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Note: This clip was recorded on my phone, I can’t figure out how the heck to rotate it. If you know how PLEASE let me know in comments!
My little one just turned 16 months old and has discovered his autonomous spirit. He loves saying “No!” (even if he really means yes). And he likes having choices. While I don’t always bend to his whims, I do reward him with his choices rather often. Everyday, at every meal, he requests “Nanoos.” If he eats his breakfast like a champ, I tell him, “Wow! You ate great at breakfast! Would you like Nanoos for lunch?” He responds excitedly, “Yeah! Nanoos!” Now, ramen noodles are not the most nutritious building block for a toddlers diet. So I sneak in all kinds of good stuff for him to try with his beloved Nanoos.Sneaky Ramen
-1/4 Package of Ramen Noodles per child (remove seasoning packet)
-Garlic powder (not garlic salt)
-Onion powder or dried diced onion flakes
-At least one of each of the following –
    -Choice of: Firm Tofu, Shredded Chicken, Ground Beef or Turkey, Pulled Pork
    -Choice of Green Frozen or Leftover (steamed/cooked) Veggies: Peas, Broccoli, Lima Beans, Asparagus (pieces), Green Beans, Brussels Sprouts (cut in quarters), anything you have really
    -Choice of Yellow Frozen or Leftover (steamed/cooked) Veggies: Corn, Carrots, sweet potato chunks, butternut squash chunks, my hubby’s cousin BadLuckBetty of La Vita Dolce suggested using Spaghetti Squash (they won’t be able to tell the difference between the stringy squash and the noodles)
    -Optional antioxidant bonus (or sneaky way to get your veggie adverse kiddo some more nutrients): Veggie puree ice cubes (Did you make waaaaay to much baby food like I did? Use em up!) or fresh pureed veggies and/or beans (for the meat adverse toddler) The Sneaky Chef has some of the best purees in my opinion. I made all of Cohen’s baby food using her recipes and I have all three of her cook books. Jessica Seinfeld also wrote a book too (that I also own) called Deceptively Delicious that has some good puree recipes.

If you are only cooking for one kiddo (and don’t fancy eating ramen as often as they do), invest in a 6″ sauce pan like this one from IKEA. Fill the pot about halfway with water and bring it to a boil. Break the 1/4 of noodles into smaller pieces (so you don’t have to bother with cutting them up after they are cooked and mixed with everything else) and drop into the boiling water. DO NOT add in the seasoning packet!!! There is waaaaay too much sodium in it for only a 1/4 of the noodles (and for your young child). Instead, use a sprinkling of the garlic powder and the onion powder or flakes to taste. When the noodles are cooked, remove pan from heat and add in choices of protein and veggies. If your kiddo is a ridiculously messy eater like mine, remove majority of cooking liquid before adding in puree. Stir in optional puree to use as a sauce and to add flavor. Be creative with your combos! Change it up! Challenge your kiddo(s) to try something new!

Now if I could just get him to keep his food in the bowl…

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