I’ve noticed recently that my son, now 2, really enjoys feeding himself. I, however, dread the mess it creates. Yogurt all down his shirt, puddles of milk and soggy cereal, and peas EVERYWHERE! You can imagine what he looks like since he won’t wear a bib. I got to thinking, “How can I teach him to eat better without using food?” Here is a game I have created with stuff I had around the house.
You don’t need exactly what I have, but stuff like it would work best.
What You Need
Deviled Egg Plate, or painters plate (Anything that has little sections in it)
Small Balls, or beads (I used puff balls for crafting)
Spoons (use all different sizes for practice)
Kid friendly Chop Stix
The How To
Put all the balls in the center of the plate. Encourage your child to scoop up the balls with the spoon and put them gently in each section. After they get used to it you can tape or color in the sections to match the balls. Then they can put the balls in their matching section.
DON’T get upset if your toddler wants to throw everything all over the place the first few times. Be patient and keep encouraging them to play. If they see it as fun they will be more likely to play. Eventually you can use it as counting game – “Put 3 green in the red section.”
**If you want to make it a delicious game – use popcorn instead of balls/beads… YUM!**
1 cup frozen broccoli
1 cup coarsely chopped carrots
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 pound ground turkey (or any lean meat)
Heat oven to 400.
Mix all ingredients except turkey in a food processor or blender. Mix until veggies are small, but not a liquid! Add turkey and pulse until combined.
Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out equal amounts of the mix and lightly roll them into balls. Place onto a non stick cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate and bake another 10 minutes or until cooked.
Serve with pasta, or whatever!
After dinner my family usually cozy up on the couch or hits the table for a friendly game of cards. Within minutes I start to crave something sweet… Or just anything at all! I want to munch as I watch or play but I don’t want to add the calories of a huge piece of cake.
This snack/dessert is perfect to put on the coffee table or next to your deck of cards and remain guilt free.
I was trying to figure out how to teach Joaquin shapes and I remembered a friend of mine used painters tape on her floor to make big shapes. In the photo above I used thin artist tape/painters tape. To make bigger shapes or to make shapes on carpet you can use regular painters tape.
To teach the shapes use their favorite toys to outline the tape. You can also tell them, “put the car in the triangle”.
You can also print out shapes and have them put stickers inside the shapes. You can use this to teach numbers and shapes. Ask questions likes, “How many cars are in the triangle?”
amount of each depends on how many people you’re making it for and how much stuff they like on their.
Mexican shredded cheese
Ground cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper
Chopped up peppers (I use jalapeño, yellow, and red peppers)
Chopped grilled chicken
Guacamole is optional but delicious
The How To
Start by mixing cumin, chili powder, lime juice, salt and pepper in the Greek yogurt. Mix this to your taste. It’s going in the quesadilla and as a dip.
Layer your quesadilla in this order:
Spread Yogurt sauce on bottom tortilla
Spread beans on top tortilla
Put in quesadilla maker, or put in a pan and use another hot flat pan on top. You can also warm in oven. Use two preheated baking sheets sprayed with cooking spray, one sprayed on top, one sprayed on bottom. Make a sandwich on with the baking sheets. Cook at 350 until crispy on each side.
I’m just going to keep this post as an ongoing log of all my pizza recipes. I make pizza every Friday and the recipes I think are blog worthy will make it.
Bake for 10 minutes on a preheated pizza stone at 450 degrees
layer in this order
Pesto – purée 2 packed cups of basil leaves, 1/4 cup pine nuts, 2 garlic cloves, 2/3 cup olive oil, and salt and pepper
1 cups sharp cheddar cheese
Cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup ricotta cheese
Bake for 10 minutes on a preheated pizza stone at 450 degrees.
layer in this order
Any tomato/pasta sauce – I use whatever I have in the pantry
1 1/2 cups Shredded cheese, Mexican blend
Sliced jalapeño, fresh or pickled
2 sliced small yellow peppers
2 sliced small orange peppers
6 artichoke hearts
Olive oil with Italian seasoning and garlic salt (use about 1/4 cup oil and season to taste) brush the oil mixture onto the crust and pizza after its baked.
Grilled Chicken, Peppers, and Bacon
Tips For Cooking with a Toddler
Pre-measure the ingredients
Have napkins, or a towel near by
Don’t get mad if there is a spill – cleaning is a part of this lesson as well!
Don’t turn the stove on until the mixing and pouring is done. This will avoid burns. I let my 2 year old pour the pancake batter onto the pan before I get it hot. So what if the first pancakes aren’t perfect… Better than a burn!