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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 July 10, 2020

                                                How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                                                How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                                                We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

                                                We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

                                                So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

                                                Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

                                                What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

                                                Boundaries are limits

                                                —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

                                                Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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                                                Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

                                                Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

                                                Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

                                                How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

                                                Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

                                                1. Self-Awareness Comes First

                                                Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

                                                You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

                                                To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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                                                You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

                                                • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
                                                • When do you feel disrespected?
                                                • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
                                                • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
                                                • When do you want to be alone?
                                                • How much space do you need?

                                                You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

                                                2. Clear Communication Is Essential

                                                Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

                                                Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

                                                3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

                                                Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

                                                That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

                                                Sample language:

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                                                • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
                                                • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
                                                • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
                                                • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
                                                • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
                                                • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
                                                • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

                                                Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

                                                4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

                                                Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

                                                Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

                                                Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

                                                We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

                                                It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

                                                It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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                                                Final Thoughts

                                                Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

                                                Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

                                                Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

                                                The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

                                                Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

                                                Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

                                                They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

                                                Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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