Toddler Meals: On Our Table this Week

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Soba Noodles with Pan Seared Tofu, Kale and Carrots.

Manners were always a big deal at our house growing up. No elbows on the table, don’t start eating until everyone is seated, chew with your mouth closed, put your napkin on your lap etc. While I’m certainly no prim and proper lady, I do want my kids to have solid table manners and its something I’ve been thinking about and struggling with a bit.

For a while, we were asking little Fig to stay seated until dinner. That idea lasted about a week when our semi-peaceful dinners  turned into a total sob-fest complete with food throwing, drastic escape attempts, and high pitched howling. Turns out that two year olds can’t sit still for very long ( duh) and asking him to do so seemed a little unfair.

Now Fig will eat a few bites, run around and play and then come back for more. He’ll probably come back to the table three or more times in a single meal; nibbling here or there before its back to his favorite game; trying to run the dog over with his mini-wheelbarrow (too bad for him she’s too fast and too smart to become toddler roadkill).

There are some things that Fig is great with; like using his utensils and drinking excellently out of open cups. He’s also a little bit of a clean freak and hates when he spills food on his shirt or his area asking me to “clean!”.  But I still struggle with the whole running around like a wild banshee at dinner situation and his constant want to sit on our laps and pick from our plates. I’m hoping that my motherly intuition will guide me on this one but I guess only time will tell.

In the meantime; here is what my little gus has been eating as of late:

Green Thai Curry with Peppers and Tofu

Green Thai Curry with Peppers and Tofu

Black Lentil Bowl with Tomatoes and Avocados

Black Lentil Bowl with Tomatoes and Avocados

Sweet Potato and Brown Rice Burger with Guacamole

Sweet Potato and Brown Rice Burger with Guacamole

Buckwheat Soba Noddles with Kale. Sweet Potatoes and Seaweed.

Buckwheat Soba Noddles with Kale. Sweet Potatoes and Seaweed.

 

Coho Salmon , Fennel and Tomatoes

Coho Salmon , Fennel and Tomatoes

Eating the bread first; typical!

Eating the bread first; typical!

Lemon Cream Orecchiette Pasta with Parsley

Lemon Cream Orecchiette Pasta with Parsley

Sweet Potato Wedges and Eggplant, Chickpea, and Tomato Mix

Sweet Potato Wedges and Eggplant, Chickpea, and Tomato Mix

One of the few non-oatmeal breakfasts we have. Buckwheat Waffles with Strawberries, Greek Yogurt and Chia Seeds

One of the few non-oatmeal breakfasts we have. Buckwheat Waffles with Strawberries, Greek Yogurt and Chia Seeds

Yum Bowls

Yum Bowls

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Sage Aioli

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Sage Aioli

Carrot and Carrot Top Salad with a Lime Ginger Vinaigrette ( was spit out by Fig!)

Carrot and Carrot Top Salad with a Lime Ginger Vinaigrette ( was spit out by Fig!)

Toddler Meals: On Our Table this Week

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Soba Noodles with Summer Squash and Carrots

We spent nearly a month in Mexico, returned to california and immediately moved ( not recommended). Things are finally getting back to normal around here and I’m thinking potty training is our next big “to do”. It would be AWESOME to get Fig fully trained by the time our new baby arrives in October but I think its best if we limit our expectations given that today little Fig handed me what I first thought was dirt, excitedly proclaiming ” mama look!”. I soon realized the ugly truth, that this had come straight from his diaper and then promptly barfed in my mouth. This all went down while I was cooking lunch to make matters worse.

Enough of the potty talk, here is what has been on our table the last week ( or two!).

Caper and Heirloom Salad Pasta Salad

Caper and Heirloom Tomato Pasta Salad

Hazelnut and Tahini Pasta with Pine  Nuts and Greens

Hazelnut and Tahini Pasta with Pine Nuts and Greens

Black Lentil and Cauliflower Burrito

Black Lentil and Cauliflower Burrito

Sumac Spiced Black Lentils with Mint. Roasted Carrots.

Sumac and Mint Spiced Black Lentils with  a  side of Roasted Carrots.

Cream Cheese and Salmon Sandwich with sprouts with Fresh Strawberries.

Cream Cheese and Salmon Sandwich with sprouts with Fresh Strawberries.

Spinach Cakes with Lemon Grass Infused Creme Fraiche

Spinach Cakes with Lemon Grass Infused Creme Fraiche

Pumpernickel Squares with Corn and Peas.

Pumpernickel Squares with Corn and Peas.

Open Faced Tuna Sandwich

Open Faced Tuna Sandwich

Fig and Halloumi Pesto Pizza

Fig and Halloumi Pesto Pizza

Fruit Salad!

Fruit Salad!

Mint and Blueberry Popsicles

Mint and Blueberry Popsicles

Scrubbing Beets for our Juice

Scrubbing Beets for our Juice

Beet, Carrot, Apple, and Lime Juice

Freshly Squeezed Beet, Carrot, Apple, and Lime Juice

 

Toddler Meals: Mexico Addition

Pomegranate and Spinach Wrap

On our Table this week:

Our adventure in Mexico City wraps up this week. It certainly was a welcomed respite from our everyday life and was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Although, I am excited to return home and get my little one back on a regular eating schedule. For the last few weeks, Fig’s eating has been something like this;  1st breakfast, 2nd breakfast, 3rd breakfast, after breakfast snack, afternoon snack, mid afternoon snack, late night snack. I’m beginning to think he’s a hobbit with all that breakfasting.

While I had several internal freak outs over what someone was giving my two year old (late night slice of cake anyone?), I had to remind myself that these moments don’t last forever and a few weeks of eating less than perfect isn’t going to ruin his health forever.

Most of what Fig ate these past weeks could be summed up in one word: Fruit. However, I did manage to get a few “real” meals into him. His favorite was the Pomegranate and Spinach Wrap, burritoed just so to hide the spinach. He also liked the Blue Corn Papaya Tacos , mostly due to the papaya ( obviously).

However, most surprising was his love of Nopal cactus. When cooked, the cactus turns a putrid shade of green and is slimy ( yes, slimy). No matter, he ate it with gusto and asked for more. This reinforces the importance of feeding little kids a lot of different foods even if you’re 99.99% sure they will hate it. You might just be surprised!

One final note; There is hardly any natural light in our Mexico house, so these pictures aren’t the best.

Ricotta with Quinoa

Ricotta with Quinoa, Carrots, and Guava Fruit

Papaya and Fruit Blue Corn Taco

Papaya and Fruit Blue Corn Taco

Cactus and Zucchini Flower Taco with Labne

Cactus and Zucchini Flower Taco with Labne

The Nopal and Flowers before cooking-much prettier!

The Nopal and Flowers before cooking-much prettier!

Helping sort the flowers

Helping sort the flowers

Juice Making

Juice Making

Delicious, fully ripe, oranges for juicing

Delicious, fully ripe, oranges for juicing

 

On Our Table This Week

watermelon salad

Happy summer! This week, I tried to incorporate summer into our dishes as much as possible. Fig was a big fan of the Mint Spring Pasta, Mango Tacos and the Baked Rutabega Wedges with a Cashew Hummus ( I did not expect those to be such a hit!). He also ate his Watermelon Salad up quite nicely, not noticing the tomatoes until it was too late (incognito veggies strike again!)

We also had a few Lebanese dishes since it reminds my husband of home and I’ve vowed to incorporate more traditional foods into our family’s food culture. There were beautiful eggplants at the farmers market and I had to snag a few for a delicious Lebanese dish which highlighted their flavor.

Eggplants from the farm

Eggplants from the farm

For breakfast, we typically have oatmeal and fruit. This week we also had a few bran muffins, Ricotta Buckwheat Pancakes and homemade granola, all of which were eaten with gusto.

So without further delay: here is another edition of On Our Table This Week.

Mint Pasta

Spring Mint Pasta with Peas and Sprouts

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Mango Tacos with Black Beans and Brown Rice

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Vegetable Muffins ( Quiche) with a Salad and Raspberries

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Chickpeas in Lemon and Garlic, Herbed Chard Rice Salad with Pine Nuts, Labne ( Lebanese Yogurt) and Flatbread

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Rutabaga Wedges with Cashew Hummus

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Tabouli Salad, Chickpeas with Eggplant and Tomatoes, Hummus and Pita

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Morning Granola

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Morning Bran Muffins

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Buckwheat Ricotta Pancakes with Figs

On Our Table This Week

Tomato of my dreams!

The tomato of my dreams; which eventually found it’s way into a quesadilla

What a week! Between an international business trip, a summer cold ( blah!), and a few birthday parties we weren’t able to spend as much time in the kitchen as we usually do, but so is life. The “Zen Bowl” was probably the winner of the week. Fig just loves noodles and doesn’t mind barreling his way through the vegetables, which in this case happened to be sunflower sprouts and bok choy, to get to those precious udons. I made a simple herbal broth which consisted of star anise, fennel seeds, garlic, onions and salt and then cooked the noodles into the nutritious broth. The meal was half inspired by a Pho bowl but was really a vehicle to get rid of some older vegetables that were nearing the end of their days in my fridge.

Fig was also a huge fan of the Butternut Squash Cornbread Muffins. Like most little kids, he can pound down carbs like nobodies business,  filling up on starches and then not touching anything else on his plate. For this reason, I avoid giving him bread with his meals unless the items are homemade and typically contain some kind of vegetables that needs to be used up quickly.

So without further adieu, here is this week’s sparse edition of “On Our Table This Week”

Fruit and Nut Quinoa, Tuna Salad, and a Butternut Squash Cornbread Muffin

Fruit and Nut Sprouted Quinoa Mix, Tuna Salad, and a Butternut Squash Cornbread Muffin

Assisting with the butternut squash cornbread muffins

Assisting with the butternut squash cornbread muffins

Loaded Vegetable Quesadilla with Cucumbers and Strawberries

Loaded Vegetable Quesadilla with Cucumbers and Strawberries

Potatoes and Spinach with Cumin Roasted Rainbow Carrots and Kale Bread

Potatoes and Spinach Mix with Cumin Roasted Rainbow Carrots and Kale Bread

Zen Bowl

Zen Bowl

And of course, copious amounts of figs

And of course, copious amounts of figs

 

What we ate this week

I’m always interested in what other families feed their little kids so I’d thought I share what was on our table this past week. My little guy had a great eating week and scarfed down nearly everything that was put on his plate and then some.  The loaded spring quiche was a total win and a complete surprise. Telling him it was vegetable “cake” may have helped encourage him just a bit.  The only thing he unequivocally said “in your dreams” to was the raw garlic kale salad which I’m sure shocks no one.

Several meals where not photographed due to the sheer mayhem that surrounded the kitchen on those particular days ( think of a crying/clinging toddler, a barking dog, 4,000 dishes in the sink  and the smell of burnt bread wafting from the oven; a scene that happens too often around here).

So here we go; This week on Fig’s plate:

And of course, tons and tons of berries

No spring would be complete with tons of berries

Radish Sandwich

Radish sandwich with a side of cucumbers, cherries and blackberries

Chickpeas tossed in yogurt, lemon, and spinach

Chickpeas tossed in yogurt, lemon, and spinach

Cashew pesto pasta, kale bread, radishes and the imfamous garlic kale salad

Cashew tuna pesto pasta, kale bread, radishes and the infamous garlic kale salad

Pasta with a homemade marinara sauce with a Apple Fennel Salad ( not pictured)

Pasta with a homemade marinara sauce with an Apple Fennel Salad ( not pictured)

Sprouted Sushi with Cream Cheese and Cucumber

Sprouted Sushi with Cream Cheese and Cucumber

Mung bean daal

Mung bean daal

Monday: Spring Vegetable Quiche, Tabouli, and Blueberries

Spring Vegetable Quiche, Tabouli, and Blueberries