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Too Old for Comfort? (Recipe – Diner Meat Loaf Muffins)

I’m coming to you all, once again, for parenting advice. You’ve supported me through my experience with Postpartum Depression. You’ve offered advice when I was Parenting with a Heavy Heart. You have even stepped up when things got serious around here… remember the controversy surrounding hand-me-down undies? :) Now, I am looking to you all to help me with Blanket and Talktus.

Blanket and Talktus… my 8 year olds “comfort” items. The blanket I made for Jacob was the first quilt I had ever sewn (and those of you who know me know that the words Kristen and sewing do not typically go hand in hand) . Talktus is a sweet little stuffed dog Jacob grew attached to soon after his 1st birthday. My children never sucked their thumbs. They never used pacifiers. Instead, all 4 of them have attached themselves to a special blanket or stuffed animal. In Jacob’s case, he dearly loves one of each.

Jacob does not take his blanket anywhere with him, except when we go out of town to relatives houses for a weekend. Both blanket and Talktus are simply there to provide comfort to him when he sleeps. He’s never really dragged them around everywhere, but if they are missing when bedtime hits, he can’t, or will not, go to sleep.

Jacob is now 8. 8 years old and still sleeps with his stuffed animal and blanket. He’s had a couple of sleep overs, and much to my relief, the boys have brought their own stuffed animals as well. So, my parenting question of the moment… at what age should you try to wean your kid off of their nighttime comfort items? At what age are you too old for comfort? Jacob does not at all seem like he has any interest in giving them up. Right now, it doesn’t seem to be hurting anything, but I know a day will come when he will be made to feel embarrassed for still sleeping with a blanket and stuffed dog. I would love to hear your opinions on this one!

Speaking of comfort.. how about comfort food? As much as meat loaf happens to not be one of my favorite things, it always makes me think of home. I don’t even remember mom making meatloaf all that often, but for some reason eating it today still transports me back to the dinner table

This recipe for Diner Meat Loaf Muffins from Cooking Light is just about one of the best meat loaf variations I’ve tried. I substituted Panko Breadcrumbs for the crackers, but that was the only change I made. I hope you enjoy and I hope, no matter what your age, it makes you think back to home… a place where you were never too old for comfort.

Diner Meat Loaf Muffins (from Cooking Light)

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup ketchup, divided
1 1/2 pounds ground beef, extra lean (raw)
1 cup finely crushed fat-free saltine crackers (about 20)
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, chopped carrot, dried oregano, and minced garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Cool.

Combine onion mixture, 1/2 cup ketchup, and the remaining ingredients except cooking spray in a large bowl.

Spoon the meat mixture into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Top each with 2 teaspoons ketchup. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160°. Let stand for 5 minutes.
CALORIES 276 (28% from fat); FAT 8.6g (sat 3g,mono 4g,poly 0.8g); IRON 3.9mg; CHOLESTEROL 131mg; CALCIUM 48mg; CARBOHYDRATE 21.7g; SODIUM 759mg; PROTEIN 28.7g; FIBER 1.8g

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Comments

  1. Hello,

    I am a 33 yo mother of 2 little boys and I STILL sleep with my baby blanket and I think it is perfectly fine. My oldest son (5) has a blanket and my little one (19 mo) isn’t attached to anything. I really feel that having a comfort item to sleep with is just that… and nothing to cause concern.

    Take Care and I love your blog!

  2. My daughter who is 10 1/2 has always had a blanket she calls mimi.. pretty ragged and beat up.. but it is still in bed with her at night…
    she has over the last year taken it to kids houses and sleepovers always in a bag or something..I think just taking it and knowing it was with her was comforting… although I don’t think she always took it out when she was at someones house… I think it was her comfort item… nothing to worry about they will figure it out!

    Your the best! Love your blog..

  3. Such interesting answers. Thanks for this question, Kirsten. As a young mama, I have definitely wondered if my 4yo’s Doggie is going to be around for a while. (because it looks like he is!)

    Neither of my boys had pacifiers, and only attached themselves to items after being weened. It makes, sense, right?

    Yay for comfort!!

  4. I don’t know if this makes me an odd duck, but I slept with my blanket (my mother made it for me when I was born) until I was 19 or 20 years old, even taking it to college with me. I still have it tucked away with my other nostaglic items and photo albums.

    My parents weaned me to the point of leaving it home for sleepovers and such though. I think it will just happen naturally when he’s ready to set them down. It just happens at different stages for different kids.

  5. Let him have his comfort as long as he likes! My son hikes the Appalachian Trail, mountain bikes, snowboards, and rides a fixed-gear bike…all boy. He had his blanket and stuffed monkey for a long, long time! And most of his friends had their own versions of comfort that they slept with. You’re never too old for comfort! (we have them put away for his children!)

  6. I strongly agree with most of the parents on this site; let Jacob keep Talktus and the blankie for as long as he needs; I’m seventeen, and I still sleep with my blanket, and the stuffed rabbit I’ve had since I was five… and I suck my thumb too. Please don’t worry about it; your son will outgrow it in good time, and if he doesn’t… well, what’s the harm? Who’s he hurting? If ever I have kids, I can only hope that they’ll have attachment objects like that.

  7. hi, I have two girls, 25 and 27. They latched on to home made quilts when they were younger. I never worried about it. They didnt have to take them everwhere they went. but wanted them at bed time. They are both well developed, and use the blankets on their laps when watching tv. lol.

    I am now a quilter and my oldest asked me to make her daughter a blanket. It came out wonderful. I only hope it becomes her favorite. Where the blanket Jacob is sleeping with is the first quilt you made. It might be extra special to him. I already told you how I handled it. Oh when ever the girls were asked about their blankets, they replied that the blanket had been made specially for them. Good luck. Keri

  8. christine davis says:

    I didn’t even stop to read what others posted on this. My daughter had a blanket she was attached to. It was with her well into her 20′s. I find absolutely nothing wrong with some comforting when crawling into bed at night. We all do it. We all have a comforter that we crawl under, that special pillow that cradles our head just perfectly. Our favorite PJ’s. Those sheets that we love more than others. My daughter eventually looked at the blanket and said well, it’s pretty beat up and frayed and I’m afraid if I wash it one more time, there will be nothing left. So she cut it into squares and sealed it in a ziploc baggie. I say whatever makes you happy, that’s the key to life. It’s short and there are many awful things that happen to people. Enjoy it!!

  9. We are never too old to need comfort. There is ab-so-lute-ly nothing wrong with your son needing some. He will ween himself when HE is ready. There is no need to rush adulthood – its not as much fun as being a kid.
    My sons both still have the afghans I made them when they were youngsters – very shabby & holey – but it gives them happy memories when they see it. I’ve offered to make new ones, but they say it wouldn’t be the same. They are 35 & 39.
    Let your son hold fast to the feeling of love when hes away from home.

    BTW: these mini-meatloaves are perfect. They’d make good appetisers. And are perfect for packing in a lunch bag. Thank you.

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