Bahn mi. Eggplant and ricotta rolls. Mushroom bread tartlets. Spanish potato tortilla bites. Sounds delicious, right? These yummy bites aren’t for you, though – they’re for your baby or toddler! You’ll find 75 healthy, flavorful finds in Baby & Toddler On The Go by Kim Laidlaw. Written by a cookbook editor, author, baker, blogger, and mom to a toddler, this book makes it easy to introduce your baby or toddler to healthy homemade food wherever your travels take you.
Baby & Toddler On The Go opens with a primer on planning, storing, transporting, and feeding homemade meals to babies and toddlers from four months to three years of age. The book moves from purees and chunky mixtures for babies to minis, pinwheels, rolls, sandwiches, and dips and dippers to keep toddlers interested as they try new tastes and textures. The recipes are clear and easy to follow, and nearly all of them can be prepared and cooked in less than half an hour. Every recipe includes tips on how to store it or pack it, making it easy to put together a quick and tasty meal for your little one.
I had the chance to ask Kim a few questions about her book and her advice for introducing young children to a variety of healthy tastes.
Q: What sets Baby & Toddler On The Go apart from other cookbooks for babies and toddlers?
A: I find that many other cookbooks just assume you will be at home, cooking for baby. They don’t give you advice on how to bring all that yummy food with you, nor are they necessarily geared for our busy, on-the-go lives!
Q: What is your favorite recipe in the book? Which recipe is your child’s favorite?
A: She and I both love the minis. My favorite is probably the frittata bites because they are a meal in one, they are endlessly versatile based on what you have in the fridge, they are crazy easy to make, and I can make them in bulk and freeze them. My daughter loves any of the muffins, plus the little quiches.
Q: Many toddlers go through picky phases – any tips for encouraging healthy eating when pickiness sets in?
A: Don’t give up, and don’t give in. I don’t mean you should ever force food upon your child, but you should try to give them the same things over and over even if they think they don’t like it. If your child is being picky about something, wait a week and try again; then wait another few days, and try again. Another tactic, if they don’t, say, want to eat green vegetables: find something they do like (pasta, eggs, grilled cheese, quesadillas) and put those green veggies in that food. Finally, when they are old enough, take them shopping with you for fruits and vegetables and let them choose things that look good then cook those things together and also eat them together.
Q: What is your go-to lunch on the go for your toddler?
A: Definitely the mac and cheese bites, loaded with veggies and shredded chicken (check out the primavera bites too). You can put just about anything in these, they are always a hit, and they check all the boxes (protein, calcium, veggies, etc).
We tried two recipes from the book at home, and both were big hits. Our 14 month old son loved the spinach and cheese frittata bites (and mom and dad ate a few as appetizers). The real winner, though, was the green smoothie. Our almost four year old daughter hasn’t eaten a green vegetable besides broccoli in…at least six months. Possibly longer. She’s also not a fan of bits of any sort in her food. She saw me making the smoothie, knew it was green and contained bits and…she drank it up and asked for more. I’m still in shock that she ate spinach, and this is going to be a regular in our breakfast line up from now on.
Baby & Toddler On The Go is a great resource for fun, healthy recipes babies and toddlers can enjoy at home or away. With the focus on good food that travels well, the book could also be a great way to spice up an older child’s lunchbox. Baby & Toddler On The Go will be released on April 30, but it’s available for preorder now.
I received a copy of this book for review purposes, but the opinions above are all mine. And I am still in shock that my daughter consumed spinach!
Allison writes about life at home in the Maryland suburbs at Home and Never Alone.