Time in the high chair has been hard on us all lately. The Little Guy, who for a couple months I thought was going to eat us out of house and home far before the teenage years begin, lost all desire to eat well. The breakfast cereal he consumed heartily for months? Half of it. The yogurt and bananas he downed as a snack? No, thank you, not without much patience and wheedling. Cheerios? Nope, not this time. Throw them to the dog wisely waiting beneath.
He does not say “no,” he displays “no.” He blows raspberries and covers his face dramatically with his hands. Usually those hands are smeared with food (and yes, a little snot from his cold, too) as he drags them through his hair.
Ritz crackers? Oh yes, by the handful. Puffs? Boy, oh boy, those are popular! Saltine? Sure, let’s try it! One? Give me more right away!
So of course I called my mom. That’s what I often do when presented with a child dilemma. Her best advice was that maybe his appetite is just moving into a new phase. Don’t give him the crackers and Puffs now, unless those are the only things you want him to eat. Just wait a little longer until he acts truly hungry, and then he’ll eat what you want him to eat.
It is working. Thanks, Mom. I was feeding him according to his old schedule, even though he’s been working on changing his morning nap for a week now (Is he trying to drop it? I don’t know, but I’m nervous.) Plus, he’s getting teeth and has had a little cold. Of course those would change things.
I was afraid for a while there that I was creating a Carbie for Life every time I gave him a cracker or a Puff. But now I’m using his love of carbs to sneakily get more veggies into his pea-pickin’ little mouth. Enter Toddler Muffins. I’ve tried to come up with a better name for them, but after saying “Enjoy your Toddler Muffin” so many times as a little joke as my husband ate another, it has stuck.
These little bites are, in all seriousness, quite good. Sweet enough to tempt any palate (I think. I should not vouch for your toddler. They can be extremely fickle creatures, as I am learning.), with enough veggies to please any parent.
Makes 12 regular-sized muffins, plus 6 mini muffins
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. plain yogurt
1/2 c. brown sugar (I might use 1/4 cup next time)
2 lg. bananas, mashed
1-4.5 oz. jar baby food squash puree
2 carrots, grated
2 eggs, beaten
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. instant oats
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 375. Grease muffin cups.
Cream together vegetable oil, yogurt, and brown sugar until smooth. Mix in the mashed bananas, squash, carrots and eggs. Stir in the flour, oats, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt until combined.
Spoon batter equally into prepared muffin cups. Bake 15-20 minutes or until pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.
Store at room temperature up to 2 days or freeze. Or refrigerate!