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is pre cooked food bad for my 18 month old? i don't have time to cook and feel guilty! what should I do?

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Asked by Anonymous at 12:10 PM on Jun. 11, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (7)
  • I will tell you the same I told another person asking this same question:

    What do you eat yourself? Do you cook for yourself?

    I'm not sure if I would find "not having time" to cook for your child acceptable. If you can't provide the foundation of a good diet for your child, then there's a big problem.

    Sure, you can pop a Gerber Graduate into the microwave, but those things are not as healthy as they seem. And if that's his main source of nutrition, that's setting him up for failure. Tons of preservatives, pre-processed foods, etc.

    There is no substitute for a healthy balance of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, dairy, and whole grains. Sure, some junk in moderation is fine, but if you never cook for your child you need to re-evaluate the situation.

    I apologize if I'm being hard on you, but I think it's unacceptable to say you just don't have time to cook for your child. E

    Answer by Arkaidy at 12:21 PM on Jun. 11, 2009

  • I agree that sometimes its hard to find time to cook and occationally using the precooked items are ok but nothing beats good fresh veggies, fruit, lean protien, and dairy. Try precooking your own food. Cook some veggies and meat and put them in the refrigerator for the next meal time. It is your job to be sure your child grows up with a balanced diet and healthy.

    Answer by Love2BMommy77 at 12:26 PM on Jun. 11, 2009

  • I think you have to feed them, and if that means precooked items from time to time, then so be it. You have to try to do better as often as you can. One thing that helps me out is I cook huge amounts on Sunday and maybe a couple of other days, and then we have healthy leftovers when we're in a time pinch. I don't really have time to cook my babies a fresh from scratch meal every night during the week because they are hungry the second we get home from work and daycare, but if I can pop some leftovers in the microwave, then that's ok. There are also some things that you can do to freshen up your convenience items - wash a few grapes, throw some frozen veggies in with whatever you're serving, etc.

    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 12:39 PM on Jun. 11, 2009

  • well, depends on what you mean I guess. I dont' have a ton of time, we get home at 5:45 and he needs to go to bed at 7 so I have to walk in and make him something right away. I can make griled cheese, chicken burrito's, PB & J, turkey and cheese sandwiches with corn or pea's, chicken nuggets, Mashed potatoes and turkey deli meat with toast, I sometimes make meals after he goes to bed that he can have the next night for dinner. I know it gets hard- just try to do the best you can with the time you have. It has helped me learn to plan. I don't care AS much what I put in to my body but when it comes to my son - I made way more of an effort to see he gets what he needs.

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 12:51 PM on Jun. 11, 2009

  • Check the ingredient lists on pre-made foods..its horrible. Even those that aren't filled with preservatives and other artificial ingredients tend to have a lot of salt in them. Its healthier and cheaper to cook your own foods. You could cook extra when you are cooking and freeze small portions for your child so that if you really don't have time to cook something you can take it out of the freezer and heat it for the child!

    I dont know if this is the same poster as the other post but the answer is the same!

    Answer by Cynthje at 1:59 PM on Jun. 11, 2009

  • Take an avocado and scoop out good bites for you toddler. Takes no time, full of good nutrients. You can steam fresh veggies in small batches (like after your child's bedtime, to eat in the next 2 days). There are some healthier foods that can be prepared quickly. Just check on the ingredients. If you have a whole foods or equivalent, or a Trader Joe's, near you, try prepared foods from those places because they tend not to carry too many foods that are overly-processed. Frozen veggies are better than canned and are more or less as good as fresh nutrient-wise, so try that, too. Good luck!

    Answer by EmilySusan at 2:35 PM on Jun. 11, 2009

  • Here are some super-quick (and healthy dinners)
    whole grain toast with avocado and tomato (with a sprinkle of sea salt)
    a whole grain tortilla with instant or canned refried beans, a sprinkle of cheese and avocado and tomato
    a whole grain tortilla with hummus and fresh veggies (cucumer, lettuce, carrots, whatever)
    whole grain pasta with frozen veggies (heated in the microwave) and tomato or peanut sauce
    grilled cheese is ok, as long as you are using whole grain bread and real cheese (live grilled havarti), and serve with a salad

    Make your own convenience foods. I try to cook on the weekends; I make brown rice and freeze in wax bags in a big zipper bag. I cook a batch of sweet potato and bean burritos; these get wrapped in wax and put in a big zipper bag. I always have lots of frozen veggies in the freezer; easy to throw chopped spinach in sauce, heat broccoli with a sprinkle of cheese.

    Answer by rkoloms at 8:47 PM on Jun. 12, 2009

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