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23 Healthy And Easy Recipes For Your Toddlers

23 Healthy And Easy Recipes For Your Toddlers

There is nothing more important to us than being able to provide only the best for our children. When they’re young this can be as simple as providing them with healthy food options with the right nutrients and vitamins to facilitate growth and well being. Of course giving your baby a homemade meal is the best thing you can do for them, however many parents tend to hide from the task. It’s hard enough trying to figure out what to feed ourselves let alone what to feed our little ones and it can be so tempting to just grab something that is already prepared from the store.

Be rest assured that making your own baby food is much more easy than you think and requires little skills in the kitchen. Once you start you’ll be so happy as mealtimes will be much more well balanced, convenient and fulfilling for both you and your kids.

Ages 6 Months – 12 Months (Purée Galore)

1. Apple – Banana Puree

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    All you need is something to steam the apples in and a blender for this no-brainer recipe. Babies love the sweet combination of apples and bananas. An easy go to recipe for one of baby’s first foods.

    2. Roasted Yams, Apples and Corn

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      Finding different combos of ingredients is probably one of the trickiest parts of making your own baby food. This is another great recipe including apples along with yams and corn. Babies love yams!

      3. Chicken with Carrots & Apple Puree

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        Chicken is a great first meat to introduce to your baby. Puréed chicken is not a very appetizing site (can you say gray anyone?), but by combining it with other colorful ingredients, chicken can become a quick favorite for your little one. This recipe combines chicken with apples and carrots to give the recipe a sweet flavour with lots of texture.

        4. Oats, Avocado & Spinach

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          The reason why it’s so important to start our babies on solid foods by 6 months is because their iron stores begin to deplete. This recipe is a great source of iron as well as fibre, vitamins and protein. A green combination that Popeye himself would approve.

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          5. Vegetable Lasagna

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            Now that you’ve introduced simple combinations to your baby it’s time to start adding more complex flavors. Vegetable lasagna is an easy way to implement a variety of vegetables while giving a great flavor and texture punch. This recipe is guaranteed not to bore your baby.

            6. Cantaloupe Cream

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              This delicious puree will be a great treat for you little one, especially in the summer time when cantaloupe is at its seasonal best.

              Ages 9 Months and Up (Independent Eaters)

              7. Homemade Teething Biscuits

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                Teething can be a wonderful time (note of sarcasm). At this time your baby will be putting anything and everything into their little mouths in search of some type of relief. Teething biscuits are a great way to not only introduce finger foods but to also help alleviate the pain of emerging teeth. Why not try to make your own at home with this easy baking recipe that uses instant rice cereal along with healthy ingredients such as whole wheat flour and coconut oil.

                8. Cauliflower Nuggets

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                  You’ve heard of chicken nuggets, another favorite of toddlers, but how about cauliflower nuggets? Same idea, different values. This is a great way to make vegetables more appealing to your little ones.

                  9. Strawberry Yogurt Bites

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                    This recipe consists of a grand total of two ingredients! Also this healthy yummy treat can be enjoyed by not only your baby but you too.

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                    10. Mini Meatballs

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                      Meatballs are great because they are fun to eat and easy to hold for little fingers. As an added bonus kids don’t care what’s in them so its a perfect way to give them their much needed vegetables.

                      11. Pasta with Soft Cheese and Basil

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                        Pasta is a great way to transition your baby from purees towards textured foods. This recipe keeps it simple by combining pasta with just cheese and basil.

                        12. Banana Oatmeal Fingers

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                          These banana and oatmeal fingers make for a great snack or breakfast food for your little one that’s just figuring out how to eat on their own.

                          Ages 12 Months and Up (Almost There Meals)

                          13. Baked Sweet Potato Fries

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                            Yes this is not a toddler only recipe, but one that adults can enjoy as well. Sweet potatoes are one of the best first solid foods to introduce as puree first. Once your baby has some teeth, this recipe is a great next step to continue the love of sweet potatoes.

                            14. Apple and Cheese Quinoa Balls

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                              Quinoa is so hot right now. It’s such a complex grain and incredibly easy to eat not too mention very light compared to its counterpart, rice. This recipe provides a great finger food for your toddler as well as a nice little snack for the adults.

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                              15. Avocado and Blueberry Muffins

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                                Here’s an organic recipe that uses avocados and blueberries along with full fat yogurt (or Greek yogurt). This is a great snack or breakfast option for your toddler.

                                16. Easy Mac and Cheese Bites

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                                  This is a recipe for mac and cheese that starts from scratch, no box of KD required. You can go ahead and freeze any bites as well if they’re not devoured by your little ones first.

                                  17. Chicken Tenders with Greek Yogurt Ranch

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                                    When we think of kids’ meals the first thing that probably comes to mind are chicken fingers. Although they might not seem like the healthiest option this recipe may get you re thinking that. An easy, no fuss recipe for a healthy method of making chicken fingers that your children are sure to love just as much as the processed ones.

                                    18. Chickpea Patties

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                                      These chickpea patties can be made large or small for either your toddler to grab and munch on or for your to eat in a pita. Packed full of protein, these are also great for freezing.

                                      Ages 18 Months and Up (Big Kid Meals)

                                      19. Carrot, Mango, Raspberry Popsicles

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                                        What kid doesn’t like popsicles? Here’s a recipe for homemade popsicles as a healthy alternative to the sugary store bought ones.

                                        20. Fiesta Bowl

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                                          This is a meal that everyone in the family can enjoy. Just lay out the ingredients and everybody chooses what they want in their own bowls. It’s that simple.

                                          21. Power Packed Fruit and Veggie Muffins

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                                            These mini muffins are super fun to eat. You would never guess these little morsels are packed full of so many different fruits and veggies such as broccoli, zucchini, carrots, apples and bananas.

                                            22. Toddler Smoothie

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                                              This recipe is for a starter smoothie for your toddler. It contains the goodness of oats, strawberries, bananas and spinach. The color and texture may be off putting but the taste is definitely yummy.

                                              23. Broccoli Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

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                                                A staple on all kids’ menus is grilled cheese. This recipe offers a more wholesome alternative to the usual greasy far by using extra virgin olive oil and whole wheat bread topped with broccoli and cheese.

                                                This collection of healthy and easy recipes for your toddlers should help you in the journey of raising your little ones and providing them with the best opportunities for growth and well-being. By all means, every child is different and you may find the recipes will be more appropriate for your child at different ages than stated. They are simply there as a guideline and are not the concrete framework.

                                                Featured photo credit: Rainbow/Frederique Voisin-Demery via flickr.com

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                                                Last Updated on September 28, 2020

                                                The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                                                The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                                                At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

                                                Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

                                                One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

                                                When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

                                                So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

                                                Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

                                                This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

                                                Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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                                                When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

                                                Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

                                                One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

                                                Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

                                                An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

                                                When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

                                                Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

                                                Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

                                                We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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                                                By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

                                                Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

                                                While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

                                                I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

                                                You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

                                                Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

                                                When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

                                                Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

                                                Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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                                                Con #2: Less Human Interaction

                                                One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

                                                Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

                                                Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

                                                This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

                                                While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

                                                Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

                                                Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

                                                This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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                                                For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

                                                Con #4: Unique Distractions

                                                Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

                                                For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

                                                To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

                                                Final Thoughts

                                                Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

                                                We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

                                                More About Working From Home

                                                Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

                                                Reference

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