Toddler Food: What Miss G Eats {26}

Toddler Food

The one question I get asked as a mom, far more than anything else is, “How do you get Gracen to eat the way she does?”  And the usual follow-up questions include, “Has she always been open to trying new foods and flavours?”  and “Is there anything she doesn’t like?!”  

While I’ve given my take on it here and there in the comments sections of my Toddler Food posts, I’ve never included the answer in an actual post because the truth is, I don’t really know how she became such a good eater. {And perhaps I’m a wee bit afraid of talking about it too much and jinxing it all. ☺}  Is it because of the way we introduced food to her?  Is it because of the way we currently handle meal times and eating in general?  Was she just born a good eater?  Likely it’s a combination of all of those things…  But I can’t be sure.  

That being said, since I continue to get requests for eating tips each week, I’m going to share what we did and what works for us.  

It all started while I was pregnant actually…  Other than the first few weeks, I had a really good pregnancy.  I felt well and could eat {small portions} of anything I wanted (other than meat) without feeling sick, so I made sure to nourish our growing baby the best I could while she was still in the womb.  Right away, I cut out all refined sugars, caffeine, and unhealthy fats.  I filled my diet with healthy fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans and nuts, and ate a variety of flavours, spices, herbs. (Did you know that your baby tastes the flavours of what you eat through the amniotic fluid?  They do!  Cool, eh?)  And I continued to do the same once she was born so that she’d still be experiencing a wide variety of flavours through the breast milk she was drinking.  

When she was 6 1/2 months old and we decided to introduce solids, I made all of her food at home and included those same herbs, spices, and flavourings she’d already become accustomed to into her first foods (bananas with cinnamon, carrots with dill, spinach with nutmeg, and curried chicken were some of her favourites).  During our brief time with purees, I also made sure to vary the textures of the foods so that everything wasn’t always just smooth – some were slightly chunky, others were quite chunky, and she got used to them all from the get go.

After eating purees for about a month, we basically transitioned her over to a baby-led weaning style of eating.  I ensured that our food was fresh, flavourful, and full of variation, as well as free of salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats, and she began eating chunks of our family meal (no separate “kid food” here!) from about 7 1/2 or 8 months on.

There have definitely been things she hasn’t liked along the way.  Potatoes (of any sort) were a big flop for a long time, she had a short stint of not enjoying cheese, and she’s never liked raw tomatoes (but then again, I don’t blame her for that one – they’re one of the few foods I despise also!)  Right now, she’s not a fan of raw leafy greens though she happily ate them from the age of 1 until just after 2.  Do we force her to eat the things she doesn’t like or want?  Absolutely not.  But we don’t stop offering them either.  To this day, I’ll still put a grape tomato on her plate if they’re part of the meal we’re eating.  And no, she never eats the whole thing, but sometimes she does try them, which is just fine with me.  

There are a few other things we do that I think help Miss G to remain a good eater…  First off, she’s involved in a lot of the cooking and food prep in our house, and I always feel like kids are more likely to eat foods that they’ve helped make.  Secondly, I make one meal and we all sit down and eat together as a family.  No Gracen eats first and we eat once she’s in bed, no separate kid meal, and no television on during meals. She sees us trying new things and she’s usually happy to try them too.  And lastly, and I hope it doesn’t sound too harsh, there’s no other option available if you don’t want to eat the meal that’s been prepared.  She never has to eat if she doesn’t want to, but we won’t give her a bowl of yogurt or a banana or something else in place of the meal she has in front of her.  If she wants to be done and hasn’t eaten a whole lot, we simply save the meal for her to come back to later when she’s feeling hungry.

Now we just have to hope that I haven’t jinxed it all and she continues to be a fantastic little eater. ☺

Alright, so after that long-winded explanation, here’s some of what our little lady has eaten lately…

IMG 2584Breakfast // Wholewheat bagel with cream cheese and avocado slices.  Kiwi slices.  Red grapes.

IMG 2781Breakfast // Baked blueberry oatmeal with organic milk.

IMG 3114Breakfast // Wholewheat oat flax pancake.  Scrambled eggs with garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and feta.  Plain organic yogurt.

IMG 3158Breakfast // Organic multigrain cereal with hemp hearts, chia seeds, frozen blueberries, and organic milk.

IMG 3396Breakfast // Toasted sovital with all-natural peanut butter.  Banana coins.  Honey mandarin.

IMG 3600Breakfast // Scrambled parmesan basil eggs.  Panfries.  Honey mandarin.  All-natural chicken sausage.

IMG 3159Snacks {on the go} // Raw almonds.  Fresh avocado.  Red grapes.  Snap peas.  Old cheddar.  Organic wild rice sticks.

IMG 2581Lunch // Wholewheat rotini with toasted almonds, sautéed spinach, and feta.

IMG 2778{Weekend} Lunch // Assorted crackers with baked garlic and sun-dried tomato brie.  Avocado, Asian melon, and celery with mediterranean hummus.  Kiwi quarters and pomegranate seeds.

IMG 2975Lunch // Organic egg salad in a mini wholewheat pita.  Carrots, snap peas, peppers, and avocado with all-natural dip.

IMG 3054Lunch {on the go} // Peppers and carrots.  Baby mandarin.  “Lulu mix” (almonds, kamut puffs, organic raisins, freeze-dried raspberries, and organic o’s).  Almond butter and hemp hearts on wholewheat pumpkin seed yogurt bread.  Cheddar cubes.  Black beans.

IMG 2586Lunch // Harvest grains.  Sauteed kale.  Grilled chicken breast.  Steamed beets.

IMG 2749Lunch // Spicy tomato soup with fresh parmesan and parsley. Multigrain crackers.  Carrot sticks and humus.

IMG 3330Lunch {on the go} // Boiled organic egg.  Tofu cubes.  Plain yogurt with cinnamon.  Apple sandwich with almond butter, chia seeds, and old-fashioned oats.  Pepper strips.  Avocado.

IMG 3383Lunch // Tuna salad and sprouts on flax seed bread.  Avocado.  Apple and kiwi slices.  Baby mandarin.

IMG 3706Lunch // Black bean veggie quesadillas.  Kiwi slices.  Watermelon spears.

IMG 3446Dinner // Mulligatawny soup.  All-natural turkey, spinach, colby, and avocado on multi-seed bread.  Cucumber slices.

IMG 2779Dinner // North Shore Mama‘s salmon tacos.  (YUM!)

IMG 3519Dinner // {Turkey} Lasagna soup.

IMG 2887Dinner // {Turkey} Shepherd’s pie.

IMG 3033Dinner // Israeli couches with steamed veggies and feta.  Grilled chicken breast.

IMG 3091Dinner // All-natural apple chardonnay chicken sausage.  Steamed broccoli.  Dilly carrots.  Roasted potatoes.

IMG 3093Dinner // Ravioli with a spicy cream sauce.  Coleslaw with fresh herbs and sunflower seeds.  Veggies and humus.

IMG 3279Dinner // Brown rice with steamed veggies and tofu.

IMG 3328Dinner // Potato and leek soup.  Spinach salad with edamame, avocado, and sunflower seeds.  Grilled white cheddar on Ezekiel 4:9 bread.

IMG 3482Dinner // {Take out} Thai green curry on coconut rice.

IMG 3485Dinner // Grilled chicken with tzatziki.  Garlic and parmesan roasted Brussels sprouts.  Roasted baby potatoes.

IMG 3480Dessert // No-sugar peanut butter chia cookies.

♥ 

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7 thoughts on “Toddler Food: What Miss G Eats {26}

  1. yasmingoska says:

    You are doing fantastic job. I’m mam of 6 months twins and only started to introducing solid food. I have to say it going very well but thanks to your tips my twins food habit will definitely improve. Best regards, Yasmin.

  2. atozucchini says:

    Wow! You’re doing a great job! I hope I can do as well feeding my little Sweet Potato. Anna

  3. Your meals look very healthy and different!:) I admire you for the work done to prepare them! Well done!:)

  4. Jen says:

    What varied meals you eat! We’ve recently started baby-led weaning with our six-month old and he loves his food-now I have inspiration for lots more meals. Thanks! By the way, I told totally hold with your philosophy… Dinner should be a sit-down meal with all the family eating the same thing. No goggle box.

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