Convertible meals for parent, child & baby

6:50 AM

I feel for the parents who have to make versions and versions of every meal because of food allergies or aversions. We are so lucky to have, essentially, none of those around here (though Cal hates curry.) I have enough trouble making meals that serve the needs of us adults, then 3 year old Oliver, and also 7 month old Dakota. Like, sorry here's a slice of spinach lasagna sweet little infant, see you in an hour? 

With my return to work somewhat imminent, I've been neurotically obsessing over what the kids will eat when I'm away. So I jotted down a few of my favourite meals that are easily converted from baby to child to adult. 

1. Oatmeal
I slowly cook plain whole oats in water, with small chunks of raw apple and a shake of cinnamon, until creamy. I place about 1/3 cup aside to cool for Dakota. Then I stir in honey or maple syrup and almond milk. Scoop out a bowl to cool off slightly for Ollie. Then I grate in ginger and add some pink sea salt for me and serve mine piping hot. Perfect. (The oatmeal needs to be fed to babe with a spoon. BLW would not be pretty here.)
2. Fruit smoothie 
First I blend all the fruit with plain yogurt into a purée and set some aside for Dakota. Next, add orange juice and blend, pour a cup for Ollie. Then I dump in any crazy greens/vitamins/hemp powders that I'm currently into and there's a serving for me. Babies can be fed the purée from a spoon or let them enjoy it from a cup. Sometimes I do banana + yogurt and add cocoa powder and then espresso. 
3. Veggie soup
There are two ways I do this. I either cook the veg and then give it right to Dakota BLW style (like a huge chunk of roasted or steamed butternut squash) or I continue by pureeing it with stock and give it to her then with a spoon. Then I salt it a bit and ladle some for Ollie. Some days he asks for cheese, sour cream or (gag alert) ketchup in his soup. Maybe some crackers. And for me a crack of black pepper and some hot sauce, pesto or balsamic reduction. 
4. Tuna/salmon salad
Mayonnaise is likely not the best thing to give to a baby but she's okay with all of the ingredients so.. I do what I do! I mix a can of tuna or salmon with a spoon of mayo. There's Dakota's (with a hunk of peeled cucumber to gnaw on). I put Oliver's on a whole grain mini pita with cucumber and lettuce. Then I add red onion and maybe Granny Smith apple to mine. Curry powder if Cal's not home. Radishes are welcome for the grown up variety too. 
5. Quinoa salad
Easy, just cook up dry quinoa in veggie stock. Whether it is fully soaked up or has a bit of liquid this is the time to cool some for baby. The kid one can have Italian dressing plus cucumber and cherry tomatoes. Then I take Ollie's version and put cilantro, lime, green onion... Whatever I'm craving that day. 
6. Taco salad
I usually serve this DIY style anyway so it's particularly easy to covert. Prep up shredded lettuce, cubed tomato and avocado, cook ground meat or beans, shred cheese, and have ranch & salsa on hand. I eat it all (plus hot sauce and crunched tortilla chips), Ollie too (unless the salsa is spicy) and Dakota shoves meat/beans, cheese and avocado in her mouth.
7. Squash Mac n cheese
Lazy and mildly unhealthy recipe but here's how we do: cook macaroni noodles (whole grain ones!) until al dente, leave a few spoons of it to look longer til really soft. At the same time boil butternut squash, cubed, and then blend into a purée adding water if needed. Dakota gets soft noodles and squash. I then add cream cheese (or a KD cheese powder pack I suppose) and mix with the rest of the noodles. He eats this and I mix some spinach and red pepper flakes into mine! Done!

I hope you've enjoyed reading these Convertible meals for you to make for your family. It's not easy when different ages make different versions necessary but try these suggestions and you should be pleased!

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