On Solids & Healthy Eating
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?)
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).