Thursday, February 4, 2010

Fast Food

Is it just me or is feeding your baby the single most frustrating, anxiety ridden, and concerning thing about having a child? After Mama J’s most recent post, I started thinking about how hard each stage is and how each stage offers its own unique concerns.
Currently, with a 15 month old in my house, I struggle to find healthy interesting foods for her to eat without having to spend my entire day in the kitchen. While it is always best when you can give your child the same thing you make for yourself, a lot of times that is not realistic. Below I have listed some of my favorite ready-made foods that work in a pinch when I need something fast and healthy:

1) Dr. Preagers: You can find this brand at Whole Foods as well as many other main-stream grocery stores. I am a huge fan of the broccoli and spinach pancakes – basically a potato pancake with broccoli or spinach mixed in. These taste fantastic, can be cooked up in about 15 minutes in the toaster, and are a great way to sneak veggies into your child’s diet.
Dr. Preagers also makes a GREAT veggie burger that packs some good protein in it. Cook it up in the same way you do the pancakes.
2) Whole Food Wild Salmon Burgers – WAIT! Before you say that your child won’t eat fish, I promise you that these don’t taste anything like fish. They have all natural ingredients and can be fried up on a skillet in about 10 minutes and are packed with the “good” fats that help with brain development.
3) Anne’s Veggie and Bean burrito – These organic burritos are packed with beans and veggies. Stick it in the microwave for 1 minute, then open the burrito and dump the contents onto the plate. Throw the burrito away and put the filling back in the microwave for one more minute and add a bit of cheese. Then stir. This makes a fantastic, mushy, yummy mess that is easy and fun and is mushy enough that it doesn’t pose a choking hazard (and, no, it is not spicy).
4) Thin sliced American cheese – this is a trick I learned from my mother. Go to the deli counter and ask for white American cheese sliced “paper thin”. You have to be very specific about the fact that the cheese should be really, really thin (so much so that it is hard to separate the pieces). This cheese will melt in your child’s mouth as soon as they take a bite so you can give them a whole slice of it which is fun for them to hold and eat but does not carry any choking risk. Also, whenever I am in a pinch I throw it on a piece of bread and melt it in the toaster – this is a huge hit at my house - just toast it up and break it into small pieces.
5) Sick of crackers? Try ultra thin mini rice cakes by Paskesz.. These feel like crackers and are crunchy, but don’t have the salt that many crackers have. You can pick them up at any big grocery store and are a great on-the-go snack.

Those are my “fast-food” suggestions. I would love yours if you have any!

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