When we're out of ideas for what to make for dinner (or lunch), we most often turn to eggs. They are affordable, easy to cook, and can be prepared in a variety of ways, making them easy to change up for our toddlers.
My girl has always loved them—which may be related to the fact that I ate two almost every day of my pregnancy with her?—and she'll eat them scrambled, hard cooked, poached, or fried. (She's not such a fan of omelets or fritattas...) We like to use them to add protein to a quick meal, such as this one pictured here which she ate over the weekend.
And since this meal idea is pretty self explanatory—scramble eggs, defrost edamame, slice cucumber!—I thought I'd talk about a few of my favorite pantry staples. This topic came up in our Yummy Toddler Food Facebook group the other day so I wanted to share it here. Here are a few things that I try to always have in the house to ensure that I can make a quick dinner that my girl will love, even when it otherwise seems like we're out of food.
- Eggs: We get ours each week from the farmer's market and the farmer, Michelle, pulls out my two dozen before I even reach her table. They are super inexpensive and we rely on them for a few protein-packed meals each week.
- Pasta: This is often what I make for L when we have a babysitter or when we're running low on food for weekend lunches. When I'm cooking for just her (say in the case of the babysitter situation), I make her favorite star pasta with frozen peas.
- Beans: Whether you buy canned or dry, beans are an awesome pantry staple. I usually cook two bags of dried beans at a time and stash a few freezer bags full in the freezer for future weeks. We eat them mixed with salsa, over potatoes, alongside eggs, processed into hummus, or smashed into quesadillas.
- Grains (rice, millet, and/or quinoa): I don't always have all of these, but I almost always have at least one. Simple meals like quinoa and marinara, or millet with butter and peas are my kind of comfort food and meals that usually go over well with the little. I make a double batch and freeze half, like I do with beans.
- Nut butter: L could make a meal out of nut butter, though we usually try to have it with fruit, bread, or crackers. Currently we have peanut, almond, and sunbutter in the fridge and we rotate through them so she doesn't get too attached to one specific type or brand.
Find more easy meal ideas here.
Pink plate: Replay Recycled