I consider Little M a pretty good eater. We did BLW with him starting at 6 months. I followed his lead, paying attention to how he slept at night and when he was interested in eating. He ate one large meal of solids a day at breakfast and breastfed for the rest of the day until he was 11 months old, when we moved to two meals (second meal was a yogurt at lunch) and then eventually three meals at ~14 months. I tried to offer him lots of flavors, textures, and heat - he likes spicy - during his early meals. Even though his meal was in the morning, it was rarely "breakfast" foods! Little M has been eating three meals a day for a while, which means his breakfasts are more "breakfasty" now. But it's still his biggest meal so I try to introduce new things to him then and do my best to focus on veggies in the morning. Except when mummy's craving waffles, of course!
Here's a look at what Little M ate today. It's a pretty typical day for him.
smoothie, fruit & omelet
We started the day by making a smoothie together, which I've been making once a week lately. He used to drink smoothies every day when he was younger (one recipe would last two days), but he's pretty good about eating veggies and seemed to be getting bored with smoothies, so I've cut back. While I made the smoothie he ate some blueberries. He asked for some of the banana and strawberries intended for the smoothie too.
Today's smoothie is similar to the one I blogged about here except we use Greek yogurt now for extra protein. It has banana, a Chobani Greek yogurt (strawberry banana flavor), kale, carrots, strawberries, chia seeds and some water since the chia absorb a lot of liquid. He drank half of the smoothie straight from the food processor through a big straw before moving on to his smoothie cup.
I kept the omelet simple today: cheese and spinach. Sometimes I'll add mushrooms or other veggies from the fridge. Today I used half a box of frozen spinach, thawed it in the microwave, squeezed out the liquid and mixed it with shredded mozzarella cheese and a few twists from the pepper grinder. I cut it into squares once it's cooked so it's easier for him to eat. Usually Little M will eat the entire thing in about thirty seconds, but today he left three squares behind, which I'll give to him tomorrow morning. I think he was pretty full from the smoothie.
Little M eats breakfast with my parents via FaceTime most weekday mornings, so we gave Mamie and PawPaw a call. Today they discussed the latest snowfall at their house and the baby doll outfit that Little M and I sewed for his baby together yesterday.
Greek yogurt, PB sandwich & smoothie
Usually lunch is at noon and nap is at 12:30, but we were at a play group this morning and I got delayed chatting as we were leaving, so lunch was at 12:30. I gave Little M a Chobani Greek yogurt and a half of a plain PB sandwich on wheat bread. I used to use a little honey or a little jam on his PB sandwiches, but stopped because I wanted to cut out the added sugar because of the treat you'll see later in the day. We switched from Yo'Baby/Yo'Toddler yogurts a while ago too because I wanted a yogurt with less added sugar for the same reason. I was giving him plain Greek yogurt with a touch of honey from my mom's bees, but he's on a kick about wanting "daddy's yogurt" lately and I'm out of plain yogurt, so daddy's yogurt it is today.
He eats every last bite of both and asks for more. I tell him it's time for nap and that he needs to save room for dinner. I'm pretty sure he's one bite from exploding. Sometimes I do worry that he doesn't have an "I'm full" signal, but he's a really skinny little guy so all must go somewhere.
Little M has been potty trained for a while, but he's still wearing training underwear for nap. If he wakes up dry, I give him a little cookie. He's dry again today so he gets a little cookie!
I've been using my lactation cookie recipe so his treats are little more nutritious. And I use mini chocolate chips and the tiniest cookie scoop - it's less than a teaspoon - so they're very small. But because they come from daddy's cookie jar, he thinks they're super special treats. Our potty rewards have evolved, so I'm sure the cookie treat won't last for too long. But for now we're doing what works.
grilled cheese w/ tomatoes, tomato soup & peas
When we started family dinner last December right around his second birthday, Little M's dinner became a more substantial meal rather than a bite or two as it had been for a while. I think he's excited to have us sitting with him and to be eating what we are. We eat together as a family except when Mr. Stroller is away, and even then Little M and I will usually eat together. It's one of my favorite times of the day.
I've been making a lot of meals that require significant prep time lately - quinoa risotto, squash & black bean burritos, enchiladas, just to name a few - so I decided on an easy meal tonight: grilled cheese and tomato soup. We have greenhouse tomatoes from our CSA so I load up on them in Little M's and my sandwiches, but none in Mr. S's since he doesn't love raw tomatoes and I'm not wasting our delicious treats!
Mr. S and I have salads too, but Little M doesn't really eat more than a few pieces of lettuce yet, so I heat up some frozen peas for him. He loves peas lately. Tonight he put all his peas into his tomato soup and I had a sinking feeling that he wasn't going to eat either, but after he devoured his sandwich, he sipped all the soup and then scooped all the peas out with his spoon. I don't ever care whether he eats one bite or fifty, but I gave him a high-five for clearing his plate tonight. A few months ago he was hesitant to eat soup even though it had been a staple in his BLW diet. Tonight was the second time he's had soup in the past week and I think we've turned the corner on the soup issue, so a clean-plate-club high-five was in order.
As you can see, except for the little cookie treat, Little M doesn't snack very much. I find that when he does, he's much more picky at meal times and won't always eat what I'm serving. One exception is that I will bring a snack cup with some Puffins cereal with us to tumbling class once a week so he can eat it on the way home. Class ends close to nap time and he's usually hungry when we leave. So he eats the Puffins in the car and then has a yogurt at home before nap. I also pack the cup of puffins in my bag when we go to the grocery store to use as a distraction from all the good food going into our cart. I haven't had to use it lately, but it makes life easier to have a little snack available when the little guy is looking at rows and rows of food for an hour. And if he wakes up early from his nap or dinner is going to be later, I'll ask him if he wants and apple or some other fruit.
What does your toddler's typical day of meals look like? Do you ever feel like you're feeding a bottomless pit?