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On Solids & Healthy Eating

August 1, 2010

The decisions that come with feeding my babies solids have always seemed a little difficult to me. There’s so much advice out there – it’s sometimes hard to make sense of it all.

As suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), I have exclusively breastfed both my babies until six months of age. Neither of my kids seemed to have any interest in solid foods prior to that so it wasn’t much of an issue.

I took advice from several different websites and books on what solids to feed first, how much and at what time of day, to name just a few of the decisions that must be made.

Bananas, avocado, carrots and sweet potatoes were a few of the first foods for our babies. I started out feeding Preston about half of a 4-oz jar of baby food. (I made most of Emmett’s food myself but I found a killer deal on Earth’s Best baby food when Preston was about five months old. We bought LOTS. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t have made it that cheap – especially using organic produce and grains.)

He eats his solids about an hour after he gets up and nurses in the morning. By nine months of age he seemed hungrier in the late afternoon so I started feeding solids about an hour after he got up from his nap and had nursed again. Sometime between six and nine months we moved from half a 4-oz jar to a full 4-oz jar at each feeding. At 10.5 months he’s (typically) now eating a breakfast of jarred fruit mixed with organic full-fat yogurt (a total of 4-ozs of food) plus a handful of Cheerios. In the late afternoon he has some sort of finger foods – lately it’s been blueberries and Cheerios. I think he’d eat Cheerios until he turned into one (or puked them up). Are all kids like this? I am completely serious. He eats them and eats them and eats them. He’s NEVER left one on his tray (same with blueberries for that matter).

He loves finger foods and I’m thrilled because I actually can get something else done while he’s snacking now (important things, like emptying the dishwasher or catching up on Facebook). I’ve given serious consideration to not starting the next baby on solids until he or she is able to eat finger foods. Feeding a kid with a spoon, from a jar, is for the birds.

So, tomorrow I’m going to start giving him some *lunch* too. Does it wear anyone else out thinking about what to give their children for meals? If I put that much thought and energy into my own meals I’d be the picture of health (which I sadly am not). I want to make sure they have healthy meals that are well-balanced and give a variety of foods. Well, that just gets tiring sometimes.

The mental exhaustion I’m experiencing really started to get to me on Friday night. We’re planning a vacation to Walt Disney World in September. (Yes, I know Preston won’t remember it and Emmett may not either. But that’s not the point. We’ll remember it and don’t all the things we do with our kids before they can ‘remember’ still shape them as human beings?)

I digress.

So, I was all gung-ho about taking my one-year old to Disney World (we’ll be there ON his First Birthday!). Then I remembered that I’ve got to figure out food for him. Probably not a big deal for a lot of people but I’m UBER-thrifty and like to feed good wholesome food to my kids – probably not the hallmarks of Disney cuisine – someone correct me if I’m wrong. So hubby and I were at Target (on my Birthday date night out because that’s what we do for fun – ha!). I was ecstatic to find *baby* yogurt that doesn’t have to be refrigerated. I pick it up and read the ingredient list. To my horror, the second ingredient is SUGAR. What? Why in the world are we putting refined sugar in foods targeted at babies and toddlers? Is there any wonder why we have a childhood (and adult) obesity problem in America? Come. On. Just ridiculous.

I am happy to report that I bagged an awesome deal on some Kashi TLC Bars (at Target) that should make for good meals and/or snacks while at WDW. I love their products. Whole grains and no (or very little) refined sugars. This is what we got: Kashi TLC Cereal Bar Baked Apple Spice, 6-Count Bars and Kashi TLC Cereal Bar, Blackberry Graham, 6-Count Bars.

My quest for nutritious, portable toddler food continues . . . I’ll let you know what I find. In the meantime, if anyone has a healthy, portable, cheap suggestion, I’m all ears (Mickey Mouse Ears, that is).

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Dana Milan permalink
    August 1, 2010 10:59 PM

    Earth’s Best also makes a good, mostly organic, cereal bar – no corn syrup, and I believe it is only sweetened with fruit juice. It is also fortified, unlike alot of organic stuff. I order it from Amazon. If you want you can have a box since we can’t keep up with the shipments! Elizabeth doesn’t like them anymore but Brett will still eat them for breakfast or snacks. That and raisins or a banana would be a good lunch for Preston. Is he too young for pb&j? There are better options now with peanut butter – healthier oils etc. Also, I avoid jelly with corn syrup. Do they eat any canned veggies? Both my kids loved green beans(I have tried the salt-free kind and, unfortunately they are not too tasty!). Cubed cheese (if you have a cooler), green beans or the soft, canned carrots, and some crackers would be a good lunch. Earth’s Best also makes crackers. (They are not cheap in stores but you may be able to find them on-line.) Canned fruit, packed in fruit juice, is good also for babies since they can easily chew it.

  2. Dana Milan permalink
    August 1, 2010 11:09 PM

    You can also get lunch meat that contains no preservatives, or nitrates. It is a bit more expensive than the other stuff. Again, a cooler would be needed! But, a slice of lunch meat, some green beans and crackers would be ok for a quick lunch at Disney.

    • Dana Milan permalink
      August 2, 2010 8:22 AM

      I love thinking about finger foods! You could whip up some pasta salad before you go with peas, or tomato chunks, and tiny ham cubes.

      • Dana Milan permalink
        August 2, 2010 11:46 AM

        Hard-boiled eggs????? You could chop them up in the pasta salad. I would bring along a cooler for the car and then use the hotel fridge. Most hotels have ice-machines, so you could pack a cooler full of food and drinks for Disney,(as long as Disney will allow you to bring in outside food and drinks.)

  3. August 2, 2010 8:13 AM

    Thanks for all the suggestions Dana. I forgot to add that we won’t have access to a grocery store while down there so I’m packing one whole bag with just food. I will definitely take a few cans of fruits and veggies (and a can-opener). The jury’s out on peanut butter. I gave it to Emmett when he was just over a year old with no issues. Some doctors say to wait until they’re 3 years old! I may try some almond butter or something similar instead (if it’s approved for his age). PB&Honey sandwiches are a staple at our house. I need to get some crackers for sure. I’m off to make a list . . . 🙂

  4. Leslie V. permalink
    August 10, 2010 2:51 PM

    I’m sure the restaurants at WDW would be more than accommodating. It probably won’t be organic, but I’m sure you could find a fruit cup or get some steamed veggies and a chicken breast. Have fun on your trip!

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