Since starting solids with A, I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect balance between convenience and health. It’s harder than you think. Making baby food at home is everyone’s answer for this, but frankly, I didn’t have the time or patience. Also her daycare in Louisiana required all baby food be brought in sealed containers. Starting table foods a few months ago has helped out in this regard tremendously.
In a perfect world, A would just eat whatever John and I eat at mealtimes, but some nights I don’t cook, we eat random snacks or we don’t eat at all. John is often out of town, too, so that limits how much/often I prepare meals.
So after several months, I’ve finally figured out some baby/toddler friendly foods that marry convenience and well balanced meals. All require minimal prep and are pretty versatile so I can throw them together for her quickly. These are all Baby A/HSM approved:
Frozen waffles–A LOVES waffles, and as far as ease goes, it doesn’t get much easier than this. I get her Van’s All Natural Gluten Free Blueberry Waffles and she gobbles the whole thing up in record time. Daycare provides breakfast during the week, but this is our go to breakfast on weekends.
Low maintenance fruit–I consider low maintenance fruit to be anything with minimal prep. If I have to do anything beyond peel it, I’m not interested. So, really, this means bananas, blueberries, or quartered grapes. If I’m feeling particularly crazy, I’ll get some cut up cantaloupe or watermelon and put it in her mesh teether.
Shredded cheese–A quick and easy snack option A loves. We’re partial to cheddar.
Frozen veggies–I always keep a bag of frozen peas and carrots in the freezer. Other favorites include broccoli and green beans. You can say whatever you want, but I will never stop loving frozen veggies. For us, they just work. Our local grocery is always running sales on frozen veggies, so not only is this practical but it’s cheap too.
Fruit pouches–I will never stop loving these either. I know you’ve seen them. Motts, DelMont, Go Go fruits, and Plum Organics make them. I always keep a couple different varieties on hand, and one brand or another is always on sale somewhere. A can now suck the fruit straight out of the pouch which is awesome.
Whole grain pasta–I boil a whole box of over the weekend and A and I both eat off of it during the week. I use it for pasta salads for work, and I toss it with parmesan cheese for dinner for A.
Chicken–I’m not a big meat eater, but we do eat a lot of chicken. When I do cook it, I cook an extra breast or two to shred up for A.
I also keep Cheerios and those puff snacks (we prefer Plum Organics Strawberry Beet or Happy Organics Sweet Potato) on hand at all times. I put a handful on her tray while I get meals ready and she stays quiet. And as a special treat, A loves graham crackers.
Granted, this list is not exhaustive, but it’s a good example of some of my staples. Anyway, between all of these and others, I can (usually) get meals together for A quickly with little prep, which makes everyone happy.