I’ll bet making homemade Spaghettios is easier than you think! Plus, I snuck some carrots in for an extra dose of veggies.
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 INGREDIENTS
- Anellini Pasta – Circle pasta was a little tricky to find. I picked mine up at a local Italian market.
- Carrots – To sneak in an extra veggie serving, I made a microwavable bag of steamer carrots then pureed them to add to the sauce.
- Tomato Sauce – Just pick up a can of your favorite brand.
- Milk – To help thicken the sauce, I used 2%. Use what you keep on hand.
- Parmesan Cheese – Again, to thicken the sauce and add flavor, add grated Parmesan cheese.
- Salt – Just a pinch for balance.
TOOLS TO HELP YOU MAKE HOMEMADE SPAGHETTIOS
- Skip Hop Lunch Bag – Our trusty “bee bag” goes everywhere with us.
- Rubbermaid LunchBlox Kit – Perfect portion sizes for packing your lunch.
- Mini Food Processor – You’ll need to puree the carrots. I like this mini food processor because it’s a space saver.
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.
Do you try to make fun lunches? Any toddler lunch ideas for me??