5 easy meals for toddlers and busy moms

my favorite 5 easy meals to feed my kids when i’m feeling lazy

everyone knows feeding toddlers can be tedious. compound that with my husband being deployed last year, multiple trainings away from home, dealing with covid, and living 2500 miles away from any family. and despite loving to cook (i definitely don’t shy away from a complicated meal), i still feed my kids super simple easy meals when i just feel burnt out from being in the kitchen, or even when i know they won’t like what i’m eating for dinner. here are the five easy meals i find myself going back to over and over.

1. dino nuggets for the win!

easy meals for toddlers

i mean… who doesn’t love a good dino nug? i literally microwave them and usually serve with steamed fresh broccoli and some kind of fruit. always a hit, and so so easy especially for lunch. also, i haven’t been able to find these in california but my friend turned me onto these perdue plus chicken and vegetable dino nuggets… they are so delicious and it makes me feel better knowing they are getting a serving of veggies as well.

2. 3-ingredient naan pizza

this is one of our new favorites. all the ingredients come from aldi and it is so so easy. just take a piece of their naan bread, spread on some marinara, cover in shredded mozzarella, and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. comes out perfect every time, and i love it just as much as them. another version is to use premade bbq sauce instead of marinara, top with shredded chicken, mozzarella and finish with pickled red onions. easy bbq chicken pizza!

3. pb&j… a classic

simple and self-explanatory. my one year old actually prefers grilled cheese, but my 2.5 year old is team pb&j all day. we’ve been using the organic unsweetened peanut butter from aldi, and my kids don’t even notice the difference between that and the kind that has added oils and sugar.

4. chicken sausage

this is mostly for my 2.5 year old… the one year old won’t eat meat at all unless it’s a chicken nugget. these chicken sausages come from aldi and they have three flavors. our favorite is the apple sausage, but we also love the spinach feta, and my husband likes the italian. they’re precooked, so super easy to heat up for a quick lunch ror dinner. i will also be posting a skillet dinner i made with the spinach feta flavor that was delicious! i also love that they don’t have nitrates or any weird ingredients that you can’t pronounce.

5. cheese and crackers!

usually we’d think of cheese and crackers as a snack, but there isn’t any reason why we can’t have it as a meal. if my one year old won’t eat anything else, i know she will always eat sliced cheese. cheese has plenty of protein, and there is virtually no prep. my 2.5 year old likes the sharp cheddar from aldi, but sometimes i will even just give them presliced sandwich slices and they love that too. serve it with some steamed veggies or avocado and a fruit and you have a whole meal with hardly any cleanup.

let me know the easy meals you love to feed your little ones!

nugget life – toddler and mom approved vegetable chicken nuggets

veggie chicken nuggets with carrots and broccoli

Vegetable chicken nuggets.
Vegetable chicken nuggets.

kid approved and mom-approved, these vegetable chicken nuggets are kind of a pain in the butt to make, but as my 2-year-old would say, “so delicious and so healthy!” plus they’re packed with healthy veggies. inspired by perdue chicken plus nuggets which i can’t find anywhere in california! love that my kiddos are getting a good serving of vegetables and protein in these nuggets and they really are delicious. i probably ate more of them than my son… enjoy!

ingredients

1 lb ground chicken
3-4 large broccoli florets
1 medium-sized carrot
½ red bell pepper
¼ large yellow onion (If it’s a small onion, use a half)
1 large egg, beaten
¼ tsp kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/8-1/4 tsp garlic powder
Few shakes of smoked paprika
1/3-1/2 cup italian seasoned breadcrumbs, plus more for coating
panko breadcrumbs
olive oil

instructions

pulse broccoli, carrots, onion, and red pepper in a food processor. saute over medium heat with some olive oil until veggies start to soften. in a large bowl, beat egg and add chicken. once veggies are softened, add into chicken and egg. add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. add in 1/3-1/2 cups of the italian breadcrumbs until meatball consistency. You want it to be able to hold its shape together enough to form into nugget shapes. mix together about half and half panko bread crumbs and italian seasoned breadcrumbs in a separate bowl. form meat mixture into nugget shapes (I just grabbed about as much as I would need for a meatball, rolled it into a ball and pressed it flat). it’s easier to do with wet hands so the mixture doesn’t stick. coat each nugget in breadcrumbs and set aside. heat oil over medium heat in a skillet. cook nuggets for about 4 minutes on each side. i’m a crazy person and put the lid on the pan while they were cooking on the first side, just to make extra sure i wouldn’t give everyone salmonella (but this probably isn’t necessary). 🙂