Easy Toddler Snack List

Yes, I made a list to remind myself just as much as to remind you, and yes, I’ll be updating it as I go. The ones that fit well in a GoBe Kids Snack Spinner (I recommend it!) are marked with a *.



Tomatoes, quartered or halved
Green Beans*
Spinach leaves, cut into shreds if under 9 months*


Grapes, quartered or halved
Apple, in slices*
Freeze Dried Fruit – we like the Kroger store brand, since it has no added sugar*


Rice puff crackers (we love Lundberg’s Thin Stackers for not being too gooshy)
Happy Baby Snackers (not ‘easy’ if your kiddo spits food out)*
Happy Baby Superfood Puffs (we call it ‘cereal’; not ‘easy’ if kiddo likes to spit out food)*


Cheese, cut into baby finger sized ‘sticks’*




Turkey and Black Bean Nachos

25-30 minutes prep & cook.


1 teaspoon vegetable or olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
16 oz canned seasoned refried black beans
1 4oz canned green chilies
1 4oz canned olives
1 large bag of tortilla chips
Shredded taco blend cheese, ~ 4 cups
Optional: Sour cream, avocado, cilantro


2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)


  1. Combine all of the spices together in a small bowl.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  3. Cook the ground turkey by heating oil on medium high heat until hot, then add the turkey and spices. As the meat cooks, use a spoon to break it up into crumbles.
  4. Cook for about 8 minutes until the meat has browned; if there’s a lot of fat, drain using a colander.
  5. While it’s cooking, arrange the tortilla chips in a single layer on a sheet pan, overlapping slightly.
  6. Add the refried beans, olives and green chilies to the turkey pan when cooked through. Mix and heat the mixture until the beans are smooth and warmed. Reduce the heat to low and keep the turkey-bean mixture warm while you prepare the chips.
  7. Toast the chips in the preheated oven for 5 minutes, or just until you begin to smell their aroma.
  8. Remove chips and top with half of the cheese (about 2 cups). Allow the heat from the chips to melt the cheese slightly, then top the chips with the meat and bean mixture.
  9. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the meat and return the pan to the oven for 5 minutes, or until the cheese has fully melted.
  10. Top with things like cilantro, avocado, sour cream, pico de gallo, etc. Serve hot!



Mexican Quinoa with Fried Egg

30-35 minutes prep & cook.


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium-sized onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic peeled and minced (or ~ 1 TBS minced garlic from a jar)
1 cup of quinoa rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 to 1 1/2 cups of frozen corn
1 can 15 oz diced tomatoes, with all their juices
1 cup water or vegetable broth
1 egg per person


2 small bell peppers chopped (or 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped)
3 pepper and onion blend frozen bag


½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 ripe avocado

A handful of pumpkin seeds
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. Press sauté and add 1 TBS oil to the Instant Pot.
  2. Once the oil is hot, add onion, peppers, 1 tsp cumin and ½ tsp coriander.
  3. Cook, stirring constantly, until onions are translucent, 3-4 minutes.
  4. Stir in 2 cloves garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  5. Add in quinoa, black beans, corn, tomatoes, and ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Give it a stir.
  6. Pour in the liquid, secure the lid, move the steam release valve to the sealing position.
  7. Select Manual/Pressure Cook to cook on high for 1 minute for white quinoa, 3 for multi.
  8. When the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure naturally release for 8-10 minutes.
  9. Cut avocado, cilantro, etc
  10. Fry eggs two minutes before pressure release.
  11. Release remaining pressure, stir, and serve with garnish of choice: cilantro, avocado, pumpkin seeds, pickled onion or radish.


Be Kind to Your Future Self: Cut out minor annoyance

Written for eMoods with love



Feel free to laugh, but my biggest, baddest minor annoyance is that I really hate loading soaking dirty dishes into the diswasher. Seriously, I get ~10 seconds of grossed out irritation even just seeing one in the sink. Dumping the grody water and/or fishing out slimy silverware? Uuuugh. It’s the epitome of minor annoyance.


While the reason is undeniably laughable in my case, the cumulative cost of minor annoyance–especially for those of us with mental health struggles–is surprisingly high. As every good cognitive behavioral therapist will tell you, revisiting the same negativity again and again is a bad thing, be it emotion, memory, or behavior. When you hike a path numerous times, it becomes easier and more familiar. This is how it works in the brain, too. The neural path of your thoughts and emotions get solidified with each “use.” 


This is why repeat annoyance is a Problem with a capital P.  You don’t want being annoyed to become easy and familiar. Even though the word ‘annoyance’ makes whatever it is seem insignificant, the adage ‘death by a thousand paper cuts’ is wholly appropriate here. Repeat annoyances really add up, and their cumulative cost packs a disproportionately heavy punch to one’s mental health. 


What’s the cumulative cost? What’s worse than getting annoyed in the first place? The fact that each time you get annoyed it gets easier to get annoyed in the future, and it gets harder to shake the feeling of annoyance. That’s the cumulative cost, and it’s too dang high.


Let’s say I visit a soaking-dish-riddled sink 30 times a day (seems like a lowball these days, given three cats and a baby) and I’m annoyed for about 10 seconds each time. Cumulatively that’s 5 whole minutes of negative emotion over the course of a day. That’s a stupid amount of time to be irked, especially when I can do a little bit of work up front to combat it.


That’s my take away: Annoyance is unavoidable, but repeat annoyances can usually be tackled with a bit of front loaded Kindess to Your Future Self, and you should do it because you don’t want being annoyed to become easy and familiar. 


In my case, how does my time spent annoyed change if I just put the darned dish into the dishwater when I see it? It’s maybe 15 seconds of work, 20 more seconds of annoyance, and then I’m done with it for the rest of the day. Compare 5 minutes of ‘ugh’ across 30 instances of annoyed neural trench-making to 1-3 times and freedom to forget (depending on how long the dish has to soak or if there are a couple of dishes throughout the day). The math makes the cost benefit ratio obvious; it’s ultimately worth it to do a little kindness for your future self. 


That’s it. That’s the bottom line. Take a look at your daily life, find what your soaking dish is, then Be Kind to your Future Self and put the dish away. Do it for a day, even if you’re skeptical. At the end of the day, reflect how often you aren’t annoyed by addressing it early. 


It’s rarely easy to buckle down and ‘grit it done’, but the quality of life improvement can be huge. Ironically, in the same way that repeatedly getting annoyed makes it easier to get annoyed, practicing good habits makes them easier to do, so challenge yourself to see how long your streak will be, or try to break your last high score (this is legitimately how I have to do it).


Try it for me, then do it for yourself. Good luck.

Little Quack Counts


Ages 1+. Written by Lauren Thompson, Illustrated by Derek Anderson.

4 Stars: Story Driven Counting book

A breath of fresh air after a billion one-a-page ‘2 fuzzy lumpkins, 1 swaddled grue’ picture books, this one tells a story with its counting. It also goes from 1 to 5 and then counts backwards back to 1. Despite the 1+ age listing, my little enjoyed this one at 10 months.


Gender Diversity

I’m pretty sure Little Quack’s sister Widdle, who accompanies Little Quack, is supposed to be a female duckling. Maybe it’s the flower behind an ear.

Solid Moral

If you’re in trouble, find a trusted adult! Always a good lesson to impart.

(Almost) Easy focus ARt

About every other page has clearcut art design so your little can see exactly what you’re counting and point along.

Buy it on Amazon now!

My little loves the beeeeeees.


Baby Food / Comiendo Con Bebé


Ages 0+. Written by Stefanie Paige Wieder; images from various Shutterstock artists

5 Stars: Cute, Bright, and rhythmic

My little one LOVES this book because of its high contrast design and recognizable photos, and you’ll appreciate the subtle pleasing design of its pages, the naturally rhythmic read and its adorable, diverse photographs of eating babs and their families!


Bilingual English / Spanish

Anything that lets me expose my kiddo to another language without making me feel utterly lost and confused gets a +1 in my book!

Diverse Photos

The selected photos are a good representation of our planet’s human populace, and they’re cure examples of bottles, sippies, bowls and finger foods!

Bright, Bold High Contrast Colour Choices

Not all art is created equal. This book is aesthetically pleasing! 

Buy it on Amazon now!

Seriously, admire the color choices.


Puppy Dog! Puppy Dog! What Can You See?


Ages 0+. Written by Amelia Hepworth, Illustrated by Pintachan.

4 Stars: A Fun Addition for Lift The Flap Enthusiasts

Not just a Brown Bear, Brown Bear knockoff; this little gem makes it easy to feign enthusiasm for the billionth time when reading it to your little.  Its hefty flaps feature well designed art to hint at who’s behind each flap, building story anticipation.


‘Surprise’ ending

Your little reader’s smile when they lift the final flap to see their own face (and yours, too) is sooo satisfying.

Sturdy construction

If your little one normally shreds lift the flap books, this may be the book for you. It’s well designed to keep the flaps in place, though at the cost of number of pages.

Bright, Artistic Colour Choices

Not all art is created equal. This book is aesthetically pleasing! 

Buy it on Amazon now!

Plus, it’s got a tortoise. That’s cool.


Peacock’s Rainbow Feathers

Book cover for Peacocks Rainbow Feathers


Ages 0+. Written by Lila Mitzie, Illustrated by Suzanne Herbert.

5 Stars: Must Have for Every Youngster’s Library

Petey the Peacock breaks gender stereotype with his careful consideration on what feather will best suit each of his critter friends*. This short and sweet book is colourful, fun to read, great for grabby hands, and has a good moral to boot.


Gender Bias BUSTED

I love this book for having an explicitly female character (Rosie rabbit), a character with an gender neutral name (Nell the turtle!) and two ungendered characters, Mouse and Little Skunk. 

Rhythmic Read

Good rhymes with an easy reading rhythm.

Great Sensory Options

5 unique sensory patches of good quality! The patterned turtle shell is my favorite, my little’s favorite are the sequins on the cover.

Buy it on Amazon now!

*Peacock tail feathers grow back in about 7 months, it’s OK.