Monday, March 28, 2011

Healthy Alternatives Are Out There!

Last night I was up to all hours of the night...well, 10 at the most *smile* talking to my BFF. We have both hit a stand point when it comes to feeding our toddlers healthy and substantial meals. As any mother knows, it's not easy making sure your child gets a nutritious meal when they only have so many teeth to chew with. Ok, let me restate that. It's not easy to offer a variety of nutritious meals. I mean,would you want to eat the same thing over and over just because that was all you could chew?

Ok. So, I did a little bit of research and alas...I have found some alternatives. Excuse me while I do my happy dance!!

I'm so excited because my girls will be eating nutritious and different meals. Some I would have never thought of...but they are simple!!!

Tofu Nuggets
1 package firm tofu - 1/4 cup flour (more or less)
1 egg equivalent (2 whites or your favorite sub)
1 cup fine dry bread or cracker crumbs (mixtures are fun)
1 teaspoon garlic salt - 1 teaspoon paprika - 1 dash or a few grinds of pepper

Cut tofu into your favorite configuration
Spread flour on a small plate or flat dish. Beat egg equivalent in a shallow dish. Mix remaining ingredients in shallow dish. Turn each piece of tofu in the flour to cover, then into the egg, then crumbs, and then to the rack. Chilling will help to set the coating, but you can just bake right away. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes until crisp. Serve with a dipping sauce

Spinach Nuggets

1 16-oz package frozen chopped spinach, cooked, drained, and chopped further if needed
1 cup Seasoned bread crumbs - (3/4 cup breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup wheat germ or flax meal is a healthy substitution!)
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese Try tomato & basil cheddar!)
3 Large eggs or 5 egg yolks
Heat oven to 375F
1. Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil and set aside.
2. Combine all remaining ingredients and mix well.
*Add seasonings if you like - garlic powder, pepper, extra basil & oregano for example. Add a fruit or veggie puree to substitute for the eggs if desired*.
3. Shape mixture into nuggets or fun shapes such as squares or squigglies etc..and place on baking tray. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, turn nuggets over after 15 minutes. Serve warm

*You can "roll" this out and then try using small cookie cutters to make these into fun shapes!

Apples & Grape Chicken

1 cup of smooshed or quartered red or green grapes (buy Organic as grapes are on the "dirty dozen list from the EWG for pesticide levels)
1/2 cup applesauce
1 chicken breast

Prepare a small frying pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Warm pan and then add the chicken breast. Saute the chicken until both sides are golden - remove chicken and dice (don't burn your fingers!)
Add applesauce and grapes to the pan. Add the dices of chicken back to the pan and continue to saute until the chicken is fully cooked. Add a dash of cinnamon for a nice taste!
When making this for your toddler, please decide if your toddler will be able to handle the grape quarters. If you feel that these would present a choking hazard, please smoosh the grapes until you are sure they are "safe" for your toddler. Also note, cooked grapes are very soft and mushy!

If your toddler is a ketchup fanatic like my girls are...

Take a look at these healthy alternatives for sauces. You won't feel so "ehh" about the overdose of ketchup intake.

Peanutty Yogurt Dip (please make sure there is no allergy)
1 part plain or vanilla yogurt (1/4 cup)
1/2 part peanut butter (4 tablespoons)
honey to drizzle on top

Blueberry Yogurt Dip
1 part plain or vanilla yogurt (1/4 cup)
1/2 part blueberry puree or 100% natural blueberry preserves (4 tablespoons)
honey to drizzle on top
Honey of a Hummus
1 can drained chick peas (garbanzo beans)
1 cup tahini (pureed sesame seeds and olive oil...sold in everyday grocery stores)
1/4 cup honey
In a blender or food process or add chick peas, honey and tahini; blend until you get the desired consistency

Appley-Yogurt Dip
1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup Natural applesauce
Mix yogurt and applesauce and dip in your favorite fruits or even chicken nuggets
I hope these help you a bit if you're struggling like we are. I'm still looking around so when I find more, I'll definitely share.

Resources: Wholesome Toddler Food

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness!! You are soo funny!! We call you my "bestie" hahahahaha Love you


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