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Easy Meals for Busy Moms

Janel F.
JANEL F.
Registered Dietitian
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Ready to try some healthy eats this holiday season? Great, you've come to the right place! Join the conversation to learn more.

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JANEL ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
nutritious baby snacks for road trip?
LINDA, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD, 9 MONTH OLD

So we are heading home for the holidays and will be taking a long road trip... with our 7 month old in tow. Eek! Any recommendations on easy and nutritious snacks that we can pack up and take with us? What are your thoughts on fruit pouches -- any brands that you like? (Ideally something without yucky preservatives please). Thx!

Janel
JANEL

Hi Linda! I imagine at just 7 months your baby isn't eating a whole lot of solids at this point (though I may be wrong!) so you want to be careful to avoid giving too many snacks that fill his tiny tummy so he's less likely to eat meals and drink his milk. I know this is just a road trip and not daily thing, but you don't want to over feed him and wind up with a carsick kiddo! I also want to advise you to only give snacks while you are stopped, and not while driving. Even snacks that don't seem like they'd be choking hazards can cause your baby to aspirate while strapped in a car seat, and in that situation (strapped in, driving on a highway) it would be dangerous and difficult to quickly stop.

As for snacks for a 7 month old, you can't go wrong with small pieces of banana - they're portable and already packaged! There are so many pouches on the market with wholesome ingredients - just look for ones that are either single fruit/veggies or a blend of a few, and make sure they're ingredients that your baby has had before so you're not worried about a potential allergic reaction to anything new. Trader Joe's has some great organic applesauce-based pouches, for example.

There are also products on the market such as puffs or mums or other similar teething wafers that are an appropriate texture for a 7 month old. Depending on how he does with solids, he may already be ready for something like O's or a puffed rice cereal.

Wishing you happy holidays and safe travels, and that your baby sleeps for long stretches of time on your drive to make it easier!

LINDA

I'm hooked! Love this! Soooo helpful 🙌🏼

JANEL ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Quick morning prep lunch options
SUSAN, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD, 13 MONTH OLD

Hi Janel! I'm looking for some lunch inspiration for a few healthy meals that I can prepare in the morning for my nanny to feed my son in the afternoon. Trying to stay clear of pasta and too much bread. And he has an allergy to peanuts, walnuts, and pecans. Thanks!

Janel
JANEL

Hi Susan - great question! One of my favorite things I used to cook for my little one around that age for the nanny or daycare were what I call "muffin meals," or little meals in a muffin tin, such as muffin tin eggs, or muffin tin meatloaf. You basically follow a regular recipe for a large batch of veggie/cheese scrambled eggs, or a veggie-loaded meatloaf, and bake it divided up into 12 muffin tins so all the nanny has to do is reheat and serve! I've even done muffin tin meals using things like quinoa/beans/egg/cheese/chopped veggies. As long as you have an egg and sometimes cheese in there to bind it all together, you can make loads of balanced meals in muffin tins and there are so many great ideas online.

Another thing I love for this age is "party platter" style, so having a little of this, and a little of that. This is a great way to get your tot exposed to different flavors/colors/textures at mealtime without getting bored of just one thing. And you can have it all chopped/washed/cooked/cut and divided into separate containers for your nanny to scoop out from and put on your son's plate. Things like diced avocado, roasted potatoes, fruit salad, rinsed/drained canned beans and chickpeas, shredded cheese, sliced olives, shredded chicken, etc.

I hope this helps add some variety to your toddler's diet!

SUSAN

This is genius! Thank you so much! Can’t wait to try these.