Dinner Menu Planning for Toddlers

10 June 2012

Weekday dinners for the twins requires some serious menu planning from my end. I work downtown and with my commute, I have a 20 minute window in the evenings to get dinner ready for my toddlers before they organize a massive riot. What works for me is to prepare their dinners on Sunday nights and store in the fridge. I have 2 divided plastic bowls that I use for this. 

Each weeks menu plan consists of:

  • 2 carbs: Could be barley, rice, pasta or beans. I'll be trying roasted potatoes next week.
  • 2 proteins: In the past we've had sausage, chicken, boiled eggs and grilled fish. This week, I'm offering the girls beef for the first time in a long time
  • Vegetables: I either steam  the vegetables separately or mix into the carbs
How does it work? Everyday dinner for the girls consists of a carb, a protein and vegetables. They also get fruits at the end of the meal. With 2 of each food category, I'm able to "mix and match" the dishes so each dinner looks a little different from the last. Here's an example of this week's dinner bowls

There's barley with beef and mixed vegetables, white rice that will be served with some sort of tomato-based sauce (we always have this on hand as it's a staple of the Nigerian diet), steamed carrots, steamed sausages and corn on the cob. 

Pantry staples to have on hand: Spaghetti sauce, shredded cheese and tuna. Most of the grains and pasta can be cooked plain and mixed with spaghetti sauce and a protein to create a toddler dish in 5 minutes.  

Everything in those 2 bowls has been eaten with gusto by the twins in the past. They've also been flung at the wall with equal gusto in the past. I can't predict if they'll eat or not, but I try to have a plan in place for our weekday dinners. 

The bowls I use are the Ziploc brand divided containers available (~$7 for 2 bowls) on Amazon.com

Linking up with Laura of orgjunkie's Menu Planning Monday and Works for me Wednesday

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