Ten Meals for Toddlers.

Feeding a toddler is always tricky. Their taste buds change as fast as their attention spans. It’s an endless struggle, really. Whenever I feed LT a meal that doesn’t get thrown across the kitchen, I do a little victory dance. After many attempts, here are ten meals for toddlers that, in my experience, LT really enjoys. They cover all the basic food groups (I’m a stickler on this) and are great for dinners.

Toddler Meal 1:
Hamburger, Mashed Potatos, Asparagus, Peaches, String Cheese
Toddler Meals

Toddler Meal 2:
Breaded Chicken, Macaroni and Cheese, Green Beans, Bananas
Healthy Meals For Toddlers

Toddler Meal 3:
Meatballs, Ravioli With Red Sauce, Garlic Bread, Corn, Strawberries (not pictured….LT was having a hunger meltdown before I could snap a picture)
Toddler Dinner Meals

Toddler Meal 4:
Chicken Fried Rice With Peas & Carrots, Blueberries (partially pictured….see comment above in meal #3), String Cheese
Meals For Toddlers

Toddler Meal 5:
Crock Pot Roasted Chicken, Potatoes and Carrots, Bananas, Strawberry Yogurt (not pictured)
Delicious Toddler Meals

Toddler Meal 6:
Lasagna, Green Beans, Blueberries, Dinner Roll
Tasty Toddler Meals

Toddler Meal 7:
Barbecue Breaded Chicken, Macaroni and Cheese, Blueberries/Bananas, Broccoli
Dinner Meals For Kids

Toddler Meal 8:
Spaghetti, Meatballs, Roasted Yellow Squash, Banana, Sweet Potato Yogurt (not pictured) Garlic Bread
Toddler Meal

Toddler Meal 9:
Pork Tenderloin, Carrots, Macaroni and Cheese, Apple Sauce (not pictured), String Cheese
Simple Toddler Meals

Toddler Meal 10:
Chicken and Cheesy Rice, Broccoli, Bananas, Pears
Toddler Dinners

 

Hope this gave you some toddler meal inspiration! I’d love to hear some meals you’ve whipped up for your little ones! Comment below and share your favorites.

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Almond Butter Oatmeal Jar.

When January first rolled around, like many do, I made a New Year’s Resolution. It wasn’t to lose weight or go to the gym more often but rather just to overall make healthier food decisions. I like to think of myself as generally a healthy eater to begin with so this resolution wasn’t completely foreign which was really great because it meant I could probably stick to it. I also really wanted to alter my sugar intake. Being that I have always eaten somewhat healthy, I have often fallen victim to the low-calorie snack packs and low fat yogurt. What I have been slowly learning is that though these foods may be low in calories, they really are not good for you at all. So, I have been trying to avoid foods with added sugars and processed foods, as well as make a conscious effort to eat more fruits and vegetables. A snack that was once a Special K bar is now cucumber and hummus. Low-fat yogurt is now Greek yogurt with a drop of honey.

One of my go-to breakfasts of late has been this whole concept of breakfast in a jar. And it’s so easy to make. You get a mason jar, add oats, milk (or soy), some protein (like peanut butter or almond butter), some fruit, stick it in the fridge overnight and you’re done. I Pinned a bunch of recipes but I didn’t have all of the ingredients needed in my home at the time I wanted to make it, so I experimented with what I had and made my own concoction. Let’s just say I am borderline obsessed.

Overnight Almond Butter Oatmeal

Ingredients:

  1. Quick Oats – 1/2 cup
  2. Milk (skim, soy, almond) – 1/3 cup
  3. Greek Yogurt – 1 tbsp.
  4. Almond Butter – 1 tbsp.
  5. Honey – 1/2 tbsp.
  6. Sliced Banana – preference as to how much you add. I usually only put in 1/4 of the banana

Directions:

  • Add the quick oats and milk into the mason jar and give it a quick stir.
  • Measure the Greek yogurt, almond butter and honey and add it to the jar. Stir again.
  • Cut up your banana and add it to the mix. Stir if desired.
  • Seal up the jar and place it in the fridge.

Here’s a quick recipe card to download and print. I call it my Almond Butter Oatmeal Jar….ENJOY!
Almond Butter Oatmeal Jar

 

Our First Trip To The Dentist.

Despite the countless books, articles and mommy blogs that I have read since learning I was pregnant in 2013, I never learned that a trip to the dentist should actually take place when your little one starts to get teeth. Say what? News to me! I mean I guess it makes sense. Even though they are just baby teeth, a lot of damage can be done to permanent teeth if a problem arises and isn’t caught in time.

With a quick Google search for Pediatric Dentists in Cleveland, Ohio, I came across quite a few results. I was interested in about three of them so I went to their websites to learn a bit more. Ultimately I chose Giggles and Grin in Broadview Heights. They seemed to have a lot of offered services, and the dentist, Dr. Becky, completed her education in Ohio. Call me weird, but I really gravitate to doctors who are originally from around here. And being that I am in marketing, I found their website pleasing. I also liked the fact that they were on social media. Again, a weird quirk of mine, but what was really attractive to me was the photo gallery. It gave me a first-hand look at the office and what to expect. There were also lots of photos of Dr. Becky posing with kids after their appointments. It was evident that she really loved her job.

So, onto the appointment. It ended up being a mommy-Liam trip because daddy had a work meeting. When we walked into the office, it was just as good, if not better, than the pictures I saw online. We were greeted with bright colors, toys and cartoons. Liam darted right to the choo-choo trains. Prior to our appointment, the receptionist told me that I could download new patient forms via their website so that when I got to the office I could keep my attention on Liam….LOVED this idea…..forgot the papers!

The actual room where Liam had his cleaning was equipped with fun colored chairs, toys and even a television on the ceiling. He wasn’t too into the TV when it came time for the cleaning, but I’m sure if he was older he would appreciate it more. Dr. Becky went through what she would be doing to Liam for the cleaning, where to lay Liam on the chair and away she went. She brushed, scraped, flossed and checked out his gums for more incoming teeth. The procedure probably lasted about 5 minutes but the appointment lasted a bit longer because she explained when to start giving him fluoride toothpaste, how to care for his teeth and so on.

At the end of our visit, I was informed that Liam will be entered into the ‘No Cavity Club’, an adorable idea where Dr. Becky takes pictures of children with no cavities and puts them on a board in the office. She also shares it on their Facebook page. As we are sitting there chatting on the floor after his picture was taken, Liam decides that Dr. Becky is pretty cool and sits on her lap (I died. Seriously kid. Could you get any cuter?!)

Liam got a toy for his good behavior (a little plastic dinosaur) and we were on our merry way. I loved, loved, loved Giggles and Grin and we are looking forward to our next appointment in 6 months!
pediatric dentist

Side note: we also got this cute little hand-written note from the dentist thanking us for our visit. You don’t get too many of these personalized gestures any more these days!
Pediatric Dentist

Mommy mission: sleep training my little one.

Today’s blog was actually intended to be posted when our sleep training mission started. I had huge plans to do a daily blog post recapping that night’s events, but such is life. I tend to just go with the flow these days.

So to recap, Liam was approaching 13 months old and I was approaching the idea of jumping off a cliff. Not only was he waking up 3 – 4 times in the middle of the night, refusing to go back in his crib unless he was completely knocked out and unaware of his surroundings, he also decided 9:00 p.m. was no longer an acceptable bedtime. Oh and to top it off, he was now waking at 5:30 a.m. I was a zombie mom each and every day. The day before my husband and I had two weeks off work was the day I decided it was time to start sleep training the little night owl.

The crying it out method simply wasn’t for me, or for Liam. He would work himself up so much that he would almost vomit, or I would give up and go get him which just made him think, “Okay, if I cry good and hard, mommy will come get me.” I started researching sleep training methods and stumbled across The Sleep Lady Shuffle from The Sleep Lady, Kim West.

The Sleep Lady Shuffle

The concept in a nutshell:

There are three phases, each phase lasting three nights. For the first three nights, you actually sleep on the floor next to the crib (I didn’t care. I was desperate). Every time your little one wakes up in the middle of the night, merely, SHHHH him/her back to sleep. If they stand up or get really upset, you can lie them down or pat their back, but only for a few seconds. Nights four through six, you move your ‘bed’ closer to the door. Same concept, but if they wake, just SHHH – no more physical contact. For nights seven, eight and nine, you move your bed into the hallway right outside the door. And of course, you log the times for every stir, wake and cry.

What we did:

The first night was a zinger. The Sleep Lady says when putting your baby down, if they stand, lay them back down, when they are laying down, rub their back. Constantly tell them to SHHH and that it is bedtime. Holy moly! After a half hour of being screamed at and stiff armed, Liam finally gave up and went to sleep. Oh and this method is to be a one person job per night. So Reed and I took shifts and I happened to get night one because it was my brainiac idea. Liam woke up about four times, each time all I did was SHHH and he went back to sleep.

Night two was remarkably better. When going down, Liam stood up a few times but never once cried. We simply laid him down gently each time and told him it was bedtime. He woke up twice that night but with a SHHH, he was out.

The third night he actually laid down when we put him in his crib and never once stood up AND he slept through the night.

Nights four through six we moved our make-shift bed closer to the door and the nightly activity was pretty boring during this span of time…but boring was good!

Now, nights seven through nine we straight-up refused to sleep in the hallway (we had to draw the line somewhere). During these days, we simply stood outside his door for just a few minutes after we laid him in his crib and SHHH’ed him if he stirred. That was it.

Where we are today:

It is important to note that with this Sleep Lady Shuffle, a strict bedtime routine is key. Evidently babies thrive on routine. I also learned that when a baby is waking up very early, it is actually because they are going to bed too late. You would think the opposite to be true, but it’s not. So with this sleep training, we have established a routine for LT that consists of bath time at 7:00, bottle/snack in his highchair at 7:30, brush teeth and in his room by 7:45 – 8:00 p.m. for some quiet story time with music in the background. He get’s 10 – 15 minutes of story time and then its bedtime. Generally speaking he is placed in his crib no later than 8:00 p.m. and he wakes up at for school..aka daycare.

Our results have been straight up AH-mazing. After story time, we tell Liam it is bedtime, we give him kisses, he kisses his stuffed puppy, we lay him down and he is out. Not a single peep. And the best part is mommy and daddy have had uninterrupted sleep for five weeks now…FIVE WEEKS. The downside is we now have a limited amount of time with him once we get home from dinner, but at the end of the day a healthy, full nights sleep for Liam is more important. And a happy baby = a happy mommy and daddy!

Liam