Baby and Toddler Meals
This week by request of my followers I am sharing some dairy free ideas. What dietary needs or ingredients would you like me to feature next week? I’d be happy to gear our menu around your goals and experience a toddler menu in your shoes.
Going completely dairy free would be hard for me. I LOVE CHEESE! I know there are dairy free “cheeses” but they are just not the same. During my career working as a Newborn Specialist I worked with one little guy who had several severe food allergies. (Peanuts, dairy, eggs, walnuts, pine nuts…) We had to carry an epi pen with us everywhere we went and we had an emergency plan that I thankfully never needed to implement. He did have 2 serious episodes when his family had to call 911 due to exposure to dairy. Now he is almost 4 years old and he has outgrown most of the allergies.
Through my time working with this baby I had to start thinking differently about food ideas. Sometimes he would have breakfast for lunch or we would create unusual sandwiches and snack ideas. I hope you enjoy these ideas!
almond milk soaked odwalla bar
To make this snack easier (and safer) for Baby Babe to eat I soaked it in almond milk and made sure none of the pieces contained a chunk of walnut.
salami, avocado and hummus on pita bread with roasted zucchini
Here’s one of those out of the box sandwich ideas that I learned to whip up for the little one with allergies. I have found that sandwiches for babies and toddlers are easier to serve if they have something creamy to soften the bread. I love mixing hummus (protein) with avocado (healthy fats) and using that mush as a layer in a sandwich. I do watch how often I serve salami and other deli meats due to sodium intake. I just think about her diet the way I do my own, some things are OK in moderation! At the beginning of the week I roasted some zucchini in olive oil and garlic so we could add it to any lunches that needed a veggie. I love roasted zucc!
green curry coconut chicken, basmati rice and steamed broccoli
This was my favorite meal of the week! We had an extra busy week and Daddy had to work in the evenings so I needed some very quick dinners. I sautéed some chicken tenders in a tiny bit of sesame oil, steamed the broccoli and added a 90 second bag (microwavable) of rice. This two ingredient sauce is so simple and delicious! It’s nice to have something creamy when you’re eating dairy free. For our meal I tossed the broccoli and chicken with the sauce and served over rice. I find the Thai Kitchen green curry paste to be very mild and flavorful.
Green Curry Coconut Sauce:
- One can of coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons of green curry paste
Whisk ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes until it thickens slightly. It’s that easy!
mashed banana mixed with apple butter
served on diary free mini pita bread for lunch
Not Dairy Free
Here are some more meals we shared throughout the week that included dairy.
This is SUCH a budget friendly recipe! Onions and beef stock are inexpensive and can be kept in the pantry as a “back up” meal. Homemade French bread and Swiss cheese (instead of gruyere) makes it even more affordable! Baby Babe really liked this dinner, but just in case I gave her some gas drops that night! 😉
marbled stuffed potato with stuffed roasted mushrooms
This is a good way to sneak in extra veggies if you have a picky eater! The sweet potatoes mixed in this recipe give it a colorful look. Crispy stuffed mushrooms are a fun way to change up a veggie side and you can make them with whatever you have on hand. I start with a stuffing of panko bread crumbs, cheese and something to bind it together like sour cream, mayo or even ranch dressing. You can add minced red bell pepper, sundried tomatoes, diced green onions or artichoke hearts…. really whatever you’re in the mood for or whatever you have in he kitchen!
homemade veggie pizza
We make homemade pizza every Friday night. Our bread machine does the dirty work and we have found our favorite dough recipe and just stuck with it for years! We used the leftover veggies in our fridge this week: tomatoes from the garden, broccoli, mushrooms, artichoke hearts and oregano. Mmmm now I’m hungry! Is it Friday yet?
Are there any ingredients or certain meals that you would like me to focus on? Let me know (in the comments below) and I would love to feature the topics that you’re interested in! Happy Monday everyone! It’s been a rough week around here, we have been rounding out the latest ear infection, coping with a new cold (what is that #4 or 5 for the season?!) and…. I have pink eye. 🙁 Ugh, so crummy! We’re getting by though!
Needless to say we had some quick and easy meals and also had to change the menu up a bit do to Baby Babe having a very sore throat. We served soft chilled foods to try to ease the pain when her voice sounded froggy. Her doctor also recommended serving very cold water to try to numb the pain a bit. At least we still had our appetites and enjoyed some yummy, nutritious meals to keep us going. I hope you enjoy these meal ideas! 🙂
cream of wheat and chilled fruit
I forgot about cream of wheat! I needed an oatmeal break but wanted something soft for Baby Babe’s sore throat. Chocolate Malt-O-Meal looked yummy but I didn’t feel good about giving my 10 month old chocolate for breakfast. I grabbed the plain (unflavored) packs of cream of wheat because they had way less sugar than the maple flavored packs. I added my own little dab of maple syrup and served with raspberries. I served the cantaloupe both diced and in the mesh feeder.
scrambled eggs with spinach, tortilla, sliced banana and Gerber Maple Cinnamon ‘lil Crunchies
I always keep a fresh bag of pre-washed spinach in the fridge for adding a quick veggie or splash of color to a meal. This breakfast was looking too yellow so the spinach did the trick! We love the flavor or fresh green spinach as opposed to frozen or canned which can taste a little bitter. Beware, the ‘lil Crunchies will leave a maple scent on your baby’s hands all day! haha!
saturday brunch: french toast, hash browns and bananas
We had a nice little family breakfast to kick off our weekend. Baby Babe loves her hash browns! This recipe is my favorite, the potatoes turn out so golden and crispy- never mushy or burnt!
quick and easy: cheerios in almond milk, canned pear, pumpkin noosa yogurt
breakfast quesadilla with egg, spinach, and cheese, avocado and kiwi
Tortilla is a new food for Baby Babe and she is really enjoying it! I’m glad she’s helping me eat the tortillas because her daddy can’t eat them due to the amount of sodium. I’m pretty sure my kiwi craving during pregnancy has influenced her to love kiwi! She can eat a whole kiwi on her own… probably more if I allowed it!
Lunches and Dinners:
baked tofu, steamed green beans and brown rice
taco night: beef, colby jack, avocado and raspberries
We love the Mrs. Dash seasoning packets that we find at King Sooper’s (haha that’s what the call Kroger around here!) and Super Target. ZERO SODIUM taco seasoning! Awesome!
mac and cheese with peas, pear and sweet potato fries
We have a long tradition of making homemade pizza every Friday night but it’s usually not ready in time for Baby Babe’s dinner at 5:00. She really loved this mac and cheese!
breaded parm chicken, wild rice and roasted butternut squashShare it!
Find great meal ideas for your baby, and the whole family here! Once your baby is eating finger foods, the transition to table food and shared family meals is a breeze. If you’re wondering how to start finger foods, check out my post on Moving Beyond the Mush!
Here are some meals that we have shared this week:
breakfast: oatmeal with dried cranberries and pumpkin yogurt, graham crackers and water
Baby Babe and I both loved our fall time oatmeal this morning. I mixed in a few spoonfuls of Pumpkin Noosa yogurt and the dried cranberries became soft while the oatmeal simmered. I topped my bowl with some toasted pecans.
white chicken chili, hint of salt ritz crackers and applesauce
We had leftovers for lunch from last night’s Creamy Crockpot White Chicken Chili recipe. To make it work with my budget and low sodium diet I used one pound of dried beans and two full boxes of low sodium chicken stock. I also used sodium free chicken bouillon and skipped the seasoning salt. At lunch I soaked the crackers in the chili liquid before serving them to Baby Babe. It was messy but she liked it! The spices are not “hot”, just flavorful.
roll up for lunch
This is a great on the go lunch that we packed for a picnic at the park in between running errands. You can add any of your favorite lunch meats, condiments and veggies. I find it’s easiest to share when I tear the toppings up into small bits. This roll up has mayo (helps make the tortilla a tiny bit soggy in a good way!) cheddar, turkey, spinach and smoked sun dried tomatoes. We also packed strawberries and crackers for our picnic. Simply wrap the roll up in foil and keep in the fridge until it’s time to load your lunch box.
I totally winged this recipe and it came out great! I used store bought pie crust, breakfast sausage, spinach and swiss cheese. Swiss is the lowest sodium cheese so we use it often!
pot roast turns out very tender
My husband made pot roast one night, my favorite beef ever! The carrots, potatoes and onions are soft and juicy. I cut the beef into bite sized pieces. Good thing I’m not a vegetarian anymore because Baby Babe loves to eat meat!
I will be sharing meal ideas weekly so please check back soon!Share it!