A while back, a fellow blog reader asked me to write about meals for Tory. It's taken me a month or so to circle back to the request because, honestly, I didn't think I had enough "meal material" to share. Nothing I feed Tory is ground-breaking by any means and variety usually depends on how creative I'm feeling in the kitchen ... or whether Andi's traveling for work (in which case, we're on cereal and sandwich benders).
I'd like to say I feed Tory exactly what we're eating for meals, but that's not always the case. Andi arrives home from work around 6:30pm or 7:00pm most days and by that time in the evening, Tory and I are usually well into her bedtime routine. Given his schedule, it's on rare occasion we all eat dinner together so I typically make Tory dinner around 5:30pm and another meal for Andi and I to eat together after she's in bed. Andi's gone to work before Tory and I are up and moving for the day, so breakfast and lunch are typically just Beanie and I.
I wish we had a schedule that introduced Tory to more "grown-up" dinner foods at an earlier age. Tory's a picky eater and I think of a lot of her preferences stem from meal times early on that catered to her individual tastes. Now, I'd rather her eat something than nothing, so I usually give her foods I know she'll eat. It's not like I'm serving up fast food every day, so I don't have much guilt about it.
Tory's favorite foods include cottage cheese, string cheese, yogurt, most types of sandwiches, hummus and carrots, grilled cheese, quesadillas, frozen waffles and toast. She's a strange kid in that she's only recently started to eat fruit (knowingly / willingly) and her favorites amongst the fruit category are strawberries, bananas, peaches and plums. Vegetables are still very "miss" with her. She'll only eat corn on the cob (if it's smothered in butter, just like her mama) so I try to sneak veggies into her diet through store-bought yogurt packets. I've tried to blend my own smoothies for her to eat, but Tory's got a "thing" against loud noises so that's usually more trouble than it's worth!
Dips are truly my best friend when it comes to meal time. Tory is twice as likely to eat something if she can dip it, so I usually serve ketchup, sour cream or yogurt alongside most foods. For some reason, Ranch dressing seems to cause a rash on her mouth so I leave it out of the mix.
Here's a snapshot of toddler meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks:
*always accompanied with a side of fruit ... whether she eats it or not
Toast - topped with Cream Cheese, Peanut Butter or Jelly
Yogurt - typically Chobani, or sometimes I buy a bulk container and mix yogurt with applesauce, mashed bananas and cinnamon
Scrambled Eggs - sometimes I mix in cottage cheese
Oatmeal - mixed with peanut butter and sliced bananas
Egg Cups - Recently, I made some in muffin tins with yellow squash, eggs and seasonings which she really liked
Homemade Muffins - good way to sneak in fruits and veggies!
*paired with fruit, cottage cheese, yogurt or hummus
Sandwiches (Tory and I eat a lot of them because I like sandwiches and Andi doesn't ... also they're quick and easy) - Peanut Butter and Jelly, Chicken Salad, Tuna Salad
Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup - one of our favorites!
Quesadillas - shredded cheese and tortillas, or I use Flatout wraps with refried beans and shredded cheese
Egg and Cheese Sandwich - microwave scrambled egg for 1 minute, add slice of cheese to toasted bread with mayo
We had a picnic at the zoo last week and here's what I made for lunch: peanut butter and jelly sandwich, yogurt squeeze packet, grapes, carrots and hummus
*I try to serve dinners with a vegetable, though she rarely eats it
Chicken Nuggets - Tory likes these best
Breaded Chicken Breast
Broccoli and Cheese Cups
Mashed /or Smashed Potatoes
Pasta Noodles and Sauce
Macaroni and Cheese
If Tory's hungry any time of the day I will allow her to eat, so I carry a variety of snacks wherever we go. Regulars include: applesauce packets, yogurt packets, granola bars, Teddy Grahams, Goldfish, fruit snacks and/or animal crackers.
That's it! Pretty simple and fairly boring. With Fall on its way, I find myself more interested in meal planning again, so maybe that'll stir up some inspiration for new (grown up and toddler) meals in the kitchen.