she visited the library and duck pond for the first time before picking Chickadee up from preschool. The quacking brought a smile to her face. Chickadee and Sprout have both had a fantastic start to their school year, and we are all settling into our new normal. We are loving every moment!

Bell Pepper Recipes

If you follow me on Instagram (@astepinthejourney) you might have seen our most recent garden goodies in the Instastories. Our bell peppers rocked it this year and there were about 6 of them ripe all at the same time. So working with what we had in the freezer and pantry I whipped up these stuffed taco bell peppers during nap time, and they even have a little quinoa to make you feel really good about yourself!

Sliced Peppers

Suffed Peppers Mix

Stuffed Bell Peppers with Quinoa

Stuffed Taco Bell Peppers
Yields 8
Simple and delicious stuffed taco bell peppers with quinoa!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 Bell Peppers, halved and de-seeded (is that a word?)
  2. 1 Bell Pepper, chopped
  3. 1lb lean hamburger meat
  4. 1/2 onion, chopped
  5. 2 tbsp homemade taco seasoning (link below!)
  6. 1/2 cup salsa
  7. 1/2 cooked quinoa
  8. 1 can black beans (drained)
  9. 1 can of corn (drained)
  10. 8 oz. bag of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  11. Olive OIl
Instructions
  1. In a skillet cook hamburger meat, chopped onions, and the one pepper you chopped. When the hamburger meat is cooked, drain the grease. Then add 2 tbsp of taco seasoning, salsa and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low. Simmer for about 10 minutes then set aside to cool
  2. Cook quinoa according to package instructions
  3. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray and lay out your halved peppers
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the seasoned hamburger meat, cooked quinoa, black beans, corn & about 1/2 a cup of cheddar cheese.
  5. Fill your pepper halves with the mixture and place in the oven for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes pull out and top with the remaining cheddar cheese. Cook for another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted!
A Step In The Journey http://astepinthejourney.com/
Bell Pepper Recipe

 These turned out really great, & while my kids weren’t feeling the stuffed pepper itself, they ate the filling right up! If you haven’t saved it before, here is a link to my homemade taco seasoning. I use it ALL THE TIME for Mexican/taco recipes. It’s great on ground turkey, ground beef, and chicken and since it’s homemade I know exactly what is in it. 

I hope everyone’s week is off to a great start. We ate a casserole I had frozen tonight, but I have big plans to cook again tomorrow. Everyone send your prayers!

2 Ingredient Clean Pizza Dough

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Yes, we are alive, and yes I am back to blogging today because Poppy slept 7.5 hours last night!! 7 is her lucky number…born 7/7/17, weighed 7 pounds flat, is 7.5 weeks old, and just slept 7.5 hours. We are all feeling a little more rested. She is just the sweetest addition to our family, and we are soaking in all of her “littleness!”

So while I am well rested enough to blog, I’m not well rested enough to cook a gourmet meal, and that is why today I am here to tell you my favorite new recipe that a friend in our neighborhood recently shared. TWO ingredient pizza dough. Yes, I said TWO! Self Rising Flour and Organic Greek Yogurt. Seriously, that’s it. III was VERY skeptical of this pizza making route, but after using this recipe to make the pizza for our weekly “pizza and a movie” Friday nights. He was sold. And I think you will be too!

I will share a recipe card with you, but seriously you probably won’t knead it (get the pun :)! )

Two Ingredient Pizza Dough

1 cup of plain organic Greek yogurt | 1.5 cups of self rising flour

THAT.IS.IT

Mix it together using a hand mixer. It will start to ball up, keep going a little longer and then use your hands to knead it all together! And that is it. It doesn’t have to rise…it’s ready to go! I can’t believe how good it is!

Pizza dough

To roll out the dough, sprinkle some flour on both the counter and a little more on your dough ball. This recipe will make enough dough to make a round pizza the size of a pizza stone or cover a rectangle baking sheet, roughly 12 x 17 inches. After rolling out the dough, bake 2-3 minutes on 450 degrees to give the center a head start. Then fix it up however you like. We usually brush on a little EVOO, sprinkle on an Italian herb blend, then pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and pepperonis. Bake at 450 for another 10-12 minutes until the toppings are warm and the crust starts to brown! 

2 ingredient pizza dough

And enjoy! The kids like rolling out their own mini pizzas (which is why the shape of these is a little wonky!). Then we make another “kid hands” free one for us! 

TWO Ingredient Pizza Dough
Yields 1
Simple, delicious, and quick two ingredient pizza dough
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
12 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
12 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup Plain Organic Greek Yogurt
  2. 1.5 cups of self rising flour
  3. Pizza Toppings
Instructions
  1. Mix 1 cup of yogurt and 1 cup flour in a bowl with a stand or hand mixer until well combined, scraping down the bowl as needed. Knead on medium for about 3-5 minutes slowly adding the rest of the flour until dough comes together.
  2. Sprinkle a clean counter top with flour and remove dough from bowl. Knead a few turns until dough is tacky, but not sticky.
  3. Roll out and bake at 450 degrees for 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle on Italian herbs, add pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and desired toppings. Bake for another 10-12 minutes until dough crisps and the edges start to brown.
A Step In The Journey http://astepinthejourney.com/

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