Thursday, June 2, 2011

Feeding Babies

My girls can eat! I jotted down what they ate one day, several months back...I think it was around 12 months...when I was especially astounded at how much they ate. These are approximate amounts by the way. I don't measure their if I have the time!
  • 1 sippy cup of milk
  • 1 1/2 cups of rice, oatmeal, millet breakfast cereal with Brewer's Yeast and an egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup of whole wheat pasta noodles
  • 1/2 cup of dry cheerios
  • 1/2 cup of spinach and chicken (with lemon and olive oil)
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 a whole wheat oatmeal apple pancake
  • 1 teething biscuit
  • 3 large slices of mozzarella cheese
  • 3 crackers with wheat germ
That is not how much both of them ate together, but they BOTH ate that much. I can safely say I have eaten no where that much today, lol. People comment a lot on what good eater the girls are. I say it's just like anything else you have to teach them to eat well. I read somewhere that can take as many at 15 "introductions" to a new food before the pallet can acclimate to it, so that gave me the courage to keep trying. I also remembered reading this quote from Living More with Less (a book well worth buying) "Children don't like vegetables? No, I never heard of that in my country! -Taiwanese nutrition student". I think to great extent children can be taught to be good eaters, it isn't genetic. I don't think little Indian kids eat curry just because they are Indian, but because that's what their parents cook. A friend told me that her child would only eat macaroni and cheese and pizza, all I could think was well I guess he would starve at my house, cause we pretty much never have those foods.Also I've developed two personal policy when it comes to food. One, you don't have to eat it but I'm not giving you anything else. One of the girls decided she didn't like peas, but pureed peas were for dinner and she was hungry. She would cry and cry, and then take a bite and cry again because she didn't like it. So I told her she didn't have to eat it and put her down from the table. And same thing again, cried for food, and when I would give her a bite refuse to eat. She wouldn't stop her hissy fit and wouldn't eat so I put her in her bed and told her she could come out when she would act nice (I know, I know I am SO mean). So she stopped crying and I got her back out, but knew she was till hungry, so I offered her another bite, and low and behold she ate the whole thing and was happy about it. She's never given me a problem about peas since, though I can tell they are not her favorite food. It's hard, but it pays off to stick to your guns. I don't purposefully make things I know the girls don't like to eat. I like for eating to be a pleasant experience for all of us. Two, I will only force one bite. The girls had been eating pureed banana for quite a while, and finally where old enough to eat it whole, but one of the girls decided she didn't like that weird looking stuff. I literally had to squeeze her mouth open and shove a bite it, and she fought me all the way down, and as soon as it was in her mouth went, "OH! That's what that is? Oh, that's yummy!
I wanted to share some of my favorite resources for ideas on feeding babies and toddlers:Baby Bjorn Bibs- The Man says he would have paid three times what these sell for. I used an old fashioned bib one time with the girls, and never did it again. The biggest reason was they couldn't shove these into their mouths. But overall they are are great (as you can see, I used them as feed bags on a particularly stressful day) and you just wipe them down or throw them in the dishwasher. This and the book listed below are now my go-to baby shower gifts.
Super Baby Food- Great resource, I would highly recommend getting your own copy. It has great ideas for foods I wouldn't have thought of, for grinding your own rice cereal in a bender (cheaper and healthier) to laying out what food to introduce when. I disagree with the author's in two areas. She recommends an all vegetarian diet, and all her recommendations are noticeably lacking in fat. We all need good fat's in our diet. Our brain is made of fat, and there is a whole spectrum of vitamins that your body cannot absorb without fat in your diet. Good fats to consider adding (depending on age) are coconut oil, olive oil, cod liver oil, and butter. There are lots of good websites with information similar to this book, but sometimes you really need to have a good book reference.
How to Eat- This is by the British TV cook Nigella Lawson. There is lots of good general cooking advice in this book, but at the back there is a section on "Feeding Babies" and it has a lot of good balanced advice about feeding your kids food that tastes good. It was here that I got the idea to add pesto to some of our bland rice or pasta dishes, and the girls love it and so do I. She gave me the courage to starting feeding the girls food with flavor.
Weelicious- This is a great website with lots of idea. I skim this site whenever planning meals for a little inspiration. There are recipes that cater to kids of all ages. One of our favorites here is the white bean basil hummus. We found it works well in place of mayo (if you happen to be out) in tuna salad too.
Please chime in with any ideas or resources you have found useful...if you happen to be feeding babies. Blessings!c

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