TOT IN THE KITCHEN | Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips

Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips

Edith loves to be in the kitchen. Seriously the Learning Tower (similar/similar) is one of the best purchases ever and gets use multiple times per day. Today we headed to the kitchen to make kale chips. This is one of our favorite snacks and they are so much fun to make at home.

I usually like to make them in the dehydrator but we had a “must have now” hankering for them so we turned the oven on and went the quicker route.

You can find the full recipe right here.

Tots in The Kitchen - Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips spinner

Edith was my little helper for this recipe. She helped me de-stem the kale and the she spun in it in the salad spinner for me (seriously awesome kitchen tool for kids). After I added the seasoning and kale to the zip bag I zipped it and let her get down to massaging the kale. You could just do this in a bowl but this method cuts down on mess as the kale is flung around the room due to enthusiastic massaging and mixing. It also means no oily hands that you just can’t seem to get fully clean. Plus it’s just more fun!

Tots in The Kitchen - Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips

tots in the kitchen kale chips action shot

Here’s an action shot for you. Looks like someone is having a blast despite being sick, not sleeping and being cranky.

Tots in The Kitchen - Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips muncher

 

The best part for tots about making their own food is eating it. While Edith loves kale chips anyways I do think she enjoys them even more when she helped make them.

Does your child like kale chips? What’s your/their favorite flavor?

Toddlers In The Kitchen: Strawberry Snack

ToddlerKitchenStrawberryGetting your kids in the kitchen doesn’t have to take a lot of time and effort. It is just about helping them to participate in any way they can. Some days for us that is just simple having Edith prepare her own snack. On this day post-nap snack was a big bowl of strawberries – who else is excited that Strawberry season is starting?

What you’ll need:
Strawberries
A colander
A Bowl
A kids knife
A mini cutting board

I start off my having Edith help me wash the strawberries and then I set her up somewhere either the table, her high chair or at the counter with me. I provide her with a mini cutting board and toddler knife and sit with her as she cuts up her strawberry snack. I try not to intervene except for safety reasons or unless she she requests help.

ToddlerStrawberryConcentrate ToddlerStrawberryHelp ToddlerStrawberryCutting toddlerstrawberryeatWhile it is quick and easy for us as adults to just chop up the strawberries it is a fun learning experience for our littles to do it on their own.

Toddlers In the Kitchen: Supplies

FYI this post is NOT sponsored. We purchased everything on the following list and all opinions are our own.

If you have been following our Instagram feed then you have seen Edith helping me out in the kitchen. For the past few weeks Edith has been helping us in the kitchen 5-6 days per week. Some days she helps me prepare meals and other days I provide her with the food and supplies to make her own snacks. While some meal/snack preps go more smoothly than others overall I love having Edith help and she goes nuts for it. As soon as she sees the blender or food processor she runs to her learning tower and tries to push it into the kitchen to help.

While I know this list will change over time currently these are my favorite kitchen supplies for Edith at 20-21 months.

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  1. Little Partners Learning Tower: While I know that the price tag on this item is a little shocking it really is a wonderful addition to our home. E used to stand on a chair and it was just terrible because all I did was worry she would fall off. For months now I have been searching and searching via second hand shops and craigslist for a Learning Tower and finally we found a used one last month for $55 so keep your eyes peeled!
  2. Kids Cutlery Set: We have one from Ikea that we really like and this is on my ‘to buy’ list because well I just love OXO Tot. Anyways a great toddler knife is essential to have when it comes to getting your toddler in the kitchen. A toddler knife is dull enough that it really doesn’t cut much and it is the perfect size for their little hands.
  3. Strawberry Slicer: We just added this to our collection recently and I love having it! Edith has been doing a lot of strawberry chopping because I have been on a strawberry kick (pregnancy cravings!) While the knife is working for the most part I thought that since summer is on the way that this inexpensive little chopper would be so much fun to have. So far she has been enjoying it!
  4. Lemon Juicer: I have one of those citrus juicers that you stick the half in and squeeze down and while it works fine for me E’s little hands just can’t manage to squeeze it very well so I bought a mini juicer just her size. We are still working at mastering it but so far it’s great and honestly I’m a fan of it for myself!
  5. Kids Sized Whisk: I do a lot of whisking and since my whisk has a pretty big handle I thought it would be fun to get Edith her own whisk to help when making sauces and dressings. This one is super fun because it has a cow on the handle and while we whisk we practice saying cow and mooing like a cow.
  6. Crinkle Cutter: Let me start by saying that until your toddler gets used to using this knife make sure you don’t take your eye of them. This cutter is a great alternative to the toddler knife because it is a little sharper and is all about the pressing down motion versus the sawing motion. Bonus: it makes really fun crinkle cut fruits and veggies.

I’ll be giving you a closer look at E using each of these items over the next month or two. I am also working on a fun recipe series so please let me know if you have any special requests of questions!

Disclaimer: all links are Amazon affiliate links.

Munchkin Meals: 18 Months

I haven’t participated in Munchkin Meals since Edith was 12 months! Edith is quite the eater and if you follow my instagram or our NF instagram you can see that. She is pretty much obsessed with food and loves to try new things. We try to be pretty relaxed when it comes to Edith and her eating schedule and besides lunch and dinner I provide her snacks through the day when she requests them. She has become pretty good at letting us know when she wants to eat by signing to us or if she is particularly hungry she might just have a mini break down.

munchkin meals edithSo lets take a look at a normal day for Edith:

6:30am: Breakfast: she literally wakes up asking to eat most mornings.

8am: Snack

10am: Snack

11:30am: Lunch

Post Nap (between 2-3pm): Snack

Between 5:30-6: Dinner

(yes you might have noticed that nursing did not make the schedule….that post will come soon).

We eat a variety of foods in our house and throughout the month you don’t often see too many repeat meals so Edith is getting a good variety of foods. She eats basically what we eat and while she doesn’t always love everything she does a pretty good job of trying everything on her plate. This is a habit I am happy we are getting into now because we really want to encourage her to continue to try foods over and over again.

Here are some samples of what she eats for meals and snacks:

munchkin meals bagelsBreakfast:

  • Coconut yogurt and granola
  • Two sliced of toast with coconut oil and banana
  • Mixed fruit plate (example: dates, tangerines, banana)
  • Tofu scramble with mushrooms, onions and nutritional yeast
  • Fruit and Veggie Smoothie
  • Bagels with tofutti or vegan cashew shmear

munchkin meals 18mos lunchLunch:

  • Hummus, veggies and pita
  • Beans, veggies and rice or quinoa with tahini sauce
  • Veggie Burger with mushrooms and onions and spinach, avocado and fruit
  • Avocado and hummus sandwich, cucumber slices and fruit
  • Leftovers from dinner
  • Curried carrot noodles with veggies and udon noodles

munchkin meals buddha bowlDinner:

  • Bean chili with sour supreme
  • Curried lentils with rice and veggies
  • Tofu Scramble wraps with potatoes
  • Vegan Mac and Cheeze with peas and broccoli
  • Vegan Pizza with pesto, veggies and soy curls
  • Buddha bowls

munchkin meals fruit leathersSnacks:

  • Mamma Chia Packets
  • Trail mix usually with raisins, dried cranberries, pecans and pumpkin seeds
  • Whole grain crackers
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Smoothies
  • Apple sauce
  • Dried fruit
  • Freeze Dried Peas
  • Fruit & veggie leathers

So those are Edith’s current eats! I hope to do this post monthly now or at least not every 6 months!

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What is your munchkin enjoying right now? What were your favorite meals as a child? 

Want to keep up with what Edith is eating? Follow us on Instagram @naturallyfamily or me @runwithtongs

Thank you Brittany for hosting! You can find more Munchkin Meals on her blog.

Munchkin Meals {12 Months}

It’s been a few months since I last participated in Munchkin Meals but I had a nice reminder yesterday on my friend Kim’s Instagram account that today is the day! I also luckily snap so many photos of Edith eating or of her meals that it worked out that I have quite a bit to post for you.

EdithSorbet (1 of 1)

So overall not much has changed with Edith’s eating since I last post although she has tried a few new foods like peanut butter, honey and various fruits and vegetables. We had no issues when introducing peanut butter or honey (whoohoo) and they were both introduced right around her first birthday.  We had already given her tree nuts starting back around 9.5 months which she had no issues with either.

Blue Mountain Brewery Pizza Edith (1 of 1)

So lets take a look at a normal day for Edith:

Between 2:30-5:30am: Nurse (unless she sleeps with us and she nurses most of the night)

7am: Nurse

7:30am: Breakfast

9am: Snack

9:30am: Nurse

Between 11am-12pm: Lunch

1pm: Nurse

3pm: Snack

4pm: Nurse

Between 5:30-6:30: Dinner

8:30pm: Nurse

10pm: Sometimes Nurse

MunchkinMeals-Crackers

Breakfast:

  • Coconut yogurt with hemp seeds 
  • Toast with coconut oil
  • Blueberries, Strawberries or other fruit
  • Tofu scramble with mushrooms, onions and nutritional yeast
  • Fruit and Veggie Smoothie

Munchkin-lunch

Lunch:

  • Hummus, veggies and pita
  • Beans, veggies and rice or quinoa
  • Vegan quesadilla
  • Veggie Burger with mushrooms and onions and spinach

Munchkin-dinner

Dinner:

  • Avocado Roll
  • Lentils with rice and veggies
  • Tempeh with rice, mushrooms and onions
  • Mac and Cheeze with peas and broccoli
  • PizzaMunchkinMeals-Tomato

Snacks:

  • Mamma Chia Packets
  • Freeze Dried Strawberries
  • Oyster Crackers (the soup crackers)
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Smoothies
  • Kale Chips
  • Raw Crackers

Munchkin-Snack

For most all of her meals she eats pretty much exactly what we are eating except slightly toned down versions (i.e. less salt, pepper or (hot) spices). Edith is a pretty good eater and will try most anything presented to her. She is at a point where she wants to eat everything off your plate and getting her to sit in her chair can be a challenge.  I am back to the days of holding her on my lap however instead of holding her while she nurses or just hangs out she now eats all my food! We were at a wedding this past weekend and we had this amazing eggplant ratatouille dish and she literally ate 2/3 of mine so I ended up having to ask for a second plate which she promptly dug into as well!

This month I am hoping to try out some new recipes for Edith and introduce her to a few new foods.  We are lucky to have an organic delivery box come once per week with a bunch of surprise goodies inside so there is always something new for her or even all of us to try!

What is your munchkin enjoying right now? What were your favorite meals as a child? 

Want to keep up with what Edith is eating? Follow us on Instagram @naturallyfamily

Munchkin Meals: 8 Months

Wow this month went by incredibly fast! I know that I still owe you a follow up post on our approach to solids but we have been busy playing at the coast and well I can’t seem to find my baby led weaning book where I have a ton of notes about things I want to include. I wonder if Edith hid it somewhere like she hid our second set of car keys in the recycling (note to self don’t let the baby play with your car keys.) Anyways lets take a look at what Edith has been eating this month!

We did experience our first solids protest this month right around the start of March when Edith was sick and teething (still no teeth though).  It lasted a few days but I just kept offering her food at meal times and eventually she went back to her normal  eating habits.

Edith basically eats what we eat minus the salt and too much spice (except for that one time I unknowingly gave her guacamole with jalapenos in it).  Here are a few examples:

Breakfast:

  • Toast with coconut oil and fruit
  • Oats with cinnamon and banana
  • Banana and/or mango

Lunch:

  • Hummus and steamed veggies with avocado, olive oil or coconut oil
  • Beans or lentils with avocado, olive oil or coconut oil and veggies
  • Gluten Free Pasta with veggies and olive oil

Dinner:

  • Lentil soup with veggies and quinoa
  • Roasted sweet potato, steamed veggies and avocado
  • Beans, kale salad and brown rice

Snacks:

  • Fruit
  • Veggie Puffs
  • Fruit and Veggie puree packets

Her current favorite foods are: avocado, hummus and banana.

EdithEatsFoodCartsMunchinMeals

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Our Approach to Solids: Before the Real Eating

I am finally posting about how we are currently approaching solids with Edith, aren’t you excited? However, before I get right into the solids part I thought I should probably first explain how we started solids before any real food came into play.

Months 0-2.5

When Edith was first born Neil and I were eating most of our meals on the couch with Edith either in the swing, the Boppy lounger or in her bouncy chair. This worked pretty well for us and we ate dinner at our usually (early) time of about 5:30/6pm. However over time Edith decided that sitting in our arms was more fun than sitting in one of her chairs.IMG_2849

Months 2.5-4

We decided to put Edith to bed before we ate so that we could eat with free arms and have a little adult time together. We ended up not eating dinner until closer to 8pm which was a on the late side for us, especially me because I was ready for bed by 9pm.

edieeats

Months 4-6

This is when things started to really change in how we decided to eat. Neil and I decided that 8pm was way too late for us to be eating dinner because of how close to bed time it was and because we were snacking around 5pm to hold us over, inevitably over eating. The other thing that really changed was our view on meal time. I really think that this is when it finally hit me that soon Edith would be eating solids and we started to think about how we wanted that to look.

We decided to eat dinner while Edith was still awake and sit at the table (most of the time) with her. I would hold her in my arms while we ate and then we would do our bedtime routine with her. This was so much better for us because we weren’t eating at a ridiculous hour and we were starting to expose Edith to food.

edithfisherprice

At around 5 months we decided to buy one of the high chairs you attach to a dining room table chair. We decided to go with this one because it also came with a toy attachment so that while we ate Edith could entertain herself. It was great because she was able to sit at the table with us and Neil and I could eat with both hands and at the same time we were preparing her for the future.

Also around 5 months we started letting her hold and play with vegetables. We started with cauliflower, broccoli and peppers. She would hold them and test them out with her mouth but never really ate any of them. This is when we started baby-led weaning (BLW) and at the time I don’t think we even realized it.

Months 6-6.5

At just 6 days shy of her 6 month birthday we got the green light from her pediatrician to start solids. Up to this point I was very much like oh we aren’t going to do rice cereal or purees and our pediatrician was guiding us towards the BLW route but for some reason I went out and bought both. Edith’s first real solids meal was brown rice cereal with butternut squash puree. She wasn’t much of a fan.

ricecereal

The second day of solids I tried the brown rice cereal and squash again but still not interested so I moved on to sweet potato puree which she really enjoyed and then to mangos which she loved. Over the next few weeks she tried a few other pureed packets but I never went back to the brown rice cereal. I honestly didn’t even know why I bought it in the first place because I had no real interest in giving it to her- maybe I thought it would help her gain a little weight?

Anyways, for the first two weeks we pretty much only gave Edith packets of pureed foods. We occasionally gave her avocado or a few veggies to play with like leafy greens and slices of bell peppers but we were primarily doing spoon feeding. During this time we were mindful to feed Edith slowly and to also let her touch and play with the puree since we were aware that those are two things that can be easily over looked when it comes to spoon feeding.

EdithGoPod1

We continued to eat dinner together at the table like we had been prior to starting solids but as we did this Edith became less interested in the packets of pureed foods and more interested in our food. This got me thinking about looking more into the method behind BLW. At this point we were doing a little bit of it but had not yet fully taken the plunge so I headed over to Amazon and bought Baby-Led Weaning The Essential Guide To Introducing Solid Foods and Helping Your Baby Grow Up a Happy and Confident Eater.

Up next: The Move to (almost) Exclusive BLW and What Edith Eats

Munchkin Meals: 7 Months

Can you believe that Edith is almost 8 months old! We are just completing month two of solids and so far things have been going well.  I know I have been talking about doing a post on our approach and don’t worry it is coming soon so let me know if you have any questions.  Now lets take a look at what Edith has been eating lately.MunchkinMeal-EdithStealingPeppers

Breakfast:

  • homemade chunky puree of brown rice, pears and butternut squash
  • berries
  • waffle with coconut oil
  • roasted pears
  • occasionally a puree packet usually one with a grain in it

 MunchkinMeals-CornbreadCafe
Lunch:

  • steamed veggies: zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, bell pepper, peas, carrots, corn, ect.
  • fruits and berries
  • hummus or cooked beans

MunchinMeals-PearsBlueberriesPeppers

Dinner:

  • massaged kale salad
  • slaw
  • gluten free pasta
  • steamed veggies

MunchkinMeal-EdithEatinAllHailKale

Snacks:

  • puffs
  • fruits
  • green juice

Munchkin Meals: 6 Months

Edith is finally old enough to participate in Munchkin Meals! I will be doing a post more on introducing solids and our method but for now I’ll just say we are doing a combo of pureed and baby led solids.

When we first started solids we were doing mostly just purees and to my surprise Edith LOVED them right from the start (except butternut squash and brown rice cereal that is). Now was she gets a bit older she is really loving having finger foods and just this week really started to learn how to feed herself.  She still likes to eat purees but now prefers the packets over us spoon feeding her all the time.

As for meals we are just starting to really have breakfast, lunch and dinner, Edith is still nursing (a lot) so that is her primary food source for now.  Around 8am I offer her a puree packet which she sometimes gobbles up but mostly just has a few slurps and gets bored with it. Then somewhere between 11:30-12:30 we sit down and have lunch together.  Her lunch usually consists of a puree and a veggie (peas, broccoli, sweet potato) and dinner (around 6pm) is more of the same as lunch.

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