Friday Favorites – Favorite Family Food

Happy Friday! For this “Friday Favorite” I decided to highlight some of my favorite recipes for our family. I’ll break them down into three categories – one for baby, one for the whole family, and one that the adults can enjoy!

I’m still deciding what to have for dinner tonight. Any ideas? We may have to order from our favorite Thai restaurant, because that sounds delicious to me right now ;).

Enjoy!

Even though I don’t love to cook, I enjoy food and I love to give my family a variety of meals throughout the week and month. Today, on this gloomy Friday, I would love to share some of my favorite go-to meals that I could eat time and time again (except the baby food, although that’s yummy too!)

We’ve already made it to playtime at the library and the babies are napping now, so if you’re looking for some easy, different options for dinner for all members of the family, here they are!

1. HOMEMADE BABY FOOD *Peas and Pears*

One of my favorite things to do when my babies are old enough to eat solids is to make a few batches of homemade baby food. These couple of months seem to fly by so fast, and before I know it Ella will be eating right off of our plates and loving finger food, so I try to enjoy purees while they last; and while my dining room stays a bit cleaner!

If you’ve read some of my previous posts you know that I take a balanced approach to feeding solids. I like simple purees, both homemade and store-bought, plus we do a bit of baby led weaning as well. For example, I’ll give Ella strips of soft avocado or banana soon to hold and taste. She is so hands on! She will grab the spoon and try to feed herself and always has to be holding and chewing something so I know she’ll love feeding herself and experimenting with textures.

Here’s how I make and freeze our baby food:

1. Cook fresh or frozen vegetables using the microwave, steaming, or baking.

For the peas, I cooked frozen peas in the microwave. For the pears, I chopped a few fresh pears and steamed them without skin, until soft, in the pot below.

2. After you cook your veggies or fruit, use a food processor to puree. I LOVE my Magic Bullet blender. I use it to puree food for baby, or to add veggies to a sauce, or for my favorite, smoothies! To purchase yours, click here or the photo below!

3. After your food is to your desired thickness (I make mine a little more “chunky” when baby is older), pour the food into an ice-cube tray to freeze. If you are eating this right away, you can keep it in the fridge. What I LOVE about ice-cube trays are that they are portioned out for you into a serving already (I believe it’s 1 oz per cube) and you can just grab them from the freezer whenever you need them!

Just pop them out of the trays once they’re frozen and put them in a bag with the date they were cooked! We love to mix pears into baby oatmeal too. Enjoy!

2. TODDLER FRIENDLY MEALS *STUFFED SHELLS* *HONEY CHICKEN*

Two of my favorite meals to make for my family that are also toddler friendly are Stuffed Shells and Honey Chicken with Sweet Potato Fries.

Stuffed Shells 

This meal is SO easy to make, and so yummy also! It’s a great meal that you can prepare ahead of time and bake right before serving too. I’ve tried a variety of stuffed shell recipes, but one of my favorites can be found here. The only difference in my stuffed shells is that there is no meat. I probably should have included it for the protein, but I really would rather have it without to be honest!

I put in a little more spinach than the recipe called for too, and sautéed it with onion and garlic first. Stuffed shells are a great way to get in those veggies without really tasting them, if you have a picky child! You can use butternut squash or mushrooms too. You can do whatever you want with it! If you want to make it healthier, use whole wheat shells and skim ricotta cheese.

Honey Chicken with Sweet Potato Fries 

I actually got this recipe from my mom, who used to make a version for me when I was a kid! It’s so kid friendly, and definitely healthier than the typical chicken fingers and fries.

Honey Chicken 

Honey

Chicken

Flour

Panko Breadcrumbs

Olive Oil

1-2 Eggs

1/2 cup Milk

  1. Spread a thin layer of honey in a Pyrex baking dish.
  2. Dip chicken tenders lightly in flour, a mixture of egg and milk, then panko breadcrumbs.
  3. Saute in olive oil for 5-10 minutes, until they are just browned.
  4. Place in baking dish, drizzle a little more honey over the top and cover with tinfoil.
  5. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.

Sweet Potato Savory Sticks

  1. Slice 3 sweet potatoes into quarters, then slice each quarter into 3-4 strips.
  2. Dip each stick in melted butter.
  3. Dip each stick in panko breadcrumbs.
  4. Place in a shallow baking dish and bake at 350 for 1 hour, turning once or twice.

Both of these recipes come from the heart, and don’t have exact measurements because you can customize them based on your taste. Delicious, kid approved, and somewhat healthy. What could be better? Thanks Mom!

3. ADULT FRIENDLY MEAL *SALMON WITH GREEN BEANS AND BROWN RICE*

There are some kids out there who would love this meal too, but my toddler doesn’t. He actually used to love salmon, believe it or not, but not anymore ;(. Salmon is definitely my favorite fish and I realized a while ago how easy it is to make! Here is a healthy, delicious version that my husband and I enjoy often. This recipe is intended for two average size salmon filets.

  1. Take the skin off of your salmon if it hasn’t been done already.
  2. Spray the bottom of a Pyrex baking pan with olive oil or cooking spray.
  3. Rub the salmon on both sides with a little soy sauce and just about a tsp. of maple syrup (yum!)
  4. Sprinkle the top with garlic powder or fresh minced garlic.
  5. Bake covered at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
  6. Uncover and broil on high for 5 minutes.

I know the flavor combinations may sound a bit weird, but it is absolutely delicious. I guess you’ll have to see for yourself! Serve salmon with your favorite sides. Ours include brown rice or quinoa and green beans or asparagus.

I hope you find these recipes as yummy as I do, and I hope you all have a wonderful Friday!

If you have a moment, check out my guest post today over at SIC Mama here! It’s a funny one 😉

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17 thoughts on “Friday Favorites – Favorite Family Food

  1. Elizabeth Voyles says:

    Great ideas. I like the toddler friendly food. I admit I loathe making baby food. I did it for my first and decided I wouldn’t for my second because it took sooooo much time. But then my second ended up multiple food allergies so I had to make her food out of necessity. Your suggestions are spot-on:)

    • betterwithbabies says:

      Thank you! I agree, I wasn’t into it at first either and it’s much easier to use store bought, especially since there are great organic options out there now. I like to do it for the first few months and because it’s so cheap and convenient once you do it!

  2. Katie Howard says:

    So great! I am all about salmon lately, and that adult meal looks super yummy!

    I don’t know why, but I never thought of steaming veggies in the microwave before pureeing! We use them as finger food all the time, so we already have them on hand. I just started making my son homemade pouches, so this will be super convenient for the future!

    • betterwithbabies says:

      Thanks! I rarely used the microwave at first for my son, but then I realized how easy it would be to use the veggies that are in the steamable bags and started doing it more! I would love to know more about the homemade pouches.

  3. Elizabeth Brico says:

    Those sweet potato fries look delicious, my kiddos love them
    Don’t worry about the shells; it’s a total myth that you need meat for protein! Check out all the amazing vegan athletes and MMA fighters who are also vegan if you need some visual proof lol

    • betterwithbabies says:

      I would love to learn more about the vegan lifestyle. I rarely eat meat! I make it mostly for my husband.. my son doesn’t eat much either.

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