Baby and Toddler Friendly/ Side Dishes

Roasted Carrot Coins

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At nearly every stage of Henry’s eating so far, I’ve been apprehensive about the next transition. Of course, breastfeeding itself was crazy difficult at first, and led to lots of tears in the early weeks. When we finally got that down and he was only drinking milk, I couldn’t wrap my mind around the notion that he would eventually eat “real” food. For one thing, I couldn’t for the life of me imagine how I would find time to prepare it! Henry was quite late to get even one tooth, so we relied heavily on purees for months, and I happily found it wasn’t so hard to make big batches of pureed sweet potato, squash, chicken, apple, and many other things to feed what turned out to be his ravenous appetite.
By the time we adjusted to the puree phase, I was again a little puzzled about how to make the next transition. Getting him the same calories and nutrition with finger foods!? That seemed overwhelming. I had no clue what to make! Fortunately Pinterest has been a great resource, along with this site. It helps enormously that he is adventurous and usually has a big appetite, which makes it fun and enjoyable to prepare him new foods.

Around one year we got to the wonderful point where he eats almost everything we eat, and at nearly 15 months we are going strong with that approach. If anything, this has made my own eating habits healthier, because I’m much more aware of eating veggies on the regular, and more inclined to make a big batch of them that we eat all week long. Henry loves orange vegetables (green veggies, not so much), so sweet potato, squash, and carrots are all standbys here!
This recipe for roasted carrot coins is my absolute favorite because it is incredibly easy, doesn’t require adding a lot of salt or other extras… and they taste delicious! Henry will gobble these up by the fistful if I let him stuff that many in his mouth all at once. A pretty good problem to have, if you ask me! 😉 I am sure they would also be delicious with cumin or another spice, if you prefer something other than paprika.
What are your favorite finger foods for toddlers? Any tips on keeping them adventurous at mealtime? We are lucky to have a champion eater so far, but I’m aware that these habits (like everything else) can change in a heartbeat during these toddler years!
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Roasted Carrot Coins
Ingredients
8 medium carrots
1/4 tsp. sweet paprika
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
Directions
Preheat oven to 400 F. Peel carrots and cut into coins of consistent thickness, to ensure even roasting.
In a medium mixing bowl, toss carrots with paprika, olive oil, and kosher salt. Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet prepared with parchment paper or a silicone liner.
Roast for 30 minutes, or until coins are slightly crinkly and can be pierced easily with a fork. Serve warm.
Source: Barely adapted from Weelicious
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