Toddler Daycare Food

These days I am constantly brainstorming a list of good, healthy finger foods that I can send with my 15-month-old daughter to daycare.  It seems that all the parents I know are in the same boat, so I thought I would write down my current list of daycare foods.  My daughter eats breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack at daycare on the 3 days she goes, so I need to pack a lot of food.  Here is my list of ideas, though on any given day, I usually send only a small handful of things from the list.

  • Butternut squash – boiled
  • Spaghetti squash – baked
  • Carrots – steamed
  • Broccoli – steamed
  • Green beans – steamed
  • Asparagus – broiled
  • Potatoes – boiled
  • Sweet potatoes – boiled
  • Yellow squash – steamed (not a huge hit)
  • Zucchini – steamed
  • Eggplant – steamed
  • Cucumbers
    • Cucumbers with hummus for special days, though it’s messy!
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Mushrooms, raw
  • Peas – I pull them out of the freezer and dump them right into her daycare container the night before, next day lunch they’re thawed
  • Veggies from random leftovers, like soup
  • Beans – softened in saucepan
    • Black beans
    • Cannellini beans
    • Garbanzo beans
  • Falafel, cut
  • Sliced almonds
  • Shredded chicken – made in crockpot
  • Shredded beef – made in crockpot
  • Meat from random leftovers – like taco meat or chili meat
  • Salmon, grilled
  • Cod, grilled
  • Shrimp, stir-fried and sliced
  • Meatballs – Baked and cut up (I have a recipe I need to post that uses a lot of spinach)
  • Homemade waffles – torn into pieces
  • Homemade pancakes – torn into pieces
  • Whole wheat bread – torn into pieces
  • Whole wheat pasta – boiled
  • Veggie enriched pasta – boiled
  • Kiwi, cut
  • Strawberries, cut
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Oranges, peeled, pulled into slices, and cut
  • Grapefruit, peeled, pulled into slices, and cut
  • Cheese – pretty much every kind that exists including goat cheese

As of right now, this is my list.  I keep trying to brainstorm more ideas, so if you have them, please comment and share!

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Baby Food – Broccoli/ Tomato/ Rice Puree and Blueberry/ Strawberry/ Oatmeal Puree

I love the stage my daughter is at right now where she has had most normal foods so I can start getting creative with combinations.  Here are the two I made this weekend.  For the broccoli/tomato/rice puree, steam the broccoli and tomatoes.  I steamed them separately since the broccoli takes longer to cook.  Puree the vegetables.  Heat the rice according to package instructions.  Then add rice to food processor as needed to reach the desired consistency.  For the strawberry/blueberry/oatmeal puree, I used frozen organic fruit.  I have heard that frozen fruit can actually be more nutritious since it is picked ripe and frozen immediately, which preserves the nutrients, rather than picking before it’s ripe and transporting an insane number of miles.  I still love fresh fruit, but decided to go with frozen for the puree.  Warm the frozen fruit in a saucepan until soft, and then puree in the food processor.  Cook the oatmeal in a saucepan according to package instructions.  Add the oatmeal to the fruit puree in the food processor to thicken it to the desired consistency.  Let your baby enjoy!

Special thanks to my father-in-law for the tomatoes from his garden!

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Baby Food – Potato and Leek Puree and Asparagus Puree

Another great weekend of making delicious purees.  This weekend was potato and leek and asparagus.  My daughter has had asparagus before and always loves it!  I just steam the asparagus and then put it through the food processor with a little of the water from steaming.  It doesn’t need a lot of water, but does need some.

For the potato and leek puree, I washed and mostly peeled the potatoes.  I then cut them and boiled them.  For the leeks, I cut them, then washed them (wash after cutting so you get all the dirt out), and then steamed them.  I put the leeks alone through the food processor with some of the water from steaming.  I then added the rest of the water from steaming, the pureed leeks, and potatoes to a large bowl.  I mashed them, and then slowly put the whole mix through the food processor.  I couldn’t fit it all through at one time so I did about three batches.  I used 2 pounds of red potatoes and 1 leek.  It made lots and my freezer is full!

Hope you enjoy 🙂

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Potato and Leek Puree and Asparagus Puree

Baby Food – Apple, Green Bean, and Acorn Squash

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Today was a full baby food production day!  I usually do one big batch a week and then freeze jars so that I can pull out a variety each week.  I couldn’t decide what I wanted to make this week though, so I ended up making 3 purees: apples, green beans, and acorn squash.  All are delicious.  For apples, you just cut the apples, steam the slices, and then puree the cooked slices with no extra water.  I then did not rinse the food processor out so I had a little apple flavor when I did the green beans.  I steamed those and added a little of the apple steaming water when I pureed them.  For the acorn squash, cut in half, remove seeds, bake cut side up for 1 hour at 400 degrees, remove from skin, and process in food processor with a little extra water (I used the apple steaming water again).  All in all, the hard work of this morning made some delicious food!

P.S. – I’ll hopefully be posting some more adult food soon.  The baby takes up a lot of my time 🙂

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Baby Food – 3 Purees

I love the look of 3 purees on the plate.  I guess it’s all about presentation, even with baby food.  I just love the colors!  Of course, no matter how I present it, she can’t be tricked into liking brussels sprouts.  Oh well, always worth a try.  These purees are brussels sprouts, eggplant, and strawberry banana.  2 out of the 3 are very loved!

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Baby Food – Butternut Squash, Red Pepper, and Ginger

I spend so much time making baby food these days that I can’t help but add some posts with my creations.  I keep trying to make basic, but delicious foods.  My creation for this week was butternut squash, red pepper, and ginger.  The basic recipe is 1 butternut squash, 2 red peppers, and about 1 inch of ginger.  I baked the squash, cooked the peppers and ginger in a little water over the stove, and put everything through the food processor.  I do believe my baby liked it!  If you’re at the baby food stage of life, hope you get a chance to enjoy this as well!

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