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

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

 

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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, coconut oil, vanilla extract
  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 will stay 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. Tip: it will feel crumbly, but will mold together while cooling
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

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!

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/