I think I'm becoming a muffin tin meal convert.
I started following Muffin Tin Mom a few weeks ago, thinking that the meals were very cute, but nothing I would ever have time (or be creative enough!) to do.
As I mentioned the other night, Charlie is a very picky eater. He might be happy eating chicken nuggets, PB&J or mac & cheese all the time, but I get bored feeding it to him! I've been trying to come up with other creative lunches (any suggestions are welcome!) and I was also looking for something that might entice him to take a nap (an ongoing battle for about 2 months now). One afternoon, in hopes of getting him to stay in bed, I promised that I would have a special lunch ready for him when he woke up. When he did wake up that afternoon (woohoo!), I had a muffin tin meal ready to go and he was so excited!
I've been making Charlie a muffin tin meal once a week or so now. (It does take some time and creativity to put together and those are two things that I don't often have.) I've put together a few breakfasts and a few lunches and if Charlie has any leftovers, they end up as snacks later that day. I don't have any special tins, nor do I use special liners or toothpicks. I've been using a regular 6-muffin tin and Charlie loves it. He lights up when he sees his meal and he requests them often. He's even dug in my cupboard for the tin while I was still in bed and carried it into me with his breakfast request. My first tin was nothing special - just different items in the different holes. In putting together my past few tins, I've forced myself to get creative and it's been fun.
Last week, our theme of the week for school was stars so Charlie had a MTM with a large star PB&J, several small PB&J stars, cheese stars, apple stars, some yogurt with sprinkles and some of Isaac's puffs that were shaped liked stars.
This week, our shape of the week is stars (our theme is the sun), so I dug out my large star cookie cutter, my mini star cutter and a mini crescent moon cutter (to spice things up a bit). Today's MTM consisted of a large star turkey, cheese and hummus sandwich (he ate the WHOLE THING!), star and moon cucumbers (he tried them), star and moon cantaloupe pieces (ate almost all of them), blueberry yogurt (too full at lunch, so it became this afternoon's snack), one moon and one star brownie, and some goldfish (didn't want to give up any more of Isaac's puffs - they're expensive!).
It's been fun to come up with different foods to cut up and it's been nice using my cookie cutters for something other than sugar cookies! I can't wait to do a Halloween tin! I've been forcing myself to get creative and I'm enjoying it. Unfortunately, I was in a such a hurry to get lunch on the table for Chris and myself that I didn't get a chance to take any pictures today before Charlie started digging in (and it's too bad 'cause it was pretty cute!). I plan to with the next meal. :)