Magic bars are always the favorite of the party when we make them. We gifted them to neighbors recently and I already got the "best neighbor ever" text from a few of them - one asked to put in a large order, another asked if I’m selling them. Not kidding, they’re insanely good!
Do you feel out of control around holiday desserts? One thing to try: sit down so you can really enjoy your dessert - we savor food most thoroughly when we are given the space to enjoy the eating process. Put it on a plate, maybe grab a glass of milk/milk alternative (or beverage of choice), and taste it! Eat slowly and savor each bite! After all, isn’t that why you want to eat it?
We usually use more quantities than what typical recipes call for - see images below of us putting together the layers. *Make sure the walnuts are finely crushed if serving this to kiddos under 4.*
Do you have a go-to party or holiday appetizer? I love making new party snacks!
This one is my favorite - it’s requested by my dad’s golf friends every time I see them! The smoky, salty sweet combo of the olives, goat cheese and crushed smoked almonds make it taste complex and interesting, but it’s literally just three ingredients! You’ll feel like a fancy gourmand serving these, even if you couldn't accomplish other tasks in your day you meant to get to. Kids can eat this too, just make sure to quarter the olives for kids under 4.
These ingredients were just what I found at Target but you can use whatever you can get!
A great snack for kids and adults to enjoy.
It may be October, but it’s still hot in much of the world and smoothies are A-OK year round! We love featuring these each year because they’re tasty and appropriate for many allergy families too! (We aren’t dairy-free but know many of our followers are for various reasons!)
We found these fun glass Halloween milk bottles at Target again this year in the dollar spot! Worried about glass? Tuck the milk bottle in a sock before serving! It’s great to get toddlers used to handling glass (with assistance) so they can safely drink from it as they get older.
Each recipe makes about 2 cups of smoothie, but the glass bottles fit about 3/4 cup liquid each. Make them with your kids this month for a fun Halloween-themed drink that's tasty and satisfying!
Scary Berry Ingredients:
Sweet Pumpkin Spice Ingredients:
Green Goblin Ingredients:
For all recipes - throw all ingredients (liquid first) in a high powered blender like Vitamix. Blend until smooth and serve. Enjoy!
Delicious, festive pumpkin cookies!
I have always loved to bake. I started making cookies for friends and family in high school, and along the way I discovered this super simple combo: 1 can of pumpkin, 1 box of cake mix, 1 bag chocolate chips. Fortunately, I eventually learned about cake mixes with some pretty simple ingredients and not a lot of dyes or additives, and Immaculate Baking became my go-to cake mix for this recipe (not sponsored).
This is a cookie. It has sugar. It’s OK to have some - check out our post on sugar if you want more info. I like that Immaculate Baking mixes have sugar, flour, baking powder etc - the simple stuff! You could also use any store brand yellow or white cake mix. Or if you’re all fancy, I’m sure you could make the dry mix from scratch, but that makes it way less simple!
You can also make this recipe with spice cake mix, but I"m personally not a fan of cinnamon/pumpkin mixed with chocolate. Others are!
The best part about this recipe is that if made with Enjoy Life Foods chocolate chips, it’s dairy- and soy-free, as well as egg free if you use an allergy-friendly cake mix! It’s a cookie everyone can enjoy that doesn’t taste like a “modified” cookie. I have also tried gluten-free mixes with success for those who need it!
Here are the specifics:
Serve with milk/milk alternative of choice for dunking!
A festive and delicious recipe full of nutrients.
Even if it's still hot where you live and enjoying fall foods hasn't quite hit yet, keep in mind that pumpkin is a crazy good source of beta carotene, which is a powerful antioxidant and supporter of eye health! Just one tablespoon of pureed pumpkin can exceed your child's needs for vitamin A (as beta carotene) for the day.
This simple, freezable recipe is adapted from Wellness Mama and is seriously tasty!
Here's what you need:
Brown beef in a large pot. When beef is almost completely cooked, add the onions and cook until soft.
Add the pureed pumpkin, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, stock, beans and spices. Simmer for 10 minutes until heated through. Top with cheese, sour cream/yogurt or avocado slices. Feel amazingly festive and satisfied (even if you could still cook an egg on the sidewalk).
Perfect for when apples are in season.
Muffins are an easy option for fast mornings, especially when paired with some protein (like a hard boiled egg) and some fruit. Veggies and Virtue has an awesome Muffin Club series, and this Healthy Apple Muffin from Cookie and Kate is one that is great for fall when apples are in season!
Here is the recipe:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. If necessary, grease all 12 cups on your muffin tin with butter or non-stick cooking spray (my pan is non-stick and doesn’t require any grease).
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Blend well with a whisk. Add the grated and chopped apple and stir to combine.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the oil and maple syrup and beat together with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well, then add the yogurt, applesauce and vanilla and mix well. (If the coconut oil solidifies in contact with cold ingredients, gently warm the mixture in the microwave in 30 second bursts.)
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix with a big spoon, just until combined (a few lumps are ok). The batter will be thick, but don’t worry! Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with turbinado sugar.
Bake muffins for 13 to 15 minutes, or until the muffins are golden on top and a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Cool before serving!
Banana Pancakes are one of our favorite breakfast recipes. If you've followed us since the beginning, you know that this recipe has been a staple in my house since my kids began eating at 6 months of age!
We love using a cookie cutter to cut the pancake into a fun shape, and if your tot is old enough (2-3+), offer some almond or sunflower seed butter on the side and an appetizer spreader (those rounded mini dull knives used for cheese and spreads). Let your little one spread the nut butter (or butter or jelly) around themselves! Just be careful they aren’t eating a big glob of almond butter at once, as it can be a choking hazard.
Baby can enjoy these as well. Cut into slices so they can easily pick up!
Practice serving them cut into small pieces, strips, wedges, fun cookie cutter shapes, or whole with toddlers and kids to practice different fine motor skills.
Here’s how you make it:
Check out some of the other variations to the recipe below.
These can be refrigerated for 3-4 days or frozen for 4-6 months, so feel free to double or triple the recipe to have extras for easy weekday breakfasts! Just thaw and reheat in the toaster oven on convection or in the microwave before serving.
You can also mix it up by simply changing the toppings! Some good options are:
When making the blueberry variation, keep the blueberries out of the blender and wait to add to the completed batter.
We are big fans of Trader Joe's Bruschetta sauce. It pairs so well with chicken in the oven, Instant Pot or slow cooker...and now you can also try it with pesto! This simple pour-and-cook meal pairs nicely with whole grain, gluten-free or bean/lentil-based pasta and some roasted veggies!
Full disclosure - the broccoli turns a little olive green (I literally had flashbacks to food science class and kicked myself for not remembering this!) so I would probably omit it next time in lieu of sliced olives, but feel free to try it if you don’t care about color!
Here’s how you make it:
In case you haven’t noticed, I think most recipes are just rough guidelines. I usually just dump stuff in a bowl, pan or blender and see what happens. That’s how these smoothies were created.
I knew I wanted an orange flavor (kind of like a creamsicle), so it needed sweetness, orange, and vanilla. I added full-fat plain Greek yogurt so it’s filling and balanced (fruit and some sugar are totally fine, we just want them balanced with protein and fat for blood sugar regulation) and some real maple syrup for sweetness. You could do whole dates or other sweetener, or if it’s sweet enough for you feel free to omit it! Of course, banana adds to that sweetness and texture as well, and almond milk adds liquid required for blending. We poured this into popsicle molds and they are delicious!
Remember, you want your kid to know what you’re using to make smoothies - no hiding or sneaking foods. Ask them to help you by pouring in ingredients! Serve foods in their whole form as often as you can. Smoothies and popsicles are most appreciated when it’s freaking HOT in Arizona and all things cold are a win.
Here’s the recipe-ish:
Add milk to blender first, then add all other ingredients. Blend until smooth and enjoy as a smoothie, smoothie bowl or frozen as a popsicle!
An easy recipe for the whole family.
This One Pot Hamburger Helper by The Defined Dish was a massive success in my house. How massive? Well, my eldest inhaled 3 helpings of it. The best part? ONE POT, people. I made it in a dutch oven on the stove and loved only cleaning one big pot. (Well, let’s be honest, my husband does the dishes! He loved it too!)
This recipe makes a ton of food so you can have leftovers or freeze extras. We used organic beef bone both for more minerals and promote gut integrity. Use whole grain elbow pasta if possible (gluten-free if needed).
Here’s the recipe straight from The Defined Dish - modifications listed below:
Megan and Judy, co-owners of Feeding Littles, bring you helpful info on food, nutrition, picky eating, and feeding young children. Megan McNamee MPH, RDN is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist based in Scottsdale, Arizona. Judy Delaware, OTR/L is an Occupational Therapist specializing in feeding therapy with children 3 and under in Boulder, Colorado. Megan and Judy are both moms of two and love helping families develop a healthy appetite for all foods!