I'll admit it: I'm trapped in a food rut with my two young
kids. Food ruts are tasteless, guilt-inducing places. Yet,
there I was once again at dinner last night, dishing up a plate of frozen mini
meatballs and peas to my toddler while reaching for the same bland, prepackaged
food pouch for my 6-month-old.
Food ruts are easy to fall into, especially when cooking for
a toddler whose fickle tastes can make doing anything more complicated than
opening the microwave feel like an absolute exercise in futility.
Luckily, a group of moms more gutsy than I are chronicling
their adventures in baby and toddler meal planning by posting drool-inducing
photos and recipes to Instagram under hashtags like #babyfoodideas,
#toddlerfoodideas and #blw (baby-led weaning).
Few of these moms are
professional chefs. Instead, they concoct kid meals and snacks with ingredients you likely
already have on hand and that can be done with relative ease.
For the last seven weeks, a global group of moms calling
themselves the "InstaWeanTeam" has issued a cooking challenge to other moms by posting a single ingredient or theme that
everyone is encouraged to use that week. The idea is to get kids enjoying
healthy foods as they wean onto solid foods around 6 months and into toddlerdom and kidhood.
You can follow along under the #instaweanteam hashtag. I warn you: It's
addicting! Avocado this week? Sure, my toddler has refused it the last 1,000
times I've tucked it onto her plate, but this Instagram mom rolled bananas in avocado
and her toddler scarfed it down. I can do this, too! See? Addicting.
So check out the nine Instagram mom chefs below to inspire a few
new meals for your fickle crew. Goodbye fish sticks, and hello cauliflower
Expect fresh takes on comfort food for toddlers and babies from @bitesfortots and meals and snacks suitable for those following a baby-led weaning approach. The occasional scoop of Nutella also finds its way into this mom's mixing bowl!
No time to cook at all? This mom isn't afraid to grab items from the fridge or to mix in premade with homemade toddler and baby food. Dessert? She often adds a handful of berries to the plate. Bon appétit!
Store-Bought Ravioli with Homemade Butternut Squash Sauce and a Side of Shrimp, Spinach and Squash
Sometimes when faced with a picky eater or just the same old menu, the best thing to do is to have a little fun! This mom uses cookie cutters or simply arranges her toddler's food into faces, letters or smile-inducing shapes like stars, hearts and butterflies.