|Look at that beautifully healthy plate of food! (Did he eat any of it? I forget.)|
So, the most important thing: GET AN ICE CUBE TRAY! Or rather, several. With ice cube trays, ziplock bags and a microwave, you can produce entire toddler meals in thirty seconds flat, and this will probably save your life. Believe me, there is hardly anything you can't freeze in an ice cube tray. Start with the aforementioned pureed veg, then move on to pureed meals, then pretty much anything that doesn't have large chunks in. Bolognaise (spaghetti) sauce, lentil curry, chicken casserole, mild chilli con carne, vegetable tagine...
|...or sausage stew.|
Of course, you need starch too. Mashed potato is the obvious one, and always a winner. Rice and small pasta shapes work as well; just pack them into the cubes and pour water over to cover. The only snag is you have to defrost them separately and drain the water off before you add them to the main course.
Once frozen, pop the little blocks out, bag them up neatly, put them back in the freezer, and smile a smug super-mummy smile. Then, when the howling starts, calmly pick out a couple cubes of beef stew, a couple more of mash, nuke for a few seconds, stir well, and watch your lovingly-prepared instant meal get spread all over the highchair. Or, as may occasionally be the case, mostly reach the mouth.
The variation on this, when they're a bit older, is freezing chunks on a foil-lined tray. I mostly did cooked veg - carrots, sweet potato and so on - but it would probably work for diced cooked meat, too. Bag up and defrost as before.
|Carrot slices for freezing. Quite artistic, too, don't you think?|
If you need something a bit more portable, I used to spread the cold beans on a bit of bread or tortilla as a sandwich for Toby, and that always went down well too. And guess what? Yes, you can freeze the rest of the can in an ice cube tray!