No Cook Veggie Marinara Dip

The art of dipping. I think my three-year old could win a medal if dipping t was a sport. He, like so many other kids,  loves to dip everything and anything into anything and everything. Why not make their dipping sauce a bit more healthy and veggie packed? This no cook veggie marinara is especially great for picky eaters.

The sauce is homemade, and doesn’t need cooking. It doesn’t get easier than that!

We paired it with one of our favorite breads, Brazi Bites. It’s a cheesy bread made  with simple wholesome ingredients. It’s also gluten free. Best of all, it tastes great. and goes from freezer to your table in 20 minutes. Huge disclaimer friends, you can’t eat just one! It’s that good.

Veggie Packed Marinara Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 grated zucchini
  • 1 grated carrot
  • 1 slice bell pepper (add more to taste if desired)
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. thyme
  • 1 pitted date

Instructions

  1. Prepare all ingredients
  2. Blend and serve
  3. Enjoy!
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2017/05/no-cook-veggie-marinara-dip/

*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 Brazi Bites for sponsoring this post. 

 

Corn Dog Donuts

My oldest son recently discovered corn dogs at Disneyland. I considered it a fun treat for him to have. Problem is, he wanted two and then when we got home, he wanted more! I decided to make my own and made them healthier by baking it. I also chose no nitrate hot dogs and organic corn bread mix.

Furthermore, did you know corn dogs are choking hazards? By cutting it thinly or in small pieces, you can make it safer. There is a way to cut it (lengthwise), that you can easily google.

Hope you enjoy this recipe. Remember if you don’t have a donut pan, you can always make corn dog  muffins. Also, for those of you not wanting to buy box cornbread mix (recipe below homemade mix), here’s a homemade recipe.

HOMEMADE CORNBREAD

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tbs agave nectar (you can use sugar, or honey)
  • 3 tbs melted unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 2 hot dogs (we used nitrate free organic)
  • Olive oil spray

1. Preheat oven to 375F

2. In a bowl whisk butter, agave, and egg

3. In the same bowl add milk, sour cream, salt and baking soda and mix

4. Add flour and corn meal last and combine well.

 

Corn Dog Donuts

Ingredients

  • 1 Box Cornbread mix (we used organic)
  • Ingredients per box instructions
  • 1-2 hot dogs, sliced thin slices or small tiny pieces
  • Cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Per box instructions, mix corn bread mix with recommended ingredients
  2. Grease pan
  3. Either fold in hot dog in mix or save to place on top
  4. Fill pan with corn bread mix, top with hot dog
  5. Bake per box instructions
  6. Serve with mustard and/or ketchup
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2017/05/corn-dog-donuts/

Veggie Apple Chicken Meatballs

This is a complete meal in one bite! As many of you have noticed, I love meals that incorporate almost all the food groups. This has carbs, protein, fruit, and veggies too. Best of all, it’s moist and tastes great.

Give it a try. I’ve also included an optional sweet and sour sauce below.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Meatballs

The meatballs by itself is great to eat too. It also might be a great option for younger babies. Plus, it’s a great hide the veggies dish!


Chicken Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 grated sweet apple
  • 1/2 grated pear (optional)
  • 1 lightly beaten egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup chopped spinach
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs / quinoa if you want to go #glutenfree
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onion (if you like less onion then reduce)

Instructions

  1. 1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl
  2. 2. Shape and mold. I use an ice cream scooper and placed it in a greased muffin tin for convinience
  3. 3. Bake at 350F until 165F, about 20-25 minutes, but it really depends on the oven so I use a leave-in thermometer.
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2017/04/veggie-apple-chicken-meatballs/

Sweet and Sour Sauce

  • 2 tbs water
  • 2 tbs ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbs corn starch
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar, add more if you like it more sour

Sweet and Sour Sauce Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients except for the corn starch and water into a pot, wait for a boil
  2. Mix water and cornstarch in a bowl
  3. Add into bowling mixture and whisk

Hidden Veggie Egg Salad

Veggies. These fiber rich foods are oh so good for you, but oh so hard to get your kids to eat it. At least that’s what I gather from the dozens of messages I get from all of you. If you’ve followed my blog or social media you’ll see I try to offer my kids veggies at every meal.  I came up with this hidden veggie egg salad recipe while trying to fulfill this goal. It was one of those days where I knew we would be home late for lunch and I had to prepare something quickly. I boiled some eggs in the morning with the plan of making egg salad. Then, as expected when I got home, had not much time before nap time. I looked in the refrigerator, combined a few things and voilà, almost all the food groups in one bite.

Tip: You can also just steam some cauliflower and smash it, or cook some rice cauliflower with a little olive oil.

Hidden Veggie Egg Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 egg, boiled
  • 1 tbs. mayonnaise
  • 1 tbs. avocado
  • 1-2 tsp. riced cauliflower, steamed
  • Paprika to taste
  • Bread
  • .

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, mash the boiled egg
  2. Add mayo, avocado, cauliflower and mix
  3. Sprinkle paprika and combine
  4. Top on bread and serve with chips and fruit
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2017/02/hidden-veggie-egg-salad/

P.S. If you have a super picky toddler with texture issues, you can cut the cauliflower amount to 1/2 tsp., but honestly you can’t hardly taste it! You can also just use avocado only, that in itself has much more nutrients than just mayonnaise.

Sweet Potato Banana Bites

Mornings are always rushed at my house. Whether it’s because I have to run to work, or if I’m in a hurry to get my youngest down for his nap. The start of our mornings are always challenging. Making these baby friendly muffins ahead of time saves me a ton of time. And yes, you can have veggies for breakfast!

Best of all, you can add toppings to these muffins like chocolate chips, or sliced almonds. I just choose to make it simple for my 10 month old. We don’t offer sugar quite yet, unless it’s non refined. But for my 3-year-old chocolate chips are fair game.

Sweet Potato Banana Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. sweet potato (steamed)
  • 1/2 c. banana (mashed)
  • 4 tbs. wheat flour
  • 2 eggs (scrambled)
  • 2 tbs. almond butter/nutbutter
  • Dash of cinammon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven 375F
  2. In a large bowl, scramble eggs
  3. Mix in the mashed sweet potato, mashed banana, flour, nut butter, and dash of cinnamon
  4. Combine until well incorporated
  5. Pour into greased muffin tin
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes
  7. Serve with butter, or drizzle honey for a sweeter variety (no honey before age 1)
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2017/01/sweet-potato-banana-bites/

P.S. See that super cute ring I’m wearing? It’s from Emma J. Company.  Part of the proceeds go to No Kid Hungry with each purchase from the Emma J. Dawn McCoy Collection, $6 goes to NKH. Here’s a closeup, it’s so lovely!

Stuffing Muffins

At our home, Thanksgiving means lots and lots of leftover food. Either we cook too much or we eat too little. I like to believe we eat too little, but that’s not likely the case. So what to do with all that stuffing and turkey? It’s always nice to have turkey and all the fixings for another day, but I can’t eat three times in a row.  That said, if I change-up how it’s served, a few more days of turkey and stuffing is a-ok in my book. This stuffing muffins recipe is perfect for leftovers and is a big hit with the kids.

Stuffing Muffins

It’s like Thanksgiving all in one bite and is perfect for little fingers. These are also great for snacks on the go especially for those kiddos who love muffins. The cranberry adds the perfect sweetness to every bite and it’s simply delicious.

It’s easy.  First you mix the egg and a little milk in a bowl.

mixing

In another bowl, mix your left over stuffing, cooked turkey, and spinach. We had creamed corn on our menu, and we ate it all. Since I always like to serve veggies whenever I can, I decided to add some chopped spinach.  We love spinach because it’s relatively tasteless and isn’t bitter. You can add leftover chopped green beans or Brussels sprouts too.

stuffing-mix

Next it’s time to bring out your handy-dandy muffin tin. We use our muffin tin a lot around here. Don’t forget to grease it with cooking spray before filling  I repeat, don’t forget to grease it. Or you will have to scrub and soak the tin for days. Trust me, I’ve learned my lesson. One time I had to throw the tin away!

Fill each circle with the stuffing mixture to about 3/4 full. You don’t want to fill it all the way because you need to leave a little room for the egg. You also want to loosely fill the tin.  Don’t smash the filling in because you want the egg to get in between the stuffing.

feed_001_03_x1_0017

Next comes the best part. Sprinkle some dried cranberries over the top to add a little sweetness.

feed_001_03_x1_0018

Pour the egg mixture into the muffin tin leaving some room for it to expand.
Bake at 375F for 20 minutes or so and enjoy!

feed_001_03_x1_0022

PRESS PLAY!

This is my contribution to Tori Spelling’s website. I recently met her and she’s the sweetest gal! She has a lot of great recipes there.

Chickpea Snack Bites

So many parents who write me asking how to get their kids to try new foods. Themed lunches are a great idea to entice them to take a bite. I’m fully aware some of us including myself may be too busy to create themed lunches all the time,  but once in a while it may help your picky eater. Ps:  If you DO create these lunches, that’s so awesome! I’m a firm believer that once your child at least tries something, they may give that new food a chance. These chickpea snack bites are a delicious protein and fiber addition to your kids lunch box.
img_0754

Much like all dishes I make, this was inspired by my boys. My older son loves squirrels! He helped me make this with a cookie cutter. Here’s another tip for picky eaters who only eat white bread. I know some of you struggle with kids asking, “what are these black seeds on my bread?”.  Right? Try mixing it up. Make a sandwich with one white bread and one wheat. We made the pine cone ish looking thing (I’m telling you I don’t this often), with a grape and a baby carrot. The leaf is a red apple which I carved quickly with a knife. And of course star of the box is the chickpeas. So yummy!

Chickpea Snack Bites

P.S. if you don’t give sugar to your child, you can always serve it plain or with parmesan and garlic.

After we made the lunch, we made eating the meal a fall activity. Every morning, two squirrels pass through our back yard. We went looking for them at lunch time. When we couldn’t find them, we set up a picnic blanket on leaves. They never show up when you want them to. I read a book and voila.. it was a fun day.

Chickpea Snack Bites

Ingredients

  • 1 can garbanzo beans (organic if possible)
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 tbs. coconut sugar
  • 1 tbs. maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Wash garbanzo beans and drain
  3. Rub off shells and remove (don't worry about removing it all, just try to)
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  5. Bake garbanzo beans for 20-30 minutes, check every 15 minutes and shake baking sheet for even cooking
  6. In a bowl, mix the remaining ingredients
  7. When beans are crispy, transfer them to a bowl and mix in maple syrup mixture
  8. Bake for another 5 minutes to carmelize
  9. Cool and allow to dry and serve
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/11/chickpea-snack-bites/

**Thank you Yumbox lunch for sponsoring this post. 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!

Zucchini Broccoli Tater Tots

When I talk to moms about food and picky eating, veggies are always a struggle. There’s no surprise there! Halloween is fast approaching. This holiday is a great time to introduce green foods.Many kids won’t touch anything green let alone eat it. Sometimes it’s a little more convincing to call things green monsters, incredible hulk juice, etc.  If you make your meals a little fun and festive, they may just give it a try. Once they’ve tasted it they just might realize it’s not that bad. These zucchini broccoli tater tots recipe is super tasty, even my husband and I enjoyed them.

I made these tots just a little more fun by putting candy eyes on them. I called them little green monsters. Fortunately, my son eats broccoli on its own, but no more than three or four stalks. He gobbled up about 10 of these. Dipped it in some “blood” (ketchup) and he thought it was so cool. Kinda gross to me, but hey.. we aim to please.

I packed it in a  Yumbox for a quick lunch while we went to an indoor playground. It was a perfect complete healthy meal. Also a quick tip: coat your avocado slices in olive oil and it will stay nice and green, no browning.

broccoli-tot-box-final-photo

zucchini-broccoli-tots-1

Give this a whirl, it has protein, grains, and veggies all in one.

 

Zucchini Broccoli Tater Tots

Ingredients

  • 1.5 C. steamed broccoli
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 small zucchini, grated
  • 1/2 c. bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c. cheddar cheese/Mexican cheese blend
  • 1/4 tsp. 21 seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

Instructions

  1. Steam broccoli
  2. In a blender, add all ingredients and blend until pasty
  3. Form tater tot shapes
  4. In a pan, cook in a little olive oil, flip so all sides are brown
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/10/zucchini-broccoli-tater-tots/

*Thank you Yumbox for sponsoring this post. 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!

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!

img_9473-2

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/

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