Let's be honest, who has time and/or energy to grocery shop habitually with a newborn, infant, or toddler? I used to love taking long strolls down the bread aisle (yum, smells galore) before my daughter. Now? I worry about making sure she's getting DHA and all that other stuff they say babies need to become well-rounded adults!

A big part of this, for me, has been to check the labels on every item we're planning to buy, snacks included. Since my 1-year-old isn't eating as much as she used to, I try my best to ensure that each small meal and snack she eats is packed with nutrients.

Disclaimer: I don't think becoming a food policewoman will establish a healthy relationship with food for my little one, but I am mindful about what I introduce to her at the dinner table (more like high-chair, but you get the point lol.)

So below are the tried and true pantry and freezer staples that result in less trips to the grocery store + a healthy, happy mommy-daughter duo.

1. Protein-Pasta

This has been life-changing for me and Melody. I LOVE pasta. It's easy, quick, versatile, and just overall amazing. I wanted a low-carb option and something with some extra nutrients for Mel, and came across this brand. I found this as my local organic market, but you can also find them online.

The stats:

- 3 simple ingredients (Red Lentil Flour, White Rice, Pea Protein)

- 20g of protein per serving

- 6g of fiber per serving

- Only 5mg of sodium per serving

- 670 mg of iron per serving

2. Low-Sodium, Low-Sugar Marinara Sauce

Of course you need a good marinara sauce for your pasta! Low-sodium and low-sugar is especially important for your baby/toddler’s little tummy.

3. Canned beans/chickpeas

Not much of an explanation is needed. Protein-packed, versatile, and tasty. These beans can be used in wraps (see below), or mashed up to make a sandwich. Chickpeas are especially great for that! Check out one of my favorite recipes for mashed chickpeas!

4. Tortillas

I love tortillas for wraps, quesadillas, and tacos! I usually stuff them with beans, veggies, rice, and shredded cheese. A favorite lunch of my daughter’s is grilled chicken wraps with shredded cheese. For a more low-carb and Daniel Fast-friendly option, I love these chickpea flour tortillas! They're pretty thin, but can get the job done. They're soooo good too.

5. Oatmeal

This is one of my favorite breakfast options for many reasons! It’s easy and tastes great with fruit, which I love for Mel! I give it to her the Beech Nut Organic oatmeal oatmeal mixed with Ripple pea-milk. This provides a perfect boost of iron, Vitamin D, and more! Since we breastfeed I appreciate the extra vitamins she gets from the oatmeal & pea-milk combo. However, what I love even more is that oatmeal is a galactagogue. Galactagogue is just a fancy word for a milk-boosting food.

6. B12 Enriched Cereal

As a breastfeeding mom and a non-meat eater, my B12 intake has been on my radar these days! Especially for baby. B12 is important for healthy brain development, red blood cells, and for the nervous system. Right now my favorite enriched cereals are Cream of Wheat and Corn Chex.

7. Frozen Berries

These are perfect for smoothies and mixing them in with yogurt! With cold and flu season wrapping up, I want my little one to get as many antioxidants as possible. Frozen berries work better than fresh berries for us because we like to mix up our fruit options throughout the week. We’ve found ourselves wasting food when we buy fresh berries since we don’t eat them daily.

8. Frozen Veggies

As with the berries, frozen veggies work better for us! We like to get the bags that allow you to steam the vegetables in the microwave. Makes a quick and tasty lunch/dinner base.

9. Red Potatoes

Breakfast homefries, lunch side, oven-baked as a snack, with a hearty meal for dinner; the options are endless! For that reason, they made the list!

10. Cooking Onions

A staple in every pantry.

11. Frozen Meat/Seafood

As mentioned above, I don’t eat meat, but I do eat seafood! My daughter also eats chicken, so I like to have grilled chicken strips available for her. I also like to keep shrimp and salmon in our freezer, which requires some planning ahead for thawing purposes. We love love love fish, especially salmon, in this household. The omega-3s have been said to be beneficial for growing children.

12. Low-sodium Prepared Meals

Last, but CERTAINLY not least, are some frozen dinners are needed some nights! Sometimes you just need to pop something in the microwave and eat it ASAP (Tokyo Toni voice.)

I love Amy’s Organic Bowls!

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