Transitioning from Baby to Toddler
Feeding your toddler what the rest of the family is eating is often a tougher hurdle for parents to get over than it actually is for baby. But remember, your child is ready and technically has been eating more tender, plainer versions of adult food for a while now. It’s important not to label food as “adult food” or “kid food” because it creates connotations for your toddler of what he should or shouldn’t eat. Your little one will try almost all foods right now, so this is a perfect age to offer dishes and foods the rest of the family is eating. Plus, it simplifies mealtime tremendously for the cook! Here, we give you tasty family-friendly recipes and modifications for little one.
Orange rind gives carrots a sweet, citrusy flavor, but the white pith has a bitter flavor, so be sure to avoid it when you’re zesting.
- 1 1/2 quarts water
- 5 cups thinly sliced carrots
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add carrot; cook for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain well. Place carrot, parsley, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; toss gently.
For baby: Omit black pepper. Cut the carrot slices into bite-sized pieces. Serve spoonfuls in a small bowl or on a rimmed plate.
Mac and Cheese with Roasted Tomatoes
- Cooking spray
- 8 plum tomatoes (about 2 pounds), cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 pound uncooked multigrain whole-wheat elbow macaroni
- 2.25 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/2 cup)
- 5 cups 1% low-fat milk
- 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded extrasharp white cheddar cheese
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded fontina cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and coat foil with cooking spray. Arrange tomato slices in a single layer on baking sheet. Drizzle oil over tomatoes. Sprinkle with thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and garlic. Bake at 400° for 35 minutes or until tomatoes start to dry out.
3. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain well.
4. Place flour in a large Dutch oven; gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat 8 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add cheddar, fontina, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper, stirring until cheese melts. Remove from heat. Stir in tomatoes and pasta. Spoon into a 13 x 9inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine grated Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs; sprinkle over pasta mixture. Bake at 400° for 25 minutes or until bubbly.
For baby: Omit black pepper. Serve spoonfuls in a small bowl. Cut the tomatoes and macaroni, if needed, into bite-sized pieces.
Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins
Introduce baby to this family favorite made even more healthy by adding whole-wheat flour and oatmeal. Tossing unthawed frozen blueberries with a couple tablespoons of flour before adding them to the batter keeps them from turning the batter purple while they bake. If you use fresh blueberries, skip that step.
- 1 2/3 cups quick-cooking oats
- 3 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2/3 cup)
- 2.33 ounces whole-wheat flour (about 1/2 cup)
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups frozen blueberries
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Cooking spray
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Place oats in a food processor; pulse 5 to 6 times until oats resemble coarse meal. Place in a large bowl.
3. Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add flours and next 5 ingredients to oats in bowl; stir well with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture.
4. Combine buttermilk and next 3 ingredients in small bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.
5. Toss berries with 2 tablespoons flour, and gently fold into batter. Spoon batter into 16 muffin cups coated with cooking spray; sprinkle 2 tablespoons granulated sugar evenly over batter. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove from pans immediately; place on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
For baby: Serve 1/2 to 1 cooled muffin.