View Full Version : Help! Need to make toddler meals to impress MIL!

11-20-2003, 07:03 PM
If you've read my post on the Baby Bitching Forum you know that my MIL has invited herself over for Christmas.

Last time I saw her she went on and on about how the food I was giving Amy wasn't healthy. Of course I was dealing with a 2 year-old who was a very picky eater and out of her own home/bed/time zone to boot! But I REALLY don't want to be given the lecture again.

Amy eats okay, but her menus include a lot of stuff like chicken fingers and mac & cheese. Breakfast is fresh fruit and Cheerios (I think that's okay) and I try to sneak in a yogurt and (hopefully) one serving of veggies each day too.

Any ideas for something I can try on her in the next month that is seemingly healthy and yet that she might like?

And keep in mind, this is a woman who raised DH on carbs, sugar and more carbs. She didn't even TRY to BF. This 'health nut' thing is VERY recent.

Jen in Okinawa
11-20-2003, 09:53 PM
Here are a couple of really healthy things that my DD likes:
Soybeans (frozen food section, easy to prepare)
Tofu (chopped into small cubes and warmed in a skillet)
Whole wheat bread
Red, orange, or yellow bell peppers

I think that what you are giving her sounds pretty par for the course and I admire your restraint with your MIL, the things we do to keep the peace!

Jen in Okinawa

11-21-2003, 12:04 AM
How about tofu hotdogs, beans and rice, quesadillas, or fish sticks (I get the ones at the health food store that have no hydrogenated oil, Dr. Praeger's, I think?) Or you could make mini ravioli and mix that with some olive oil and maybe one veggie that your daughter will eat. For lunch, my older son usually has almond butter & jelly on whole grain bread - are you doing nuts yet? Turkey bacon? Just brainstorming...

And if she gives you a hard time about the mac and cheese and chicken fingers that we ALL resort to, you can matter of factly say that children need much more fat than we do for their brain to develop properly. She can't argue with that, can she?

Good luck!

11-21-2003, 10:55 AM
Thanks for the suggestions! When we went to visit her last March I asked her to buy certain foods for Amy at the supermarket. She saw chicken fingers and bought this bizarre kind because she said it had the lowest fat. Well the breading was disgusting and Amy just didn't want to eat it. I asked her to buy some Dannon La Creme yogurt and she bought some non-fat stuff that was too tart and Amy didn't want that either. One of the staple dishes I made was mashed potatoes and to make it better I usually mix in some peas and carrots. I often get canned because it's hard to cook at short notice. She freaked out and went off on how canned has no nutrients and we really should be feeding her raw veggies. Well fine, but until age 3 raw carrots are choking hazards and her appetite for raw veggies changes from day to day.

Amy does actually eat bell peppers and cucumber, but only occasionally. 2 nights ago when she saw my husband eating green pepper she scarfed down two big pieces. Then I offered her some last night and she turned up her nose. Sigh.

I do the mini ravilois all the time and stir in the canned veggies. Maybe I'll pre-make a few of those meals and pretend to the MIL that the veggies were originally fresh... :)

Thanks for the ideas though. I will try some of them!

11-22-2003, 01:07 AM
Oh, for oatmeal, get some frozen blackberries, toss a few in a bowl & microwave for a few seconds to defrost, then mash them and mix in with the oatmeal. DS LOVES his oatmeal like that!!

Does she like sweet potatoes? I have recipe for sweet potatoes & apples that is simple and delicious if you want it. Also, I have a great recipe for carrots simmered in apple juice & cinnamon. Email me if you want the recipes. Oh, how about a recipe for peanut butter noodles (peanut butter, noodles, peas, & a few other things; serve the apple juice carrots on the side and some raw veggies)

Try getting frozen peas & carrots instead of canned. They have not lost a lot of nutrients and are about as easy as canned (just pop in the micro for a few in a dish with a lid). Plus, IMO, they taste better.

Does Amy like stir fry stuff at all? That's an easy thing to make and you just use what you have on hand.

I'll email you if I think of more.

11-22-2003, 10:51 PM
You can try making your own chicken fingers -- I can try to look for my yet unused recipe if you're interested. Also, for mac and cheese, we eat Annie's whole wheat organic and throw in the traditional broc and chicken.

DS is starting to eat more complex foods -- lowfat lasanga with spinach, the solid part of chicken and rice soup (the vegies taste more chicken-y), tofu ravioli (although I haven't found this with whole wheat).

One cookbook I like is WHOLE FOODS FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY. This takes traditional recipes, but makes them using whole grains and sometimes oil (instead of butter).

Sorry I'm not much more help. DS, although a horrible sleeper, eats his vegetables. He does get bored with his food, though, so it's great to see other people's ideas here.

11-23-2003, 01:05 AM
Where do you find the tofu ravioli? And does it have milk products in it at all?

August Mom
11-23-2003, 04:09 PM
Does she like spaghetti or other pasta with marinara sauce? You could puree other veggies like carrot, zucchini, spinach, etc. into the sauce. You could even use whole wheat or spinach pasta if she'll eat that.

DS loves beans, especially black beans. He'll eat a whole bowl of those. You can serve them plain, with rice or in a quesadilla. He also like them in soup. You could do a Minestrone soup with various veggies (could be canned or frozen if you want), small pasta and various beans. That's pretty healthy.

DS also likes rice pilaf. I make one with wild rice, celery and green onion. Then, I toss a little soy sauce with it and chopped spinach. He really likes that one. You could serve it with chicken breast or soy marinated flank/round steak. I also make a more traditional pilaf, cooking converted rice with chicken broth and tossing in sauted celery, onion, carrot and sometimes bell pepper.

For the most part, I try to serve DS what we're eating or at least a component of it. So, if she thinks what you are having is healthy, then you should be fine giving Amy some of it. Good luck.

11-24-2003, 01:07 PM
The ravioli is from a small health food store. I'm not sure about milk products, but I'm going tomorrow so I'll get the brand name and check for you.

11-25-2003, 01:14 PM
The brand is Soy Boy and there are no dairy products.

11-25-2003, 01:14 PM
The brand is Soy Boy and there are no dairy products.

11-25-2003, 01:14 PM
The brand is Soy Boy and there are no dairy products.