I still feed my almost two-year-old baby food. Not every meal, not every day, but from time to time, I pull out “special saucy” for him, and he LOVES it.

I did this for the first time since graduating to all-table foods a few months ago. Colton had just started to run a fever, and he had been exposed to Hand, Foot and Mouth a day or two earlier. Husband was out of town, so I was a tad bit paranoid. I had to run out for a few essentials, and while I was out, decided to pick up a few containers of stage two baby food, pear mixed with squash, in case mouth sores popped up and liquid foods were all my son wanted to eat.

He never got any mouth sores, but I had stumbled on a great way to get some extra veggies into my son. I’ve tried the squeeze pouches marketed for toddlers, but C just isn’t into them. I’ve tried smoothies, but he’ll only take a few sips (although when he saw Joseph drinking one recently, he was much more into his). So, I’ve stuck to pear with squash and apple with carrot baby food for lunches away from home and trips.

Until I found my new best friend: the mini muffin.

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I found this recipe for fruit and veggie packed Toddler Muffins via Pinterest. Colton had decided to swear off all fruits and veggies for a week, so they went on my “must make immediately” list. I was a little intimidated by grating carrots, but it turns out that’s easy, and C even helped me. When these were ready, I let C have one; he inhaled it, and immediately requested “more muffin!” I think that’s a resounding review.

Someone loves muffins!

A few notes on the recipe: I used half whole wheat and half all-purpose flour, and thought the muffins were a great texture. I also only used 1/4 cup brown sugar and subbed apple sauce for the other 1/4 cup the recipe called for. This made the muffins barely sweet (and most of the sweetness I can taste seems to be from the bananas), which is what I wanted. The next time I make these, I will probably try cutting down the butter by 2 TBS, since I think they came out a bit buttery. The recipe said this made about 24 mini muffins, but I ended up with 32. Perfect for freezing!

I also made Zucchini Tots, another recipe I found via Pinterest.

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Colton liked these, but they don’t have the same appeal as the muffins. Still, he’s hit or miss when it comes to eating squash still, and if these help him eat it, I’m all for it. Plus, I can store some in the freezer for a quick lunch option. My “tots” ended up being softer, more like a crab cake in texture, and I made 15 with a double recipe. I did PACK my muffin tins, so that’s probably why they weren’t as crisp and didn’t make nearly as many as I should.

Muffins served with ham, fruit and other veggies.

Now, I don’t think either of these muffins are a substitute for serving and encouraging my toddler to eat whole veggies. Rather, I think they’re a fail-safe for days when C refuses to eat anything that’s not a carb, indulgent baby-sitters are around, lunches out, to take on car trips when you need an easily transported veggie, or just a way to occasionally sneak more veggies into C’s diet.

On the day I took the above photos, C ate all his muffin (one and a half minis), oranges, ham and broccoli and some of his peas and carrots. I’m guessing that’s about half of the veggies he’s supposed to be getting in a day. Not to shabby!

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