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Lunch Box Recipes

Meet cookbook writer, food blogger, and mom extraordinaire Kim Laidlaw, author of the new book, Baby & Toddler On The Go. She's here to share a few of her best picky-eater-pleasing recipes and kitchen tips...take it away, Kim!

Figuring out what to bring to daycare each day for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and/or snacks can really be draining. Babies and toddlers get bored, too, if they have to eat the same thing over and over every day! Rather than get stuck in a rut, I try to set aside a little time each week to do some batch cooking. Even if I only make a couple of things, like turkey-spinach meatballs plus veggie frittatas one week, and mac and cheese and veggie bites plus carrot-spice muffins another week, I can freeze two-thirds of the batch so that I can mix-and-match meals every day. Having these main options at my fingertips means I can bulk out the rest of the meal with roasted veggies (also good for the freezer), peas, sliced cherry tomatoes, and fresh fruit. By mixing up your options, you have a versatile meal plan that keeps changing as your baby grows!

Mac & Cheese Bites
This is a staple in our house, and I always make sure I have a batch stored in the freezer. These tasty bites are perfect to pop into a container and take anywhere, and they are a great size for little hands. They are also ideal vehicles for nutritious ingredients like chopped cooked chicken or vegetables. Just stir them into the mix before baking.

Click here for the Mac & Cheese Bites recipe.

Goat Cheese & Veggie Pinwheels
Creamy, mild goat’s milk cheese is the glue that holds these pinwheels—stuffed with lots of crunchy shredded vegetables—together. If your toddler doesn’t like the tang of fresh goat cheese, you can swap it for cream cheese. A whole-wheat tortilla has many more nutrients than a white-flour tortilla, plus your toddler will be developing good eating habits early.

Click here for the Goat Cheese & Veggie Pinwheels recipe.

Baked Mini Arancini
In southern Italy, arancini, stuffed rice balls coated with bread crumbs and deep-fried, are popular. My toddler-friendly baked version calls for brown rice, spinach, and mozzarella. These balls are a favorite of everyone in our house, both toddler and adult. Short-grain brown rice cooks to a softer texture than long grain, making it a better choice for this dish.

Click here for the Baked Mini Arancini recipe.

For more kid-friendly recipes, find Baby & Toddler On The Go by Kim Laidlaw here.