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!

Festive Fruit Flag

Hope everyone is having a great Fourth of July weekend!

Here’s a simple festive fruit flag to do with or for the kids.  Fruit FlagAll you need is fruit and some measuring spoons.

Picky Food Eater Tip: Try out these affordable picks for fussy eaters. Makes eating fun and every kid I know loves to poke there food because it makes them feel like they’re doing it themselves.

Festive Fruit Flag

Ingredients

  • Watermelon
  • Pears or Bananas
  • Blueberries

Instructions

  1. Using a measuring spoon, make balls from watermelon and pears
  2. Form a flag (see video)
  3. Enjoy!
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/07/festive-fruit-flag/

**I received this product to try. 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!

How to Pit a Cherry

I pass by bags of cherries at the grocery store every time I go. I never buy them because frankly I don’t have time to  pit them for my toddler. This past week however, I wanted cherries for myself. I mean how could i resist, its cherry season after all. Here’s what I came up with!

My little man helped me too in with it and he had fun! He then helped me cut it with his knife. It’s sharp enough to cut fruit and some veggies but won’t cut skin.

$8.95 for THREE on Amazon –> Kids Knives

**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 and pay for my coffee to keep me awake so I can write these posts 😉 Thank you!

 

Healthy Banana Nut Muffin Top

“The perfect NO SUGAR option dessert is just the right size for you and the littles”

Oh the muffin top. Not the one you’re thinking of that spills out of your pants, but the wonderful perfectly domed top of a baked muffin. Whenever I make or buy muffins, I find myself picking at the top and well, giving away the rest of it to my husband. He calls me the mouse that runs around the house at night and eats the tops of muffins. What can I say? I love the finer things in life and frankly, my current other “muffin top” doesn’t need to be fed the whole muffin.

This banana nut chocolate chip muffin top is so yummy and enough to satisfy the cravings. It’s hard to believe in 3 more months my second son will be eating solids. This won’t be his first food of course, but I’ll save it for my back pocket when he becomes more of an advanced eater.

Muffin Top SF!

This recipe has no sugar, aside from the chocolate chips (which you could leave out), but I included a sweeter alternative in the recipe below.

Muffin Tops 3

Fun fact: 1 cup of sugar is 773 calories while 1 cup of applesauce is 166. So it may be worth a try! But again for a sweeter variety add sugar.

Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Muffin Top

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 24 Muffin Tops

Ingredients

  • Wet Ingredients:
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 c. butter, melted
  • 1 c. applesauce, sub for 1 c. sugar if you like the sweeter variety, or 1/2 c. applesauce, 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Dry Ingredients:
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • Optional:
  • 1/2 c. walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 c. chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. In a large bowl, mash bananas and mix in wet ingredients
  3. In another bowl, mix dry ingredients
  4. Combne dry ingredients mixture iand wet ingredients mixture
  5. Do not overmix
  6. Add walnuts and chocolate chips if desired
  7. In a muffin top pan , add mixture in each circle. Fill about 3/4 through
  8. Bake for 10 minutes, use a toothpick to check doneness

Notes

The no sugar option, is obviously less sweet. I personally like just a hint of sweetness in some baked goods. Substitute applesauce with sugar or half and half for a much sweeter variety.

http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/06/healthy-banana-nut-muffin-top/

Easy Banana Bites

“Jazz up the ordinary curvy yellow fruit  and enjoy these no cook easy banana bites !”

Bananas are a staple at our house. It’s so versatile for recipes, smoothies, and even pancakes. It’s probably the easiest fruit to bring along to for a snack! I mean, come on,  it’s wrapped in its own very convenient packaging.

On one busy morning, however, I had absolutely no time to cook anything. I quickly saw bananas on my counter and said to myself, “OK, that’s his breakfast.” I try to always serve him a complete meal with as many food groups as I can and had to think of a way to add protein. This is how this recipe came about. Problem is, he wanted 3 bananas, and it took him longer to eat each banana bite, than it would take me to cook a full breakfast spread. But that’s ok, he really enjoyed these. I paired it with some other fruit and some yogurt and called it a day.

P.S. Do you know how hard it was for him to take the picture below? He was so patient and so incredibly cute waiting for mommy to capture the photo. I gave him one banana bite, and he kept saying, “Again!”  This is his new word for more. It makes me incredibly happy to cook for this little man. Well in this case, happy to prepare, since this requires no cooking at all!

Banana Bites Hands F

 

P.S.S. You can buy almond meal at your local grocery store. I bought this one from Trader Joes, but it’s also available online here.  If unavailable, you can always blend almonds in your blender (must be a powerful one.)

 

Banana Bites Close

Easy Banana Bites

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Peel bananas and cut into small round pieces
  2. Prepare two small bowls
  3. Bowl #1 - Almond Meal
  4. Bowl #2 - Coconut
  5. Dip banana in bowl #1, then 2.
  6. Enjoy!
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/06/easy-banana-bites/

**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 and pay for my coffee to keep me awake so I can write these posts 😉 Thank you!

Green Monster Veggie Muffins

Calling all picky eater parents! I feel you. If you’re tired of smoothies, try this veggie muffin!

My oldest son recently had a 24 hour bug. It’s super hard to see them sick but it’s even harder to know they haven’t eaten for some time. I’m thankful his illness was short-lived, but as he got better, his normally hefty appetite didn’t come back.  It’s been days since he got the bug and still no appetite, except for toast and fruit. I panicked!

Today I decided to make baking an activity.  I’ve found if he’s involved in the cooking procedures he is eats the fruits of his labor.  Sure enough, he ate FOUR of item.
It probably acted as an appetizer for him because he topped it off with a bowl of rice, chicken, sweet potato and boiled egg. I’m so excited he’s back!

Green Monster Veggie Muffins

This muffin isn’t the most photogenic, but it tastes great and is packed with several fruits and vegetables. It has apples, bananas, spinach, and carrots. I also used coconut oil instead of vegetable. In the past,  I’ve cut down the sugar by a tablespoon and it’s still delicious!

Tip: you can also blend the carrots in with the wet ingredients, if you have super picky eater who picks out veggies out of their food.

Green Monster 2B (2)

P.S. In case any of you are wondering which blender I use, I use the Blendtec and love it! My readers will get free shipping and a discounted rate! Click here for FREE shipping and a discounted option.

Green Monster Veggie Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 c. apple sauce
  • 1/2 c. spinach
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/4 c. almond meal
  • 3 tbs. sugar
  • 3 tbs. coconut oil
  • 1.5 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. shredded carrots
  • Cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Blend apple sauce, spinach, banana, almond meal, sugar, and coconut oil
  3. In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, boaking soda, salt
  4. Add in shredded carrots
  5. Grease a muffin pan and bake for 15-17 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/05/green-monster-veggie-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

Blueberry Crisp

As some of you may know my kids and I recently went on a  blueberry picking adventure. My toddler loved it, but picked so many! I haven’t ventured off into pie making yet so I improvised and made these small blueberry crisps. I didn’t have a round baking pie dish so I used ramekins. It’s the perfect size for little ones and also for those watching their portions, me included.

Blueberry Crisp

Tip: you can subsitute coconut sugar for regular white, but coconut sugar is healthier

Blueberry Crisp

Ingredients

  • 1 c. fresh blueberries
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. coconut sugar
  • For rolled oats topping
  • 1/4 c. Flour
  • 1/3 c. honey
  • 1/4 c. rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp. cinammon
  • 3 Tbs. cold butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. In a bowl, mix blueberries, cornstarch and sugar. Set aside
  3. In another bowl, mix flour, honey, rolled oats, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter.
  4. Use your hands to work it all together.
  5. Scoop the blueberry mixture into ramekins and then top with oats mixture
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the berries are bubbly
  7. For a crunchy variety use 1/4 c. of brown sugar instead of the honey in the oats mixture
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/05/blueberry-crisp/

Recipe adapted from The Baker Chick

Healthy Chocolate Pudding

“A healthy, guilt free dessert with an extra nutritious ingredient!”

Healthy Chocolate Pudding

I’m always looking for healthy alternatives to my childhood favorites. I loved chocolate pudding growing up. Unfortunately, most packaged puddings have lots of sugar and preservatives. While this obviously isn’t the real thing, I don’t feel bad if my toddler eats it. Plus it’s also packed with nutrients from an avocado. My son loved dipping everything in it.

I’m also excited to share this recipe in collaboration with How Does She, one of my favorite blogs!

Tip: If you prefer a sweeter variety, add more honey and use sweetened cocoa powder. Also no honey before the age of one

Healthy Chocolate Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1/4 C. Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Tbs. Coconut Oil
  • 1/3 C. Honey (to taste)
  • 1/4 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1/4 Tsp. Salt

Instructions

  1. Peel and remove the seed from the avocado
  2. In a food processor or blender, add all ingredients and blend until a smooth creamy consistency
  3. Serve chilled.
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/05/healthy-chocolate-pudding/

Healthy Drumstick Ice Cream Bites

When my toddler turned 2 years old, I started giving him a little of every food in moderation. That said, I still haven’t given him extremely sugary foods like candy or ice cream. I know I know, I need to let him be a kid, but I just don’t want to deal with an even more extremely energetic child.

Unfortunately, or fortunately for you,  I have sugar cravings all the time.  So when I have a sweet tooth, I try to make whatever I’m wanting toddler friendly. I’m not sure why, but I had a craving for a drumstick. You know, the vanilla ice cream one with sugar cone, topped with chocolate and peanuts.
Drumstick Bites 4 Resize

I quickly started thinking about how I can make something similar and guilt free. These days, I’m up all night with my newborn nursing, so I have a lot of time to think… ok I digress. Well, I remembered making no refine sugar chocolate covered strawberries in the past, so I used the same recipe. Instead, I made drumstick balls and made my own no refined sugar ice cream. While it may not be the same as the real drumstick, I don’t feel bad giving these to my toddler.

P.S. My kids were a handful today, hence the very melted ice cream picture below. I wanted to show you how pink it is and that’s all from the strawberries only!

Drumstick Closeup 2 Resize

Healthy Drumstick Ice Cream Bites

Ingredients

  • 2 Bananas (frozen)
  • 5-6 Strawberries (frozen and hulled)
  • 3 tbs. heavy cream
  • 8 tbs. honey ( or to taste), divided
  • 4 tbs. Coconut Oil
  • 4 tbs. Cacao Powder / or melt chocolate chips
  • Toppings: Crushed peanuts or sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Cut bananas and hull strawberries.
  2. Freeze for at least 3 hours (I left them in overnight)
  3. Blend bananas, strawberries, heavy cream, and honey until the mixture has a soft serve consistency.
  4. Using an ice cream scooper, form ice cream into balls (remember to work quickly as it will melt). Place on a baking sheet and return back to the freezer
  5. In a bowl, add coconut oil. Place in microwave for 10-12 seconds. It should not be in liquid form but just melted enough to mix with the cacao.
  6. Mix cacao and coconut oil together and add honey. For a sweeter variety, add more honey until you reach your desired sweetness. Allow cacao mixture to cool a bit.
  7. Dip ice cream ball into cacao mixture, then in peanuts. You can also sprinkle peanuts instead of rolling it in it.
  8. Freeze until ready to eat
  9. Remove from freezer and allow it to melt a bit before eating
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/04/healthy-drumstick-ice-cream-bites/

TIp:  you can always use semi-sweet chocolate chips and melt it instead of raw cacao powder. Try to use ripe, but not overripe bananas and sweet strawberries.

 

Zucchini Carrot Cake

We’re having company over for the holidays. That means it’s “clean out the fridge day” before we stock up to host dinner! I had some zucchini and carrots left over.IMG_7664 My son eats fritters all the time so I decided to make something different.   I cut down the fat by using applesauce.  It’s still incredibly tasty and moist, with a lot less oil. I used no gmo Dole Fruitocracy Apple Pineapple sauce and it was simply divine. I also used coconut sugar instead of regular so it’s healthier. The muffins are incredibly delicious and bound to be a family favorite.

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. zucchini (grated)
  • 3/4 c. chopped walnutsIMG_7663
  • 1/4 c. grated carrots (grated)
  • 1 c. coconut sugar
  • 1/2 c. Fruitocracy Apple Pineapple Sauce
  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs cinnamon powder

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to 350f
  2. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In another bowl, stir together eggs, oil, applesauce, sugar, and zucchini until well combined
  4. Pour flour mixture into egg mixture until well combined
  5. Pour into a greased mini loaf pan or mini muffin pan. Depending on the size pan you use it could take about 10-12 minutes or longer. I would check at the 10 minute mark, then check every few minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

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.

Disclosure: As a Dole Blogger, I received samples of Dole products for use in this post. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. *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.