I cooked all the time pre-children. Every weekend, I’d make a batch of soup and divide it into individual servings for lunches I could take to work. And almost every night, I’d make a home-cooked meal to enjoy with my husband.
But now? Ha. Ha ha ha.
Here’s the thing about holiday cooking. There’s so much focus on the dishes for the main event, it’s really easy to forget that you have a house full of people who also need to eat other times of the day.
Sure, cereal for breakfast makes things easier.
Like most little kids, my toddler loves peanut butter. In fact, she often eats a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast!
But because her sister now has allergies to peanuts and tree nuts, that peanut butter had to go. Even though my toddler isn’t allergic herself,
My daughter’s newly diagnosed peanut and tree nut allergies have brought some big changes to my kitchen.
For one, I’ve purged every bag of nuts, every jar of nut butter and every bag of nut meal. No more walnuts in my Rainy Day Chocolate Chip Cookies and no more almond meal in my Banana Oat Blender Muffins or Blueberry Almond Zucchini Muffins.
I am all about taking shortcuts in the kitchen. Give me pre-chopped vegetables, one-pot meals and simple side dishes, please. I used to love puttering about and exploring new recipes, but now that I’m a parent, I just don’t have time.
One of my favorite easy and healthy meals is baked salmon with roasted vegetables.
Ah, the muffin. Such a convenient grab-and-go breakfast for busy moms and kids alike…
Except…if I’m being really honest, most muffins are sort of glorified cupcakes. Ack, there I said it. Especially commercially produced ones like those you’d grab at coffee chains. I wish it weren’t so.
Raise your hand if your grew up on freezer pops! I sure did (mouth sores and all!) although I now realize it was probably because it was the most cost-efficient way to provide me and my three siblings with a steady supply of popsicles throughout the summer…
Have I mentioned how much I…ahem, I mean, my toddler, loves Daniel Tiger? As I described in my Rainbow Heart Pizza recipe, we particularly love that the show so often works in opportunities for Daniel to try new foods, cook with his family and participate in family meals.
Diana K. Rice, RD
The Baby Steps Dietitian
Hi, I'm Diana. Registered dietitian and mom to a toddler and a newborn.
Family nutrition is my passion but balancing good health on top of the chaos new parenthood brings is tough stuff!