Nanny needs ideas for Toddler recipes

Received Wednesday, August 27, 2008. - Perspective & Opinion
I am a nanny to a great 13 month old. We have been doing great with table food but I have a hard time thinking of new creative foods/recipes to try. I cook for him and buy all of his food with the petty cash that they leave me. I dont feed him any canned/packaged processed foods .

I make everything fresh and try to make great yummy well balanced meals. I feel like I repeat too much so this is where I need the great mommy and nanny advice here!!! Does anyone have any great meals/table foods to feed a toddler. I'd welcome any ideas or suggestions. Thanks!!


gabriela said...

i am sure this falls into the canned/processed category, but maybe it will give you an idea or two.

i take care of my goddaughter and when she was 12-15 months i started feeding her the vegetarian appetizers from trader joe's that she would not have any danger of choking on. (i work a lot so i did not have the option of making eVerYTHing from scratch). vegetable samosas, shu mai, spanakopita, and brie on baguette. i wanted to introduce her to foods from other cultures early, so sometimes i would make easy things like couscous and moroccan tofu, too. that's my suggestion.

No Longer Anonymous Regular said...

As long as your little guy is OK with tomatoes, try Italian--ziti is good finger food and my kids loved eggplant parmesian from early on--I avoid frying it by breading and baking the eggplant a few minutues before putting it in the sauce and slicing fresh mozzarella. Take the skin off for such a young child. Spaghetti and meatballs is also always a hit--try substituting spaghetti squash for some of the pasta to make a well balanced all in one meal.

Anonymous said...

My 13month old is a picky one.

Pan fry some tilapia in butter with a dash of lemon juice, salt and pepper. Once it is luke warm its a great fingerfood.

Plain tofu is a fav for her.

Meatballs and prego left in a slow cooker for several hours is an easy one. Put it in, go out to run errands and when you are back dinner is ready.

Heavy cream cheese and pasta is a great mac and cheese. Kids need the fat for brain development.

Veal liver great source of iron. Saute with onions , pepper and salt. Yum.

Scallops sauteed in truffle oil/grape seed with salt and pepper( 4min max per side) are a fav.

Salmon boiled in plain water is nice and neutral to eat.

Greek yoghurts with chopped fruit(dif kind each day)... Banana blueberries pluot etc

Omelettes with veggies cut up. Asparagus mushrooms peppers etc is a fav with us.

Hollywood nanny, soon to become Austin nanny said...

Omlettes with cream cheese and spinach

Omlette with chopped broccoli and cheddar

I make mashed potatoes and stir in a small amount of other vegetables for extra vitamins: buttenut squash, turnip, and parnsnips were hits.

I turn almost anything into a quesadilla. I make one with butternut squash, monterey jack, &chopped red peppers (cooked) and I've also tried finely chopped spinach and swiss. I use whole wheat or spelt tortillas.

Quiche has been hugely popular as well. I make it with a prepared whole wheat crust froim Whole Foods and full fat yogurt instead of cream. You can throw any leftover veggie/meat/cheese combo in there.

Pasta salad has gone over well--finely chopped steamed veggies like carrots, broccoli and any dark green. None of my charges have ever liked the taste of Italian dressing, so I usually use butter and parmesan or olive oil and chopped up mozzarella or montery jack.

UmassSlytherin said...

My daughter loves "dillies" (quesadillas) with cheddar, and I put tomatoes and black beans or sometimes olives in them. They are currently our favorite.

she also likes "pizza dillies" with mozzarella and tomato sauce.

Dana said...

I found this site very helpful with coming up with not so complicated lunchs for my little charge.

lovesthegirls said...

Check out the book "deceptively delicious." I think it is written by Seinfeld's wife....

Lacy Bones said...

I have an awesome standby that kids love- stewed plums.

Halves and pit 4 plums, place in sauce pan insides facing up. Fill pan with water to just below the top of the plums. Add1-3 Tbsp of Vanilla (and if made for adults, any liquor you like- I use peach schnapps). Simmer until color of plum skin seeps into the meat of the plum. Sometimes, I'll cool it and then resimmer just before eating to make sure they're extra soft.

Serve alone, or with yogurt or icecream.

Bonus- if you save the juice (I usually just keep whatever I'm not eating in the saucepan in the fridge), once you've finished all the plums heat the juice and add 1-2 tbsp of corn starch. Then you have....Plum pudding!!!! With no effort!!!!!

ro said...

you are one of my favorite posters by far, but Jessica Seinfeld stole those recipes and that book idea from Missy Chase Lapine, who originally wrote the cookbook -The Sneaky Chef–

UmassSlytherin said...

this is just your opinion, not fact: in my opinion, she did not steal anything. This was just a case of sour grapes that Seinfeld's book sold and recieved fame and hers did not. Stealing recipes? Please. These ideas and recipes have been floating around the web for years and years. Seinfeld didn't steal anything, rather, she simply marketed her book more effectively and had her husband's name to back her and who can fault her for that? If my husband were Seinfeld I'd publish a book too. She didn't steal anything. jmho. :)

FrmrNannyNowaMom said...

when i was pregnant with my son i was given a great book called, 1,2,3 Cook for Me. I love it, I highly reccomend it.

also, i try to feed my son an all natural non processed diet, but in a pinch Kashi makes super healthy frozen meals!

nannyinmanhattan said...

Barnes and Noble has great cookbooks in their childcare section.
They were a great help to me.
You should check it out and make your pick out of many informative and yummy child like recipes, along with most of the great ideas already posted.
Good luck

chick said...

Many of my charges have enjoyed what we call "eggie cakes":

3 eggs
1 c. cottage cheese
2 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp flour or cornmeal

Using a hand mixer, beat eggs until frothy. Add cottage cheese and mix until blended. Add oil and flour/cornmeal, mix well.

Cook by dropping >1/4 c. of batter onto a frypan pr griddle at low/medium heat. When cakes begin to bubble, flip them. They are literally egg pancakes.

Eat warm or cold, can be easily reheated.

Serve with syrup, applesauce, fruit, veggies, whatever you like.

lovesthegirls said...

Hey Ro... thanks for the compliment ;) I honestly did not know about the book stuff! Thank you....

Ro is Wrong. said...


If you research it, you will see that this author's lawyers do not have a very good case. It is great that Ro likes you, but that doesn't keep her from being wrong. Which she is.

lovesthegirls said...

Hey Ro is wrong--

Honestly doesn't matter to me all that much. I didn't respond back to her politely becasue she gave me a compliment. More just a sincere thanks for her imput. To be honest, I don't even own the book--- I have just thumbed through it from time to time ;P! Anyhow, much ado about nothing... right?? :)

cali mom said...

Some great ideas here.

As someone who avoids cooking most of the time, I have one that is maybe not that creative but my little guy loved it when he was that age and so did my best friend's kids, and she gave me the "recipe". If they are able to eat peanut butter, make a peanut butter sandwich (no jelly, to avoid all the sweetening) on nice soft bread (whole grain "white" works well), smash it down very flat, cut off the crusts and then cut it into teeny pieces, like 3/4" square.

Also, "banana smash" is great: take banana and peanut butter (again, IF they can eat it), whip it up together to taste. Roughly equal p arts works well. You can also add some milk to make it less sticky and it becomes like a pudding that way.

Berries, small chunks of watermelon, mixed corn and black beans (straight out of a can works!) yogurt are all pretty popular.

And can get a hand held wand to mix smoothies right in the cup so you don't have the hassle of dissembling and washing 8 separate parts for 15 seconds of mixing. Pretty much any combination of fruits, juices and some vanilla yogurt makes a super-yummy smoothie.

OP said...

Thank you all for the great suggestions. Cali Mom-unfortunately baby cant have peanuts until 2 so peanut butter is out of the question--but thanks so much for the great smoothie recipe. Thanks again-looking forward to making some of the recipes:)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
11:08 repost for anonymous said...

During the summer, I did cooking days once a week with the kids I am in charge of. One of our favorite things was pizza sticks. You take a breadstick, slide it longways down the middle, put pizza sauce, mozarella(sp) cheese on top, then the child's favorite toppings (we did pepperoni) inside. You heat it in the microwave until the cheeze is melted. The kids love it and it's easy to hold and eat!
-11:08 PM