Supper Ideas for 1 & 3 year-olds

For supper, the kids eat what we eat.  I do not make a meal for them and something else for my husband and me.  Partially because I think it’s important for them to try different foods and flavors, but, mostly, because I’m lazy and cooking one supper is enough work.  I’m not going to unnecessarily create more work for myself.  That, and I’m not a short-order cook.

For my husband’s sake, I try to have some variety in what we eat for supper.  However, this week, using up leftovers and what we had in our freezer took precedence.

Like with lunches, you won’t find a lot of variety with fruit this week.  We had a lot of pears that needed to be eaten before they went bad.  And my husband loves pears, so we have them for supper more often because we sometimes eat that meal with him.

MONDAY: (Leftover) Meatloaf, String Cheese/Cottage Cheese, Cucumbers/Sweet Potato pouch & Pears – We had a few leftover mini-meatloafs, and I needed something quick.  My son was still in the middle of his aversion to string cheese, so he got cottage cheese and he can’t chew raw cucumbers yet, so that’s why he got the sweet potato pouch.

 

TUESDAY: Taco Soup (Hamburger, Black beans, Chickpeas, Corn & Diced tomatoes), Tortilla chips & Apples – Neither of my children (or my husband, for that matter) are big soup fans.  But this one is hearty enough that I just scooped out the solid parts and didn’t give them any of the broth.  My daughter thought scooping it on her tortilla chips was a game, which was the only reason beans were consumed.

 

WEDNESDAY: Homemade pizza, Asian salad/Carrots & Pears – Homemade pizza is a weekly highlight event in our house.  Who knew that spreading sauce & sprinkling cheese on bread could be so entertaining?  We’ve started buying naan and using that for our crust.  It has lots of flavor and is the perfect size to make three pizzas.  Another weekly occurrence in our house is the consumption of this Asian salad.  Someone brought it to our Bible study a few months ago, and it’s a staple on our weekly menu.  My daughter loves it and my son won’t touch it.

 

THURSDAY: Grilled Chicken Burrito Bowls (Quinoa, Grilled chicken, Black beans, Corn, Cheese & Avocado salsa) & Pears – When I make meals like this where there are lots of parts meant to be mixed together, I put the things on the plate that I know my children like; and maybe something they don’t like but that I want them to try again or am hopeful that they will consume in the name of nutrition.  My son got quinoa, grilled chicken, black beans, corn & cheddar cheese.  He refused the quinoa.  That was predictable.  My daughter detests black beans, but would eat the avocados even if they were touching tomatoes and onions, so she got some of the avocado salsa.

 

FRIDAY: BLT’s & Pears – Neither of my children love bacon, so they got the BLT ingredients minus the bacon.  I put turkey and avocado on my BLT, so for their plates, I subbed turkey for bacon.

 

SATURDAY: Bacon, Egg & Cheese sandwich & Strawberries – At least once a week, we have breakfast for supper.  This is one of my favorites.  For my son, he got an english muffin, scrambled eggs & cheese along with hash browns and strawberries.  My daughter wanted a sandwich like Mom & Dad, so she got the same thing as my son, but in an assembled sandwich.

 

SUNDAY: Shrimp Pesto Pasta, Carrots & Garlic bread – What kid doesn’t love pasta?  For both of my kids, if you throw some pesto, parmesan cheese and a meat on there, it makes it even better.  This meal is almost as easy to make as it is delicious, and every time we have it, I think “I should make this more”.  My children’s empty plates are confirmation of that sentiment.

 

Obviously, there are foods that my children refuse to eat.  Because they are both pretty good eaters, it isn’t too hard to stay away from those foods.  If the supper that I’m making includes one of those (i.e. black beans for my daughter), it goes on their plate anyway and they make the decision if they want to eat it.  Our rule is that you don’t get anymore of a food until you’ve eaten everything on your plate.  If it’s worth it to them to get more of something they love (which is almost always fruit or garlic bread), they eat what they don’t like.  Or they don’t and there’s more food at the next meal.

I don’t fight with my kids over food.  They decide if they want to eat what’s on their plate.  If they do, they may have more of whatever we’re having, or they may choose from a list of “snacks” (yogurt, cheese stick, Larabar, veggies & hummus, rice cake, or crackers).  If not, they’re finished until the next meal.  Even my 18-month old son understands this.  He’s stubborn, so there are times where he points and screams at the cupboard because he wants something in there, but I just calmly repeat that he can choose to be all finished or he can eat what’s on his plate.  Almost always, he finishes his plate.  When his stubbornness gets the best of him, he signs “all-finished” and I get him out of his high chair.  Half of the time, it ends there and he goes and plays.  The other half of the time he sits at my feet or stands in front of the cupboard and screams for an indeterminate amount of time.

In case you wanted an insight into our parenting philosophy.  🙂

 

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