My toddler would eat toast, fruit leather, or “O’s-and-raisins!” for every meal if she was in charge. And while I’d never describe her as picky, she’s definitely opinionated when it comes to what shows up on her plate — and winds up in her mouth. She’s in the habit of eating what we eat because I’ve learned to play to my audience and the foods that I know she loves are in regular rotation. In my house, that means plenty of pasta, homemade pizza, meatballs, scrambled eggs, and baked goods. But to keep things interesting and nutritious, I often change up what’s in each of these dishes, say by adding a little kale and oats to meatballs, or serving up salmon cakes with a crunchy coating. Because really, when something looks like a meatball or can be dipped in ketchup, she’ll eat it right up.
I’ve tested these budget-friendly recipes on my whole family and we all love them, and now I'm sharing them with Yahoo Parenting. The Cornmeal Muffins with Yellow Squash and Raisins are moist and flavorful, without a lot of added sugar. The Cheesy Oat Crackers with Rosemary are cheesy, yes, but they also include whole grains and flavorful herbs to make them interesting. I recently served up the Whole Grain Mini-Meatballs with Kale to my family and no one suspected that they had greens hidden inside. And since we all need a little dessert now and then, the Dark Chocolate Banana Cookies rely on fruit and chocolate for flavor, but they also have whole grains, good fats, and some protein to keep them a balanced source of energy. Change up these recipes to suit your family or make them as they are here — and if it takes your toddler a few tastes to get used to a new dish, as least you can be assured that the rest of your family will gobble them up!