Shared Toddler and Mama Meals - Rainbow Buffet

Trying to figure out what solids a little one will eat can be tricky. There are times when it is downright frustrating.

Why don't you like pancakes? They are so good!

While I was trying to loose baby weight, I would eat five small meals a day and time them with my son's meals. One of my favorite meals was (and still is) extremely simple: a smorgasbord of lots of different foods that require little or no preparation. The key with this, though, is to not over do it and eat the rainbow.

The two biggest benefits to it for me are that it can be a very healthy & balanced meal and it ends up being more appealing and appetizing because of the colors. A delicious and happy sight.

Some of the foods I use for this meal:

Red: tomatoes, pepperoni, salami, raspberries, ketchup
Orange: Oranges, cheddar cheese, bell pepper, carrots
Yellow: tamagoyaki, corn, bananas
Green: Pickles, avocado, spinach,
Blue: blueberries,
Purple: blackberries, jelly
Pink: ham, tuna, salmon
Black: olives
White: turkey, cottage cheese, Baby Bell cheese, rice, mayo dish
Brown: Little Smokies, bread, crackers, granola, hummus, peanut butter

I keep the meal balanced by having one portion of protein, one portion of carbs, and how ever many portions I want of fruits and veggies. For example:

- 3-4 cherry tomatoes, 3 baby carrots, a big fork full of pickle slices, olives, one Baby Bell cheese, and 6 Little Smokies.

- One serving size of sliced salami, nectarine slices, couple slices of cheese, stuffed cherry peppers, small handful of blueberries, half an avocado, and a serving size of crackers.

- Peanut butter and jelly sandwich (cut into quarters), bananas, small bowl of spinach with olive oil & red pepper flakes, and carrots.

It may not seem like a lot, but once you plate it up and eat it, you'll find that you really are satiated and contently full.

This works for little ones too. At least it has for my son, and my nieces and nephews. Chopped up into tiny bite size pieces, arranged in a rainbow, shapes, or little designs. My son eats especially well when I make this for lunch. The food is easy for him to pick up and consume all by his independent self.

Do you ever have meals like this? What is your favorite items to use? Does your kiddo have a favorite?

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