Cooking for toddlers is often challenging, especially if you have a picky eater or a toddler who always wants your full attention as soon as you walk into the kitchen. You know the ways goes – as soon as you put a pot on the stove, your toddler permanently attaches to your leg or tirelessly tugs on your arm, demanding you play with him, look at his picture, give him a snack, or maybe all three! While meatloaf takes a while to cook, prep time is quick -- plus your little one can even lend a hand. You can also pick and choose ingredients for your meatloaf, so if you have a picky eater, adapting the recipe for his particular taste will result in more food in his stomach and less going to the dog.
Add ground meat, oatmeal and eggs to a large bowl. Forget the mixing spoon and prepare to get messy. Ground meat mixes best with other ingredients when you use your hands, so roll up your sleeves and start mixing. If your toddler likes to get messy, too, have her wash her hands and help – she'll probably love squeezing the mixture between her fingers.
Toss in a handful or two of your little one's favorite vegetables, like peas, grated carrots or zucchini, chopped green beans and corn -- or use a partial package of mixed vegetables. Mixed vegetables will add color and texture to the meatloaf and provide a balanced meal. You can also try adding a few of those vegetables that your child refuses to eat – because meatloaf makes them more fun.
Lightly oil a loaf pan to help prevent the meatloaf from sticking. For a traditional meatloaf, press the meat into the loaf pan, bake it for 50 to 55 minutes at 350 degrees. Allow it to cool before slicing and serving.