5 Quick and Easy Toddler Approved Meals

How many times have you searched and searched for the perfect meal that your whole family will love (including that picky toddler) only to realize it wasn’t nearly as perfect as you had hoped? My answer? Every. Single. Time. But then you find the one, the golden recipe that everyone loves; including that picky toddler.

Fear not readers, I have done the research for you and have compiled a list of our favorite recipes completely picky toddler approved!

Ham and Swiss Rolls

This became a quick favorite in our household. My husband gets so excited when he sees this is on the menu!

  • 1 package of Hawaiian Sweet Rolls (12 rolls)
  • 18 slices of thin deli ham (choose your favorite)
  • 12 slices of Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter or 1 stick of butter – melted
  • 1 Tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp minced onion
  • 1/4 tsp salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cover 9×13 baking sheet with foil. Lightly spray with cooking spray.
  3. Cut rolls in half length wise.
  4. Place bottom half in foil covered pan.
  5. Layer with half of the ham, then the Swiss cheese on top, and lastly the rest of the ham.
  6. Add the top layer of rolls.
  7. Melt butter in microwave (30 seconds always works with ours but always adjust for your microwave) and whisk the remaining ingredients together.
  8. Pour evening over the rolls.
  9. Cover with foil and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
  10. Bake in over for 20 minutes.
  11. Slice into individual sliders and serve warm. Enjoy!

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Alfredo Tomato Pasta

Ingredients

  • 12 oz pasta cooked and drained (any you like, we love the bowties)
  • 1 (24 oz) jar of pasta sauce
  • 1 (16 oz) jar Alfredo sauce
  • 1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup of milk
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp of Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups Mozzarella cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 sauces – making sure they are well incorporated.
  3. In a second mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, seasonings, and milk. *Add addition milk as necessary, the consistency should be like sour cream.
  4. In a 9×13 pan, lightly coat with cooking spray.
  5. Place approximately 1/2 cup of mixed pasta sauce along the bottom (make sure there is a think coat covering the entire bottom of the pan)
  6. Place 1/2 of cooked pasta in pan and then 1/2 of the pasta sauce on top
  7. Lightly spread the cream cheese sauce over the sauce
  8. Add remaining noodles and then remaining sauce
  9. Sprinkle cheese on top
  10. Loosely cover with foil and back for 30 to 35 minutes until bubbly around edges.

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Cheese Tortellini

Hands down little J’s FAVORITE right now!

Ingredients

  • 1 (20 oz) package of mixed cheese tortellini (I get the spinach/cheese package and sneak in some veggies! He has no idea muahaha!)
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced (I use the Spice World brand and use 1 tsp)
  • 2 tsp of dried basil
  • 4 Tbsp of butter

Directions

  1. In a large pot, add 3 cups of chicken broth, tortellini, and water until tortellini is covered. Cook until tortellini floats.
  2. Whisk together 1 cup of chicken brother and cornstarch.
  3. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high until foaming. Stir in garlic and basil and cook for approximately 2 minutes.
  4. Add broth-cornstarch mix and bring to boil; simmer until moisture thickens, about 2 minutes.
  5. Mix with drained tortellini and garnish with some parmesan cheese!

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Pigs in a Blanket

This one is really hard y’all. Pay close attention.

Ingredients

  • 5 hot dogs, cut into 5 slices
  • 1 can of crescent rolls
  • Ketchup and/or mustard for dipping

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Lightly grease large cookie sheet with cooking oil
  3. Slice hot dogs into 5ths
  4. Roll out crescent dough and press seams together
  5. Cut into 5 strips both ways
  6. Wrap hot dogs in crescent pieces
  7. Bake for 8 minutes or until golden brown

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Crockpot Queso Chicken Tacos

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 package of taco seasoning
  • 10 oz can of original Rotel
  • 4 oz can of mild diced green chiles (I opted out of using these)
  • 1/2 cup of chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup salsa con queso
  • taco shells, hard or soft
  • favorite toppings

Directions

  1. Lightly spray crockpot with cooking spray
  2. Place chicken and add the taco seasoning, Rotel, green chiles, chicken broth, and queso. Mix together.
  3. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 6 hours. All cookers are different though!
  4. Drain excess juices, shred chicken and enjoy!

BONUS: Pizza Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 tub of pizza crust
  • Pepperoni slices
  • 10 mozzarella sticks
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Spread pizza dough out on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cut the dough into 10 rectangles.
  3. Place about 4 slices of pepperoni on each rectangle and add the mozzarella stick.
  4. Roll up the pizza dough, enclosing the cheese stick, making sure the seams are pressed together
  5. Melt butter and add the garlic powder and dried parsley. Bruch the pizza sticks with the mixture.
  6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Enjoy!

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There you have it! Our recent favorite quick meals that are toddler approved!

Have you tried any of these recipes? What did you think? Do you have any recipes that are always a win? Share below, I want to try them!

5 Best Travel Tips

 

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely LOVE traveling! Getting to explore new places, eat new foods, meet new people, etc. etc. I grew up on the road (like, I’ve been to 48 states, grew up on the road) but still going to new places (or returning) fills me such a sense of awe.

My husband’s company Christmas party was a couple weeks ago (in January, lol) in New York City. When I learned they were going to pay for spouses to come as well, I flipped out and began immediately scouring the internet for all things New York City! We lived in Connecticut for a few months when I was growing up and we drove over the George Washington Bridge a thousand times with my dad but we never had the opportunity to go into the city. When I typed in Pinterest, things to do in NYC, I was completely overwhelmed with the amount of pins proclaiming ‘New York Itinerary, What to Do and See in 4 Days in NYC,’ ‘How to Spend Three Days in NYC,’ ‘29 Free Things to do in NYC,’ ‘12 Things You Have to Eat when in NYC,’ to simply name a few that stuck out to me. From these I was able to come up with a list of attractions, things to do, and where I might want to eat. I got to thinking and was like, I can make one of these lists for my favorite things to do while I’m in NYC! However, the more I looked through lists the more I realized, none of them touched on the things I like to do when I go to a new city. I thought, instead of a list of things to do in NYC (since there are literally thousands of them), how about a different kind of list, things to do when visiting a new city? So here you go, my top 5 things I like to do when visiting a new city!

5. Eat Like a Local

I wish this didn’t have to be said but my husband is the type of person who won’t try anywhere new and will just stick with fast food/chain restaurants. For me, breakfast, lunch, and dinner is always all about local places. For one, I’m a huge fan of supporting small businesses and when you visit another city you literally can’t get that same food back home. Don’t be afraid to try new cuisines (I tried Indian food in NYC and I am now a huge fan). Pull out my friend Google and type in food near me, check out the ratings and browse the menus. Don’t get stuck in the fast food/chain restaurant rut. One of my dad’s favorite things to do is look up to see if the city was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, he wishes he could be Guy Fieri. Ask the people at the front desk of your hotel, the bartender, or your host (if you like to AirBnB it). Just don’t ever eat at a chain restaurant, you’re literally robbing your taste buds of something fantastic and I just can’t let you do that.

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Okay, maybe locals don’t eat at Tiffany’s Blue Box Cafe (unless they’re crazy rich) but don’t be afraid to splurge a little too! Some things are once in a lifetime opportunities. Also, instead of getting what was preset on the menu, I got the chef’s special for something extra different!

 

4. Look for the less common things to do

Obviously have your list of must sees but also look for the hidden things to do. Check out Facebook events, look for the local news website (watch the news when you get there!), and even get on snapchat and see what’s going on around you. There is always something off the beaten path that is a must see and what makes the city you are visiting unique.

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While in Charlotte, I joined the local mom Facebook group and asked them what were somethings we should do while visiting. One mom told me about Tiger World, in all my searching this never came up! (Another great idea to go with tip number 2!)

 

3. Visit downtown and go shopping

Find downtown and go exploring, don’t be afraid to get lost or to wander around aimlessly (more on this later). Find the place with the most local shops and take time to poke around, it makes for some great gifts to bring back or something unique for your home (instead of the typical shot glass or fridge magnet).

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2. Make friends with the bartender

Staying in a hotel? Hang out at the bar, even if you don’t drink you can order a soda and maybe some snacks. Strike up a conversation with the bartender, find out what they like to do in their free times, where their favorite spots are to eat, and where to get the best deals.

Not staying at a hotel? Find a spot near you, a bakery, coffee shop, bar, anywhere local and strike up conversation with one of the workers.

Just a spot of advice, I wouldn’t immediately get into asking them questions or else they may not give you the best suggestions, spent a little extra time just making small conversation and getting to know them before jumping into the touristy questions. Bartenders are people too, so don’t forget to tip them for their amazing service and advice.

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We found the most amazing bakery one block from where we were staying in Charlotte. Be sure to check out Villanis Bakery if you’re in the area!

 

1. Don’t be afraid to get lost!

This is literally my favorite thing in the world to do anywhere I go. Take a day and just drive around (or walk), take the first turn that seems interesting to you. If you see something that looks cool down one street, take a walk down that street. When I was in NYC, I literally walked 5 miles aimlessly around the city because I loved seeing everything. I can’t stress this one enough because it is such a carefree feeling to walk or drive around ‘getting lost,’ not having an agenda and not feeling like you have to get xyz done since you’re only visiting for a short amount of time. I promise, try this one time (even if it is just for a couple hours) and let me know how it goes. Once you are fully lost and ready to head back, my friend Google is right there to help you get home.

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We randomly stumbled upon an authentic Banksy in NYC and I just about lost my mind!

 

That’s it, my best 5 travel tips for visiting a new city (or revisiting one)! What else would you add? What are some of your favorite things to do? Did you try any of the things off my list? What was your experience like?? I want to hear from you!