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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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!

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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.
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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!

Avocado Pasta

Is red pasta sauce getting old? I’m always trying to find other sauces for my pasta monsters, aka my two boys. Now that my second son is eating quite a bit, I try to make homemade as much as I can. This avocado pasta sauce is easy and tasty, with just a few ingredients. It doesn’t require cooking either so it’s perfect for leftover pasta.  I don’t know about you, but I make enough pasta for an army. It never fails, I always have leftover.

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Tip: if your avocado isn’t really ripe try adding some olive oil. Also, my video says 2 garlic cloves, but half of one or one small one should be plenty.

Avocado Pasta Su

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 garlic clove (small, or half)
  • 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 c. basil leaves
  • 1/2 c. spinach leaves
  • 2 tbs. lemon (or less depending on taste)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Instructions

  1. Blend everything!
  2. Top on cooked pasta
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/11/avocado-pasta-sauce/

Recipe adapted from Jo Cooks

Chewy Granola Bars

I love granola bars, especially chewy ones. I just don’t like the ingredients list on the store-bought ones. This chewy granola bars recipe has no refined sugar and only uses three ingredients, four if you add chocolate chips. You know.. it’s totally optional, but also totally necessary. You can also add cranberries or leftover Halloween candy, like m&m’s. It just depends how strict you are on sweets.

In just 15 minutes and voila, you’ll have a quick relatively healthy treat to share with the little ones. Note: No honey before one years old.

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Chewy Granola Bars

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 1/2 c. peanut butter
  • 1.5 c. rolled oats
  • Chocolate chips, or desired toppings (optional)

Instructions

  1. Note: no honey before one years old!
  2. Preheat oven to 350F
  3. In a bowl, mix honey and peanut butter until well combine
  4. In a small sauce pan, pour honey and peanut butter in.
  5. Cook on low until melted
  6. Mix with rolleds oats
  7. Add chocolate chips
  8. In a baking dish, press down oats mixture until even
  9. Bake for 15 minutes
  10. Allow to cool and cut into bars
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/11/chewy-granola-bars/

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Rollups

Tis the season for pumpkin! Every fall, I make pumpkin rolls. You know the one that involves a lot of work., but is so yummy that you end up making it regardless? This year however, I have my hands full with two kids. Nevertheless, my pumpkin roll cravings are still going strong. One afternoon, I improvised, and that day, I bit into the best pumpkin cream cheese rollups I’ve ever tasted.

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Pumpkin Roll Ups

 

This is a such a great, easy fix to my cravings.  It has the perfect crunch with a creamy warm filling. Best of all, you can make just one or two rollups, instead of baking a whole roll. You also don’t need an oven or mixer.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Rollups

Ingredients

  • 5 slices bread (fresh is best)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs. milk
  • 2 tbs. brown sugar, divided
  • 1/4 c. pumpkin puree
  • 2-3 tbs. butter
  • 3 tbs. cream cheese

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, mix pumpkin puree and 1 tbs. brown sugar, set aside
  2. Using a rolling pin or glass, flatten bread by rolling. Cut ends of bread if desired
  3. Spread cream cheese on one end of the bread
  4. Top with pumpkin puree mixture
  5. Roll like a tube
  6. In a pan, add butter
  7. Brown all sides
  8. Dip and roll in remaining brown sugar
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/10/pumpkin-cream-cheese-rollups/

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.

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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!

Veggie Meatballs and Homemade Spaghetti

Rumor has it growing up I was a bit of a picky eater. Put spaghetti in front of me though, and I could eat a plateful. I still love spaghetti today as an adult and my kids love it too. In fact, I don’t know one kid who doesn’t like it.  Okay, I know one of you begs to differ and says, mine doesn’t! Okay, I digress.

My goal to make foods as healthy as I possible continues with this recipe. I have a secret ingredient though that makes my meatballs super moist and not dry. I mean if I don’t like a dry meatball, my kids probably won’t either. Best of all, this recipe is loaded with veggies and fruit! Yes, you heard me right, fruit.

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Also, I wanted to share these super cute, but practical utensils. I always try to reduce my transitioning when introducing anything to my kids. For example, I use this spoon and fork, because it is the closest thing to ones they would use as an adult. That said, it’s the perfect size for little fingers. There are two types, one for older kiddos that includes a fork, spoon and a butter knife.  It’s also available in a slightly smaller version, that’s perfect for early toddlers and babies. In fact my little seven month old has started using it. We do baby led weaning, and you can load a spoon up and let them have at it.  It comes in a fire truck, little princess, and robot pattern. Just subtle enough for little kiddos to enjoy and see.

SPECIAL DISCOUNT CODE FOR MY FOLLOWERS: ETMEAL20 for  20% off discount on the robot set until October 9, 2016.

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Without further ado here’s the recipe! P.S. feel free to add more salt, I just made this super baby friendly so my 7 month old can try. In fact, I separated his sauce before creating the seasoned sauce. Nothing wrong with salt, I just try to reduce it greatly with babies.

Veggie Meatballs and Homemade Spaghetti

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground turkey/chicken
  • 1 large apple, grated
  • 1/4 c. green onion, chopped
  • 3/4 c. spinach, chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1/4 tsp salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. bread crumbs
  • Homemade sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 2 tbs. tomato paste
  • 1 tbs. sugar
  • 1/2 c. shredded cheese

Instructions

  1. For meatballs -Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Prepare all ingredients. Grate and chop.
  3. In a bowl, mix all ingredients until well incorporated.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes, set aside (internal temperature 165F)
  5. For sauce - In a small sauce pan, mix in all ingredients
  6. For pasta - Cook pasta according to box instructions
  7. Top pasta with sauce and meatballs and enjoy!
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/10/veggie-meatballs-homemade-spaghetti/

Tip: We used two different kinds of pasta here, because kids love it!

Thank you for sponsoring this post Kiddo Bloom. Ps: I bought this and used this with my first 3 years ago!

 

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/

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!

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