Toddler Meal Idea: Putting Leftover Jars of Baby Food to Use

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sneaking baby food into mealsIf you have a younger toddler, he or she has probably outgrown the mushy baby food stage, leaving a few jars of mashed carrots or squash taking up space on the shelves.

Or, you're like Candice2010, who continued to stock up on jarred baby food, even though her two boys, 13 months and 3 years, refused to eat it. She thought they'd come around, but they never did, so Candice began to mix it into their regular food.

If you've ever tried it, baby food is basically tasteless because it's devoid of much of the added salt and sugar we're accustomed to in adult food products.

"I use it in their scrambled eggs," Candice explains. "I omit the milk and add a jar of carrots or squash. You can barley taste the veggies, but it does turn the eggs orange. The funny thing is that now my sons think that scrambled eggs are supposed to be orange!"

Okay, so orange eggs may not sit well with your toddlers, but here's a less colorful idea:

"Instead of using mayonnaise in tuna salad sandwiches, I use about a tablespoon of plain yogurt mixed with a jar of some kind of veggie baby food. My kids don't notice it, and you can't taste it. Banana and peach baby food goes great in pancakes, oatmeal, and yogurt," Candice says. "All of the veggie baby foods go well in red pasta sauces."

Some processed baby food is fairly high in water content, so the food alone is not enough to sustain the nutritional needs of bean sprout toddlers. But using it to supplement regular food now and again is a good way to sneak in some vitamins and minerals.

Just check to make sure the jars haven't expired first, and watch the sodium and sugar content, too.

C'mon, don't make me come up with these toddler recipes all on my own. I want to know what YOU feed your toddler's for lunch and dinner. Send me a PM and share your recipes so I can feature them here!

Past Toddler Meals:

Whatever's-in-the-Fridge Smoothies

Israeli Couscous Salad

Oscar's Gross Green Popsickles

Turkey Burgers with Sneaky Veggies

Red Noodles from the Hillbilly Housewife

Confetti Potatoes

Mini Meatloaves

Alex Guarnaschelli's Homemade Granola

Happy Face Baked Pancakes

Yogurt Fruit Salad

Vegetarian Chili

Fruit Salsa With Cinnamon Crisps

Taco Cups

Sweet-and-Sour Chicken

Italian Goulash

Parmesan Risotto

Chicken Sausages

Easy Quesadillas

Barbecue Cups

Healthy Ketchup

Cinnamon Raisin Roll-Ups

Hot Dogs with Mashed Potatoes

toddler meal

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cokalea cokalea

I loved to take a leftover jar of baby food and mix it into some rice baby cereal, and make it reaily thick so they could pratice ther spoon skills.

salty... saltycoqui

I used to make my own baby food by putting fruits and veggies in a food processor. I would sometimes mix a little bit of fruit with the veggie mix for a more interesting flavor. I did experiment with different combinations to get it right though.

Jessy... Jessy0419

I'd just be careful to check the expiration dates on all that "leftover" food.

chefjen chefjen

A jar of carrots or sqush is excellant in Spaghetti sauce!!!

RanaA... RanaAurora

Check out the book "The Sneaky Chef."  While generally she discusses pureeing your own fresh food, every recipe she has in it talks about how you can use the baby food version if you're in a hurry - or have leftover baby food! :)
It's all about sneaking vitamins and minerals into foods by using healthy purees.

unico... unicorncjk

I dont have any children yet but a very picky dh and he refuses to eat veggies.  I will add baby food to almost all of our dishes that I make.  I have used it in pasta, meatloaf (instead of milk, but keep the egg), taco meat, everything. He doesnt even notice either.

Anna Parks

Any good uses for the chicken with chicken gravy, ham with ham gravy, or turkey with turkey gravy baby food?

fullt... fullt1m3mama

a response to the person asking about the jarred meats.... i've used them as little treats for my cats.  they love them!!  just make sure to check that there aren't any extras in it that wouldn't be good for them.  the ones i have are just meat and water, so i use it like a wet cat food that is just a once in a while treat.  i haven't figured out any other ways to use the meats, so tips on that would be great!

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