Toddler Eating Simplified-Vegetables 

Posted on March 10, 2016

I get tons of emails and messages from moms asking me the same thing: HOW DO I GET MY CHILD TO EAT VEGETABLES?!

I have shared some of my tips in previous posts and on  Instagram. But I have found a new and quick solution that gives your child and you a full days serving of vegetables with just two scoops! 

 
The greens are amazing and you can’t taste any difference. I enjoy adding them to our smoothies for added nutrients. Chandler loves our “smoothie time”! 

  
Not only are they an amazing way to get your fruits and veggies, you will have more energy and you will fill better from the inside out. 

They can be purchased here.

*Keep in mind this supplement can also be used as an detox/appetite suppressant. If you have any concerns be sure to consult with your pediatrician. 

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Toddler Eating Simplified 

Posted on September 10, 2015

  I receive countless emails, texts, Facebook+Instagram messages with the same question: How do I get my toddler/child to eat their dinner! Frustrated moms of undereaters this is for you! 

Quick disclaimer: this is what works for my family and our personal experience. Please ask a medical professional if you feel your child may be malnourished.

I began my son Chandler on solids at the age of 4 months. Some homemade, some store bought. He loved it! Chandler would get fruit+veggies at the same time everyday. He was exclusively breastfed and my doctor assured me he was getting enough nutrients. 

When he was 6 months old he began eating table food. I know that seems super early, but he wasn’t eating full on meals. Think: mashed potatoes and peas. With our hectic lifestyle I found it easier and far more economical to give him whatever we were eating. 

I have carried that philosophy on today. Once Chandler could fully chew I introduced soft pieces of meat and snacks (his favorites of course lol). 

Chandler has been exposed to a wide variety of cuisines. From spicy to exotic. I feel that the biggest mistake parents make when it comes to eating is choices. Of course if your child is allergic to something don’t give it to him/her. Making seperate meals or “kid friendly” dinners in addition to what you are preparing can be a hassle. Of course if you have already begun doing so, breaking this habit won’t be easy but it is possible. Here are a few of my favorite tricks to get those picky little eaters to eat:

“Hide” vegetables in smoothies. I have never met a child that didn’t love a icy cold treat. Smoothies are great because  you can control the amount of sweetness and the amount of veggies. One of my go to recipes is a blend of low fat yogurt, spinach, banana, strawberry, chia seeds, honey and ice. You can experiment with different vegetables and fruits until you find a recipe that your child(ren) love.

Present meals in a fun way. I know, I know you’re a busy person. You don’t think you have the time. I’m not saying create elaborate Asian inspired bento boxes, but a little creativity can go a long way. Perhaps a banana smiley face on pancakes for breakfast. Or oversized rotini made into a shape of a house with meat sauce in the center. Chandler responds best to meals that are colorful and fun. I enjoy adding strips of colorful bell peppers and his favorite, strawberries to his plate. 

Make meal time a happy time. If we’re on the go all day, we make it a point to make dinner family time fun and vice versa. We sing songs, we laugh, and we just make it enjoyable. The same goes for lunch. I try to eat as many meals as I can at the same time as my little tot. Children are natural copycats they love to do what mom and dad are doing. 

Involve your child in meal planning/prep. Of course this is far easier for older children but don’t count your little out just yet. I have taught Chandler to take things out of the refrigerator. Dressings, vegetables, and other small things that are on low shelves. He hands them to me with such pride. It’s quite entertaining. Older children can help make sandwiches, beat eggs, warm things in the microwave, and more. 

Our children are visual and they love to be included. By approaching eating with a positive attitude I have instilled in Chandler great eating habits. 

Spinach and Feta Pillows

Posted on August 12, 2015

Spinach and feta pillowThis recipe is truly a miracle. I didn’t know how it was going to turn out and I was quite skeptical!

Yesterday I woke up craving Greek favorites; Greek Salad and Spinach Pie. I waited until it was dinnertime (hi, I’m pregnant) to go to the grocery store. I went to my local grocery store and they were out of phyllo dough! Absolutely devastating. I knew I didn’t have time to go to another store so I grabbed the Pillsbury Dough Sheets and prayed.

Well, prayer works! They came out so soft and pillowy.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 Package Frozen Chopped Spinach
  • 1 Cup Feta Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Dill Weed
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 1 Roll Pillsbury Dough Sheet
  • 1 Egg

In a saucepan heat spinach through. Add Feta Cheese, Dill, and S+P. Add egg and continue to stir until egg is well combined and even throughout.

Flour board and lay out dough. Cut into 9 squares (3 rows by 3 columns) Spoon in filling and fold to your liking (here’s your chance to get creative).

Place in a nonstick baking dish and bake at 375 degrees for 13-15 mins! Top with butter and a sprinkling of salt!

 

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Posted on August 3, 2015

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Hi friends! If you follow me via Instagram (@MeetTheWoods) or Twitter (XoLaurenWoods) you know that I and 7 1/2 months pregnant! We are over the moon excited for our new addition coming this October! Of course with pregnancies, come pregnancy cravings! My number one craving to date is French fries!

I could have them day or night! With ketchup or plain! From anywhere! Obsessed!

I decided a couple days ago to switch it up to sweet potato fries. I’ve never made them before, so I scoured the Internet for recipes. I came across Ms. Paula Deen’s recipe. I tried it out and failed, miserably. They came out soggy and flavorless. Staring at the left over sweet potatoes in my refrigerator, I decided to give it another try.

Here’s what you’ll need

•1-2 sweet potatoes

•1/4 cup olive oil

•1 tsp salt

•1 tsp sugar

•1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Slice sweet potatoes to desired thickness. Coat fries with olive oil and toss with seasonings. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes, turn them over once!

Chandler enjoyed them with his lunch as well ☺️

Toddler Meal

C is for C H I C K E N!

Posted on February 20, 2015

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Happy Friday, and welcome to the weekend! My son’s name of course is Chandler. You would naturally assume that we would be teaching him that “C” is for Chandler, but oh contraire we’ve taught him that “C” is for CHICKEN! Chicken is a major part of his diet mainly because he’s able to digest it really well and he simply loves it. Not to mention there are 1,000,000 different things I can make him using chicken!

For lunch this afternoon, I made Chandler his favorite super-crispy tenders. I know that there are healthier alternatives than frying chicken breast in vegetable oil so keep in mind this isn’t the “healthier” option but it is the “healthier” option in comparison to frozen Dino chicken.

I have a few different flour combinations for crispy chicken but I have found that this particular one is easiest for my 16 month old to chew through.

First: Place thinly sliced chicken breast in a bowl, cover chicken with milk. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp of black pepper over chicken/milk mixture.

Second: Combine in a ziplock bag equal parts flour and corn starch. I made about 12 strips and used 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup cornstarch. To this flour mixture combine 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder and 1 tsp cayenne pepper.

Third: Add chicken breast to flour mixture and shake!

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Fourth: Fry strips in vegetable oil for 9 minutes, turning once.

Strain strips on to paper towels for excess oil.

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Toddler Dinner…F A S T!

Posted on February 18, 2015

Toddler Shrimp Pasta

 

Ok, I apologize for back to back shrimp pasta dishes. I’ve gotten so many emails regarding #WhatChandlerAte (follow my personal instagram @meetthewoods) with the same conundrum: I want to make my kids something delicious, but I don’t have a lot of time.

Getting a home cooked meal on the table after a long day of work, picking up kids from daycare or school, and after school extracurriculars can be tough!

If you keep your pantry and fridge stocked with staples your possibilities are truly endless and essentially easy.

Tonight I had to make dinner in a rush with ingredients that I had on hand. I hardly ever use jars of Alfredo sauce, but tonight it sure came in handy!

I roughly chopped 1/2 green bell pepper, 1 small onion, and 1/4 lb of asparagus. I sauté the veggies together in olive oil. After the asparagus was tender and the onion carmelized I added in 1 jar of Alfredo sauce,1 tbsp of minced garlic, 1 tbsp of Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy seasoning, and 1/2 tsp of salt. Let it come to a simmer and turn off the heat. I boiled 1/2 lb of whole wheat rotini noodles and combined that with my sauce.

I would’ve stopped there, but I was in a “throw everything in” trance. I added tiny cooked baby shrimp (this meal is for my 16 month old after all) and voila this fast and delicious meal was ready in 17 minutes!

 

White Wine and Garlic Shrimp Scampi

Posted on February 18, 2015

IMG_8278.PNGI am a huge pasta fan! I will boil pasta, toss in butter and garlic, top with an over easy egg, and voilà one of my favorite meals!

Last night I decided to make a cohesive meal out of my easy go to ️Recipe by adding shrimp.

Here’s what you’ll need:

•1/2 lb Pasta, I used angel hair, cooked
•1/2 lb Shrimp
•1 Stick Butter
•1/4 Cup Minced Garlic
•1/2 Cup White Wine
•1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
•1 Tsp Salt
•1 Tsp Black Pepper

Sprinkle Shrimp with 1/2 tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp salt, sauté over medium high heat with half stick of butter, 1/4 cup wine and minced garlic.

Sauté for 2-3 mins on each side and reduce heat to medium low. Add pasta to your sauté pan along with the remaining butter, white wine, and the heavy cream.

Once you have a consistent thin sauce, you’re done! I topped ours with red crushed pepper flakes, oregano, and Parmesan cheese! Delish!