Monday, August 6, 2012

Menu Monday: Freezer Meals for a Toddler

      Everyone knows that I love to cook and I particularly love trying new recipes, but sometimes those recipes aren't exactly appropriate dinners for Owen and I am left scrambling to find something for him to eat. And lunchtime is a hassle as well because Owen flat refuses to eat leftovers most days and I am afraid he is about to turn into a peanut butter sandwich if he eats one more. And while sometimes I can get Owen to eat whatever meat we're eating for dinner and sometimes a starchy side, he's not interested in eating most vegetables. So after searching Pinterest for some ideas and inspiration, I decided to make some freezer friendly recipes that I can feed Owen on nights when he refuses what we're eating or to switch up our normal morning breakfast routine of either oatmeal or scrambled eggs with sausage. Surprisingly, I had trouble finding meals that I thought were healthy or included vegetables (the more hidden, the better). This pin below had the best ideas for types of things to freeze, but most of the recipes just seemed so unhealthy, featuring mainly meat and carbs. So I decided to search my favorite cooking blog, Skinny Taste, and find some things that I could make and freeze for the kiddo. And since I'm only cooking two nights this week before going to Georgia for a friend's wedding, I decided that Tim and I will be grilling and eating a bunch of vegetables so that I can focus on making and storing these meals for Owen. 
     I found a lot of my recipes on Skinny Taste, but I have decided to adapt a few of them to make them more suitable for Owen and to add some extra vegetables. I am making breakfast meals and lunch/dinner meals. 


Chocolate chip banana bread muffins.
This recipe looks really yummy and I'm hoping that by introducing Owen to banana flavor in foods, that one day he'll be able to eat a banana. It's not the healthiest recipe I've included, but breads typically freeze well and I know I won't have to fight Owen to eat this meal. Add some fresh fruit and he's got a great breakfast. 
I make scrambled eggs for Owen pretty often, but it gets tiring dirtying up a pan every morning with eggs and it would be great to just pull something out of the fridge and heat it up. Owen had eaten quiche before (Sausage and Kale quiche) and liked it, so I have high hopes for these mini quiches with broccoli. Broccoli is one of the vegetables that we have been unable to get Owen to eat most of the time. I'm hoping if I add some turkey sausage to these mini quiches, that he won't even notice the broccoli. 

Owen loves smoothies. Anytime we buy one while we're out running errands, he winds up drinking most of it himself. This smoothie is pretty tasty and I've made it before. The reason I picked it is because it contains so much spinach and I'm hoping that Owen will think that its tasty too. I may add some more fruits to it (it already has banana) to see if I can't camouflage the spinach even more. And I have some leftover baggies for freezing baby food purees and I think I can use them to freeze portions of this smoothie for Owen to drink. 


Baked chicken nuggets.
As a family, we love these chicken nuggets. And Owen loves dipping them in sauces and eating them. They are super easy to make and taste so great. When I serve them to him, I can maybe add some sweet potato fries and maybe a little bit of whatever vegetable we might be eating that night. 
Petite BBQ turkey meatloaves.
This is a fabulous meatloaf recipe. I plan to leave off the bacon, but I think little cupcake sized portions will be great for Owen. He ate this recipe happily the other week when I made it for the first time and the best part is that the recipe contains zucchini, red bell peppers, and onion. I love sneaky vegetables. 
 Zucchini tots.
I have never tried this recipe, but it looks like a great side dish for Owen. It's almost like a little zucchini and cheese quiche, but Gina from Skinny Taste serves them as a side dish.  

Pasta with very veggie sauce.
This recipe packs in tons of vegetables and then purees them so that your baby is none the wiser. I think this will be a fun recipe and I love the tiny star pasta. Owen has been kind-of weird about the texture of pasta, so I'm hoping that the smaller pasta will help with this. This recipe is made on the stove-top so it will help me make this while one of the other recipes is baking in the oven. 
 Taco muffins. 
This is a recipe from Kraft Foods. I will make them as mild as possible for Owen and that way, when we're eating Mexican (which I tend to make pretty spicy the way we like it ) Owen can have these with whatever side dishes we're having with our meal. They don't have tons of vegetables in them, but I thought I could add some black beans to the meat too for some fiber.

Anyway, here is my method for making all these recipes in one day. We'll see how it goes.

Brown ground beef with taco seasoning.
Chop and shred vegetables. 
  • zucchini (3 recipes)
  • red bell pepper (2 recipes)
  • tomatoes
  • carrot
  • onion (2 recipes)
  • broccoli

Prepare banana bread muffins and bake at 325 F.
Set aside to cool and turn oven up to 350 F.
Make mini omelets.
While omelets are baking, make smoothies.
Then mix together meatloaf mixture.
Bake meatloaf and bread chicken nuggets. 
Turn oven up to 425 F.

Make chicken bites.
While those are baking, make pasta on stove.
Set aside chicken bites to cool and turn oven down to 400 F.
Make zucchini tots and taco cupcakes and bake at the same time.

1 comment:

  1. I love that website! So many awesome ideas there!