Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Safari Themed Family Halloween Costume

For Halloween this year my family went with a Safari theme. My husband was a Safari guide, I was a snake in a bush and my kids dressed up as safari animals - butterfly, lion and zebra. I let my two older children choose what animal they wanted to be and got to crafting.

A Safari theme is a great theme to for a group or family costume for Halloween or any themed party. You can add as many animals as you want to the theme. The possibilities are endless from a money to turtle, bird, lizard, cheetah, giraffe and more.

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I think this was one on my favorite family Halloween costume themes that we've gone as. The animals matched my children's personalities perfect. My son keep ROARing, my daughter kept twirling and my baby kept galloping. It was hilarious.

I tried to base the costumes off items we already had to save on money. Our Halloween costumes were actually inspired by my leaf romper. I was looking at it and thought "hey let's go as a Safari theme. The kids can be animals and I'll do something with this..." At the time I had not idea how it was going to turn out and when I told people we were going as a Safari they all just kind of nodded there heads but I think it turned out super cute and we got a lot of compliments.


The Safari Guide
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What you'll need:
  • Boots
  • Tall Brown Socks
  • Khaki/Brown shorts
  • White Button-up short
  • Safari Type Hat
  • Binoculars 
Cost = FREE
My husband already had all the clothes. We used my son's camo hat; you could also use a cowboy hat. We had toy binoculars but I decided to make binoculars out of toilet paper roll (Toilet Paper Binoculars Tutorial COMING SOON!). The toilet paper binoculars are very light weight and made the costume look more goofy which is what we were going for.
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The Snake 
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What you'll need:
  • Leaf/snake patterned clothing
  • Boots 
  • Stuffed Snake
  • Green Face Paint/Eyeshadow
  • Leaf Ribbon - Optional

Cost = $1.99
I recently bought a leaf romper on clearance which inspired the Safari themed costume. Since it was cold out this Halloween, I put some mint colored leggings on under the romper and paired it with brown boots. I borrowed the stuffed snake from my brother and wore it around my neck. 

I used different shades of green eyeshadow I already had to make it look like a mask across my eyes. I bought some leaf ribbon from Hobby Lobby and tied it around my head to make a head band. This is all of coarse optional but it adds to the costume.

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The Butterfly
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What you'll need:
  • Butterfly Wings - Dollar Tree for $1
  • Tutu 
  • Pants & Shirt to match 
  • Face Paint/Eyeshadow
  • Necklaces - Optional

Cost = $10 with left over ribbon
I made my daughter's tutu from ribbon and three things of tulle. I waited until it was 50% of at Hobby Lobby to buy it (DIY Tutu Tutorial COMING SOON!). I bought the butterfly wings and necklaces from the Dollar Tree for $1 each.  I used a plain shirt and pants my daughter already had to wear under the tutu. The tutu and necklaces are also going to be used for my daughters birthday outfit. 

You can make butterfly antennas but I styled my daughters hair into two buns to resemble the antennas. I used eyeshadow to make a butterfly like mask on her face. These are both optional of coarse.

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The Lion
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What you'll need:
  • Matching tan shirt and pants
  • Lion Tail
  • Lion Ears/Mane
  • Black/Brown Face Paint or Eyeliner for the whiskers

Cost = $14 with a lot of leftover yarn
We didn't have any pants or shirts to work as a lion so we had to buy some. I just bought the cheapest brand at Walmart. I also bought some yarn that was different shades of brown to make a mane and tail (Tutorial COMING SOON!). I used cat ears I bought at the Dollar Tree for $1 as the base of the mane. You can easily add a felt belly to the shirt if you want but I wanted to be able to use the shirt again so didn't

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The Zebra
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What you'll need:
  • Black shirt and pants
  • White Duct Tape
  • Zebra Tail
  • Zebra Ears
  • Black Face Paint or Eyeliner for the nose

Cost = $1
My son was originally going to be a monkey until I found Zebra ears at the Dollar Tree for $1 so we switched his costume to a Zebra and I'm glad we did because we had the rest of the supplies already. I basically used white duct tape to make Zebra stripes on his shirt and pants. I made a tail out of yarn  (Tutorial COMING SOON!) and gave him a black nose using eyeliner.

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Like I said before, I think this was one on my favorite family Halloween costume themes that we've gone as. The possibilities for this family themed costume are endless as there are so many animals to choose from. You can easily make most of these costumes from supplies you have sitting around if you are on a budget.

I made all five costumes for around $25 and still have supplies left. If I had a brown outfit for my son already I would of spent around $15. Good luck buying five costumes for $15 at the store. I love seeing people's creativity come out at Halloween time and I love making family themed costumes while I still can.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from all our Halloween activities:

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Comment below with your favorite safari animal and don't forget to PIN THIS IMAGE for later:
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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

DIY Family Themed Halloween Costumes

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN mommas and mommas to bee. I hope you are having a great day. The weather here is perfect for trick-or-treating although our town's trick-or-treating was moved to last night since there was rain in the forecast. Since it is Halloween I am going to do a throwback of our costumes over the years. 

Anyone that knows me knows that I love crafting and making things so of coarse Halloween is a great opportunity for me to get crafty and create simple, budget friendly, DIY costumes for the whole family. 

I met my husband in 2011. Our first Halloween we went as Mickey & Minnie Mouse. We were a big hit! Find out how I made our Mickey & Minnie costumes HERE.

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In 2012 we dressed up as Mario & Luigi. Mario & Luigi were super easy costumes to make and great if you need a last minute costume. Find out how I made our Mario & Luigi costumes HERE.

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In 2013 I made Mike & Sully from Monster's Inc. but we never ended up going out so I saved the costumes and made a Boo costume the next year.

Halloween 2014 we went as Mike, Sully & Boo from Monster's Inc. This was our first Halloween as a family of three. We got a ton of compliments and my Mike costume worked out great because I was pregnant again. Find out how I made our Monster's Inc. costumes HERE.

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In 2015 we added a little pumpkin to our patch. We went as the Ninja Turtles. I do not have a tutorial on how to make the costumes since I didn't really do much crafting but they were super easy to put together. I bought Ninja Turtle clothing (PJs, Zip up, T-shirt) and used ribbon for the turtle's headbands and arm bands. 

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In 2016 we added another pumpkin to our patch just in time for Halloween. We dressed up as The Incredibles Family. My son was so small people thought my husband was carrying a fake baby (he wasn't). Even though our costumes were simple, everywhere we went I heard, "Look it's The Incredibles". Find out how I made our Incredibles Family costumes HERE.

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Halloween 2017, my family went as Pac-man, Ms. Pac-man and three ghosts. This costume is perfect for any family because you can have as many ghost as you need. The costumes are fun and easy to make. Find out how I made our Pac-man Family costumes HERE.

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This Halloween (2018) my family has already hit up a few Halloween events with our Safari themed costumes. Arn't they cute! I of coarse made all the kids costumes and can't wait to show you how. This is a fun family theme because you can go as any animal you want. I let my oldest two pick out what animal they wanted to be and got to crafting.  

My husband is a Safari guide, I'm a snake in the bushes, my kids are a butterfly, lion and zebra. 

TUTORIALS COMING SOON!!!!

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I hope you enjoyed checking out my families costumes over the years. I enjoyed looking back and seeing how much we've grown. All of these costumes can work as adult or children's costumes. Most of the costumes are super easy to make minus the Monster's Inc. costumes and budget friendly. I love a great DIY costume.

Let me know in the comments which of our themes is your favorite and don't forget to click through the links to find out how I made the costumes! HAPPY HALLOWEEN. I hope you don't get tricked and get lots of treats.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Halloween Baby Ghost Footprint Pumpkin

I somehow never wrote this post after my son was born, oops... better late then never right?

October 2016 I had my third baby. My family visited the pumpkin patch the week before he arrived and picked out a pumpkin for him. I had no idea what I was going to do with his pumpkin or even if  I was going to do anything with it but I wanted to have five pumpkins.

Not many people know this, but we were in and out of the hospital after my son was born due to health problems. We luckily got out right before Halloween and were able to decorate/carve/drill pumpkins. 

My toddlers colored on their pumpkins then my husband took a drill to them to make a cool design. You can check out their drill pumpkins HERE.


For my two week old, I put some white paint on his feet and pressed them onto the pumpkin. Once it dried, I turned it into a ghost by drawing some eyes and a mouth to the foot prints. I then personalized the pumpkin with his name and "My 1st Halloween".




The baby ghost footprints are very easy to do, all you need is: 

  • A pumpkin
  • White paint
  • A paint brush (sponge brush will be softer in their feet) 
  • A black paint pen or sharpie






Paint your baby's foot and gently press it on the pumpkin. Wipe off the paint from the door and repeat. Let Dry.

I think the ghost would look better upside down with the heal at the top and the toes at the bottom of the pumpkin but I didn't think about it at the time. 


Once the paint is dry, give you ghost some eyes and a mouth.

Personalize your pumpkin however you'd like and set it out for all your neighbors to see!

The Ghost footprint pumpkin is super easy to make and is a cute, unique way to show that your new bundle of joy arrived! Like I said before, I think it would look better if the footprint was flipped but it still looks pretty cute. Let me know what you think in the comments below!


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Above is my son with his pumpkin. He wasn't in a good mood for that picture or the picture below of him with his pumpkin hat before we carved the pumpkins. If you can't tell from the above picture, my so is dressed as Jack-Jack from The Incredibles. You can check out my costume tutorial HERE.

Monday, October 22, 2018

5 Reasons to Ditch Supermarket Pumpkins and visit a Pumpkin Patch

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It's fall which means pumpkins, hayrides, bonfires and boots. The weather gets cooler, most of the time, it gets darker earlier and Halloween and Thanksgiving are upon us. What better way to celebrate fall than visiting your local pumpkin patch. 

Now you may be thinking why should I drive to a pumpkin patch, stand outside in the heat/cold and walk all over the place when I could just go to the grocery store and grab a perfectly good pumpkin. Well that is all true but I want you to know that it's not all about the pumpkin, it is about the experience. It is about exploring, getting outside, spending time with family or friends and enjoying all the pumpkin patch has to offer. 

Here are 5 reasons why you should ditch grocery store pumpkins and visit a Pumpkin Patch:

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1. Fun for the whole family
Pumpkin patches are full of fun, family friendly activities the whole family will love. From petting zoos to corn mazes, corn pits and hay bale climbing, the kids are guaranteed to have fun. Most pumpkin patches also have shops that sell mums, cider and more. 

Every pumpkin patch is different and has different activities. Some cost money and others are free so make sure to call ahead to find out the times and cost.

One of our local pumpkin patches is free to visit but some of their activities such as pony rides, the corn maze and llama train rides cost extra. They have several free activities to do from corn hole to a hay maze and pumpkin toss along with picnic tables to have a picnic at.
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2. Larger Variety of Pumpkins
If you visit a pumpkin patch, you will have a larger variety of pumpkins to choose from than you will at your local grocery store. The pumpkin patch has pumpkin of all shapes, sizes and colors. They also usually have gourds, mums and cider for sale.

The pumpkins cost are usually based on weight so depending on what pumpkins you pick out, it may be cheaper than buying grocery store pumpkins that average $5. We usually spend $15-$17 for five pumpkins. 

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3. Pumpkin Hunting
What better way to waste time in the great outdoors than hunting for the perfect pumpkin?! My kids are all still young but they love running through the pumpkin patch looking for their favorite pumpkin. Last year my kids filled the wagon with pumpkins they loved and then we narrow it down to our favorites. 

This may not sound like fun, but it is harder than you think to find the perfect pumpkin. With such a large variety of pumpkins to choose from - green, white, orange, large, small, long stem, no stem, rotten, boils, odd shaped -  your options are endless. What pumpkin will you choose?

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4. The Pictures
I don't know about you, but I am obsessed with pictures and pumpkin patches make for great photo opportunities. Every year I try to pose my kids and get a fancy picture but I usually end up failing because my kids want to run free. Do you blame them?

I have captured several wonderful snapshots of my kids at the pumpkin patch from them playing on the hay bails to digging through corn to posing with pumpkins and gourds.

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5. Supporting a Local Business
By visiting a local pumpkin patch, you are supporting a local business. You are putting money toward a family business so they can keep supplying you with pumpkins and fun experiences instead of throwing your money to mass retailers. 

Several pumpkin patches help supply pumpkins for schools, churches or donate some of their proceeds to different organizations. Our local pumpkin patch had pink-ish pumpkins this year and the proceeds helped support breast cancer awareness. Check with your local pumpkin patch to see what/if they help support any organizations. 

Now I get that the pumpkin patch isn't for everyone, but it is definitely worth a visit especially since pumpkin patches are seasonal so it's not like you can go anytime but fall. I'm sure I could think of several more reasons why you should ditch the grocery store pumpkins and visit your local pumpkin patch instead but like I said before, it's not about the pumpkins, it is about the experience.

I'd love to know why you enjoy visiting the pumpkin patch 
in the comments below. 

I love the pictures I take every year.
My husband loves the Apple Cider. 
My kids love pumpkin hunting.


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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Oh TWOdles! Mickey's Clubhouse inspired Birthday Party

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We just celebrated my son's second birthday. I can't believe my baby is already TWO, time defiantly flies by when you have kids. When my daughter was a few months old, someone passed along a few Mickey Clubhouse decorations. At the time I had no idea what Mickey's Clubhouse was but boy did I find out fast. 

If your kids haven't seen Mickey's Clubhouse, they should. It is a great learning show, very colorful and it has all my favorite Mickey & Friend's characters in it.

A few months ago I came across the Mickey decorations and thought it would make the perfect second birthday party. One of the go to lines in the show is "Oh Toodles!" or in this case "Oh TWOdles!". Just change the wording and bam, now you have a great second birthday party theme. 

Since I just invited immediate family to the party, I tried not to go all out. I had several different ideas for the party but I was only able to do a few of them. Overall I think the party turned out pretty nice and my son had a great time which is all that matters. 

The Food
We decided to have a Hot Dog, Hot Dog, Hot Diggity Dog bar with a few other sides. Keep in mind this was for a party of around 20 people. If you have more people, add more sides!

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The food consisted of:

  • Buns, Hot Dogs & Brats 
  • Chilli
  • Toppings - Ketchup, Mustard, Cheese, Relish, etc...
  • Fries in a cup so it's easy to carry
  • Frito Corn Salad
  • Fruit Salad
  • Oreos aka Mickey Ears
  • Strawberry Chocolate Tart
  • Cupcakes

The beverages consisted of:

  • Sweet Tea
  • Water
  • Variety of 2 liters
  • Juice for the kids

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I was afraid we wouldn't have enough cupcakes or not everyone would like cupcakes so we made a Strawberry Chocolate Tart. I tried to make the strawberries look like Mickey.

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The Cupcakes
I attempted to make the cupcakes look like Mickey. If you follow me on Twitter you may of seen my post a comparison of the Pillsbury (red) vs Great Value (white) frosting. The white frosting wouldn't hold and kept melting off the cupcakes so I had to redo the white cupcakes a few times. 

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I used new chocolate covered mini Oreos for the Mickey ears. I was going to add two white dots to make them look more like Mickey but because the frosting wouldn't harden, I didn't want to chance ruining all of them.

The white cupcakes have a crushed lollipop on top of them. I love the contrast in the cupcakes.

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The Decorations
We turned our house into Mickey's Clubhouse by hanging up all the decorations. I pulled out all the Mickey related toys I could find and set them up over the house and used them to decorate the tables. I used the Mickey pillows and larger plushes to decorate our couch. *not pictured

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I had flipped the design on the party horns and wrote "Oh TWOdles" and drew Mickey heads on them. 

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I used a chalkboard and chalk to make a sign for the food that said "Hot Diggity Dog Bar" on it in the theme's colors.

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For the entry way, I wrote and drew with chalk "Come inside, it's fun inside", "Oh TWOdles" and Mickey's pants. Chalk is an easy and cheap way to decorate outside your home, plus it washes off easily. I did something similar for my other son's Chugga Chugga TWO TWO birthday.

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We also had a Mickey photo-booth along with Mickey props if the guests wanted to pose and take pictures. 

I borrowed the Mickey photo-booth from my neighbor - Thank you! - who recently had a Sailor Mickey themed party for her son. The photo-booth was made from a foam board, paint and construction paper if you'd like to make your own.

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Overall we had a great time and my son loved all his gifts. He got a few Mickey outfits, a singing Mickey, a Mickey block train set, a Mickey blanket, a t-ball set and a walking dog pet. Needless to say my son is spoiled and loved! 


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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

28+ Simple Toddler Meal Ideas

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One of my top blog posts to date is Food Ideas: Feeding a One Year Old. I have been in the process of collecting pictures to create a meal ideas blog post to go with it for a while now. Unfortunately my computer crashed a while back and I lost all the food pictures I had taken but lucky for you, since my kids eat three meals a day plus snacks,  I was able to take better ones! 

Every family has a different routine but my kids food routine looks something like this:
Wake up & Eat breakfast while watching TV
11:30/12 - Lunch followed by snack
6:00 - Dinner followed by snack

Of coarse there are naps, playtime and milk in there somewhere and snack time was moved to after lunch and dinner because my kids always "say" they are still hungry even though they eat more then me half the time. 

My three and four year old recently started going to preschool half a day so they now get lunch at school Monday - Thursday. It saves us money but I am disappointed because the teacher usually gives them pizza two of the four days and I have no idea if they are eating their vegetables - probably not

Before we get started,
  • Theses meals were given to my three toddlers (1, 3 & 4) for either lunch or dinner. 
  • I try to change it up so they aren't eating the same thing all the time. I also make sure they get some sort of fruit and vegetable at least once a day. 
  • The best and healthiest meals are plates full of color! No that does NOT mean candy.
  • The colorful square plates used are by Re-Play Recycled (affiliate) and they are my favorite! I loved them so much I bought more. They also have silverware to match. The other plates pictured are just okay.
  • If you have a picky eater check out this link - 10 Tips to get a Picky Eater to Eat
  • If your little one just started eating solids check out this link - Food Ideas: Feeding a One Year Old
Here are some meals I've fed my children. Keep in mind, you can easily substitute out different fruits or sides with the main dishes.

28 Toddler Meal Ideas

1. Pulled Pork, Buttered Whole Wheat Bread, Cheese Cubes, an Orange
2. Dinosaur Chicken Nuggets, Mixed Vegetables, Mixed Berries & Grapes
3. Beef Taco Roll Ups with sour cream & salsa for dipping, Strawberries, Veggie Straws
4. Pot Roast, Potatoes, Carrots, Vanilla Yogurt with Dried Cranberries

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5. Pepperoni, Ritz Crackers, Cheese Cubes, Fruit Melody
6. Pizza Roll Ups, Cantaloupe, Salad
7. Meatball Sub, Jello, Pickles
8. Vienna Sausages, Cheese Cubes, Ritz Crackers, Fruit Melody, Potato Salad

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9. Scrambled Eggs, Toast with Strawberry Jelly, Strawberry Banana Yogurt & Dried Cranberries
10. Peanut butter Banana Rollup, Cottage Cheese, Banana & Oranges
11. Ham & Cheese Rollup, Grapes & Blueberries, Veggie Chips
12. Oatmeal, Strawberries, Yogurt

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13. Ham & Cheese Sandwich, Banana, Pretzels with Fiesta Dip (dip leftover from a birthday party)
14. Chicken Salad, Ritz Crackers, Apple Sauce, Fig Neutons
15. Tuna & Mayo mixed, Ritz Crackers, Cubed Cheese, Apple Slices, Pickles
16. Turkey Sub, Banana, Veggie Straws

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17. Macaroni & Beef Noodles, Cheese Cubes, Mixed Fruit, Buttered Bread
18. Ravioli, Grapes & Banana, Buttered Bread
19. Spagettios & Meatballs, Orange, Cheese Cubes, Buttered Bread
20. Chicken Parmesion/Spagetti, Peaches, Cottage Cheese 

If you can't tell, I like paring Buttered Bread with pasta.


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21. Homemade Pizza Bagel, Apple Slices, Carrots with Ranch
22. Chicken Alfredo, Salad, Yogurt with Granola & Dried Cranberries
23. Taco Salad (Chips, Beef, Lettuce, Cheese), Grapes & Blueberries, Carrots with Ranch
24. Meatballs with Pasta Sauce onto, Cubed Cheese, Mixed Vegetables, Buttered Bread

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25. Beef Soup, Blackberries, Cubed Cheese, Buttered Bread
26. Broccoli Cheese Potato Soup, Grilled Cheese, Mixed Fruit Cup
27. Beans, Chicken Flavored Noodles, Mixed Vegetables, Banana
28. Beef/Bean Soup, Strawberries & Grapes, Cubed Cheese, Saltine Crackers

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I try to stick to foods I know my kids will eat. I sometimes introduce new items and make them try it. We have started letting the kids eat more of our meals now that they are getting older depending on what it is.  A few more of our go to main dishes are:
  • PB&J Sandwich
  • Grilled Cheese
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Hot Dog
  • Pigs in a Blanket
  • Pizza
  • Burger
  • Chicken Patty
  • Baked/Grilled Chicken
  • Hot Pockets
  • Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Chicken & Dumplins
  • Chicken Pot Pie
  • Stir Fry (Rice, Chicken, Vegetables & Eggs)
  • Steak Bites on special occasions
  • Several different types of casseroles
I didn't take pictures of all the meals because it slipped my mind (fussy kids = time to eat) but you can easily pair these main dishes with a fruit and vegetable. Hopefully these meal ideas help provide you with a variety of options for your toddler. Happy Eating!

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Let me know what your go to meal is in the comments below & Pin this picture for later so you can test out these meals with your toddler!

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