FOOD

While I’ve got a couple of other topics rattling around in my head, they’re going to need more time to become somewhat coherent… But while they are a-cookin’, I figured I’d go with this topic – FOOD! Namely, Meeka’s food.

 

We’re lucky. Meeka LOVES food. ALL food. While she didn’t take to green beans the first time she tried them, she was OK with them the second time, and gobbled them up after that. Everything else? She’s loving from the first taste she gets!

Well, OK. The second. She does this adorable thing where the first bite of whatever she’s eating that meal – no matter what it is, no matter how many times she’s had it before? She takes a bite, wrinkles her nose, and looks disgusted. Then she chews, swallows, reconsiders, and demands MORE! And proceeds to gobble it all up 🙂

Now, I make all of the food she eats (though I’d be lying if I said she hadn’t sampled some jarred stuff – because she has. All four or so jars of it). Mostly this is because it’s cheap and easy, and lets me have fun with what she’s eating ; and some of it is because some of those jars of baby food are so damn disgusting looking and smelling, I can’t stomach the thought of trying to feed them to her – just the smell makes me nauseous, so why would I feed them to my baby?!?! (Some, however, look and taste great. And I know this because I ate some of it through college – mixed fruit purees that are basically fancy applesauce? YUM! … And no, it’s not that I was never weaned from baby food, sheesh! It’s that some of the fruits looked so appetizing when I was wasting time wandering the grocery store in college – damn, I could use some of that free time back now, please! – I’d pick a jar or two up as a snack. And yup, it was tasty!)

My problem right now is coming up with age-and-developmentally appropriate new additions to her diet… So I’m throwing this out there, to see if some of you have any good ideas!

So far, she eats:

Veggies – peas (whole and puree), green beans (puree), carrots (puree and cooked+cut), squash (puree and cooked+cut), sweet potato (puree- one of her favorites!), real potato (cooked+cut), red and yellow pepper (diced into tiny pieces), spinach (puree)

Fruits – applesauce, bananas (puree and cut), avocados (puree and cut), apricots (puree), mangos (puree and cut), pears (puree and cut), plums (puree) … basically what I can get easily here, so mostly what’s in season

Grains – rice, pasta (cut), whole wheat toast (cut), waffles/pancakes (cut)

Dairy – yogurt, cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese

Protein – black beans, refried beans, tofu, egg yolks … Now, I am a vegetarian so we don’t have much meat in the house, but my husband is not – so she’s sampled a tiny bit of chicken and a tiny bit of turkey. Oh, and she’s had some of my homemade falafel, so add chickpeas in there, too!

Now, I may be missing a few things, but that’s roughly it, I think…

To give you an idea of a typical eating-day for her, yesterday she ate: breastmilk, duh! and also – breakfast: a mix of banana and ricotta cheese (which she fed to herself) with some cheerios ; in daycare – cottage cheese, sweet potato + green beans (mixed together, puree) ; dinner – black beans, tofu chunks, pasta with parmesan cheese, peas (which she fed herself) … usually there is a fruit mix in daycare, but I’d run out yesterday – typically it would be a chunky puree of something like applesauce-banana-plum or mango-apricot-pear or whatever variety I had in stock…

Now, I think this little girl is eating pretty well – and with some decent variety, too! Each day we do a breakfast with some fruit and toast or cheerios ; she gets fruits and veggies for lunch/at daycare ; and dinner always has a protein, usually a grain, and also usually a veggie. My problem is – she’s such a good – and adventurous! – eater, and I want to encourage this… but I’m running out of ideas!

So – anyone have any suggestions (that are relatively easy to make) ????

Meeka would really love to hear all about the new yummy things that she’ll soon be tasting!

Also… since we’re on the food topic … anyone have a baby who refused sippy cups? If so, any advice on how you got them to take to them? My current strategy is to shrug, put them away for awhile, and we’ll try again in a bit when she might be ready. But if anyone has another suggestion, let me know!

 

 

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  1. 2012/03/22 at 10:05 am

    After a while, we just started feeding the kids whatever we ate, just chopped up real small and modified slightly (nothing too spicy, for example). We also made some great whole-meal purees using recipes from Annabel Karmel’s website and books. There was one made with salmon and OJ and cheese and apples maybe? Think it’s on my site, but anyhow, I swear it tasted so good you could have put it on crackers for appetizers at a party! There was another one with chicken as well. They were great b/c I could send them to our sitter’s and not have too much confusion/mess for her. You might also try quiche since it has such good egg proteins and veggies and it’s soft. My kids love quiche.

    As for sippy cups, my daughter hated sippy cups until we found the right one – we got the Nuby brand cups (they are BPA free) and you bite down a bit on the mouth piece to get the liquid out rather than sucking really really hard like you have to do with some of the spill-free sippies. Those worked for us, but who knows!

    • 2012/03/22 at 11:10 am

      Thanks! I’ve started to do the feed-her-what-I’m-eating thing (hence the chopped up pasta last night … and the “baby burritos” she got the night before) which works most nights, depending on what we’re eating… And I am going RIGHT NOW to look up your recommended website/cookbooks! 😉

      Thanks also for the sippy cup recs – I don’t think we’ve tried this one yet (we’ve been through like 4-5 types thus far, all rejected… which we also did for bottles, OY this baby! Not picky for food, but liquids? YES!)

  2. 2012/03/22 at 2:18 pm

    Meeka has a really well rounded diet! I WISH I could get AM to eat rice and black beans. She seems to eat just about everything else you listed with a few exceptions because I just haven’t tried making it.

    When you say Meeka feeds herself, is it by hand or is she using utensils? I really need to get AM to start using utensils.

    And I did the same approach as you with sippy cups. If she didn’t take to it, I just tried another time. She uses just about any sippy cup now but her favorite seems to be a Playtex type of sippy cup. When it seemed to hard for her to suck the water out, I actually removed the plastic insert. It was messy at first but it got her to understand that water comes out of that spout.

    I might have to e-mail YOU for food suggestions. You have a much better selection of food for Meeka. I feel like I cycle through the same foods over and over again.

    • 2012/03/23 at 8:58 am

      By “feeds herself” I totally mean hands… we’re a LONG ways away from utensils (unless I feel like playing a good game of “fetch-the-spoon-from-the-floor-a-million-times” and also don’t care if any of the food actually makes it into her mouth… which, yes, we do OCCASIONALLY. But in general? It’s hands!)

      I may try the removal of the plastic insert on the cups… she’s already a mess when eating, the water can’t do anything but help wash it away, right? 😉

  3. 2012/03/22 at 6:42 pm

    Sounds like you have a good eater! Around M’s age we started as jesser mentioned, giving her a bit of whatever we are eating. We’re the same as your family, I’m a vegetarian but my husband isnt’, but we are going vegetarian for V so we omit whatever Dave is eating. We do actully include spicy food, just let her have a taste and see. She eats Thai and Indian curry, not heaps of it, but really does it it and does fine! Only suggestion I might add is lentil soup? I make it with any veggies about to go off and any canned veggies we have, and she always loves it (plus we both eat it too!)…it’s nice to get to the point where you don’t have to make seperate meals anymore for baby! At about 9 months V ended purees altogether, except for those Ella’s/Plum Organics pouches which we still use, she sucks them down when we’re on the go or as a healthy snack.

    As for sippy cups, we had a Nuby at everyone’s rec but V never took to it. Instead we skipped straight to the kind that have straws and that worked much better!

    • 2012/03/23 at 9:04 am

      Can I ask why you decided to keep her vegetarian? My reasons for giving Meeka meats, even though I don’t eat them, is because I want her to be able to make her own choices with food, and not feel like I’ve imposed mine… I don’t want her to be like the girl I went to highschool with who’s family was vegetarian, so she’d never eaten meat until one day she snuck out to McDonald’s and gorged herself sick on hamburgers… So, I figure, let her eat meat now (it’s good protein, etc etc) and if/when she says she doesn’t want it any more, that’s fine by me too! So, I’m just curious (and it truly is simple curiosity, no judgement) why you decided what you did?

      And I love hearing that you feed her spicy food – that’s what’s been holding me back sometimes from feeding her what we eat (lots of it is spicy, lots of curries, etc around here!) – but I now I’m inspired to try her with some of it! 🙂

      (As for the purees, she doesn’t eat them at home with me in general, but I send them to daycare just because I’m paranoid that they have so many more kids to watch and so can’t be as careful with watching for choking… Now, I LOVE my daycare, don’t get me wrong – and they are AWESOME with the kids… so this is paranoia coming from nowhere, but still. Purees for there for a bit longer, til I get over this fear…)

      • 2012/03/24 at 12:15 am

        You certainly can ask! I have had your line of reasoning suggested to me before, and I get it but for me it just doesn’t work. We make TONS of choices for our children all the time without their consent. Most of the time, we make those because we believe the choice we are making is in their best interest/best for their health.

        My husband isn’t a vegetarian, but I call him an ‘aspiring vegetarian’ because he is constantly cutting back on meat in order to use the ‘budget’ we set aside for meat on more sustainable/humane choices. When Vesper is older and can understand the reasons why I don’t eat meat, she will be allowed to make her own choice. But as of now I prepare 99% of her meals (and I don’t prepare meat for my husband…we make our menu for the week and any meals he wants to add meat to we plan accordingly and he does that himself) and she eats what I believe is most healthy for her, with room for indulgences of course. We have a book called ‘This is why we don’t eat animals’ and though she is still too young to understand it, she does recognize animals and for me that is all a part of the process.

        To my mind, feeding my child a vegetarian diet is no more ‘imposing’ a diet on her than giving her meat with a meal. The North American mindset is that meat is a kind of essential thing or even a treat, but from a nutritional perspective that is untrue. If I set a plate of beans next to a plate of chicken in front of her, she’d probably try both. But that’s also true if I set a glass of juice or a glass of wine. Or an apple or a donut. And yet we make judgement calls on that kind of thing all the time! I choose this diet for ethical and nutritional reasons, and like with most things we hope our kids and ‘do better’ than us and learn without all the complicated middle steps. So I’m offering this to her as the ‘normal’ way of life, complete with explanations when appropriate, and that way she is clear on my values.

        That being said, I don’t live in a vacuum and I realize she will experiment with things outside of our family norms, meat probably being the least of my worries someday! 🙂 I don’t plan to scold her or judge her on that, but I plan to hold up my standard in our house so she knows what we consider a baseline!

        Sorry for the novel!

  4. 2012/03/27 at 12:59 pm

    Thanks for the great answer! I love your argument/thought process about “imposing” a diet on our children … and I wholeheartedly agree, even though I am making essentially the opposite choice on this issue (i.e. feeding her meat occasionally)! Of course, my vegetarianism comes from a slightly different place than most (I became one at the age of 8 when I refused all meat, because I hate the taste. These days, environment and nutrition do also factor in, but the initial choice was simply because I loathe the taste of meat, weird as that might make me), and that influences my decision – I figure my little mini-me will likely have just as strong a preferences as I did as a child, and so I want to expose her to all (healthy!) options now, and then let her settle on what she wants (within reason). Of course, since I, too, do all the cooking – her meat eating is very occasional (like, once every two weeks or so)!

    And yes, if deciding to eat meat some day is the extent of childhood rebellion, lucky you! 🙂

  1. 2012/03/27 at 11:10 am

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