Cooking is something I swore off before I even got married. Pre-baby I also put my foot down and said that of COURSE our little one would just eat the same foods we eat. Well turns out that I didn’t realize that there would be a long period in her life where she couldn’t use utensils, didn’t have enough teeth to chew hard foods, refused to be spoon-fed and had a bed time before our regular dinner time. Another source of stress is figuring out what she’s going to eat when she’s being watched by a nanny or babysitter.
Being a lazy mom, I’ve figured out some super easy ways to keep her fed and regularly eating healthy foods.
Before we get into the actual foods, here are a few tips:
Leftovers: Whenever you can, make extra dinner for you and save it for your kiddo’s lunch tomorrow. Sometimes you can squeeze out a few more days of meals this way
Batch and freeze: About once a month I devote a few hours to batch cooking some things to have on-hand. They’re always a great fallback to have in the freezer.
Pre-prepared Veggies: Sure, fresh and organic is always best, but it’s a lifesaver to have some frozen or canned vegetables on hand for some of those jam-packed weeks where you barely remember to feed yourself.
Here is what we routinely use in our house:
Straight from the package, it’s a shocking hit. We add a little bit of salt for flavor.
Pre-made and packaged. Done.
Buy boneless, skinless chicken breast, brine in 1/8 cup salt + 2 cups water in a ziplock freezer bag for 20 minutes while oven is heating up (totally optional), coat with a bit of olive oil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Put it in the fridge reheat for meals over the next 3-4 days.
Turkey meatloaf bites
I use a recipe from a baby food cookbook, make a double batch and freeze these. Choose your own favorite meat-based recipe and get on it. This does take some pre-planning and work to accomplish this, but I only do it about once a month. Everything in moderation.
Veggies & Fruits:
Raspberries, blueberries, bananas
No brainers. We keep these 3 stocked in our house every week. Just wash or peel and serve.
Steam fresh veggies
This lazy mom buys green beans and broccoli pre-cut and pre-washed in a nice package, then steams for 12 minutes. Add a bit of lemon juice, salt and optional lemon-peper seasoning.
Duh! It took me a while to catch on to this, but canned peas, cut green beans and chick peas are cans we always keep on hand in our house.
Dr Praeger’s frozen spinach cakes
Pick em up at whole foods. They’re surprisingly healthy for a pre-prepared frozen option.
The Veggie Patty
Another batch cook and freeze option. This option does take a bit of time. You can take almost any vegetable (zucchini, carrots, spinach and broccoli are our favorites), shred it, combine with egg and bread crumbs (or panko), ball up into spoon sized bites and fry up with a bit of coconut oil. Freeze. You are super mom. Bonus options: Throw in pureed veggie baby foods that you’re not going to use anymore.
Whole wheat bread
The fancy kind with lots of grains. You can just hand over a piece straight up and they’ll be in heaven. Or toast and add a bit of butter or peanut butter, if you’re in the mood to clean up a big mess
Whole wheat penne with a little bit of store-bought pesto on it works wonders