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3 Toddler-Friendly Weeknight Dinners

October 9, 2017

Today I’m excited to share 3 original recipes that Kate of Domestikated Life created for us! I’ve followed Kate for years and love her simple approach to entertaining and cooking. One of my biggest challenges in the kitchen right now is coming up with dinner ideas that Piper will actually try and enjoy and I can’t wait to test out these recipes that are delicious and healthy for both mama and bebe. 

Be sure to check out Kate’s site for more kid-friendly meals!  

By Kate Bowler of Domestikatedlife.com

Dinnertime can be a challenge on a good day, but add an infant or a toddler to the mix and it can be down right exhausting. Our daughter is 8 months old and diving head first into the world of solid foods right now. More than anything, she always wants to be eating what my husband and I are eating, which is great, as long as we’re eating something that’s appropriate for a toothless baby.

Our tiny (and hungry) little addition to the dinner table has challenged me to rethink my standby weeknight menus and experiment with new recipes that quick and easy, healthy, and can be adapted or broken down into elements that our daughter can eat too. In the spirit of us mamas sticking together, I’m sharing three of my favorite new recipes that are toddler and mama approved for easy weeknight dinners! Each recipe has 10 ingredients, just 3 steps and takes less than 45 minutes to prepare. Get all of the recipes below!

Hidden Veggie “Bolognese”

This vegetarian style “Bolognese” sauce is packed with five cups of hidden vegetables. Serve with a textured pasta like rotini so the vegetable pieces can cling inside the curves; for the adult portion you can mix in turkey sausage, red pepper flakes, and fresh basil leaves.

  • 2 Tbsp. of butter
  • ¼ Cup of yellow onion, minced
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 Large Carrots, finely diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup of butternut squash, finely diced
  • 2 cups of fresh spinach, chopped
  • 28 Oz. can of crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  • Salt and Pepper
  • ¼ Parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb. of Rotini pasta
  • Optional: Turkey sausage, red pepper flakes, basil
  1. In a stockpot, melt butter and sauté onion, garlic, carrots, and butternut squash for 10-12 minutes until softened. 
  2. Stir in spinach and crushed tomatoes; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Simmer for 30 minutes; stir in parmesan cheese and serve over rotini pasta.
  • Optional for the adult-version of this dish: add in turkey sausage, red pepper flakes, and fresh basil.

Harvest Wild Rice Bowl

Grabbing a big hearty salad from one of those fancy salad bars is a great way to eat healthy on the go, but they can be so expensive! I’ve tried to recreate some of my salads and bowls at home to save money. Prepping these in larger batches usually means we can eat them for dinner and have tasty leftovers to pack for lunches the next day! This version is packed with autumnal flavors like butternut squash, cheddar cheese, and apples – all ingredients that can be chopped into bite-sized pieces for kids too.

  • Butternut Squash
  • Wild Rice
  • Apples
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Red Onion
  • Almond Slices
  • Spinach
  • Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Cube butternut squash into small ½” pieces and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes.
  2. While butternut squash is cooking, prepare wild rice as directed on box and prep remaining ingredients. Slice apples, cube cheddar cheese, mince red onions, and wash and dry spinach.
  3. In a bowl, layer spinach with a scoop of rice, butternut squash, apple slices, cheddar cheese cubes, red onion and almond slices. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic and season with salt and pepper.
  • For the kids-version, serve bite-sized pieces of apples, cheddar, and butternut squash with a scoop of wild rice.

Greek Stuffed Baked Potatoes

I recently went on a trip to Detroit, and at their baseball stadium enjoyed a tasty ballpark snack that inspired this dish: Gyro “Poutine” – all of the elements of a delicious Greek gyro served over crispy French fries. It sparked the idea to take some of my favorite Greek food ingredients and load them on top of a hearty baked potato. For the toddler-friendly version, break down many of the ingredients like potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, chicken and hummus into small bite sized pieces. I find that giving our little gal a variety of flavors on her plate keeps her occupied longer at the dinner table!

  • 3 Small-Medium Russet Potatoes
  • Hummus
  • 1.5 cups of Rotisserie Chicken, chopped
  • 1 Cucumber, diced
  • 1 Tomato, diced
  • ¼ Red onion, minced
  • Tzatziki
  • Feta cheese crumbles
  • Fresh Dill, roughly chopped
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees; scrub potatoes clean and prick all over with a fork. Bake for 45 minutes – flipping halfway through.
  2. While potatoes cook, prepare your toppings: chop rotisserie chicken, dice cucumbers and tomatoes, mince red onion, and roughly chop fresh dill.
  3. Remove potatoes from oven once cooked through and split open. Top with hummus, chicken, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, tzatziki sauce, and feta cheese crumbles. Season with salt and pepper and top with fresh dill.
  • For the kids-version, chop potatoes, chicken, cucumbers, and tomatoes into bite-sized pieces and serve with a scoop of hummus.

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