I’m a little embarrassed to admit how picky my toddler is. After all, I have a FOOD BLOG with all sorts of adventurous recipes. It’s true though. My toddler is the pickiest of all the little ones in his playgroup. I present him with all sorts of creative, healthy options, but for the longest time, his diet has been limited to “crunchy things”. He likes cereal, toast, granola, cheese, crackers and milk. He usually WON’T eat pasta, fruit, vegetables or most meats.
In order to slip in a balanced diet, I create recipes like these Popeye Pancakes. They have organic whole wheat, banana & spinach for picky toddlers who like to feed themselves.
I have peace of mind knowing my son is eating a healthy diet when I give him these. I make a big batch every week and it’s just one of the ways I slip in good nutrition.
Some other tricks I use:
If you have a picky toddler the best advice I can give is to keep trying. Don’t pressure your child to eat. Offer different foods as often as you can, even if it seems like a waste of time. Don’t fall into the trap of only offering what you know they will eat! Eventually, they come around (my son is starting to).
With a little creativity, you will find things that make both of you happy, like these Popeye Pancakes. They are packed with healthy stuff like Greek yogurt, banana, 100% whole wheat and fresh spinach.
I even add pea protein powder, and natural supplements to make sure my little guy gets everything he needs. You can even make these with breast milk if you have some (yes, breast milk pancakes!). Just switch out the milk for equal parts breast milk.
It’s up to you what you add to your Popeye pancakes-I added lots of options in the recipe. The important thing is getting your little one what they need to stay healthy and happy. Enjoy!
Use organic ingredients if possible.
Mix together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon in a large bowl.
In small food processor or blender, add the spinach leaves, banana, egg, milk and Greek yogurt. Process until smooth. Pour into a medium-sized bowl.
Whisk sugar and vanilla and any protein powder into the spinach mixture until smooth. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir gently until just combined. Add chocolate chips if using. Do not overmix. You will have a thick pancake mix at this point.
Heat your griddle over medium heat. Coat with butter or coconut oil. Spoon pancake batter onto the griddle, 2 tablespoons per pancake.
Cook until the edges are dry and bubbles form, about 1 minute. Flip and cook a few minutes more and remove from pan. Coat griddle again with oil or butter and make another batch. You may need to lower the heat to medium-low if they are browning too quickly.
Store in the refrigerator or freeze any leftovers.
Recipe adapted from Whole Wheat & Banana Pancakes from Sally’s Baking Addiction
For more great baby food and toddler recipes, check out more Love and Duck Fat baby food recipes or follow my Baby Food Recipe Pinterest board:
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I thought I was finished making baby food a while ago when I posted my last baby food recipe at the end of November. It turns out I was wrong! My son, who is now 16 months old, refused to let me feed him at 10 months. Since then, he’s been feeding himself a very picky diet of organic cheese, cereal, dried fruit, bread, crackers and the occasional strawberry. Anything else lands directly on the floor. Did you see a vegetable in that list? Nope. He will stick a handful of sand into his mouth no problem. A perfectly roasted and maple glazed carrot? No way! Since he started self-feeding, he gets his vegetables from those expensive organic baby food pouches or when I add spinach or zucchini to his daily fruit smoothies.
Those store-bought organic baby food pouches can get expensive; costing almost $2 each for just 4 ounces. He eats up to three of them a day. This is why I purchased refillable snack pouches and started making my own homemade baby food recipes again, like this apple, blueberry spinach and banana puree. I’ll be posting more “sneaky veggie” baby food recipes as I go along. They all focus on adding vegetables and protein to tasty fruit purees and are so yummy, little ones don’t mind a bit.
This recipe for apple, blueberry, banana & spinach puree is one of our favorites. It has a beautiful blue color (which hides the spinach well). It’s so tasty; I sometimes squirt some into his milk and give it a shake to make blueberry milk!
I have to mention the reusable pouches I bought. I’m trying two different brands right now to see which ones I (we) like better, the Squoochi or the Little Green Pouch. Have you tried them? So far, I love that they both are dishwasher safe and freeze well. Also, the tops are all interchangeable with the store-bought pouches—a handy thing in case you lose one. I use my handy Cuisinart Mini Prep to get a smooth puree. It’s easy to clean and the perfect size for small batches of baby food.
I hope your little ones enjoy this recipe. Stay tuned for the next hidden veggie recipe! Until then, check out 10 delicious homemade baby food recipes.
Yield: About 1 1/2 cups baby food.
In a small saucepan, heat apple and blueberries over medium heat. Add water or juice and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until the apples are soft and the blueberries break down. Add the spinach and stir until wilted. Allow to cool.
Using a food processor, puree the apple mixture with the banana. Add water, milk or formula if you want a thinner consistency.
Disclosure: this post contains an affiliate link to a product I use and purchased myself.
It’s fitting that my first post of the year is a soup recipe, and this white bean and sausage soup is one of my favorites. I’ve gushed over soup before and I’ll probably do it again. I make one, sometimes two a week because I just love soup. There’s nothing better on a cold winter evening than a delicious broth filled with tender greens, hearty white beans and savory sausage.
Note: when I say “cold” I mean a January 65 degree low in Miami and I’m still in flip flops. That’s all the cold we get in the winter. Don’t hate me.
Did you know January is national soup month here in the good old US of A? It’s the perfect time to bring out the big soup pot with this is a star of a soup. White bean and sausage soup is a comforting, home-cooked meal, but it’s also elegant. A soups like this is deceptively easy to make, only requiring some chopping, a bit of a sauté and a little time on the stove. The result is a hearty, healthy and satisfying meal for the whole family. Serve with warm, crusty bread and a glass of wine, while you imagine you are in Italy. (This Italy fantasy passes through my head every time.)
Ok, I’m finished gushing. Happy new year everyone and may there be more soup in your future.
Serving Size: 6 servings (main course)
Fill a large pot with water and add the dried beans. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the beans to sit in the water for 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans.
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft, but not brown, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add beans, chicken broth, wine, cheese rind, salt, pepper, bay leaf and rosemary to the pot. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook on low heat for 50 minutes.
Brown the sausage in a skillet and drain on paper towels. Add the carrots and sausage to the pot. If you are using kale, add it to the pot now. Cook another 15 minutes. If you are using spinach or Swiss chard, add to the pot before serving, stirring until wilted and tender. Taste and season with salt and pepper before serving.
This comforting pasta recipe with sausage, butternut squash, spinach and mascarpone cheese was created after a recent trip to visit family for Thanksgiving. The dish hit the spot after arriving home to an empty house (and refrigerator) the night before. Our anticipated 5-hour drive home stretched to 9 hours due to accidents on the turnpike. My 1-year-old son was too little to understand why he was strapped to a chair for so long, so much of our time was spent soothing and distracting him. We finally got home in the middle of the night, and dragged ourselves into bed.
After such a stressful night, we were happy to have a day to relax. But what was there to eat? I scoured my freezer and pantry and found the ingredients for this delicious recipe. I know most people don’t keep a tub of mascarpone cheese in the freezer, but I do. I like to freeze anything that may spoil when we go on a trip. Deli meats, cheeses (sliced and soft), fresh vegetables and leftovers all get frozen. The meats and cheeses defrost just fine, and the vegetables (like whole tomatoes) get tossed into a pasta sauce.
For this recipe, I was lucky to have a fresh, organic butternut squash. Add to that a pack of frozen spinach, Italian turkey sausage and cheese from the freezer. Then I found some pine nuts and pasta from the pantry and I was good to go.
I love the combination of flavors and textures in this pasta recipe. You get the slightly sweet, roasted butternut squash, then the savory spicy sausage. Crunchy pine nuts are the perfect counter to the creamy pasta and spinach. It just all works.
If you happen to have fresh spinach instead of frozen, please go ahead and us it. If you don’t have spinach, a good substitute is Swiss chard or broccoli rabe. Use your favorite type of sausage, preferably spicy or sweet Italian. I used spicy Italian turkey sausage.
Preheat oven to 425° F/220° C
Pour some of the oil on a baking sheet lined with foil. Add the squash, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Cook for 35-40 minutes, until the squash is soft and nicely browned. Remove from the oven and set aside.
While the squash is baking, heat a skillet and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan. Add the onion and cook for 8 minutes over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir. Add the spinach and cook for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Bring the pasta water to a boil. Season the water with salt and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1-2 cups of the pasta water to make the sauce.
Pour the hot pasta into a large pot or bowl. Add the mascarpone cheese and 1 cup of the pasta water (add more if necessary to thin the sauce). Allow the cheese to melt and toss. Add the squash, spinach mixture and pine nuts. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with Parmesan cheese.