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Picky Kids Approved: My Trick to a Yummy and Balanced Meal in 90 Seconds Flat

Rebekah Parr
ByRebekah ParrJul 29, 2022In partnership with Little Spoon

It’s a real punch in the gut when you spend an hour preparing a balanced meal and your toddler touches it, grimaces, and says “yucky!”

Cooking with toddlers in your family is extremely difficult. The food needs to taste good (to everyone), you have to find ways to get veggies in, and it can’t be too spicy / have added sugar/sodium and little additions you often make to your own meal.

And here’s the kicker: you have to do this every f*&$ing day! Excuse my language.

When I learned that Little Spoon offers toddler + kid’s plates – or pre-cooked, balanced meals that you heat up in 60 seconds – my ears perked up. Add in that they have nothing artificial and stay fresh in the fridge for up to 14 days or freezer for up to 3 months? OK, I’m seriously listening.

When My Meal Plan Falls Through

I’m an avid meal planner but there are definitely days when I’ve had an exhausting day at work, my kids have wrecked the house, my newborn keeps having explosive diapers, and I. Just. Can’t.

Before kids, this would be no problem. I’d look through the fridge and pantry, find some cheese and crackers, and call it good.

Now that I’m responsible for little humans, I want to make sure I’m giving them the nutrients they need to thrive. My daughter just started preschool, and I want her to be focused and energized – not sluggish.

I love these Little Spoon plates for those nights or weekend mornings/lunch hours when you just don’t have the energy to cook a meal. Toss those plates in the microwave for 60 seconds, let it cool for 30 seconds, and you have dinner on the table. (And it’s a dinner you can feel good about.)

Our Favorite Plates

My 2-year-old son is a ravenous eater. He’ll eat anything I put in front of him except for mushrooms. So it was really no surprise that some of the more adventurous meals, he enjoyed.

Broccoli bites, check. Veggie tenders, check. Cheesy black bean pupusas, check.

My daughter, on the other hand, started becoming a picky eater around age 2. She’s now almost 4 and has gotten a lot better about trying things before rejecting them. But she’s still a little skeptical. She turned her nose up at some of the veggies, but the mac and cheese with hidden butternut squash and carrots was a slam dunk, and she enjoyed the farro pizza bites.

Also, I do want to say that it’s OK if your child doesn’t eat everything on their plate. Exposure is a win! When your child looks at new foods, touches new foods, squishes it in their fingers – all of that is good. The more they see new foods, the more they’ll be willing to try it in the future.

P.S: If your kids have any allergies, Little Spoon has a filter for gluten-free, dairy-free, no nuts, no meat, and no egg meals.

Give Me My Spicy Food Back

It never occurred to me that I’d have to give up all my favorite foods when we had toddlers. All of my favorite dishes have hot sauce, chipotle in adobo, or cayenne pepper. Yes, you can add the spices at the end, but it’s not the same.

In general, my kids eat what we eat. But there is no world where my kids will eat Mussels in Maple Chipotle sauce, OK?

Now that the kids can have these yummy, balanced meals from Little Spoon, I can make whatever I want for myself. I can finally add back in some of the meals my husband and I made all the time before we had kids (without feeling overwhelmed or guilty).

Conclusion

I’m a busy working mom with three kids under age 4, and I totally approve and recommend these Little Spoon plates. I can take a break on busy days when I don’t have the energy to make dinner. And I have peace of mind that my kids are getting the nutrition they need without preservatives, high sodium levels, or anything artificial. They are my new trick to a yummy and balanced meal in 90 seconds flat.