All Hail the Muffin Tin Meal

If you've got youngsters, you’re probably familiar with feeding fiascos. I've gotta say... I've been pretty lucky in that department... I cooked and pureed her baby food, taking extra care to make sure she was getting all the right foods - and she loved it. Yes, my road to becoming the perfect parent was being paved and I was awesome.
Naturally, I was dreading the terrible twos... Keeping my eyes open for those first signs of resistant, food-slinging tantrums. I waited with baited breath for those moments... But they didn't come. Boo-ya! Mom 1 - Kid 0! Again... I was bathing in Awesomeness.
I would sing this child's praises to everyone who could stomach to listen. I must be doing everything right... Those Moms who have picky eaters are surely filling them up with garbage and letting them eat whatever and whenever they pleased. (Shame on them) I have a gem and it's because I read all the books and did exactly as they said, right?
Early last fall, a couple of months before her third Birthday, we started getting "I don't wike supper!" and "I don't wike chicken"... And so on. Hmm, where was this coming from? She eats pretty much everything with a few exceptions. Strange - I didn't read THIS in any of the books... I haven't changed anything.  WTH? My record for mommy-hood perfection was becoming tarnished.
Then the supper-time battles ensued... with a vengeance. Hubby and I were at our wits end and no one was enjoying this time of day. (I was failing) It was a constant battle of the minds.  We used airplanes, trains, cars, ATV's... You name it and that vehicle was going into her mouth. It was horrible and I had no patience for it. My daughter was developing a mind of her own and fully exercising the little control that she had - Food. On second thought, maybe those bad parents I talked about before weren't so bad after all.
Then, one day I came across the muffin tin meal idea.
It was an A-Ha moment, to say the least and still works great when I think she'll be difficult during dinner. The concept is so simple - why didn't I think of this? Fill each cup (I use a 6 cup tin) with food - Duh. With my daughter, it wasn't that she didn't 'wike' the stuff, she just wanted a choice - Eating on her own terms. I'm not going to say this has solved all of our mealtime dilemmas.  It's definitely helped, but I'm not a miracle worker. There is still loads of room for improvement. (And I'm ok with that…now).
Not only did I learn to relieve some dinner stresses (most days)... But I've learned an important lesson myself: Being judgmental toward other parents is just plain wrong. Who am I to judge? Because doctor what’s his name wrote that book that says so and so, doesn't mean squat. The point is to raise happy, healthy children picking your battles along the way and using some common sense. I’m beginning to learn that raising children is not a contest; it’s a life learning experience with its fair share of bumps... and smiles. No two children are the same and no parent is perfect.
So...  give these MTM's a whirl if you've got kids. Even if your mealtimes are perfectly blissful, (Ha) it's kinda fun!

While I’m discussing other ways to use muffin tins, I’ll throw in a to-die-for recipe for oatmeal peanut butter banana muffins that I made last week. Definitely kid-approved and oh so delicious!

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Muffins:

1½ cups flour
1 cup rolled oats
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
2 tbsp. applesauce
¾ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
6 tbsp. peanut butter
1 cup smashed banana (aprox. 3 bananas)
1 cup plain Greek yogurt


Combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl and stir together with a fork to blend. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together applesauce, brown sugar, eggs, banana, peanut butter and yogurt until smooth. Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Fill muffin tins until ¾ full and bake at 350F for 18-20 minutes.
You can use peanut butter straight from the jar and top with a banana slice or use the following quick recipe: Mix together peanut butter and 4-5 tbsp. of icing sugar. With an electric mixer, beat on a high setting for 1-2 minutes. Add 1-2 tbsp. of milk to soften.


  1. I still have yet to try this idea. Now that my little one is about to turn 3 (this week), she is doing the exact same thing! Refusing things she used to love!

    Another great alternative I found was a cookbook by Jessica Seinfeld (yes, the Mrs. of Mr. Jerry himself) called "Deceptively Delicious". She uses a variety of vegetable purees in kid friendly dishes, so the wee ones don't even know their "junk food" is actually loaded with nutrients and really good for them! Grilled cheese made with butternut squash - whooda thunk it?!

    1. I have the second one she wrote called, "Double Delicious". Haven't tried anything in it yet... sounds like another idea for a blog post!

  2. What a great Muffin Tin idea Dawn! I'm filing that one away for when I babysit/ have kids of my own (one day!).

    I love blog surfing :) Lots of great helpful tips out there hey!?

    Love the recipe. Makes plain old banana bread look just that ... plain haha.

    Have a great week and LOVE your posts!


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