How Having a Baby Changed the Way I Eat

Having a kid changes everything- in so many ways.       

I expected the lack of sleep, new schedules, and less free time.  I expected to love watching this little baby grow into a toddler and begin to eat us out of house and home.

I didn't expect that bringing a baby into our house would actually end up changing how the rest of the family eats- for the better.

Here's the deal- we both work outside of the home, and when it comes time to cook dinner, it is really exhausting to figure out a meal for the baby, and then a separate meal for us.  I'm much pickier about what she eats than what we eat. Why? I don't know- maybe because she is smaller, so I want to make sure every bite she eats has the most nutrition possible.  Maybe it's because I've tasted Peanut Butter Oreos and I know they are simultaneously delicious and terrible for me. She hasn't made that discovery yet, and I'd like to keep it that way for at least a little longer.

Anyway, that means that if I want to save time and serve us all the same meal for dinner, then it is going to have to be more whole foods and less processed foods.  This means that my standby frozen pizzas and boxed mac & cheese are usually not an option, and instead, we might have a spinach omelet, grilled chicken, or cucumbers and hummus.

I've found so much inspiration on blogs, Pinterest, and cooking websites.  One of our favorites right now is broccoli chicken quinoa bites.  She will eat it, and we think it is delicious.  It isn't over-salted or over- processed, and it is easy to make up a couple of batches and freeze for later use.  Here is the recipe (adapted from

Broccoli Chicken Quinoa Bites


  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 11/2 cups water (or vegetable broth or chicken broth)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, finely diced
  • 1 cup cooked chicken, shredded
  • 1 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Crushed red pepper (optional) to taste


  1. In a medium sauce pan, combine quinoa and water (or broth) and cook according to package directions. Let cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cooled quinoa, eggs, broccoli, chicken, onion, garlic, cheese and paprika.
  3. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray mini-muffin tins with cooking spray.
  4. Put a heaping tablespoonful of quinoa mixture into prepared muffin cups. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until edges turn golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes and then gently remove from pan to cool completely.
  5. Eat right away, or freeze the whole batch for later!

We have so many resources right at our fingertips with the internet, and it makes it that much easier to plan a healthy meal for the family.  I can cook one meal that is a healthy option for both her and us, and we just get bigger portion sizes than she does.  Two birds, one stone.

Do we still eat frozen pizzas? Yep.

Is it less often and more consciously avoided now? Absolutely.

I encourage you to try this.  Minimal planning and a little prep work can help make this a reality.  It has worked wonders for us!





Melanie has worked at the Independent Health Foundation since 2009 and focuses on community health initiatives, from ideas to grants to execution.  Between the best husband, a busy toddler, and the two dumbest cats you'll ever meet, she doesn't have much spare time, but she enjoys trying new recipes and getting the most nutrition while still staying within budget.

Categories: Healthy Eating
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