There are a few things about early toddler-hood that no one every told me about....
Some toddlers take short naps. Or don't nap....like EVER.
Toddlers have energy like nothing I have ever seen...and they pace themselves like they are running a marathon, and then insert sprint intervals!
Some toddlers (um, mine!) eat like they are linebackers prepping for two-a-days at football camp.
With all of these fabulous facts in mind, and knowing that I want to encourage a healthy, balanced diet, I have to plan ahead! On the wind sprint days, where he chooses not to sleep or I'm working more, or it's just "one of those days," I need some food on hand so that we don't resort to unhealthy choices, or at least have half of the meal complete for the evening.
So each week, I typically do the following (usually on Sunday or Monday) to give myself a fighting chance to get through the week:
- Prep 1 breakfast item: I love breakfast and have been diligent about getting the kid to eat well in the mornings, too. Typically, I either do a Crockpot Steel Cut Oatmeal and have recently tried a baked oatmeal (steel cut oats, berries, almond milk, a little honey, pecans), shown below. Easy, cooks overnight in the crockpot and on hand for a few mornings. **I'll share this recipe soon!**
Before The Oven
Ingredients (and my little helper/critic)
- Choose 2 or 3 veggies to roast: These are perfect for toddlers and I often make enough for the hubby and I to have for a meal or 2 as well. Sweet potatoes, carrots, beets and brussel sprouts are a few favorites that are in the regular rotation. Line a baking sheet, peel/chop the veggies. sprinkle with olive oil, salt, pepper....roast and done! Steaming a variety of veggies is another option.
- Cook 1 single pot meal: This is typically a soup, chili or more hearty pot meal that can serve for a dinner + a few lunches. This is either a healthier curry, veggie soup or chili. Full of veggies and stores well.
I feel as though my week functions better when it starts with a little prep. I do all of these at the same time so that the kitchen is only a mess once that day!
It doesn't mean all the meals are complete, but there are a few benefits:
- There are options in the fridge for sides of other meals
- There are food options for the kid to take with us when we eat out and he needs to eat first!
- There are healthy options for the babysitter in case he gets hungry
- It helps with road trips or other options to have food on hand!
- Helps on those days that I'm feeling less inspired to get in the kitchen.
Are you prepping any items for your kids and/or family each week? Would love to share ideas!