Friday, June 9, 2023

A Kid-friendly lunch

Bailey Woodean
Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!
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Lunchtime for my toddler is one of his favorite times of the day. I believe it is important to make healthy meals for my son, especially when I’m cooking from scratch. These are two excellent recipes that I found that satisfy my need to feed him healthy foods, as well as satisfy his need for his favorite foods! I also added a recipe that is very special to my boy, his favorite beverage! He calls it chocolate pinky milk. I only allow him to have it with his lunch so that the little bit of sugar content is gone by bedtime.

A Kid-friendly lunch

Homemade chicken nuggets

The original recipe is sourced from

  • 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Cut chicken breasts into 1 1/2-inch sized pieces. In a medium bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, cheese, salt, thyme, and basil. Mix well. Put melted butter in a bowl or dish for dipping.
  3. Dip chicken pieces into the melted butter first, then coat with the breadcrumb mixture. Place the well-coated chicken pieces on a lightly greased cookie sheet in a single layer, and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

5-Ingredient Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

The original recipe is sourced from

  • 1 cup peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup grated yellow or white cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 ounces pasta
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the squash and cook for about 10 minutes or until soft when poked with a fork. Use a large slotted spoon to transfer the squash to a blender, draining off all of the liquid.
  2. Add the milk, cheese, and butter, and puree until completely smooth. Meanwhile, bring the water back to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to the pot. Stir in the cheese sauce, season to taste with salt, and serve! Variations:
  3. To make this for 6-8 people, simply double all the amounts using a full pound of pasta. You can also add more cheese if you’d like.
Expert tips
  1. Serve any leftovers in an airtight container and heat for 30-60 seconds in the microwave to warm
  2. Use the type of pasta your family prefers, whether whole wheat, gluten-free, bean-based, or traditional.
  3. Try serving the cheese sauce as a dipping sauce for other cooked veggies.
  4. You can use canned butternut squash puree if desired.
  5. Use orange cheese for the most vivid orange color.
  6. Stir in frozen peas (which will thaw in the warm pasta) to add an easy veggie.
  7. Try with sweet potato or another favorite winter squash.
  8. Trade-in cauliflower for the squash to make Cauliflower Mac and Cheese.
  9. Double the recipe to make a larger batch.

My son’s favorite lunchtime beverage (he calls it chocolate pinky milk)

Original recipe created by the three-year-old son (seriously)!

  • 1.5 cups of 2% milk
  • 2 teaspoons strawberry syrup
  • 2 teaspoons Chocolate syrup
A Kid-friendly lunch
I also added a recipe that is very special to my boy, his favorite beverage! He calls it chocolate pinky milk. I only allow him to have it with his lunch so that the little bit of sugar content is gone by bedtime.
  1. Gather the milk, strawberry syrup, chocolate syrup, and your toddler’s favorite cup. My son likes the no leak Playtex cups, and the Nubi cups with the straw.
  2. Mix the ingredients together until both syrups are fully incorporated.
  3. Enjoy!
My mom tips
  • If your child is sensitive to sugar intake then I recommend using sugar-free strawberry syrup and sugar-free chocolate syrup.
  • If your child cannot have regular cow’s milk or is lactose intolerant then feel free to substitute any “milk” (soy, almond, etc) that you would normally serve your toddler.

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