Thursday, February 25, 2010

Food Rant

Maggie started on solid foods around 5 months of age....and was an excellent eater, always willing to try new things, and ate everything I put in front of her........until recently. What she likes one day, she may throw off her tray the next. I can't get her to eat meat consistently (i don't think she likes the texture), and forget anything green (unless they are peas). I feel like a horrible and lazy mom, because I am feeding her the same things over and over again. I try to avoid overdoing the grains...which would be easy to do, because babies seem to like crackers and I'm left with fruit, veggies, and dairy products as my options (since I can't get her to eat meat). Staples in her diet are...
-Organic whole milk, plain yogurt with some sort of berry
-cottage cheese
-sweet potatoes
-apples...............okay, ANY fruit, she loves
-kidney and black beans
-- sometimes she'll eat PBJ

When I write it out as a list, it seems like it's not much. I know she goes through phases where she doesn't want to eat much at all (due to teething), but I can't help but feel like I am slacking as a mother because I don't provide her with more variety, and I don't push veggies and meat more. Don't get me wrong, she's growing and gaining weight beautifully...I just don't want her to not be properly nourished.

What makes me feel even worse about myself as personal chef to Maggie, is that I KNOW what good, nourishing options are for babies (I'm Thrifty Oreganic's sister) yet, I have no energy in the kitchen to soak things, and boil bones, and culture products---believe me, I wish I did! Maybe one day I'll be more inspired....but for now, I avoid spending any more time in the kitchen than is already necessary to feed my family 3 meals a day. I hate that I feel this way....maybe my priorities will change.

What have you other moms experienced when it comes to feeding a toddler?


Xenia Kathryn said...

All I know is that you never know what they'll like, even as picky as they may seem.

Starting when my kids were pretty small (old enough to feed themselves and poke and experiment with new foods), I like to dab a little of what we're eating on their tray and see how it goes. If they hate it, then oh well. Sometimes I'm surprised, though, and they'll ask for more! To this day, Vasi still is a huge fan of hummus and shrimp, which I discovered when she was pretty small.

By no means are either of my girls great, unprejudiced eaters... as you saw when we visited!

Kids are picky, picky, picky, but as long as your giving it a shot and trying to introduce (and re-introduce, and re-introduc AGAIN) them to new tastes and textures, eventually they'll come around.

It helps if, when introducing new foods, you have something familiar and appealing on their plate, too... like peas or fruit or something. I hate to admit it, but kethcup helped us a lot with certain things like meat and eggs.

Smoothies with spinach and lots of yummy berries, yogurt and natural sweetener... throw in some coconut oil (and, if you're brave, some raw egg) and you've practically got a meal in the blender!

Welcome to the world of toddlerhood! :D Oh, the ebbs and flows...!!

Christina said...

Katie said it all...and very well, too:)

Iconography Girl said...

I think X.K. is right on (especially with smoothies! if you blend it, they will drink it!) with the practical advice, so I'll go philosophic on you :)

One of the biggest things I am constantly trying learn is that I can't compare myself to other moms or I go nuts. I know SO MANY who are much more with it when it comes to feeding their families (like the two who already commented and your other sister :) ). You learn from them and do what you can, but you can't beat yourself up for not being THAT mother. Especially with your first born - I don't know anyone who didn't worry they were shortchanging the nutrition for their first born child. But kids won't let themselves starve :)

Incorporate what ideas and suggestions work for you and yours, make peace with the things you can't or maybe honestly don't want to do right now, and enjoy your time OUT OF KITCHEN with your little one and your DH. At some point you sit around with other moms admiring their strengths and you learn you have your own that others admire. Sometimes we need our friends to point them out to us because we only see what we need to improve upon in our own lives. Shoot for balance, not perfection.

Mimi said...

I also agree with all of the advice given, so I'll just give you a hug.

Christina said...

i will just point out that my kids are a little strange... they HATE smoothies. they don't even like milkshakes! I don't know if that means anything... i do know that every child is very different:)

Iconography Girl said...

Christina's last comment reminded of something (not saying this is necessarily why P&P don't like smoothies): some kids have real "texture" issues or even swallowing issues that make certain food really difficult to eat. Often they grow out of them. Weird example: our oldest couldn't drink room temperature water. He choked and gagged whenever we gave it to him. A fried who had professional experience working with food/small children pointed out that something like room temp. water doesn't have enough information to tell the mouth there is anything there: no taste, no temperature difference, no texture. We spiked his water with a dash of juice and it was enough for him to swallow.

So if you introducing a food and they don't seem to like it, you might try changing the temperature, texture, or consistency and see if that makes a difference, especially if you notice a pattern in the foods they like...

Iconography Girl said...

(sorry for all the typos -- they seem to get worse when I am pregnant....swollen fingers!??!)

Organic and Thrifty said...


I echo all the comments here. You remember what Kirsten ate at Mags' age? Veggie Booty and scrambled eggs. That was it!

I like the idea of a tray of different foods...finger foods. Raw Cheese chuncks, avocados, berries...

Smoothies are a great idea as well.

Have you tried making a blend of like salmon or sardines with sour cream and herbs? You could spread something like this on a healthy "Mary's Gone Crackers" cracker... The meat "purees" with cream tend to be a nice texture for kids.

Soups are a big hit.

Soon Maggie will be able to "help" you cook, and she'll be more interested in trying what you make!

Remember, with babies it's not meat or veggies that's most important, but good fats. Coconut milk, oil, avocados, grassfed butter....if you can get the good fats in there that's what matters most!

Veggies are great too, but babies cannot even convert the carotenes into usable vitamins until they are about 4 or 5, so they might as well get their vitamins from good quality fats. Don't forget the Cod Liver Oil!

Love you oodles, and don't beat yourself up!


Chelsy said...

Sounds like you've gotten some good tips already. I just wanted to let you know that it is so common at this age! Your list looks pretty good even if it feels short. Offer different foods in different ways every once in a while and over time you're notice a change. We used the ketchup idea too. Caitlin would only eat eggs with ketchup and now she will often eat them without. My favorite veggie trick is to add chopped spinach to lots of things - soups, casseroles, spaghetti, even quesadillas. It cooks down to almost nothing but is packed with nutrients. Hang in there! I know how you feel... it will get better!