Baby is a few years too young for “ants on a log,” – they might not have the teeth for it, for one thing – but they also might be coming up on the age where they are starting to ask for a little more variety from their food, just to keep things interesting. The days are passing when they will be happy with a brownish-orangish-green mush when the rest of the family is munching on a plate full of bright colors and interesting new shapes. What Baby needs, at this point, is something in the middle.
Pasta and mini-meatballs
It’s entirely possible that you already know how good of finger-food large, interestingly shaped noodles make for new self-feeders, and if the rest of the family is having spaghetti, there’s no reason for Baby not to join in on the fun. Just make some larger, easily grip-able noodles, like elbows, wagon wheels, or bow ties, and toss them in the spaghetti sauce the rest of the family is eating, as long as it’s fairly low in sodium. That way, Baby will be getting the same flavors as everyone else, but without quite the same opportunity for mess that a whole bowl-full of sauce would provide – they'll probably only get their face coated bright red. Well, face and hands. Face, hands, clothes, and maybe a little bit of the floor. But that’s all. Probably.
You can add a little protein to the meal by sauteing a few teeny tiny meatballs out of ground beef or turkey to go with Baby’s pasta dish.
Who in the world doesn’t like pancakes? Well, besides Baby, maybe, but that’s just because they hasn’t had the chance to try them yet! And right now, when they hasn’t had the chance to try them with syrup yet, may be the only time you’ll be able to get away with giving them a relatively healthy version.
- ½ cup white flour
- ½ cup wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup milk or water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted butter
- 1 egg or equivalent (1 Tbsp. cornstarch, 1 Tbsp. oil, ½ tsp. baking powder)
Combine dry and then wet ingredients, then cook the batter in quarter-sized cakes in a skillet over a medium heat.
Coconut rice tends to be a little stickier than regular rice, which means it’s easier to serve on Baby-sized silverware. Adding coconut milk to rice adds vitamin C, Iron, and a little calcium into what is still a deceptively bland-looking meal, if Baby happens to be in one of those phases. If they are longing for color instead, it’s easy to add a splash of bright orange by serving the rice with mango. It’s also a great way to start exposing Baby to different flavor palates which could make it easier to bring them on more daring adventures in eating out as they get older.
- 1 cup rice of your choice
- 1 cup coconut milk
- ¾ cups water
- (optional) 1 can of mango puree or mango chunks
Combine the ingredients in a saucepan, put them on a medium high heat, and stir until they come to a boil. When it’s boiling, turn the heat down to low, cover with a lid, and let simmer 20 to 30 minutes, until no more liquid is visible. Then leave the rice to stand for 10 minutes, and serve with mango if desired.