The toddler eating trials

Anyone who has ever been near a toddler at feeding time knows that getting them to eat what is put in from them is not an easy task. It’s no exception in our house. We have always had luck getting her to eat fruits and vegetables (although the ones she loved yesterday might be highly offensive today), and since I couldn’t cook when we lived with the in laws, we did a lot of snacking. I’d keep the mini fridge full of fruit and veggie trays (not the most cost effective, by any means, but easy), so that when she was hungry, she had food options. I’d also usually keep some full fat cheese and some Applegate lunch meats. Clearly, not as awesome as sitting down to eat actual meals, (and we did always have something more substantial for dinner), but under the circumstances, it was the best I could do.

Sliced Cucumber

Goose with Raspberries and Banana

When we moved into our own place, I knew that getting her to eat meals (and the meals that I prepared) was going to be an adjustment. I didn’t, however, get the memo that it was going to be such an issue. In the beginning, we tried to force her to eat at least one bite of whatever I made. You would think that just one bite would be do-able, but I have never in my entire life met anyone as stubborn as this child. After a few days of this, we realized that that was not the approach that was going to get us results. If we continued down that patch, meal time was going to turn into a battle every single time, and meal time wasn’t going to be the pleasant family time that I was hoping for.

Goose with Pear

So, we changed our approach. She does need to sit at the table until everyone is done eating. That’s not negotiable, but we stopped pressuring her to eat. My husband and I do make a big deal about how good the food is while we are eating, and usually this will encourage her to eat it. If it doesn’t though, we just let it go. Maybe she’s not hungry, maybe she is just being picky, I don’t know. However, I won’t make her something different. Dinner is what I make, and that is that. We have had way more success with this method.

Do you have any tips or tricks for getting toddlers to eat? I’d love to hear what works for your family in the comments below!

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Kitchen Skills, Like a Boss

I am a housewife and a stay at home mother. I took a home economics class in middle school, and that is the extend of my “culinary training.” Thanks to YouTube, though, I have been able to pick up some kitchen skills along the way that have proven to be quite valuable. Today, I wanted to share some of those with you. Please note, none of these videos are mine. They are all linked to where I found them on the internet….

How To Chop an Onion

How To Peel Garlic in Less Than 10 Seconds

How to Cut a Mango

How to Cut Tomatoes

How to Hard Boil Eggs- I add a tiny bit of baking soda to the water, to make it easier to peel….

How To Slice a Pepper

How To Cut a Pineapple

How to Make an Omlette

Do you have any others that you’ve picked up along the way that you’d like to share??? Let me know in the comments section.

Easy Delicious Breakfast Hash from PaleOMG

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Easy Delicious Breakfast Hash

I love breakfast. It makes me happy. Some people aren’t big breakfast eaters, but I am. I love everything about it, and when I don’t get it, I am kind of a grumpy pants. So, when I saw this recipe for Easy Delicious Breakfast Hash from PaleOMG, I  wanted to make it right away.  I did make a few changes to the recipe. Instead of a poblano pepper, I used a jalapeno. I also left out the mushrooms, because my hubby is allergic. For the sausage, I used these guys…

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Here is a shot of the ingredients. It looks pretty good, until you see sugar mentioned. (My bad for not checking in the store…) I also tend to be a bit weary of  “natural flavorings.” If they are so natural, why can’t you just tell me what they are…..wpid-IMG_20140104_114538002.jpgRegardless, it was delicious, and the little bit of sugar in there didn’t kill us. Although, I will check more carefully next time I’m buying ingredients. It did take me longer than the 15 minutes of prep and 15 minutes of cooking time that Juli mentions in her recipe though. I’m going to guess it’s because I cooked my eggs to be over hard, not over easy, like she recommends. I’m also a bit slow with my chopping skills.

Three Ingredient Banana Pancakes

banana pancakes 2I have been craving pancakes for a few weeks now. The problem is that my husband isn’t a huge fan of pancakes, so I rarely make them. This recipe floated around facebook one day, and it’s so easy that I didn’t mind making them just for myself. (The recipe was on a bunch of Paleo Pages, with no credit to who came up with it. I didn’t create the recipe).

Ingredients:

1 Banana, mashed

2 eggs

A few shakes (maybe 1/8 – 1/4tsp) cinnamon

Put all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Pre-heat a skillet on medium heat. Add some coconut oil, or grass fed butter to the skillet. Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter into the skillet. Once the bottom side firms up, flip and cook the other side. Once both sides are browned, put it in your belly.

 

It’s time to make the donuts…

wpid-IMG_20131123_190954335.jpgWe were lucky enough to move home in time to celebrate my grandmother’s birthday. The family was throwing her a surprise brunch, and people were bringing food to share. I figured that there would be some eggs there and probably some bacon, but I wanted to bring along a paleo friendly treat. I had found a grain free donut recipe from Primal Palate on pinterest awhile ago, but never had a good reason to try it, so I figured that this would be a great excuse.

I don’t own a donut pan though, and to be completely honest with you, I am worried that if I actually own one, it will be much too easy for me to justify making donuts more often. I like donuts, but lets be honest here, paleo or not, a donut is a donut is a donut. It’s not a healthy choice. So, I needed to come up with a way to make a donut shape without a donut pan. I found a tip on pinterest where you make the donuts in a muffin tin. You make little balls of aluminum foil and place one ball in the center of each open spot. The batter then goes around the aluminum foil and you simply pop it out once the donuts have finished cooking. I decided to give it a shot.

wpid-IMG_20131123_161943320.jpgIt didn’t work well, at all. So I needed to figure out another plan. The muffin tin made the right shape and size that I was going for, it was just the donut hole that wasn’t right. So I ended up using an apple corer to punch a hole through the middle. This method worked really well. Then I simply made the chocolate ganache to top the donuts with. The next morning, we brought them to the party. I was, of course, not sure how my extended family would react, but they devoured them. I’m still getting requests to make more months later. wpid-IMG_20131123_191541007.jpg

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Sliced Cinnamon Raisin BreadI am a breakfast eater. I love it. Back before I was Paleo, I would eat a bowl of cereal, usually with some fresh berries added every morning. After going paleo, I’d usually eat some eggs, usually hard boiled, with some fruit. Fruit never bores me. I love it. Eggs, however, bore me. I don’t even like hard boiled eggs most of the time, either. I just don’t. However, I can hard boil a bunch of eggs at the beginning of the week and have breakfast already made for me in the morning. I like things to be easy more than I dislike hard boiled eggs. With that said, here in NH, fresh fruit isn’t in season any more, and being that we’re living with family, I’ve not been good about eating breakfast. To fix that, I made a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread to have on standby for a quick and easy breakfast. (Again, as with pretty much any baked good, this isn’t a good choice for all the time. It’s still a cheat food, paleo or not….but it’s delicious.)

Cinnamon Raisin Bread This recipe is from Taylor Made it Paleo. If you aren’t familiar with her site, go check it out. She has a lot of delicious goodies on her site.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup honey (I used raw, local, wildflower honey)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup walnuts (optional- ( skipped them)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Line a bread pan with parchment paper, so that some sticks out on either side (to help with removal). -I actually find this to be kind of a pain. I’m not sure if coating the pan with a little coconut oil would make it easy to remove, but lining it with parchment paper always means that I have wrinkles in the finished product.
  3. Combine almond flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a medium sized bowl.
  4. Combine eggs, honey, coconut oil, and vanilla in a stand mixer until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  5. Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet, and continue mixing.
  6. Once everything is well mixed, add raisins and walnuts (if you use them)
  7. Pour batter into bread pan.
  8. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean in the center.

I served mine with some grass-fed butter, and just a touch more of the local honey. This bread was even a hit with the not Paleo family.

Vanilla Waffles

Vanilla WafflesWe got one of those fancy double waffle makers for Christmas one year, and when we made the transition to Paleo, I thought it had seen the end of it’s days. Luckily, the awesome folks over at the Food Lover’s Primal Palate have an awesome Vanilla Pancake recipe that works really well for waffles. I just add a few shakes of nutmeg and cinnamon to their recipe, and pour it in the waffle maker. (These waffles are incredible, but they are sweet). A lot of paleo pancake recipes that I have tried tend to be a bit dry, but these are moist and delicious as pancakes and as waffles.