I'm in this habit of packing as much nutrition as possible into the girls, the mindset of every bite they take should add something beneficial to their bodies. K is more in the mindset of just get something into their stomachs so they aren't hungry. He made up some mac and cheese for them and all I can think is "ugh, you're feeding them nothing". I have some cooked cheesy broccoli and cauliflower in the freezer and feel the need to mix some of that in so they get a bite or two of vegetable. Pasta dinners for the girls are easy, they like it, but it's just such a nothing food that I feel the need to infuse it with SOMETHING that adds some nutritional value. Yeah, I need to loosen up a bit.
Anyway, I thought I'd share a series of meals that all kind of feed off each other and in the end provides a big container full of healthy dinners for babies who are eating finger foods.
Day 1 - Have one of those roasted chickens from the grocery store for dinner.
Day 2 - Pick off all the meat and keep the bones. Use bulk of the meat to throw into a bag of ceaser salad for your own quick dinner. Hell, have KFC for lunch and keep those bones too. Why not? But pick off the fried bits.
Day 3 - Make a stock from the chicken carcass. Basically toss the carcass with onions, leaks, carrots, celery, a little tomato paste, and water into a big pot and let it gently boil all day. At the end of the day, you should end up with a huge pot of stock, a good portion of the carcass will have disintegrated and all the nutrition from the bones and vegetables will now be liquid. Be sure to strain it really well. Store some in the fridge, freeze the rest in ice cube trays.
End of day 3 or on day 4 - Grab a handful of frozen veggies, you know, those pre-cut bags of mixed veggies. In the bag I have, I have to cut down the carrots and green beans a little more to be proper baby finger food. Take your leftover chicken and cut that down to baby sized finger foods. Get a handful of veggie infused pasta. Put a cup or so of chicken stock on the stove to boil and toss in your pasta, veggies, and chicken bits. Cook until the stock is completely soaked up by the pasta. A little salt, maybe a pat of butter for flavor, sometimes I sprinkle in some shredded cheese.
And there you have it. Probably about 3 dinners worth of nutrition packed finger food for the kiddos. Even the pasta has some nutrition in it! In addition, the parents got 2 really easy dinners for themselves, and you now have homemade chicken stock to cook with for the next month.