Friday, February 26, 2010

Short order cook

When Girly wants food, SHE WANTS FOOD.

Generally, it is pretty easy for me to pull something quick out of the refrigerator to tide her over while I cook (microwave and chop) the rest. Of course, she grunts and groans until she gets what I am preparing. Dinner time is the most harried - we walk in the door from school at about 5:00 and she wants to eat at about 5:01.

Breakfast has been the easiest, with a general formula of fruit +/- yogurt +/- cereal/bread. While we started out with plain whole milk yogurt when she was bitty, we slowly transitioned to the fruit flavored YoBaby individual serving packs. Mainly because this was the choice at our grocery store - it is shockingly hard to find plain whole milk yogurt in any size. (Our store carries 1 variety).

As part of my healthier foods kick, I'm (again) paying more attention to unnecessary sugar. All yogurt will have sugar, because milk has sugar, and all fruit has sugar, but of a natural sort. I am now mixing frozen fruit with plain yogurt and it cuts the sugar in about half. I took a bag of frozen mixed berries and the juice of one orange and cooked until just boiling. (Actually, I cooked it until it boiled over and left blueberry juice all over my stove - don't do that). I froze it in ice cube trays - 1 bag made 1 tray. Easy and quick to thaw in the microwave and mix with yogurt.

Oh - we are also adding a daily probiotic (Culturelle) to help keep her healthier. The jury is still out.

And this morning, I had a lightbulb. I would serve scrambled eggs more often for breakfast, but I strongly dislike cleaning pans and I'm usually not cooking for all of us at the same time. Here is a good solution and she ate every bite (while she usually just picks at eggs).

Microwave 'omelette'

- Butter or Pam a small bowl or ramekin very well
- Add one egg, scramble with a fork
- Add some shredded cheese and a little salsa or leftover veggies
- Zap in microwave in 20-30 second bursts, scrambling in between with a fork
- Should only take about 1 min 30 seconds and is tasty! (And also very hot, cool well for baby)

Also, we have a lot of toast with cream cheese for breakfast or snacks. I don't know why it never occurred to me to do that - I just naturally think of cream cheese and bagels, but they serve it at school.

Finally, a trick I stole from a friend: give your toddler the apple core or pear core to chew on. Never failed that I would chop up the fruit into tiny pieces for Girly, and then she would whine until I gave her a 'big girl' piece. It's nice because they can just gnaw off tiny bites, where if I give her a big piece of apple, she bites off a chunk that I have to fish out of her mouth so she doesn't choke.

Fun times.


Carrie said...

I learned the microwave egg trick this week-love it!

Andrea said...

I learned that giving Nathan the entire apple or pear led to smaller bites than giving it in slices. He loves it and it's less work for me. A whole apple makes a great on-the-go snack.