Avocado Grilled Cheese Sticks

The grilled cheese sandwich is often a childhood favorite for many. I think every kid enjoys the cheesy bread. My goal with every meal is to try to serve all food groups. That’s why I decided to make it a tad bit healthier by adding an avocado to it! I also coated the bread with a milk and egg mixture for added protein. This avocado grilled cheese sticks recipe is so easy to whip up and so delicious. It’s also perfect for little fingers to grasp and hold. Give it a whirl, you can’t go wrong!

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Avocado Grilled Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs. milk
  • 2-4 slices of bread
  • 1/2 avocado, mashed
  • 1-2 slices cheese of choice
  • 1 tbs.butter

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, scramble egg and add milk, set aside
  2. In another bowl, mash avocado, set aside
  3. Place mashed avocado onto bread, top with cheese, then add second layer of bread (like a sandwich)
  4. Carefully, cut the filled sandwich into strips
  5. Dip each strip in the egg mixture
  6. In a pan, on medium add butter and cook strips. Brown all sides of strips and serve
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/09/avocado-grilled-cheese-sticks/

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Fire Truck Paw Patrol Party

I’m so excited to share my son’s 3rd Birthday party photos!  For those who have followed me along my Easy Toddler Meals journey, you’ll know my son Colin is why this blog exists. It was one day back in 2014 when he decided to show me his great eating habits. From then on out, he inspired me to cook meals daily. OK, now on to the fun stuff.. the theme. Although I’d really love to plan floral and rainbow themes someday,  I’ve been blessed with two boys. It’s all about fire trucks and cars these days. He loves Paw Patrol and fire trucks so I made his wish come true with a Fire Truck Paw Patrol Party.
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By the way, If you don’t know me personally, you probably don’t know I love to craft. It’s my favorite pastime especially when the boys are all sleeping. I call it my therapy for a long exhausting day of work (my other job) and being a stay at home as well.

One of the favorite things about this party is my homemade fire truck. The kids used it as a photo prop to take home memories of the day. It was a bit challenging, but I’m happy how it came out. We recently bought a car seat and it was the perfect shape for a car. From there I painted and used my imagination.  I’ll list some supplies I used here:

  • Siren – foam covered with blue cellophane  
  • Windows – construction paper
  • Tires – painted
  • Front grill – silver masking tape covered foam
  • Ladder – Foam

Fire Truck

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I also created an “Adopt a Puppy” table so all his friends could take a puppy home. It was complete with an adoption certificate and tags.

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On to the dessert table. After Colin’s first birthday party , featured by the fabulous Kara’s Party Ideas, I didn’t want to have  so much left over from the dessert table. I wanted a simple and clean look for this year’s party. We bought cupcakes from my favorite cupcakery, My Delight Cupcakery. From red velvet, to cupcakes that tastes like the perfect breakfast in one bite, we had it covered! Yes… that’s bacon on a cupcake. The mini size is the perfect size, to make you want about 10 more.  So delicious!

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colin_birthday-22I also tried making my own royal icing cookies. They weren’t perfect, but definitely made with love. Ps: Did you know it takes 2-3 days to make them? I have so much respect for bakers!
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The table settings for the kiddos were especially fun for me to create. I’ve seen a ton of paw prints for fire truck themed parties, and I wanted to be a little unique. I used black and white polka dots plates to add some contrast.

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I personalized the fire chief hats with Colin’s Fire crew stickers to have that extra detail. We also used these fire hydrant cups.

Fire Hats

The adults had a similar place setting without all the props. I did however, see some try on the fire hat for size *wink wink.

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Last but not least, I’d like to thank my new found friend Dawnley of Dawnley B Photography Personality is everything when working with a photographer. She is so fun to work with and super nice. She captured all the wonderful moments of our party and we will cherish the photographs Check out her work,  she’s amazing!

*If you decide to make a purchase through the  affiliate link, Amazon will pay me a very small commission for it. This does not cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free. Thank you!

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Chicken Veggie Patties

I’ve tried several times to make chicken nuggets taste like the nuggets most kids associate with.  This comes pretty close!  I’m well aware store-bought nuggets definitely have its time in place, but I wanted to give you a homemade option to try!   Best of all, it’s all great ingredients and not processed! Furthermore, I know many of you have children who are really picky about texture. This chicken veggie patties recipe is soft and juicy and super tasty.

Chicken Veggie Patties (3)

Chicken Veggie Patties

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. green zucchini (one small zucchini), grated
  • 3 broccoli florets, grated (optional)
  • 2 extra small bell peppers, chopped finely
  • 1/4 c. cooked chicken, chopped finely (I use rotiserrie chicken)
  • 1/4 c. green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • Dash of Salt
  • Dash of Pepper
  • 1 egg
  • Olive oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Wash and grate zucchini and dry with paper towel
  2. Chop all vegetables and set aside
  3. In a bowl, mix all ingredients until well incorporated
  4. In a pan add 1 tbs of olive oil on medium high heat
  5. Using a spoon or ice cream scooper, scoop about a tablespoon of batter onto the pan for each pattie. Use a spoon to flatten the scoop into a patty form. Cook until golden brown and flip on the other side for a few minutes.
  6. Serve with chives and sour cream if desired
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/09/chicken-veggie-patties/

Chicken Veggie Patty How To

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Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies

I went for a walk with a neighbor recently and we started talking about recipes.  She raved over a cookie recipe that had no flour. I was intrigued. What? A cookie, with no flour, but still tasty and delicious? I’m in! I’ve always skipped over flour less recipes, because we do love our carbs around here. I don’t think I will go back to any other recipe, after trying this flourless chocolate chip cookies recipe. That kind of says a lot. I love this!

IF all lo-carb foods tastes as good as this chocolate chip cookie recipe, I might be trying my hand at more recipes. Frankly, I could always eat a little healthier.

This flourless chocolate chip cookie is nutty, still relatively soft, and has all the goodness of a cookie without the extra carbs. It’s toddler approved and husband approved. My husband comes from a huge baking family and well, he’s very picky. This got two thumbs up.

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To make this paleo and even less carbs use walnuts instead of cashews. I’m no expert with this eating lifestyle, so double check.  Before you knock it down because it has no flour.. check out this texture! And better yet.. no bananas! Nothing against the awesome yellow fruit, but sometimes we get banana’d out.

Flourless Cookie Closeup 2

 

Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 cups almond meal
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup cashews, raw chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt, for a sweet and salty cookie add a little more
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted, divided
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a bowl, mix dry ingredients (almond meal, chocolate chips, cashews, salt, baking soda)
  3. In another bowl, whisk egg and add honey and coconut oil
  4. Mix dry and wet ingredients together
  5. Prepare cookie sheet with parchment paper
  6. Using a cookie scooper add cookie mixture
  7. Use a spoon (greased with a little coconut oil) or small bowl to flatten cookie. The cookie will not expand while baking so it wills tay the size you press it down to
  8. Bake for 10-13 minutes
  9. Allow to cool before removing from parchment paper to prevent sticking and also allowing it to mold together
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/08/flourless-chocolate-chip-cookies/
Flourless Cookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*If you decide to make a purchase through the  affiliate link, Amazon will pay me a very small commission for it. This does not cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free. Thank you!

Recipe adapted from Fed and Fit

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Healthy Banana Muffins

I woke up with a leg cramp when I decided to make this.  I’m not a doctor, but I remember my physician telling me to eat bananas when I get a leg cramp because the potassium in the yellow fruit helps. On top of that my son won’t stop talking about banana bread lately. My food inspiration comes from weird places doesn’t it?

The bananas sitting on my counter were super ripe, so naturally I decided to make banana muffins.  Since I’ve been eating a lot of what I make for my son lately, I made healthy banana muffins!

If you’re wondering what’s healthier about this recipe, it only has 1 tbs of butter and uses coconut sugar. No oil!  According to the Huffington Post, coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index than white sugar. That means it doesn’t raise your blood sugar as quickly as white sugar.

Healthy Banana Muffins

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 tbs butter, softened or slightly melted
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 c. crushed walnuts

Instructions

  1. Cream together butter and sugar
  2. In another bowl, lightly beat eggs, add crushed bananas, and vanilla and combine
  3. In another bowl, mix flour, soda, and salt. Add to the creamed mixture. Add applesauce and combine well, but do not overmix. Add crushed walnuts if desired
  4. Grease muffin tin by lightly spraying with cooking spray or use silicone cupcake liners
  5. Bake at 350F for 20-30 minutes (depends on size of muffin tin used, so use a toothpick to check if it comes out clean) Check frequently!
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/08/healthy-banana-muffins/

Healthy Banana Muffins 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I bought the silicone cupcake liners here —>  Star shape and Heart Shape and Round I can’t live without these because it’s so easy to clean! No scrubbing metal muffin tins 😉

I’m so excited to share this recipe. Can you believe there’s no oil in this recipe? But.. still so moist! Don’t believe me? Take a look below. Healthy Banana Muffins

 

BIG TIP: Cook time will vary depending on what kind of pan you use. My mini muffins took about 10-12 minutes and mini loaf pans about 15. PLEASE check it often and poke with a toothpick until it comes out clean.

*If you decide to make a purchase through the  affiliate link, Amazon will pay me a very small commission for it. This does not cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free. Thank you!

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Delicious One Pan Apple Chicken

My oldest son’s two favorite foods are chicken and apples. So I thought to myself, why not cook them together?! I was pleasantly surprised with this delicious one pan apple chicken recipe and this is now in our weekly rotation.

The apples add a light sweetness to the dish and it this takes less than half an hour to make. This time I didn’t use any butter like I normally would to cut back on fat for my husband and I. It still tasted great!

Note: You’ll see that I wrote “to taste” on the herbs. My husband and I like a lighter flavor, but if you prefer you can always add a little more! Remember, if you use fresh herbs its a lot less potent than dried.

Delicious Apple Chicken

Delicious Apple Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs. olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb. chicken thighs, skinless, boneless
  • 3/4 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano dried, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. rosemary dried, to taste
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 apples, sliced thinly
  • 1 small red onion , sliced thinly (optional)
  • 1/2 c. chicken broth

Instructions

  1. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add 1 tbs. olive oil
  2. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the chicken
  3. Add chicken to skillet and brown, about 5 minutes each side or until brown
  4. Set aside
  5. In a bowl, whisk broth and mustard
  6. Add remaining oil to pan and all ingredients (broth and mustard mixture, remaining salt, pepper, rosemary, oregano, apple, and onion)
  7. Cook for another 4 minutes or until cooked
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/08/one-pan-apple-chicken/

 

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Asian Beef

My husband recently bought me an Instapot and I I’m a huge fan! First off, let me just say that this is not a sponsored post.  I just wanted to share how awesome it is, because it truly cuts my cooking time dramatically.  As a mother of two kids under two, I need every shortcut I can get. Instant Pot is a seven-in-one multi-cooker that works as an electric pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, warmer, and sauté pan all in one. I’ve made several stews and meals in it, but this Asian Beef recipe is my first official instapot post. You can definitely use a dutch oven or a regular deep pot to make this, maybe even a slow cooker, but I’ve never tried.

I was hesitant to use it let alone buy it. It sat in my Amazon cart for weeks before my husband bought it. Frankly, he probably bought it on accident ha-ha. When it first arrived, it sat in my kitchen for several weeks unopened, because I was anxious and scared to use a pressure cooker. I remember my dad using the old-fashioned one and that steam release scared me! But I’m so glad I finally gave it a try.

I basically used my regular on-the-stove Asian Beef recipe in the Instapot and bam! It only took 30 minutes from start to finish. It would normally take a longer time to simmer the beef to achieve tender meat. If you use another type of meat like rib eye or sirloin or maybe even flank, it will take probably only take 12-15 minutes!

Asian Beef 2 (3)

Asian Beef

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs flank steak, rib eye, or chuck (takes longer), slice into small strips
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 c. honey
  • 1/2 c. soy sauce
  • 1 c. water
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tbs. sesame oil
  • 2 tbs. cornstarch
  • 3 tbs. water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Instapot Version (scroll down for over the stove version)
  2. Lightly salt and pepper beef
  3. Select the sautee button on the Instapot
  4. Add 2 tbs of vegetable oil and add minced garlic
  5. Brown beef in batches, set aside
  6. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and 3 tbs of water, set aside
  7. In the pot, add soy sauce, honey, ginger, onion powder, sesame oil
  8. Return beef in the instapot with the sauce mixture
  9. Add cornstarch mixture and mix
  10. On manual, cook for 20-25 minutes (note: this will vary with type of beef cut)
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/08/asian-beef/

Stove Top Version
Lightly salt and pepper beef
In a dutch oven or deep cooking pan, add oil and garlic
Brown beef slices and set aside
In a bowl, mix soy sauce, honey, ginger, onion powder, sesame oil, until well combined
In another bowl, mix cornstarch and water
Add beef, sauce mixture and cornstarch in the dutch oven and simmer on medium low until desired beef tenderness is achieved.

*If you decide to make a purchase through the  affiliate link, Amazon will pay me a very small commission for it. This does not cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free. Thank you!

 

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Flu Fighter Jellies

Some of you have toddlers starting preschool soon. Or you might have older kids going back to school. Unfortunately, the start of school season marks the start of flu season. It’s never fun to see our kids sick. I’m a firm believer of using nature’s nutritious foods to stay healthy. Why not arm your kid’s bodies against the cold and flu with these flu fighter jellies?

Kiwi Bears 3

Studies show that loading up on vitamin c may help shorten the length of time you’re sick and reduce the severity symptoms. And while the first fruit that comes to mind when I think of vitamin c is an orange, there are many more common fruits and veggies filled with more vitamin c.  Kiwis pack the ultimate vitamin C punch. It has 137 mg of vitamin C and also rich in potassium and copper. Oranges only have 51 mg. That’s more than double!

Flu Fighter Fruit Jellies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. pureed kiwi
  • 3 tbs. gelatin powder
  • 2-3 tbs. honey or to taste

Instructions

  1. Cut kiwi for easy blending
  2. Puree kiwi and add gelatin powder
  3. Microwave for 60-90 seconds
  4. Whisk in honey
  5. Using a dropper fill gummy bear mold
  6. Refrigerate uncovered for at least 24 hours (the longer it sits the firmer it becomes)
  7. You can also use fruit juice, see below.
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/08/flu-fighter-jellies/

P.S. you can also add 1/2 c. fruit juice to create a mixed flavor. Sprinkle gelatin into fruit juice and microwave for 60-90 seconds then whisk in kiwi and honey. Every 1/2 c. of juice or kiwi I would use about 3 tbs. of gelatin powder.

TIP:

  • Eat immediately, or store in the fridge, it doesn’t do too well packed
  • Don’t over blend the kiwi, the seeds will turn bitter!
  • Use sweet fruit! If it’s sour to begin with, the jellies will end up sour.
  • This is more of a jelly consistency. For a harder texture use other fruit like pureed strawberries, grape juice or apple juice

Thanks Zespri Kiwifruit for sponsoring this post! It’s our new go-to kiwi fruit. The sun gold variety is hairless and has a delectable tropical sweet taste. We can’t get enough of it! Did you also know that kiwi is a natural tenderizer? Check out this recipe here: Summer Skewers

*If you decide to make a purchase through the  affiliate link, Amazon will pay me a very small commission for it. This does not cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free. Thank you!

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4 Ingredient Mini Chicken Pot Pies

“A toddler friendly twist to a hometown classic recipe”

Chicken pot pie is a comfort meal that almost everyone loves. Since I haven’t ventured into cooking homemade pies, I created this easier and faster recipe for busy parents. This pie is a slight variation to one of my most popular recipes, Mini Turkey Pot Pies. Frankly, why wait until Thanksgiving to have this yummy meal?

Chicken Pot Pie

All you need is 30 minutes, four ingredients, and some self control. That’s because you’ll want to eat more than one. A plus side, there’s lots of veggies in it.

Chicken Pot PIe Hand

P.S. This recipe is highly recommended by my toddler. See food review below in the video 😉

4 Ingredient Mini Chicken Pot Pies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 6 mini pies

Ingredients

  • Ingredients:
  • Crescent dough – Store bought
  • 1 c. cooked chopped cooked chicken
  • 3/4 c. canned cream of chicken
  • thawed garden vegetables
  • chicken seasoning or salt and pepper (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400f
  2. In a bowl, mix chicken, cream of chicken and sprinkle a little chicken seasoning or salt and pepper. Set aside
  3. Using a glass or cookie cutter, carve out circles of crescent dough
  4. Grease a muffin tin with cooking spray and carefully place dough in each circle
  5. Add chicken mixture into each circle
  6. Using the leftover dough, cut strips and place it on top as shown in video
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes, check at 15 minutes for desired browness
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/07/4-ingredient-mini-chicken-pot-pies/

P.S. That’s a dry erase marker I used on our oogaa baby bowls!

Music credit: www.bradbyrdofficial.com

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Broccoli Cheddar Muffins

Have you ever had a savory muffin? While I do love sweet muffin varieties,  sometimes a little change is a good thing. Plus, when it comes to breakfast, I’d prefer savory. I’m always trying to create fast on the go meals that include as many of the food groups as possible. This broccoli cheddar muffins recipe is tasty and packed with all kinds of goodness!

Broccoli Cheddar Muffins 1 (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In case I haven’t persuaded you to go make this yet.. check out what it looks like on the inside!

Broccoli Cheddar Muffins Closeup

Without further due.. here’s the recipe (actually, my second son who used to sleep 12 hours is going through a sleep regression, and well, I can’t keep writing, because he just woke up!)

Okay, I digress, here it is!

P.S. this is SUPER toddler approved by my almost “threenager”

Broccoli Cheddar Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: About 24 Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 C. flour
  • 1tbs. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tbs. sugar
  • 1/2 c. grated or blended broccoli florets, raw
  • 3 c. grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 stick of melted unsalted butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. In a bowl, mix first 6 incredients until well combined (flour, baking powder, sugar, broccoli, and cheese)
  3. In another bowl mix milk, egg, and melted butter
  4. Mix flour mixture and milk mixture until well combined (don't overmix!)
  5. Grease muffin tin or use these for easy cleaning silicone liners
  6. Fill tin or liners 3/4 of the way (enough to leave for rising)
  7. Bake at 375F for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/07/broccoli-cheddar-muffins/

If you decide to make a purchase through the  affiliate link, Amazon will pay me a very small commission for it. This does not cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free. Thank you!

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