healthy

Kids Breakfast Ideas

Breakfast Ideas

Babies eating solids, toddlers and kids on up!! It’s sometimes a struggle to make a healthy meal first thing in the morning. If your child is anything like my son, he wants food RIGHT when he wakes up. Gee….I wonder where he gets that from 😉 So this was my attempt at giving myself some motivation to switch it up with healthy options. It’s so easy to just grab a yogurt or make a quick piece of buttered toast, which I’m learning is just going to have to be okay sometimes! But I also want to make an effort to give my son healthy eating habits.

It can be hard serving kids healthy meals when they are picky! Especially toddlers who love something one day and are totally disgusted by the exact same thing the next! My son is so hard to feed sometimes. One night he CHOWED down on sesame chicken, white rice and crab rangoons (I was shocked to say the least!) and the next night turned his nose up over simple spaghetti. Anyway…I do my best with feeding him healthy meals as much as I can!

What’s nice about these breakfast ideas is that they are really simple! Nothing too complicated or time consuming here!

Simple Breakfasts:

1) Simple buttered toast with slices of avocado.

One of the easiest! My go-to breakfast with my son.

2) Breakfast pancake muffins with grapes.

These pancake muffins were so easy to make and you can make them up ahead of time, stick them in the fridge or freezer and simply pop one out anytime you want! To see my recipe for them click HERE. You can add in anything you want such as blueberries, banana, spinach, etc.

3) Oatmeal and blueberries.

Bananas are a great add-in as well along with some cinnamon. Another one of my son’s favorites. He’s OBSESSED with blueberries. I prefer using plain cooked rolled oats versus instant oatmeal and just adding in whatever I want.

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4) Scrambled eggs and kiwi.

Also quick and easy!

5) Peanut toast and oranges

Make faces or fun pictures out of food to make it look more fun and appealing! I look forward to my son actually being old enough to appreciate fun things like this! 😛

6) Pineapple shaped pancakes w/ chocolate chips and bananas

Obviously they don’t have to be pineapple shaped! But have fun with it and make pancakes into shapes or characters! This is definitely not a talent of mine. I’ve seen videos where people make faces or detailed images with pancakes…crazy!

7) Eggs (switch it up from scrambled!) with cantaloupe and pineapple!

8) Avocado toast and yogurt

If you’re using an avocado that is in a really soft stage (or you can just mash it up) its perfect for spreading on toast. It’s considered a healthy fat and a super food!

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9) Strawberries and pancakes!

Clearly I just like making faces out of food! I think I’m still a kid myself! Switch it up with waffles too! Add fruit or shredded spinach for added nutrients as well.

Another fantastic option…Smoothies!!! Here are some great smoothie recipes!

Blueberry – Pear Smoothie

Berry Avocado Chia Smoothie

Celery N’ Greens Fruit Smoothie

Click on Healthy Smoothies in the menu for more smoothie ideas!

Enjoy!

Whippersnappers

Homemade Gummy Bears!

Homemade Gummy Bears

Up until recently I didn’t even think about making something like gummy bears or fruit snacks homemade! But now that it’s becoming more and more popular to do things homemade, have less sugar and use real, fresh fruits and veggies I now thought it would be a good idea to try. Not to mention it’s way more fun to say that you actually made them!

While I was making these I literally thought they were going to be awful! I’ve never used plain unflavored gelatin and I don’t know if it was just me or not but it smelled so bad! Must have just been when I was heating it all up though because they turned out fantastic! No, like I’m not kidding! These are so delicious and ADDICTING! Like my husband has to tell me to stop eating our son’s snacks type of addicting! 😛

I just wanted another snack alternative. I feel like I am constantly giving my son crackers alllllll the time! Crackers, crackers, crackers…they are everywhere! In the car, in the stroller, on the counter, on the floor, in my diaper bag, in the toy box…Why do I keep finding all these crackers?! I swear he has more fun dropping them everywhere than actually eating them. Okay, getting a bit off topic! I kept finding homemade gummy bear ideas and recipes on Pinterest and wanted a give a go at my own recipe. You can use pretty much any type of juice or milk to add the gelatin. I decided to go with pomegranate juice because of all of the health benefits. There are lots of different kinds of pomegranate juice but I went with just 100% pomegranate and then used a strawberry puree. They are SO good! Don’t take my word for it, try them out!

Homemade Gummy Bears

Homemade Gummy Bears

Strawberry – Pomegranate Gummy Bears

-1/2 Cup Pureed Strawberries

-1/2 Cup Pomegranate Juice

-1 Tbsp Honey

-3 Tbsp Gelatin Powder

First rinse and cut off ends of fresh strawberries. Add a few large strawberries to the blender (around 5-7 strawberries or so) and puree until very smooth. Add a small amount of water if needed to puree smoothly. Cook pomegranate juice and gelatin powder in a saucepan over low heat until the powder has dissolved (4-5 minutes) while stirring. Do not let mixture come to a boil. After the powder has dissolved take the liquid off of the heat and slowly add it to the strawberry puree while stirring. Add honey and stir until combined. Pour the mixture into a pan or gummy bear molds. If you use a pan you want to use a size that will make it so the liquid is fairly shallow. An 8×8 or 9×9 inch pan would work well.

Put pan in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes or longer.

Homemade Gummy Bears

 

Homemade Gummy Bears

Once it is completely set (you should be able to touch it and it is firm and smooth to the touch, not sticky or wet) you can start cutting out the gummy bear shapes. You could make any shape you want, it doesn’t have to be gummy bears. I got these adorable itty bitty cookie cutters from Amazon, it is a pack of three and the smallest one is really tiny and resembles a gummy bear. You can find them here.

I saved all of the extra gummy parts that were in between each gummy bear shape as well. Hey…it all tastes the same!

Keep refrigerated.

These are so much fun to make and another great toddler snack! I made a whole bunch to take on our road trip with us to go visit family!

Enjoy!

 

Homemade Gummy Bears

Whippersnappers

Super Simple Hummus Recipe

Simple Hummus Recipe

Okay, so I can’t really take credit for this one. My husband is actually the one who whipped this one up!

A little while back Sawyer loved garbanzo beans, LOVED them! He would shove them in his mouth one right after the other. Of course, soon after that came to a halt and he now refuses to eat them. He may try it at first but then spits it right out with a disgusted look. So I don’t know what happened but regardless, I had a few cans of chick peas lying around. My husband had the brilliant idea to make homemade hummus. Okay I am going to come clean and admit that since I’ve never even eaten hummus I didn’t even know that it was made primarily from chick peas!! Maybe I’m the only one but this was news to me! So I didn’t realize it was so easy to make homemade.

This is perfect because our son, like many one year olds I’m sure, won’t eat a whole lot of meat or protein. So this is perfect for a little extra protein. If it goes on a cracker, my son will eat it! Crackers are his absolute favorite!

How to make:

 

Super Simple Hummus:

1 Can Garbanzo beans

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp Lemon Juice

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp salt

1/4 C water

Drain and rinse garbanzo beans. This next step isn’t necessary but to make it even creamier peel the garbanzo beans. Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender.

Simple Hummus Recipe

Simple Hummus Recipe

I, myself am not a huge fan of the taste of chick peas so hummus really isn’t my favorite. Hummus is really good for you though so I did try to see if my son liked it and he eats it on crackers! Success!

Enjoy!

 

 

Whippersnappers

Apple N’ Greens Kids Smoothie

Apple N' Greens Smoothie

Smoothies have been a great go-to lunch option lately! Of course, I’ll admit sometimes it is much easier to throw together a quick sandwich or hotdog but most of the time I try to be more healthy and my son is my biggest motivation for that! So…GREENS! Super hard to get kids to eat, right?! Turn to smoothies, it will work! Even smoothies that are visibly green or maybe even a little gross looking are some of the tastiest smoothies! Throw some spinach or something in a smoothie and you really can’t even tell at all! Needless to say, don’t even mention that it’s in there and they won’t even know!

I whipped up this one the other day, kind of just trying to use stuff I had around the house. I realized that for some reason I have never used apples in a smoothie before. I don’t know why because it sounds great to me!

Apple N' Greens Smoothie

Apple N’ Greens Smoothie

 

What to use:

-half of an apple (peeled and cored)

-one banana

-handful of kale

-favorite yogurt of your choice (if making a baby smoothie, use whole milk yogurt. I use Stonyfield YoBaby)

-Splash of coconut water

-ice

 

Add everything to the blender and blend well!!

Apple N' Greens Smoothie

I accidentally used way to much kale this time so it was pretty chunky :-/ Surprisingly enough, Sawyer gobbled it down anyway! Works for me! (By the way, I did not use all of the kale in the picture! Just use one stalk or so…that would be waaay excessive :P)

Try this one out, the apples are great in it!

Enjoy 🙂

 

Apple N' Greens Smoothie

Whippersnappers

The Art of Hiding Vegetables in Kid’s Food

The Art of Hiding Vegetables

My son is actually a surprisingly good eater for being 11 months old. However, he has become more and more questioning when it comes to vegetables lately. I think the most frustrating thing is that one day he will LOVE peas! Love them! Eat them like blueberries (his current favorite!)! And then the next day completely refuses peas. Not only spit them out, but shakes his head back and forth crazily until they fling out of his mouth. Which he thinks is so funny by the way. For being only 11 months old this child is smart and I mean smart! He will take a pea and pretend to put it to his mouth with his eyes on me the whole time. Then slowly reach back and drop the pea down his shirt.

So yes, that’s what I have been dealing with. While it usually just makes me laugh I’ve also realized that I really need to get some vegetables in his diet more regularly instead of just when he feels like he is in the mood for them. With some experimentation I have come up with some ways to get veggies into my little guy’s diet without him even noticing!

 

Here are some ideas for hiding vegetables into some other favorite foods:

 

Veggie Baby Cereal

This one is obviously just for babies rather than toddlers or older children. But for those babies still eating baby cereal, this is an awesome way to add some veggies. Simply prepare the baby cereal as directed and then add some veggie puree! For some homemade baby food ideas check out my baby food puree page HERE.

There are certain things like carrots or squash that my son used to love but now absolutely will not eat it. So I will add it to his cereal in the morning and he gobbles it right up. I also like to mix in fruit purees a lot of the time in his cereal but when he is needing some more veggies or to just mix things up the veggies are great too.

Some good veggie purees to add to baby cereal are:

-carrots

-pea/spinach

-broccoli/kale

-sweet potato

-asparagus

 

Pea-Spinach Macaroni & Cheese

Pea-Spinach Macaroni & Cheese

Veggie Macaroni & Cheese

I like to make a very simple macaroni and cheese using velveeta and it is super simple and quick to whip up on a moments notice. The only thing is that macaroni and cheese is not really the healthiest option. So I figured I would try adding some veggies to make a really yummy food healthy too! What I didn’t expect was for it to actually taste so great! For my first time trying this for my son this is what I made:

Pea – Spinach Macaroni & Cheese

-pea/spinach puree

-elbow macaroni

-1 Tbsp coconut oil

-velveeta cheese

 

To make the pea/spinach puree, steam desired amount of peas (I used frozen this time) for 20 minutes. Add a handful of spinach and steam for about 10 more minutes. Rinse after steaming and let it cool for a bit. Add it all to the blender and blend well. Add water to smooth out if needed. You can make as much as you want. I like to make veggie purees in bulk and freeze the extra in glass jars.

Cook elbow macaroni as directed. Drain macaroni and put it back in the pan and back on the stove on a lower heat. Add desired amount of velvet cheese (depends on how much cheese you like), 1 Tbsp coconut oil and about 4oz of pea/spinach puree (I had frozen my puree into 4oz jars). Let warm until cheese and everything is all melted together and stir well.

That’s it! It was so good! I’m not even kidding, I was even sitting there eating it! My son devoured this without even giving a thought as to there being peas and spinach in this!

You could use other veggie purees too. Broccoli puree or butternut squash puree would work especially nicely. Again, you could check my baby food purees page for recipe ideas.

 

Spinach - Grilled Cheese

 

Spinach - Grilled Cheese

Spinach Grilled Cheese

This one is pretty self explanatory. My son loves grilled cheese sandwiches so one day I just tried adding some spinach to it and he didn’t even seem to notice. This goes for other sandwiches as well such as deli meat sanwhiches, tuna or paninis.

 

Oranges & Greens Smoothie

Blueberry-Banana & Greens Smoothie

Fruit & Greens Smoothies

Smoothies are the perfect way to get some greens into their diet without them even noticing! I even do this myself! I am not a super huge fan or spinach or kale but I add them to almost every smoothie I make because you can’t even taste it and yet it adds so much nutrients!

HERE is a recipe for my Oranges & Greens baby smoothie.

HERE is another great baby smoothie recipe – Blueberry/Banana & Greens.

 

I hope these ideas help you as much as they helped me!

ENJOY!

 

Whippersnappers

 

Simple Strawberry Banana Baby Smoothie

My new thing lately has been baby smoothies! I’ve been making them for Sawyer and I for lunch now and then and it’s so easy and delicious! Most importantly, I can pack in some extra nutrients that Sawyer may not eat by itself! I am also absolutely loving his new Sili squeeze pouch that I got him specifically for smoothies. It works so perfectly and he can feed himself this way. Except for the fact that I have to take it away from him while gulping it so that he doesn’t get brain freeze! 😛

I just wanted to share this smoothie that I made the other day because it is so simple and quick to make.

Strawberry Banana Baby Smoothie

Strawberry-Banana Smoothie for Babies

Use:

-6 strawberries

-1 banana

-Whole milk YoBaby yogurt (vanilla or banana works well for this one!)

-Coconut water

-Ice

Add everything to the blender and add a little bit of coconut water at a time until you reach desired consistency. That’s it!

Add some greens for some added nutrients! Enjoy!

Strawberry Banana Baby Smoothie

Whippersnappers

Valentine’s Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie

Just the idea of a chocolate covered strawberry smoothie makes me hungry! Chocolate covered strawberries are one of my favorites! And they’re perfect for Valentine’s Day so it gave me some inspiration for a new smoothie. It is a deeelicious dessert that isn’t so bad for you…in fact it is quite healthy! My husband even surprised me with roses last week so I was in the Valentine’s Day spirit ❤ I am totally not afraid to admit that I am definitely one of those people that is a total sucker for Valentine’s Day. It may be cliche but I don’t care…I just love it!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie

 

 

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Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie

Use:

-About 2 Cups of strawberries (I used a few fresh strawberries and then threw in a handful of frozen since it was all the strawberries I had! Needless to say, you can use either!)

-1 whole banana

-1/2 Cup – 3/4 Cup Vanilla or Strawberry Greek Yogurt

-1 Tbsp Flaxseed

-1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder

-3 or 4 Hershey’s Kisses

-Coconut Water

-Ice

Add everything to the blender except the Hershey’s kisses. Make sure to use a large handful of ice and just a little bit of coconut water. You can always add more if you need more liquid. Blend well. Add more coconut water if you don’t want it super thick and blend again. Add the Hershey’s kisses and just pulse the blender a few times to leave some chocolate chunks.

This smoothie was SO good! It was really chocolately but fruity at the same time. I have a major sweet tooth so this is right up my alley 😛

Enjoy!

Happy Early Valentine’s Day!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie

Whippersnappers

Apple-Plum Baby Puree

Apple-Plum Puree

Even though Sawyer is eating mostly whole foods, picking things up on his own and eating what my husband and I are eating, I do still make a few fruit and veggie purees. I haven’t completely stopped making baby food purees because I sometimes use them to mix into things and also use a puree every morning to mix into his baby cereal. He is still eating baby cereal for breakfast for the iron he needs so I switch it up between the oatmeal, rice & multigrain. I still can’t help but think it is so bland though so I always mix stuff in. He especially loves the fruits but I love mixing in veggies too to give him a little extra for the day. Now that he is eating and chewing foods on his own he is a bit more picky about veggies! :/ So this helps a lot! So here is a super easy one I made the other day.

Apple-Plum Puree

 

Apple-Plum Puree

Apple – Plum Baby Puree

How I made it:

-5 ripe plums

-5 large apples

Rinse off apples and plums. Peel and core the apples, cut them into pieces and boil in water in a pot for about 10 minutes. Peel and core the plums and add them to the blender. Once the apples are done let them cool a bit and rinse with cooler water. Add them to the blender as well. They both have enough of their own juices so you shouldn’t need to add any liquid. Blend well and that’s it!! See, super easy! This made about 10 – 4oz jars for me. I like to freeze the extras so it lasts longer.

 

Apple-Plum Puree

Whippersnappers

Baby Smoothie

Oranges & Greens Smoothie

Okay…I discovered the most useful thing ever! Sawyer has been loving smoothies lately, which is awesome! However, it’s kind of tricky because he hasn’t gotten the hang of using a straw yet so I would just give it to him in a bowl with a spoon. Well, that usually takes awhile because it starts to get runny. I found this amazing silicone squeeze pouch by the brand Sili. It is absolutely perfect for smoothies and he can hold it himself! I am so in love with it!!

So needless to say I have been experimenting with smoothies again and making some for Sawyer and I. I love that I can make the something for the both of us! I usually just add a few extra things to mine.

Oranges & Greens Smoothie

Oranges & Greens Smoothie

-2 Oranges

-2 Bananas

-Handful of spinach

-Ice

-Carrot Juice

Blend well!

At this point I poured some out for Sawyer’s baby friendly smoothie and mixed in his YoBaby whole milk  yogurt.

To mine I then added:

-Vanilla Greek Yogurt

-Chia Seeds

Blend well!

Oranges & Greens Smoothie

Yumm! So delicious and we both enjoyed it equally! Sawyer loves the new smoothie pouch and couldn’t get enough of it!

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Yep…I think he likes it 😛

 

 

Whippersnappers

Mommy & Baby Smoothie

Blueberry-Banana & Greens Smoothie

I am so excited!! As much as I looove making smoothies (and drinking them of course!), it can now go to an even greater use! My son loves them as well! He is 10 months old and completely eating solid table foods now versus baby purees. He is still a wonderful eater and eats a great variety of fruits and veggies along with some meats. However, some of the veggies he ate well as purees he is now turning his nose up at now that they are a different texture. So I thought that smoothies would be great since you can add a variety of foods and nutrients without tasting the greens or having the odd texture. So you can imagine my excitement when it turned out that he GULPED and I do mean gulped his smoothie down. I thought for sure he was going to get brain freeze but he couldn’t get enough of the stuff. Now my only hope is that he continues loving smoothies as he gets older because it is such a great lunch or snack, especially when making them yourself and having all of the fresh ingredients! I also love that I can make something that we can both have for lunch, it saves time!

Blueberry-Banana & Greens Smoothie

What I used:

 

Blueberry-Banana & Greens Smoothie

-Handful of ice

-1/2 Cup Blueberries

-2 Bananas

-Large handful of kale

-1/4 Cup Coconut water (or as needed for the consistency you want)

Blend well in the blender.

At this point I poured some of the smoothie into a cup to be a baby friendly smoothie and left the rest in the blender for myself. For The baby friendly smoothie I stirred in his favorite YoBaby whole milk baby yogurt and poured it into a bowl since he hasn’t really gotten the hang of using a straw.

To the rest of my own smoothie I added:

-1/2 to 3/4 cup vanilla greek yogurt

-1 Tbsp Flaxseed

Blend well.

Blueberry-Banana & Greens Smoothie

And there you have it! I’m so excited my little guy liked smoothies! Another tip is to alternate kale and spinach. It gives you more of a nutritional advantage than just using the same thing all of the time. There are many other things you can alternate in as well!

Enjoy!

 

Blueberry-Banana & Greens Smoothie

Whippersnappers