One would think that my grocery shopping is a lot easier now that the kid’s eating regular food. Yes… and no. Now I have to plan our meals, then consider if she can eat it and, if not, what I need to put on the list for her. Since she’s in daycare all day, I also have to figure out what to give her for lunch. Babies! So high-maintenance!

So far, the clear winners are:

Any kind of ground meat. This kid takes after her parents and enjoys the hell out of a good burger. She ate a (plain) Shake Shack burger the other day and my heart swelled as I watched her take bites of the meat from one hand and the bun from the other. Ground turkey (turkey meatloaf too!) is also a winner and she has enjoyed a lamb burger every now and then.

Chicken and turkey. She goes to town on chopped-up pieces of poultry which is great because it’s my go-to meal at least once a week. Roast or grill another breast for her and she can work off of that for a few meals.

Frozen veggies. Chopped broccoli, cut green beans and peas are my friends. Dump a handful into a pot with a splash of water and cook ’em until semi-mushy. Store the rest in a Ziploc in the freezer. This way there isn’t tons of the same vegetable left over. I made that mistake with mashed sweet potatoes. I bought a few of them, cooked them up and sent the kid to school with them for a week. By the 5th day, the woman at daycare looked at me and said, “Sweet potatoes again?!” I got the hint.

Pasta. Tortellini, spiral-shaped pasta and ditalini all work well. She likes sticking her fingers in the hole of the little ditalini shapes, with sauce, a drizzle of olive oil or just plain. This also includes baked cheesy goodness like baked ziti and mac and cheese. Although there’s rarely any leftover when I make it to give to her.

Mini bagels and bread. It’s my go-to, why wouldn’t it work for the kid? Give a piece a light toast and then hand it off. It keeps her busy for a while and is super low-maintenance for me.

Tofu. She’s still a fan, which is great because I can just take it out of the fridge, hack of a piece and slap it on her tray.

Eggs. Scramble one up and she’s happy as a clam. So easy!

Applesauce. It’s fall so apples are a-plenty. I core, peel and chop them, and dump them in a pot with a cinnamon stick and a couple of whole cloves. She can’t get enough of this stuff!

I am one of the few people in this world without a microwave, which can prove challenging when trying to feed a starving kid in a hurry. I rely heavily on my toaster oven to heat things like turkey meatloaf and leftover baked ziti for her dinner but I’ve also realized that running things like pre-cooked pasta and veggies I keep in the fridge under hot water heats them up just enough (and eliminates the need to cool off what you’ve just heated up).

So is it easier now that I’m “cooking” for her or was it easier to grab a few jars of baby food and be done with it all? Jury’s still out. But I guess I had to start somewhere!

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