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Cooking for the Family

Lindsay L.
LINDSAY L.
Registered Dietitian
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Join Lindsay Livingston, Registered Dietitian and blogger from The Lean Green Bean, for a Q&A all about cooking for your family. Lindsay is here to answer question about meal prepping and planning, recipes the whole family can enjoy, and more.

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LINDSAY ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Need meal guidance for toddler
MARIA, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

Hi Lindsay,
I know that historically toddlers don't eat very much, but I feel bad giving my daughter the same things over and over again. She is 16 months old. Do you have any suggestions? Things that are helpful to know...I am not a very good cook, so it has to be super simple! And, we are vegetarian (hubby is vegan). Thanks in advance!

Lindsay
LINDSAY

I would just focus on offering a variety. There are tons of different plant
based protein sources you can introduce her to that are perfect for little
fingers like beans, lentils, chickpeas. Pair them with different fruits and
vegetable to encourage her to try new things instead of always serving the
same couple. You can also try making things like black beans or chickpeas
into mini patties or nuggets with some breadcrumbs and shredded or chopped
>veggies and serve them with different dips like salsa and hummus!

I have some posts with toddler meal ideas here. They have meat but still
might give you some ideas!

http://www.theleangreenbean.com/category/baby/

Lindsay

Lindsay Livingston, RD

**Please note I've had a change of address. If you plan to mail me
something, please confirm you have the correct address**



*Blog: The Lean Green Bean*
www.theleangreenbean.com

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ASHLEY

You also might look at budgetbytes.com. I am also not an awesome cook but my 2 year old has liked everything I've made from there! They have some good veggie options!

MARIA

Thanks ladies!

LINDSAY ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Packing lunches
MADELINE, PARENT OF 7 YEAR OLD, 3 YEAR OLD

We are in a major lunch rut. I would love some suggestions to help move us beyond Sunbutter & jelly sandwiches everyday. Maybe meal planning on the weekends can help?

Lindsay
LINDSAY

I wrote this post last year with some tips and examples of healthy packed
lunches:
http://www.theleangreenbean.com/healthy-packable-lunches-for-kids/

and this post of 50 packable lunches:
http://www.theleangreenbean.com/50-packable-lunch-ideas/

that might help. I also have a few posts with toddler meal ideas that you
can look through that might give you some new ideas:
http://www.theleangreenbean.com/category/baby/

Meal prep can definitely help! You could prep some traditional "breakfast
foods" that also work for lunch like egg muffins, waffles or pancakes
(great with yogurt), roll-ups with deli meat, hummus and cheese can be a
hit. You could also try homemade lunchables with crackers, squares of
cheese and squares of turkey. Leftovers are also good for lunch - things
like burgers and meatballs that can be eaten warm or cold are good!

My friend and fellow RD Holley has this post of 125 healthy lunchbox ideas:
http://www.holleygrainger.com/healthy-lunchboxes-for-kids/

Hope that helps!


Lindsay Livingston, RD

**Please note I've had a change of address. If you plan to mail me
something, please confirm you have the correct address**



*Blog: The Lean Green Bean*
www.theleangreenbean.com

Let's Connect! Follow me on:
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LINDSAY ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Insta Pot
CHRISTINA, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

Hi Lindsay. Thanks for answering questions today! I have heard a lot of great things about the Insta Pot. We have a slow cooker already. Is this a worthwhile addition? Any tips on what to cook with it? Thanks!

Lindsay
LINDSAY

Hi!

I have an Instant Pot and love it! For me it can replace the slow cooker
because it can actually act as both a pressure cooker and a slow
cooker...although now that i use it as a pressure cooker i rarely slow cook
anything anymore.

I use mine pretty much every week to cook shredded chicken or port to put
in a variety of dishes.

Here are a few recipes I've made several times in mine:

http://www.theleangreenbean.com/instant-pot-asian-chicken/
http://www.theleangreenbean.com/instant-pot-beef-stew/
http://www.theleangreenbean.com/instant-pot-pasta-with-meat-sauce/
http://www.theleangreenbean.com/instant-pot-shredded-hummus-chicken/

You can also saute right in it so you don't have to use another pan. There
are lots of facebook groups you can join for more Instant Pot recipe ideas
as well!

Lindsay

Lindsay Livingston, RD

**Please note I've had a change of address. If you plan to mail me
something, please confirm you have the correct address**



*Blog: The Lean Green Bean*
www.theleangreenbean.com

Let's Connect! Follow me on:
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LINDSAY ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Meal prep
KATRINA, PARENT OF 5 YEAR OLD, 3 YEAR OLD

I have heard it is a wonderful thing but do not know where to begin. Any tips?
Thanks for answering ?'s today!

Lindsay
LINDSAY

Ah, this is my specialty! Here's a link to a page with several food prep
posts I've written, including one with 5 tips for beginners:
http://www.theleangreenbean.com/food-prep/

I also wrote an entire ebook about food prep:
http://www.theleangreenbean.com/ultimate-guide-food-prep/

My best tip is to pick the time of day you struggle with the most and start
there...so if you're constantly skipping breakfast because you're too busy
in the morning, prep a few breakfasts ahead of time. If you're always going
to the vending machine for a snack, spend some time making a couple snacks
you can pack for the week. Once you see how much it helps you, you'll
probably be motivated to do a little more the next week!

And remember food prep doesn't mean you have to prep every single thing
your'e going to eat for the entire week! Every little bit helps, even if
it's just grilling some chicken, chopping some vegetables to snack on and
hard boiling some eggs.

Lindsay Livingston, RD

**Please note I've had a change of address. If you plan to mail me
something, please confirm you have the correct address**



*Blog: The Lean Green Bean*
www.theleangreenbean.com

Let's Connect! Follow me on:
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LINDSAY ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Serving Size
KATRINA, PARENT OF 5 YEAR OLD, 3 YEAR OLD

How do I know how much to feed my 14 month old and 34 month old? I feel like I am giving too much at each meal

Lindsay
LINDSAY

Don't get too hung up on amounts! Every kid is different and kids are
actually really good about eating when they're hungry and stopping when
they're full. My 2 1/2 year old eats a TON compared to other 2 year
olds...but he's also much bigger and taller than average.

Here's a post my friend and fellow RD wrote showing the recommended toddler
serving sizes, with visuals, that might be helpful...but remember every kid
is different so these aren't hard and fast rules:
http://momtomomnutrition.com/nutrition/toddler-serving-sizes/

Lindsay Livingston, RD

**Please note I've had a change of address. If you plan to mail me
something, please confirm you have the correct address**



*Blog: The Lean Green Bean*
www.theleangreenbean.com

Let's Connect! Follow me on:
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LINDSAY ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
7 month old feeding schedule
VICTORIA, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

Hi Lyndsay
What schedule and amount of food should my 7month old be taking in and how does this increase over time? Also how do you avoid it reducing milk consumption as he's seemingly less hungry for milk since starting on solids. Thank you!

Lindsay
LINDSAY

Hi!
I wouldn't worry too much about the amount of solid food she's eating at 7
months. Use it as a time for her to develop her coordination and explore
different flavors and textures.

Here's a post my friend and fellow RD wrote about toddler serving sizes
(with visuals) that might help as she gets a little older!

http://momtomomnutrition.com/nutrition/toddler-serving-sizes/

The two of us also wrote an ebook about feeding young kids. You can find
more info about that here:
http://www.theleangreenbean.com/table-talk/

Lindsay

Lindsay Livingston, RD

**Please note I've had a change of address. If you plan to mail me
something, please confirm you have the correct address**



*Blog: The Lean Green Bean*
www.theleangreenbean.com

Let's Connect! Follow me on:
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*Facebook*
*Instagram*
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LINDSAY ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Toddler won't eat vegetables
ANNE, PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD

Hi Lindsay-
I have a 2.5 year old who absolutely refuses to eat vegetables. She was great until about 3 months ago and then started to reject everything she had previously loved (spinach, green beans, sweet potatoes.) Any suggestions for how to stretch her palette a bit?

KATRINA

Following

Lindsay
LINDSAY

Definitely keep trying. I serve vegetables constantly and my son often
doesn't eat them...but if they're there, you never know when he might take
a bite. Also try different forms- roasted, raw, steamed, mashed. My son
likes roasted squash mixed with vanilla yogurt and a little maple syurp,
roasted sweet potatoes with cinnamon, raw carrots with hummus. Here are
some kid-friendly veggie recipes:

http://www.theleangreenbean.com/kid-friendly-vegetable-recipes/

I also puree veggies into sauces like tomato sauce, shred them into
muffins, bake with things like pumpkin and sweet potato and most recently
I've started putting frozen cauliflower in his smoothies:
http://www.theleangreenbean.com/blueberry-cauliflower-smoothie/

Lindsay

Lindsay Livingston, RD

**Please note I've had a change of address. If you plan to mail me
something, please confirm you have the correct address**



*Blog: The Lean Green Bean*
www.theleangreenbean.com

Let's Connect! Follow me on:
*Twitter*
*Facebook*
*Instagram*
*Pinterest*
*Google+*

Our Q&A starts now!
TINYHOOD, PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD

Welcome, Lindsay! Lindsay is a Registered Dietitian, mom, and blogger from The Lean Green Bean. Lindsay is here to answer your questions about cooking meals for the whole family, meal prepping, and more.