Being my lazy and busy self, I enjoy finding the easiest way to do things. Even if it means taking extra steps in order to make something down the road a lot simpler. Meal prep has been apart of my life for many years now and got me through long study nights and 12 hour shifts. And as a fire wife, prepping meals ahead for my husband became essential as well. It made perfect sense to carry this habit on into my parenting stage of life.
Meal prep isn’t only for adults
I didn’t think much about when Ariel would start eating solid food. I focused so much of my mind on breastfeeding that I didn’t think about the future. So, when that time came, I felt like I was already behind. I quickly did research and looked at portion sizes, how to serve food, etc.
One of the resources I found most valuable was the Feeding Littles Instagram page. Seriously, follow them. They have so much knowledge and are full of encouragement.
After I understood how and what to feed her, I wanted to make it easier. My lazy-gene was itching to adapt the grab and go lifestyle my husband and I are familiar with into feeding my daughter. This began the once per week toddler meal prep that is now part of our normal routine.
But what do you make?
Though toddlers can eat Mexican Chicken Bowls and Spinach Artichoke Pasta, it is not always convenient to feed them this every day, nor do they stomach it for 5 days like we do. I needed even simpler meals. So- I choose 1-2 recipes to make ahead.
These recipes include:
These are recipes we have tried out and love. We made these toddler muffins this week and my daughter is obsessed. I use these recipes as quick snacks, or incorporate them into a bigger meal.
I have found that simple, basic breakfasts and lunches are the most successful. My daughter will eat basic foods better than she may eat a casserole. Finger foods of all kinds are the easiest way to please a toddler. I am able to prep these finger food meals super easily and it takes no time at all.
Easy Finger Food
- Cut bell pepper
- Drained and rinsed beans of any kind (Ariel’s fave are black beans and garbanzo beans)
- Chopped spinach (can be added into a smoothie or egg scramble)
- Clementine oranges
- Cheese sticks
- Refillable yogurt packs with whole milk yogurt
Again, only a portion of what we have have on hand weekly, but there are many more options- the grocery aisle is the limit!
Why Should I Meal Prep?
If you aren’t lazy like I am and are wondering other benefits to meal prepping for your toddler then consider these things:
- It’s convenient. When I have these already drained, rinsed (if necessary) and put into Tupperware or plastic bags, I can easily grab them when my daughter has a random fit of hunger-fueled rage.
- It’s quick. This also makes last minute outings easier, or when you are running late. Just pop a pre-portioned bag in the diaper bag and you’re on your way.
- It is budget-friendly! Buying ingredients is cheaper than buying snacks. Taking some extra time to pre-portion and make-ahead will do wonders to your budget and grocery bill. Where I live, yogurt packs from the store cost about $7.00 for a box of 4. I am able to use my refillable yogurt packs, buy a carton of the same yogurt for $4.00 and make nearly 11 packs!
These are my tips on meal prepping, what I make and how it works for our family. There are so many ways to success when it comes to feeding littles. I do not think that my way is the only way. Fed truly is best!
Tell me, how do you manage the busy week and getting breakfast, lunch and snacks to your littles?
Hi! I'm Alana
I am so glad that you stumbled upon Tired Mom Life. This is my small corner of the internet where I share my heart, what God is doing in my life, and how I work to see Him in all of the jumbled life of being a mom, wife and follower of Christ. My prayer is that God is able to touch you through my experience and that you will be encouraged that you are not alone, and you are so loved.
I am a young-mother to my 1 year old daughter, and a wife to the spiritual leader of my prayers. I love being outside, going for walks, writing and being with my family. I am excited to be pursuing this God-given passion of writing and I am so thankful you have decided to come along.
Seek the Lord and His strength; seek his presence continually!
1 Chronicles 16:11, ESV