I learned some time-saving tricks early in my daughter's life of eating solids. I can count on one hand how many baby jar foods she ate. At first, I literally SLAVED in the kitchen coming up with wholesome "baby" foods for her, steaming and grinding foods a few times a week. Then I got into batch cooking. I spent one morning a week preparing ground foods and froze them. At meal time, I popped them out of the container, thawed them in the microwave, and served immediately.
Now that my daughter is eating finger foods and has a few teeth, I still want to save time but can't always give her raw fruits and vegetables straight out of the fridge. I find myself skipping the raw fruits and veggies that are too hard for her! A fruit I don't want to skip is an apple, so I will steam a bunch, peel, and chop them into bite sized pieces. Store in an airtight container in the fridge, and I have a week's worth of a quick go-to fruit that's already prepared.
And here's one meal my daughter LOVES with these apples:
Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
2 apples (sweet ones work best!)
1/2 cup prepared oatmeal (see description below for 2 good toddler choices)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Cut apples in 1 inch pieces, and steam until soft (about 4-6 minutes). Prepare 1/2 cup oatmeal* with whole or breast milk. When apples are soft, let them cool a few minutes, peel, and chop into bite sized pieces. Mix together 1/2 cup apples, oatmeal, and cinnamon, and serve with a cup of milk. You will have another 3/4 - 1 cup apples to save for another meal. Use within 3-4 days.
Dairy: 1 cup milk to drink, and milk used to prepare oatmeal
Grain: Whole oatmeal
Fruit: Steamed Apples
Protein: (oatmeal provides 2-5 grams!)
*Here are my choices for oatmeal: