I’ve posts on quick and easy meals for new moms–ones that can be prepped with minimal (or no) chopping, and minimal time in front of a stove or oven. I had a baby in a sling at the time. I was exhausted. But I had to eat. And I barely did. I had some horrible postpartum depression that kept me from taking care of myself. I lost thirty-five pounds in four months.
The quick and easy meals I provided are really for mom (and dad)–especially those who don’t have much support. I was starving and exhausted and the highlight of those first few months was when I bought myself a rice cooker. I was ELATED–hot food at will! This, after burning pot after pot of rice on the stove, because I would forget that I set the water to boil, or have to tend to my baby.
Meanwhile, the baby grew up and started eating solid food. First there were purées, which don’t have many requirements in the way of recipes (steam/roast, maybe add an herb or spice, then purée–freeze in ice cube trays for subsequent meals).
I got treatment for my PPD. My baby is now a full fledged toddler. She turned one last year, and she is now eating solids full time. She’s exploring the world of food and developing her opinions on textures and flavors and temperature. And I’d like to share some of the food she likes to eat, here. And share those recipes. Because sometimes we’re at a loss for what to cook. And the baby canNOT eat plain pasta every damn day. Or maybe she can? Because it sure looks like she is? Oh boy.
Some caveats: Toddler P loves spice. I’m not sure whether it’s because I purposely ate as many spicy foods as I could during my second and third trimesters to build her palate in utero (yes, I did that), or because I added spices in her purées, or because that’s just how she is. But she doesn’t mind a pinch of cayenne in a pot of soup. And she’ll eat kimchi, even without rinsing. She likes spicy beef jerky and spicy chicharrones (she’ll eat one, say “HOT!” and then hold out her hand and ask, “More?”). I’ll note where you can take the spice down.
Some of the recipes already on this site that Toddler P likes:
- Cincinnati chili (Beans included–P LOVES legumes. Your child’s mileage may vary). Toddler rating: 2 THUMBS UP.
- “Trash” soup with tofu and cooked rice mixed in. She slurps this up. For toddlers, you would chop the greens finer–or leave them out and just cook it with tofu. Toddler rating: 1 THUMB UP.
- Red beans and rice. I decrease the cayenne for toddler meals. Toddler rating: 2 THUMBS UP.
- North Korean chicken soup. Leave out the red pepper flakes in the chicken. Toddler rating: 1 THUMB UP.
- Korean rice cake soup (“dduk guk”). I feed P the rice cakes with minimal broth. Toddler rating: 1 THUMB UP.
- Korean roasted laver (seaweed). P will eat this like chips. The seaweed is very nutritious–I’m surprised it hasn’t surpassed kale in health food trends. Sometimes she likes it wrapped around plain white rice. But she’ll often stuff sheets of it in her mouth. Toddler rating: 2 THUMBS UP.