I get asked this question A LOT. More than a lot, really. When I post a food snap to my Instagram stories, I always, without fail, get asked how I make it happen when I have a wild toddler at home. I’ll be the first to tell you that it’s not always easy (Henry doesn’t always cooperate aka allow me to cook without crying at my feet, 🙄) and I definitely don’t cook every night, but cooking is a passion of mine, and the reward is always worth it. So, today I’m sharing some of my tips AND some of my foodie bestie, Dani’s, tips on how we get dinner on the table with kids in the house. Dani has TWO kiddos, a two year old boy (Henry’s partner in crime) and the cutest baby girl.
In the Kitchen
This is one of the most common questions that I get and I receive so much positive feedback when I post Henry’s meals & snacks on my Instagram. I’ve always loved being in the kitchen and whipping up stuff for Henry was something I always dreamed of even before he was born. While I do try to make most of his meals, his snacks are a mix of homemade and healthy pre-made items. AND, to clarify, I say “OUR” favorite toddler snacks because these are snacks that Henry likes and snacks that I like and feel good about giving him. So, here’s a list of some of our favorites in hopes that it gives you a few ideas for your own little ones (or for yourself, no judgement here):
I recently polled you guys on Instagram about what kind of content you wanted to see and this idea was a HUGE hit! I know that I’m always curious about what goods everyone else is finding – so of course I should share my own, duh. Trader Joe’s is one of my go to places to grocery shop – it’s affordable, nearby.. and a cult favorite for a reason! While I find that I can’t do my full weekly shopping there, I like to visit about once every other week to stock up. I’m going to organize this post into different categories such as staples in the produce section and seasonal finds – that way you guys can take away from it whatever you wish!
I truly am SO proud to say.. “I completed the Whole30!”
This was such a feat for me, mentally more than physically, and that’s why I have to pat myself on the back for making it through with ZERO cheats. On the real: I’ve perpetually throughout life thrown in the towel when things get “too hard” and I told myself when I started this that I WAS going to make it through NO MATTER WHAT. I can’t even believe how fast the month flew by. I definitely thought it would drag along and the moment where I could stick a piece of chocolate in my mouth would never arrive. But it’s here and you know what? I don’t even want the chocolate! Along with some of my major cravings subsiding (and realizing it was just a “you want what you can’t have” kinda thing during the process), I’ve lost 5 lbs. (putting me back at pre-pregnancy weight – yay!), I’ve gotten compliments on my skin looking great and glow-y, and I’ve learned SO MUCH about what we eat and why.
My Whole30 journey is more than halfway completed and I’m so excited to share how things have been going! When I first started, on day two, I was all “oh I can do this, NO PROBLEM.” Soon after, the “carb hangover” began and I was not only kicking myself in the toosh for naively thinking how easy this would be, but also dying for all things carby, chocolatey and sweet. While I still long for piece of soft & heavenly chocolate chip banana bread (especially this one), I’m happy to report that for the most part I’m doing much better mentally and physically when it comes to my longtime love affair with food. I will say, however, the journey is much more enjoyable when you have a friend or spouse on it with you (shoutout to my Whole30 twin, Dani!).
After months of not feeling physically or mentally my best, I decided it was time for a major change in my life. I wasn’t sure what I would change just yet, but I knew it needed to be something drastic and eye opening. I had heard about The Whole30 here & there, but never thought I could do it – it just seemed too hard. And then it dawned on me that it was EXACTLY what I needed. Not only did I need to change my eating habits, but I also felt that I needed to see something difficult all the way through and achieve my goal. So, despite Memorial Day, National Donut Day & Father’s Day coming up, I jumped in feet first to the Whole30 on May 29th.
When it comes to “chopped salad vs. shredded salad,” I’m ALL about the shred! When I was trying to figure out what to meal prep for my first week of the Whole30, I wanted a salad that would hold up for a few days in the fridge, be versatile when it came to whichever protein I was feeling that day, and of course, be tasty AF. In the midst of a Whole Foods shopping trip, my new favorite shredded salad was born.