Overall, Sweetie is a good eater. We struggle with food sometimes, but its more toddler power struggle than food aversion. We told her when she was born that Wife and I like good food and we like to eat. So if she was going to make it in our household, she too would have to eat well. Again, for the most part she does eat well.
I am always looking for ideas for meals, though. We have our go-to foods and it is just too easy to eat the same thing over and over. I think continuing to add to the variety helps keep Sweetie engaged with meals and away from boredom. Breakfast has been the most challenging meal for me to diversify. While Sweetie will kill a bowl of oatmeal with fruit, I just don’t feel right giving that to her seven days a week. So here is a recipe that we have seen some success serving to Sweetie.
The back story here is that my maternal grandmother, “Nana”, was the epitome of hospitality. Most grandmas are good at feeding their family but Nana took the blue ribbon. From sandwiches to baked goods to hot meals, you always ate well with her. Part of her legacy when she passed was her book of recipes. Sister Scales-of-Justice gave Wife a copy of the book for Christmas a couple of years back, so our household tries the recipes out every so often. I recently came across this one for Zucchini Bars and tested it on the family. The first time that I served the bars Sweetie ate them, but did not love them. I tweaked the recipe a bit and Sweetie ate one and a half bars in a sitting. I thought that was enough food interest to share. Given the ingredients, it was a surprise that Sweetie liked these bars at all(Okay, one time we had to give her some ketchup too).
Zucchini Bars – Ingredients
- 3 cups zucchini thinly sliced. (3 medium-sized should do fine. I like to peel it and drop it into the food processor.)
- ½ cup chopped onion
- ½ cup chopped green pepper (optional)
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons chopped parsley
- 1 clove garlic chopped fine (or ½ teaspoon garlic powder)
- ½ teaspoon salt (and/or ½ teaspoon seasoned salt)
- ½ teaspoon oregano leaves
- 1 cup Bisquick mix (totally cheater, but yummy!)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 4 eggs slightly beaten
- 3 Breakfast sausage patties browned and cut up (Not in the original, my addition)
Set oven to 350°. If using breakfast sausage patties, brown them in a pan. When done, set patties on a paper towel and plate to cool. Mix Bisquick, oil and eggs well. Cut up sausage patties and add those to the bowl. Add all other ingredients and mix well. Spread in greased 9 x 13 pan and bake for 30-35 minutes (until lightly browned).
Like I said earlier, I tweaked this recipe for better results – please feel free to do the same. Try bacon, or turkey sausage. Don’t like zucchini? Wife and I are already talking about a broccoli and bacon version. The recipe is on the savory side and I think any changes that stay in that realm will be tasty. Another change that I made was with my pan. I did not use a 9 x 13 (sorry Nana) but instead used a brownie pan from Pampered Chef. That way we ended up with 12 bars already formed and ready to eat.
So try out Nana’s Zucchini Bars and let me know what you think in the comments section. I am currently looking for the recipe to make “Bisquick” so we can remove the prepackaged mix. Other than that, I think this is a fairly healthy recipe (I am not a nutritionist, but I am a biased grandson!). Also, please let me know if you have any breakfast food that your little one (specifically toddler) really digs on. As I mentioned, I am always looking for new good stuff to feed Sweetie. Enjoy!