Category Archives: foods

HEALTHY LUNCH IDEAS FOR TODDLERS & PRESCHOOLERS

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written by Jen #supermom

Sending your toddler or pre-schooler out for the day and need to pack a lunch?  So over making PB&J sandwiches?  I am personally going through this now, as my 3 year old is at daycare 4 half days a week, and I need to provide lunch.  I cannot bear to give her the favorite (PB&J of course) more than once, MAYBE twice a week.  That being said, she’s also a bit of a picky eater and I’m always looking for new healthy options that she will actually consume.

As this seems to be a popular topic among many moms in this situation, I thought I’d share some of the ideas I’ve received from friends near and far:

* Wraps (vs sandwiches) – cheese and/or deli meats or avocado and hummus.  Cut wrap into pinwheels for fun!

* Another more exciting version of your typical sandwich – cut it with cookie cutters!  (After all, presentation of the food is quite a bit deal to the little ones)….and eat the remains for your snack (isn’t that we always end up doing anyway)?!

* Whole Wheat or Brown Rice Pasta in a thermos with turkey meatballs or veggies

* Tomato soup and a grilled cheese

* Hummus or Guac with Veggies and Pita to dip

* Black beans and rice

* Quesadilla with beans and spinach, or cheese and avocado!

* Rolled slices of turkey, rolled sliced cheese and whole wheat crackers

* Yogurt and berries with a half sandwich

* Whole wheat bagel with cream cheese

* Use leftover roasted chicken and add mayo, sweet cranberries and crunchy celery to make a yummy wrap or sandwich

* Falafel patty in a pita with lettuce, tomato and plain yogurt

* Veggie burger with pita & dip of choice

Sides:

* Corn, peas, chickpeas…fun small round things!

* Frozen yogurt squeezers (will be thawed out but still cold by time lunch comes around)

* Chopped up veggies: cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, peppers

* String cheese

* Hard boiled egg

* Fruit salad

* Grapes

Here is some helpful advice in regards to planning for the week’s lunches:

  1. Stock up on non-perishables:  Almonds/cashews, raisins, whole wheat crackers, beans, bread sticks, granola, rice cakes
  2. Make certain things ahead of time (on Sunday perhaps): Hard boil eggs, falafel patties or sandwiches the night before.  Roast a whole chicken so you have it to cut up for sandwiches!
  3. Have a  variety of proteins, carbs and fresh fruit on hand.  I always shop for Sunday night delivery so we are loaded up and ready for the week ahead.

So far I’ve had many days when I pick her up and almost the entire lunch has not been touched, other days it’s been entirely gobbled up.  I think this is completely unavoidable, no matter what is offered!  It just depends on her mood, and I am never exactly sure what she’s in the mood for. Or perhaps it has more to do with what is going on around her at the time (she is so easily distracted)!  Anyway, I hope this list of suggestions will at least empower you to try new things…and who knows, perhaps your child will fill find a new favorite and you’ll come home with more empty lunch boxes!

FAMILY BRUNCHIN’ IN THE SLOPE!

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Written by Jen #supermom

I love brunch.  It’s one of my favorite things to do as a family on the weekend.  Dinners out are tough as we have to go so super early, and our toddler seems to be in better spirit in the morning.  So, brunch is the one meal we try to get out and enjoy.  Once the stroller is introduced into your life, the options however narrow a bit as not every venue in town is appropriate (whether space-wise or just doesn’t have the baby/child friendly vibe).  I’m always seeking out new places where the three of us can sit comfortably and not be totally mortified if our 2 YO daughter gets a bit of the crazies during our meal.  Let’s be honest, that happens!

 

Before I list some of our favorite places to brunch at, let me preface this with the following:

1) I am by NO means a food connoisseur,

2) I live in South Slope and tend to stay local, so it’s very like I’ll be leaving off some well deserving venues further up north (I suggest you share recommendations in comments so we can all learn from you) and

3) these are based on my personal experiences at each of these venues, no one else’s.  Here are a handful of some of my favorite weekend brunch spots (in no particular order):

 

* Korzo (667 5th Ave):  Eastern European dishes are aplenty, and it has that comfort-food feel.  Halusky (noodle dish which it is famous for), latkes, an amazing beet salad, chicken schnitzel or fish n’ chips (to name a few) – you cannot go wrong.  And I can’t forget to mention the fried flatbread in egg custard batter with nutella-like spread, bananas and home made whipped cream.  Large space in back with plenty of room for your little ones. FYI they won best burger in NYC (believe the fried burger is only available at dinner but you MUST try it).

 

* Prospect Bar & Grill (545 5th Ave):  SUPER spacious, friendliest staff and decent food.  Favorites are the breakfast burrito and duck hash.  The staff, space and great beer selection are reasons why this gets on my list.  It’s HUGE and recommend arriving earlier (around 11) before it packs up.  Also – big outdoor space for those warmer days!

 

* Mariella (492 6th Ave): Italian and a bit more on the creative side, they only offer organic meat, dairy and eggs and purchase from local farmers.  Very accommodating for children, especially when outdoor area is open.  Vanilla ricotta pancakes – huge hit with both parents and toddler.  Short Rib Hash – YUMM…and there are often delish specials.

 

* Piccoli (522 6th Ave):  Wonderful spot for families.  AMAZING food.  Hard to choose favorite brunch plates but caramelized french toast with marscapone whipped cream and strawberries or organic polenta with mushrooms, truffle oil and poached eggs are two of my favorites.  Super attentive and friendly staff.

 

* Dizzys (230 5th Ave and 511 9th St):  Had to mention, sure everyone has been here already! It’s a favorite not only because it could not possibly be more child-friendly (random favorite thing – they serve milk in special cup with straw that’s fun for your toddler & you can take it home)….but also because food is awesome, staff is super friendly and they open at 7am during week and 9am on weekends.  For those of us that have children napping 11ish it’s a great option to get out before nap time! I love their grits specials or huevos rancheros.

 

* Sidecar (560 5th Ave):  For a brunch with a southern twist, this is the way to go.  Fried chicken and waffles, shrimp & grits,  biscuits & gravy…so super delicious.  And, if you are into bloody mary’s or other specialty cocktails, they have that area totally mastered.   Although a bit more pricey, it’s totally family-friendly.  From the owners to the staff, they are a great bunch of folks.  PS- go back for dinner and get the fried chicken.

 

* J’eatjet (685 5th Ave):  Before reading further note that this establishment is teeny BUT have beautiful space out back – wouldn’t attempt with child unless you are planning to sit outside.  Deeper into South Slope, this gastrobar offers unique menu items like pretzel bites with cheese mustard, lamb burger (my favorite), grilled squid (yummy), and pierogis.   There’s a deep fried PB&J which I must try one day!!!

 

* Krupa Grocery:  Just opened earlier this year, Krupa is mouth-watering yumminess.  The outdoor space is killer, have yet to dine inside.   Menu changes daily but some of the regulars are breakfast gnocchi with fried egg and bacon, lemon-ricotta pancakes (2 YO fave) and lamb burger.  MEntal note…I need to try the Po’ Boy next go-around.  Please be aware that they don’t serve alcohol until noon, so if you want to have your mimosa, keep that in mind!  231 Prospect Park West.

 

Now I am absolutely starving.  Not a smart idea to write this on an empty stomach!  Hope this list offers up a new restaurant or two for you to add to your favorite brunch spots.  And as I said before, it would be fantastic if you commented with your favorites so we (myself included) can try something new!  Happy Brunching!!!

 

#brunchinbrooklyn #pediatrician #doctorcao