I’ll bet making homemade Spaghettios is easier than you think! Plus, I snuck some carrots in for an extra dose of veggies.
When I was tasked with thinking of fun lunchbox ideas, I really wanted to make something cute. I love making food art (remember my monkey cupcakes or panda cupcakes or panda cupcakes?). But then I thought, how realistic is that? Really. Are busy parents really going to take time every night to make food art? If you do, I tip my hat to you.
I am very lucky and very thankful that my mom is able to watch Julia for me while I work. Because of this (& the fact that she’s 17 months), we don’t yet have “Back to School” in our house. But, I am always trying to think of new lunch ideas to pack for her. I also like to sometimes pack her lunch on the weekends while we’re out & about doing errands. Not every restaurant serves toddler friendly foods.
Julia has never had real Spaghettios, but she really liked these. I’m not knocking the original, but I do try to make most of her food and this is so easy, you might want to, too. I pureed some carrots to thicken the sauce and sneak in a serving of veggies. To get my fill of “cute”, I cut out some cheddar stars and hearts with a mini cooker cutter and threw in a fruit kebob. I also drew a panda face on a cookie (that was more for me than her). Easy. Real Food. Cute.
Homemade Spaghettios and Lunchbox Ideas
- 1 cup uncooked anellini pasta
- 1/4 cup carrots cooked then pureed
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup milk I used 2%
- 1 teaspoon parmesan cheese
- pinch of salt
- In a medium pot, bring salted water to a boil and cook your pasta until done. Set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, in another medium sauce pan over medium heat, add tomato sauce and pureed carrots and heat through.
- Reduce the heat to a low simmer then whisk in the milk, parmesan cheese, and pinch of salt.
- Pour in the cooked pasta and stir to combine.
I made "steam in the bag" frozen carrots in the microwave then pureed them.
I had a bit of trouble finding circle pasta (they're called anellini, FYI). My Kroger doesn't carry it and neither did Whole Foods. I ended up getting it at a local Italian market that has every shape of pasta imaginable.
As delicious as these Spaghettios are, they’re a bit messy for a toddler. Wet Ones Singles are perfect for packing in a lunch box. They quickly clean messy hands (& faces) and kill 99.9% of germs. I like to throw two in – one for before eating and one for after. They’re also made with aloe and are hypoallergenic so they won’t dry out delicate little toddler skin. Grab a coupon for them on the Target website.
Do you try to make fun lunches? Any toddler lunch ideas for me??
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