I only cook meat once a week (at the most) so that is how often Meghan is offered meat. She often refuses it when I offer, so it is not unusual for her to go weeks without any meat. Because of this I am careful to prepare foods for her that provide the nutrients she would normally get from meat, such as protein and iron. I try to include a variety of whole grains, vegetables, beans, legumes, and fruit in her diet. For dinner she typically eats what we are eating.
This was her lunch yesterday.
In typical toddler style, she ate each part separately, picking out the beans and eating those first, then the broccoli, and finally the rice. This is a well-rounded meal that is packed with nutrients. The rice and beans together provide a complete protein, the beans are a good source of iron and fiber, and the broccoli is, well, a super food. Oh, right, the cheese. That makes it taste better. Here's the basic "recipe", but you can't really call it that. ;-)
Cheesy Broccoli, Beans, and Rice
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1/4 cup steamed broccoli florets, chopped to toddler size bites
2 tablespoons cooked white beans (I used canned organic navy beans. If you use canned, organic usually has less salt)
2 tablespoons shredded mild cheddar cheese
Place rice, broccoli, and beans in a small microwavable bowl. Top with cheddar cheese. Microwave for 10-30 seconds, until cheese is lightly melted.
Yield: 1-4 toddler servings, depending on your little one's appetite