Mindful Meals

By Victoria Riccardi

Mindful Meals 1

These recipes aren’t just quick, easy, and totally toddler-friendly. They’re also filled with nutritious ingredients that’ll help boost your child’s brain development. Who’s hungry?

{pagebreak}

Green Monster Tuna Salad Roll-Ups
These fun, easy-to-make roll-ups come together in five minutes flat—and are loaded with brain-building ingredients like tuna, avocado, whole grains, and veggies.

½ cup frozen baby peas, rinsed under hot water for 30 seconds
1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
1 8-ounce can water-packed tuna fish*, drained
3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 whole-wheat lavash rectangles (9½x12 inches), cut in half crosswise (or other similar flatbread)
8 thin slices ripe tomato
1 cup shredded carrot

Place peas in a medium bowl. Using a potato masher, crush peas until mushy. Add avocado and crush until chunky-smooth. Add tuna and mash until well flaked. Stir in mayonnaise and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper.

For each roll-up, place 1 portion of lavash on a clean work surface. Spread a quarter of tuna mixture over surface. Arrange 2 tomato slices along bottom portion and top with ¼ cup shredded carrot. Roll up the lavash, cut into 4 pieces and serve. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Serves 4

* Young children should eat low-mercury fish such as shrimp, salmon, canned light tuna, pollock and catfish. Albacore, or “white,” tuna has a higher mercury content than canned light tuna.

{pagebreak}

Chicken Star Sliders with Roasted Kale Chips
What do you get when you put chicken, kale, vegetables, eggs, oatmeal, and sesame oil in one recipe? A brain-building dinner that’s perfect for toddlers, that’s what!

8 cups lightly packed bite-size pieces of kale leaves
3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, divided
6 basil leaves
4 button mushrooms, stems trimmed
¼ cup shredded carrot
½ pound lean ground chicken
1 small egg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 slices oatmeal sandwich bread

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove tough stems from kale leaves, tear leaves into bite-size pieces, rinse them and pat them dry. In a large bowl, add 2 teaspoons sesame oil to kale and sprinkle with salt. Toss well to coat leaves with oil. Scatter leaves evenly over surface of a baking sheet, making sure they do not overlap. Roast on middle rack of oven for 12 minutes, or until kale leaves are crisp.

Meanwhile, process basil and mushrooms in a food processor until minced, about 10 seconds. Add shredded carrot; process until minced, about 10 seconds. Add ground chicken, egg, and a pinch of salt and some pepper. Pulse machine until ingredients are just incorporated. Form slider mixture into 8 small patties. Mixture will be somewhat loose, but don’t worry—sliders will cook to be tender and juicy.

Heat remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, add sliders. Cook 3 minutes on each side. Using a 2½-inch-wide star cookie cutter (or other shape), stamp out 2 stars from each slice of bread (save bread trimmings to make breadcrumbs for another dish). Place each slider on a star and top with another star. Serve star sliders with kale chips and favorite burger condiments.

Serves 4

Quick, easy, toddler-friendly recipes that’ll boost your child’s brain development. Who’s hungry?

Signup for our Newsletter