Eats

Munchkin Meals – Birthday Month Edition

Posted on by Susan Posted in Eats, Kids | 4 Comments

What, when did September sneak up on me so quickly? At the same time I am so looking forward to the end of San Diego’s summer, because let me tell ya, it’s hot. I cannot wait for cooler temperatures to arrive.

August was a busy month for us, with paperwork (as usual), trips to Orange County, farmer’s markets, a visit to Legoland and celebrating our little guy’s 2nd Birthday.

I am amazed at the amount of chicken this little guy can pack away. We have recently started to pick up a rotisserie chicken from Costco every now and then (it usually last for 2 – 3 meals), and our 2 year old will eat an entire leg and thigh PLUS white meat!

I’m not a huge fan of the Costco chicken (contains carrageenan and some other weird stuff!), and we have always roasted our own organic chicken breasts or boneless thighs (I absolutely HATE pulling meat off of bones), but we had to cut down on our grocery spending. Additionally, little guy still needs to pack on the pounds, so anything high in calories, protein and iron works for us right now.

We are trying to avoid hormones and antibiotics and chemicals in our diet as much as possible, but the time and money-savings are extremely important to us right now.

Enough with me trying to justifying buying non-organic meat (Mom Guilt?) and back to the Munchkin Meals, which I’m linking up with Brittany from A Healthy Slice of Life once again.

At 2 years old, our little guy’s lunch and dinner favourites include:

  • Bold flavours! He loved this braised chicken I made the other day!

He eats what we eat most of the time. There are exceptions, for example when we had a long day and are getting a late take-out meal, then I will make a separate meal for our son, and that’s usually always a combination of 2 – 4 items below (I’m trying to offer him a little bit from each food group).

Breakfasts are almost always cereal (Joes O’s) + milk / eggs + toast + fruit / smoothies

Weekend Brunches are sometimes more of a treat with cream cheese filled French Toast Sticks (photo below) or crepes.

Lunches are usually quick and easy:

  • Proteins: chicken,  meatballs, Applegate organic hot dogs, scrambled eggs
  • Out and about: Chipotle (we like sharing a chicken burrito bowl)
  • raw veggies: broccoli, cucumber slices, snap peas,  bell pepper slices, carrot – basically anything crunchy
  • dips of all sorts, incl. hummus, sour cream, homemade spinach and artichoke dip, and even “spicy” (= salsa)
  • Cheese – he does not get special “kid” cheese (we don’t buy cheese sticks/mozza/mild cheddar etc.) and eats and loves what we eat, including aged cheddar and gruyere
  • grilled cheese sandwiches
  • buttered pasta / mac & cheese
  • Favorite fruits: peaches, blueberries
  • Stonyfield organic yo-toddler yogurt containers, which he eats all by himself with a spoon. Big boy! :D

Snacks/Treats:

  • banana bread – little man loooves Bananenbrot (banana bread in German)
  • raisins
  • Lärabars
  • HappyTots organic fruit and veggie pouches (Costco find!)
  • Ice cream as a special treat

 Do you have a little one? Check out the Munchkin Meals link-up over on A Healthy Slice of Life.

Looking for previous Munchkin Meals? Check out the following posts:

Munchkin Meals (21 months)

Munchkin Meals (17 months)

PS: The Melissa  & Doug Wooden Food Groups (bottom left corner in the photos above) are great for pretend play and work perfectly for a little toy kitchen or market stand! :)

 

Easy Summer Meals & What I Ate Wednesday

Posted on by Susan Posted in Eats | 1 Comment

You guys? Do you even know how much I am looking forward to cooler temperatures?

I already picked out a pair of fall boots that I fully intend to buy, but I’m still hesitating, because I’m not even sure if San Diego will ever have any fall or winter weather. It makes me a little sad.

At the beginning of September it’s still a whopping 37°C/98.6°F outside today. I’m so glad our AC is cooperating. I’m not even sure how I walked 1.5 miles home from the gym at lunch time.

Speaking of lunch – it’s time for another What I Ate Wednesday!

Peas and Crayons

Because of the crazy temperatures, meals needed to be quick and easy, as I haven’t been feeling like standing in the kitchen above a hot stove or in front of the oven lately. And because I’m a busy toddler-mama, I’m posting eats from the week, because it can be tricky taking photos from ALL of my eats during the course of one day.

By the way, I finally downloaded a photo collage app for my phone and I’m still practicing (see the bottom left corner – ooops! ;) )  - if you know of a collage maker software, please share it with me! :)  

Some summer lunches from last week:

  • Mexican “Pizza” (beans and cheese on tortilla, topped with fresh veggies and salsa)
  • Panang chicken curry (we finally found a great Thai restaurant nearby)
  • Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup (Trader Joe’s Organic Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper is oh. so. good. and will be stocked for fall/winter)
  • Quiche + Salad from Champagne French Bakery
  • Lots of smoothies, including this Strawberry and White Chocolate one

Dinners were still loaded up with veggies.

Salmon and Green Rice:

Braised Chicken with rice and greens:

And last, but not least, Stuffed Sweet Potatoes:

I’m linking this week’s What I Ate Wednesday up withPeas and Crayons, which always has fantastic food inspiration, so head over there and check it out. And don’t forget to congratulate Jenn for the arrival of her little chickpea!

What are you favorite light and easy summer meals? I’m always looking for new recipe ideas, so leave a comment and share! :)

What I Ate Wednesday + Sugar-Free Week Recap

Posted on by Susan Posted in Challenge, Eats | 2 Comments

Well, I survived #SugarFreeWeek!

Now that it’s over, I have to admit that it was easier than I originally thought it would be. I was tracking my eats and read the labels of everything processed (crackers, yogurt, etc.). If it contained sugar it was a no. If it was sweetened naturally, I ate a little bit of it. And by eating this way for a week, it reminded me that this was my actual diet! This is how I normally eat. It was no problem at all, to ditch the junk and eat fresh food, made from scratch, mostly veggies, fruit, grain and lean protein. I just needed a little kick in the you-know-what to snap out of my sweet treats habit, that I slowly developed over a few weeks.

For example, I made myself this super filling breakfast smoothie this morning.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cooked rolled oats (leftover)
  • 1 oz chilled coffee
  • a tsp of peanut butter (Whole Foods 365 brand only has one ingredient: organic dry roasted peanuts)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • cocoa powder
  • cinnamon
  • a few vegan chocolate chips

Give it a quick blend and you’re good to go.

The chocolate chips were sweetened with organic cane juice, so I was OK with it especially since I only added 7 or 8 chips in total.

This was an amazing combo that I will keep in in my breakfast rotation, especially since I’m extreeeeeeemely slow in the mornings lately. Prep the night before, add milk and the frozen ‘nana in the morn and you’re good to go!

Other breakfasts included eggs, toast & fruit, or yogurt, kamut puffs and banana.

Lunch is always a tricky one for me, because the little guy is usually snacking pretty frequently, so I end up filling up on his snacks as well, such as grapes, bell peppers, cucumbers, crackers, hummus, cheese, raisins or Lärabars. So when lunchtime rolls around, I’m either starving, because my son wouldnt share, or I’d be full, because he didn’t eat his snacks.

I still make it a point to make our lunch (for habit purposes), and that could be anything from a PB&J, to grilled cheese, or more hummus and veg. When we’re out and about, we might pick up something from a salad bar, or yesterday little dude and I shared a Chipotle burrito bowl (see above).

Treats:

We got Starbucks on the weekend and my mind went blank about the whole no sugar thing.  The other sweet treat was whole wheat crepes, with a bit of whipped cream, fresh strawberries and homemade blueberry sauce.

Dinners are always simple.

Yesterday, for example, I was so happy to see chicken enchiladas in the freezer, after spending 3 hours chasing the little guy around the park and playground. I had no desire to spend time in the kitchen, and since I had done my prep work the week before, this worked out perfectly!

What did I think of going sugar-free for a week?

My diet is by no means perfect, and it might not ever be in someone else’s eyes. For others, my foods may look super healthy, I don’t know. Remember, my goal was not to cut out all sweets or treats. My goal was to eat more at home, from-scratch meals, made with real food. Yes, we did eat out a couple of times, but I stuck mostly to fish tacos and salad. Oh, and then there was Umami Burger in Costa Mesa on the weekend… Oh well.

I just needed to give my body a little space and time to wean myself off the added sweeteners and processed junk, to get back to my normal eating habits and I’m happy to report it worked!

Jenn over at Peas and Crayons is hosting What I Ate Wednesday, so make sure to check out some other fabulous bloggers’ eats.

Did you ever ditch sugar for an extended period of time? How did it affect you?

What are your fun eats of the week?