What do toddlers eat? Munchkin Meals

Posted on by Susan Posted in Eats, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I’m so excited to finally be cooking in our own (albeit tiny) kitchen again. This past week, we’ve had some wild salmon, Irish Nachos and Sweet Potato Nachos (inspired by Peas and Crayons), and I’ve also made a huge batch of bolognese sauce, just to name a few dishes.

With that being said, I thought it’s time for another Munchkin Meals post, linked up with Brittany of A Healthy Slice of Life. It’s been a while since I’ve done one of those posts, so here we go.

Our 21 month-old usually eats everything we eat.

The little guy loves spicy food! Mrs. Renfro’s Mango Habanero Salsa? Yes please! He will ask for “mehr/mer”  (German/Swedish for more).

Chicken satay? Why not!

 

But this is more what he’ll have on a regular basis:

Breakfast is usually milk and cereal + sippy cup with extra milk. He’s still a light weight, so we try and get extra calories into him, when we can, hence all the milk. Full fat, obviously.

He will have a lunch before nap time, and this is usually what I have, or bites thereof. The other day we shared a burrito bowl from Chipotle, and he could not stop eating the grilled chicken pieces. Other days it’s bites of cucumber, a slice of bread and cheese.

Post-nap snack is often a green smoothie (mooie in toddlerese), 1/2 a PB&J, pear slices, snap peas with hummus, or any combination thereof. Occasionally he is having banana, but unless he could peel it himself he wouldn’t look at it. And even then, he will eat only half, at most.

He will also ask for blaubeah or “Blaubeeren” (German for blueberries) multiple times a day, and usually I give him some. Again, the fact that he’s eating well now is a good thing, because of he’s so small.

Dinner really depends on the day. He can either eat great, or just graze on a few bites and call it a meal. We don’t want to force it, as I want him to understand and listen to his body’s signals, when he’s hungry. We usually do have to remind him to eat throughout the day though, as he is often too busy to realize he’s hungry. When it’s just me and him (which is often..), we usually have something quick and easy. Grilled Cheese, veggies, hummus, crackers, you name it.

Last weekend we went out to a steakhouse, and the little foodie happily munched on crab & avocado dip with nachos, lobster (!!!), and steak. What can I say, he’s got expensive taste! :P

Other days, however, he just wants plain buttered pasta and a couple of meatballs. I keep a stash of Trader Joes frozen meatballs on hand for him, because I can quickly heat them up in case a hungry toddler comes running and asking for mehr mea-bah  (“more meatballs, in case you didn’t figure this one out ;) )

So this is what our 21 month old is up to, food-wise. He goes through phases, so this is not a guarantee to remain the same, but I’m happy that we finally have our kitchen gadgets back, so we can eat as we please and no longer have to rely on takeout/hot bar/makeshift dinners all the time.

What are you or your kids eating throughout the day? You can hit up Brittany’s link-up for some fantastic kiddie meal ideas and for grown-up food, you can check out Jenn’s What I Ate Wednesday posts! I can’t wait to join the #WIAW party soon again, when I get a chance!

Oatmeal Banana-Carrot Mini Muffins and Snack Loaf

Posted on by Susan Posted in Baking, Recipes | Leave a comment

Just some quick info: With Google Reader coming to an end in the very near future, I just wanted to let you know that you can also Follow my blog with Bloglovin! :)

Back to cooking. I’m finally reunited with my household stuff! We’re still unpacking, but guess what came out of the box first!

Slow cooker, blender, NutriBullet, I missed you!

Obviously I went right to work: Green Smoothies for the win!

I also had leftover carrot pulp from making carrot juice with my NutriBullet and I didn’t want to throw it out, so I decided to create something to nibble on.

I usually give our son a little snack, while I make our breakfasts, so I thought mini muffins would probably work well.

Here’s what I came up with:

Oatmeal Banana Carrot Mini Muffins (dairy-free)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup carrot pulp (about 3 small blended carrots – I squeezed the “juice” and water out for drinking and that’s what was left)
  • 1 medium smashed banana
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • dash of cinnamon and cardamom
  • 2 Tsp. melted margarine (I used Earth Balance)
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder, blended into flour
  • 1/2 cup steel cut oats (uncooked)

Cook your steel cut oats according to instructions. In the meantime, preheat oven to 375° F. Mix egg, sugar, coconut milk, vanilla and spices together. Add carrot pulp, banana, spices and melted margarine and whisk until well combined. Add flour, baking powder and cooked oats and mix until you have a smooth batter.

From here on, I decided to divide my batter. I scooped some into a greased mini muffin pan and baked them for 15 minutes. I then added some soaked raisins to the rest of the batter and poured it into a greased loaf pan and baked for about 30 – 35 minutes. It didn’t rise at all, so it’s a fairly dense cake. I cut mine into 8 slices and froze 6 of them (along with half of the mini muffins) to enjoy for a quick snack later on.

Do you have any fun food experiments to share lately? Leave a comment to share!

Moving to Another Country: Culture Shock?

Posted on by Susan Posted in Life, Travel | Leave a comment

I thought it’s time for an update on our recent move from Canada to the United States, now that we have been here for almost two months. How has it been two months already?

On the one hand, it seems to me that there is so much I could tell you, but on the other hand it’s all details that bother no one except us. But some things have happened in the past few weeks, including a signed lease for our next apartment. :)

Where are we?

Still in San Diego, still close to the office (to cut down on hubby’s commute time). Trader Joe’s in walking distance to the new place. Score!

How do we like it so far?

This is definitely one of the most frequent questions we get. Ok. Let me start.

It’s nice. Yeah, it’s pretty awesome to have sunshine almost every day. I love palm trees. I love the ocean. I love the variety of foodie finds in grocery stores. I love Mexican food. I love burgers, especially the grass-fed beef burgers from Burger Lounge.

There are some things that bug me, but that is to be expected, as with any move to a new place, there are some bumps on the road and challenges ahead. Call it culture shock , if you want. ;)

It’s silly things, really, NBD. Pushy sales people that have NO clue what they’re talking about (I’m talking to you, Stride Rite lady, that’s trying to sell me a shoe for my toddler that’s about an inch too long…). Or people that drive right in my behind. I’ll get over it. But you may hear me talk about it. #sorrynotsorry

How am I feeling?

OK, this one’s tricky.

On the one hand I am incredibly grateful to be able to experience living in such a beautiful place

On the other hand, I am incredibly exhausted. We have so many things to take care of, and as usual (it happened in Canada, and it happened here again), something went wrong during the process (not our fault). Moving to a new country is no piece of cake, especially if you have a family to take care of. If you’re young and single, no problem, you can just go and explore, meet new friends over a glass of beer and get settled. However, if you have a little one, you don’t really get that option. San Diego is very family friendly, but I find that it’s tricky to make new friends if you have a little one in tow. I’m planning to attend a few more meetups, though, to get out of the house and have some social interaction for me and the little guy, once we are in our new neighborhood. Can’t wait to get settled into our new place in T-2 days!

Things I didn’t expect:

  • Hills/mountains. For some reason I assumed San Diego would be flat. 8-O
  • The distances to get around. Vancouver was pretty confined, space-wise, so San Diego is definitely much more sprawled out.
  • What you see is NOT what you get. I’m referring mostly to our apartment hunt. Most complexes call themselves “luxury rental homes” or something like that. Yeah, I think I have a different view on that. Don’t get me wrong, our new place will be fine. But it’s just a standard (big for our standards, normal for Americans) apartment. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s all about making a sale.

Favorite spots so far:

  • Old Town (touristy, but yummy food, nice music, and great for shopping gifts and souvenirs) and Embarcadero (a stroll along the water is always nice, isn’t it?)
  • Encinitas: This is my type of town. Has beaches, walkability to restaurants and stores, and it’s outdoorsy and cute! <3
  • La Jolla Shores: fantastically wide and family friendly beach, perfect for long walks in the sand
  • Solana Beach Farmers Market: We picked up the most delicious organic strawberries I’ve had in a very long time. Yum!
We’ve seen a few more places around here, but obviously we have only been in San Diego for 2 short months, so we are still actively exploring.
This whole move to the US has definitely been a challenging and interesting time for us. I have always been interested in the States, and I’ve even majored in US Cultural History, when studying in Germany. I never thought I would be living here one day. And here I am, with a 5 year stopover in beautiful Vancouver, BC, our little family actually ended up in sunny California.

Have you ever moved to a different country? What was the biggest challenge you had? 

Any San Diego blog readers? What are some fun places to check out? Next up on our list is Balboa Park (been there once, but only at a playground) for a hike and a visit to the Zoo, and North Park.