FEED ME!!!

Feeding A Toddler

Oh boy, oh boy!
So… it’s time to feed the boy.
He is very busy.
He has all this lovely space in his little cheekies to stuff food that he has yet to chew.
The High Chair is for BABIES not BOYS.
He wants olives on everything.

I had a hard time adjusting to the toddler diet.  My beautiful baby who ate and ate and ate and ate nice, nutritious, gloppy (easy) food disappeared one day and was replaced by a beautiful toddler who was on a grab & go mission where a sit-down meal was no longer on the menu.

He scarcely ate a thing.  I panicked.  I begged for help & got a few decent handouts that emphasized dairy (that he can’t eat), but since we’ve established that Milk Is EVIL and orange juice is eviler, I’ve been adjusting my recipes and almond milk works just fine.  He loves it too.  “Aaaaahhhhmon Mik.  Mmmmmmmm!”

I had to learn to put less on the plate, accept leftovers and just hope that he gets enough nutrition within the variety of foods presented to him.  And put out a bowl of snacks (cut up grapes, animal crackers, generic Cheerios, apple slices).

So, without further ado, I give you some before & after photos of my son’s lunches.  (More to come)

Meat and veggies

Here we have marinated venison, caramelized onions, black beans, steamed-to-death peas & carrots and toasty o’s.
As you can see, he really went to town on the peas & carrots, demolished the o’s, the beans are GONE and the rest is pushed into a mash of “I’m not eating that.”  Please note that I discovered steak sauce after this picture was taken & meat gets eaten now with lots of “mmmmmm” sounds.

tuna sandwich and veggies

Tuna fish sandwich, mushroom slices, apple jello (we use Knox gelatin and juice… I’m looking forward to trying the layered jello with almond milk – pretty sure it will work).  Green beans and tomato slices.
As you can see, most things got 1/2 eaten.

Please note that this is a 10″ dinner plate, I’m loosely covering the center with food in a single layer or very small pile and not all of this stayed on the plate.  I put some stuff back for the picture when he was done.  Now, at 15 months he doesn’t really drop that much off the plate, and yes, he eats off of the good china.  It took a couple of weeks to teach him not to bang the plates, but he doesn’t now. Do not expect your food art to survive first contact.

For some official guidelines, noodlesoup.com recommends the following for a day:
Breastmilk – on demand (3-4x daily <– OMG I want THAT kid!  Mine still nurses a bazillion times!  Boobs are funny BTW, just ask him)
3 oz of grains
1/2 slice of bread (1/2 oz)
1/2 c. dry cereal (1/2 oz)
1/2 c. cooked cereal (1/2 oz)
1/2 c. pasta (1 oz)
5 whole wheat crackers or saltines (1 oz)
1 cup of cooked veggies
1 cup of fruit
2 cups of milk/dairy (this will never happen in my house, they suggest orange juice with calcium, which also won’t happen because it gives him the runs and the burning butt… almond milk it is).
2 oz of meat/beans
2 T lean meat  (1 oz)
1/2 egg (1/2 oz)
1/4 c. cooked dry beans (1 oz)
1 T Peanut butter (1 oz. )  (nut butter in JR’s case)

If all of that is mind-boggling, a 1 yr old should hover around 900 calories per day.  But talk to their doctor just to be sure.

One thing my bonny boy does not do is hold his own cup.  Let me just tell you right now, DO NOT listen when the doc says “don’t let your baby hold their own bottle.”  Because you’ll be holding that blasted thing every time your toddler wants a drink.  I’m not even sure where to go with this.  The kid was breastfed so bottles were scarce around here, he drinks fine out of a glass or a sippy cup, just don’t ask him to hold it himself, he’s clueless.  I’m thinking maybe a bath time instruction session might help… not that I want him drinking bath water…

I try for a good mix of grains, protein, fruits & veggies.  What gets eaten, gets eaten… what doesn’t either gets fed to the dog, the cat or tossed.   I hope this helps someone out with “what do I feed my toddler?”

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Temporary Bone Loss Makes a Stronger Mama

On a totally different note, I have a bit of bone loss from pregnancy & nursing. This is totally normal, and some recent studies have alleviated my worries about it being a permanent or bad thing. Not that I’d stop nursing him, but it’s comforting none the less.
Here is a link to the synopsis of the study:
https://www.bcm.edu/research/centers/childrens-nutrition-research-center/consumer/archives/remodel.htm

Much less boring & technical than the study itself, which I think is paid-only reading, and I’m cheap, so…

Hard Money Cake, 1877

Hard Money Cake

Yellow cake:
4 c. flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp corn starch
1 c. butter
2 c. sugar
1 tsp lemon
1 tsp vanilla
8 egg yolks
1 c. sour milk

White cake:
4 c. flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp corn starch
2 c. sugar.
1 c. butter
8 egg whites
1 c. sour milk
1 tsp almond extract or peach juice

Preheat oven to 350F
Grease & flour (4) 8” round pans & (1) 9×13” pan, parchment paper optional.
In 2 medium bowls, mix flour, baking soda & corn starch for both cakes. Set aside.
In 2 large bowls, cream sugar & butter. Add vanilla & lemon juice to yellow cake. Add almond extract OR peach juice to white cake.
In 3 smaller bowls, separate yolks from whites using the 3rd bowl to hold the shells. Beat each till mixed.
Beat eggs into respective creamed sugar.
Alternate flour mixture & milk, stir until combined.
Spoon into pans alternately, no more than ½ full.
Bake at 350 until done, 45min – 1+hrs.

Original:

Gold Part.–Yolks of eight eggs, scant cup butter, two of sugar, four of flour, one of sour milk, tea-spoon soda, table-spoon corn starch; flavor with lemon and vanilla.

Silver Part.–Two cups sugar, one of butter, four (scant) of flour, one of sour milk, tea-spoon soda, table-spoon corn starch, whites of eight eggs; flavor with almond or peach. Put in pan, alternately, one spoonful of gold and one of silver.–Miss Emma Fisher.

Buckeye Cookery, 1877

 

***  This makes a lot of cake.  I highly recommend cutting the recipe in 1/2.  You’ll still need a lot of bowls, but half should be good for a nice size cake vs. Godzilla Cake.  Also, it won’t take a dozen eggs.

My mother says it tastes like her grandmother’s cake.
Here is the frosting I made for it.  Be careful not to cook the sugar even 3 seconds longer than you should.

Boiled frosting:
3 lg. Eggwhites
1 c. granulated sugar
4 tbsp hot water
½ lb blanched almond paste (optional)
Beat egg yolks to a stiff froth*.
Moisten sugar with hot water then boil briskly for five minutes or until it “ropes” from the end of the spoon.
Turn sugar onto beaten eggs & stir until cold.
(Optional) Add ½ lb blanched almond paste
Will frost tops of 2 lg. Cakes.

*Then beat them more.

(original)
Whites of three eggs beaten to a stiff froth, one large cup granulated sugar moistened with four table-spoons hot water; boil sugar briskly for five minutes or until it “ropes” from the end of the spoon, turn while hot upon the beaten eggs, and stir until cold.
If preferred, add half pound sweet almonds blanched and pounded to a paste, and it will be perfectly delicious. This amount will frost the top of two large cakes.–Mrs. A. S. C.
Buckeye cookery 1877

WIC and 7 month food list

We visited the WIC office today yesterday.  I love the county health department, awesome folks!  I also like WIC for the services they provide – weight & measurements, answering basic questions that your doctor never takes the time to address, etc.  Not a huge fan of the coupons, mostly because there isn’t much we can use & I tend to buy non-WIC stuff… like almond butter* v. peanut butter (though sunflower butter* is far better & hella cheaper) and absolutely no hydrogenated anything.  I also forget to take the packet with me & just end up handing the coupons back.  I’m lucky if I remember to bring my cloth bags when I shop, heck, I’m lucky if I remember to put my wallet in the diaper bag.  I do like the produce coupon, $10 can go a long way for fresh fruits & veggies if you buy smart.
*You can basically make nutbutter from any kind of nut/seed if you just chop it & grind it enough to make the oils come out and emulsify.  You don’t have to add anything.  It’s a lot of work, which is why we don’t really do it much today, but Once Again Nutbutter is local – and NOM!  How to make it  You do need a good food processor, which I don’t have, which is why I buy the jars.

Anyway, he’s at 8% for weight & 10% for height, and on the breastfeeding charts he’s 50% height-for-weight, which is awesome.
His now former doctor had me absolutely freaking out about his weight, even though I knew he was on his curve & perfectly fine.  Hopefully NewDoc will be better.
WIC dietitian was thrilled with our food intake.  She says she wishes all her clients would eat the way we do.  She also reassured me that the baby weight will eventually come off, and no, I don’t need cholesterol medication, just go for a walk with the kid every day and eat sensibly; no I’m not going to drop dead tomorrow.  Apparently FormerDoc is horrible for ALL of her breastfeeding mommies and apparently we’ve all been frustrated/infuriated rats jumping off that sinking ship.  So, stay on course with the breastfeeding and homemade foods & maroon the doc on a rock.  My husband has a bit of a joke that goes “What does Dr. — say?  Quack! Quack!”
The kiddo is also talking, a few words here & there – so WIC lady says – because we don’t employ the mouth plug.  His binky is a toy, like all other toys, not a pacifier.  We do use the binky on long car rides, but he’s actually happier with the Links attached to his straps because he can’t lose them.  He also likes having a cup where he can reach it to drink.
The MommyWalkMe thing is good exercise.  He’s really REALLY crawling as of this morning.  Not just 2 scoots & done, but distances of 2-4′ then a sit-down, then 2′ more.  Easier on the knees with pants, so I’ll have to make sure we stuff him in them, not just a onesie or diaper cover.

WIC – totally awesome program.  Have I mentioned how awesome WIC is?   WIC is awesome.

 

At 7 months, here is his food list:  (we’re at 8 months now, but this is what I had typed out).

JR’s Food List
Fruit:
Bananas
Applesauce
Pears
Peaches
Apricots
Prunes (1 tbsp ONLY)
Tomatoes

Grains:
Oat Cereal
Cream of Wheat
Soft Bread
Naan bread
Pancakes
French toast bits
Bread pudding

Vegetables:
Sweet Potatoes
Peas
Carrots
Squash
White potatoes
Cooked celery
Cooked onions
Asparagus
Summer squash
Green beans (mixed w/ other)
Beets (mix w/ applesauce)

Meat:
Salmon (oat cereal & carrots)
Turkey (mix with veggie)
Beef broth
Chicken (mix with veggie)
Venison
Egg yolk (whole eggs are fine, mix w/ banana)

Beans:
Tofu
Humus

Juice:
apple juice w/water

Dairy:
butter is OK

 

 

No

Fruit:
Avocado (2 yrs- allergic)
Berries (1 yr – safety)
Grape juice (Puke)

Grains:
Rice (9 months – tummy upset)

Nuts:
Peanuts (2 yrs – safety)

Dairy:
Yogurt (allergic – 1 yr)

Other:
Honey (2 yrs – safety)

 

 

Dandelions Are Edible

Dandelions are edible

Hello Tasty Flower

So it’s spring here in West Podunk NY (lovely- really it’s pretty enough to make a calendar photographer cry tears of pocket change) and our yard is basically composed of wildflowers… if we lived in the burbs they’d be called weeds but we never have to water our lawn; let’s hear it for tried & true vegetation… but no mater what you want to call that greenery – purplry? Whitery? yellowblossomsofnummygoodness?, my kid is going to eat it.

Dandelions are tasty

Nom nom tasty flower! Daddy ate one too.

Honest to God I have uprooted and Googled more flora in the last month than I did when I was studying herbalism 300 yrs ago.

Yes, dandelions are edible.  No, you may not eat 5 at once.
Clover is fine.
While purslane should be OK, kid you only weigh 17 lbs, so no.
Violets are cool.
Pansies are nummy
DO NOT EAT THE DAFFODILS NONONONO!
The roses aren’t blooming yet, but he can chomp on the petals when they do.
Lilacs smell and taste delicious – go for it.
No tulips. (they are yes/no sorta edible, but I’d rather he skip them)
Grass?  Really?
Thankfully by the time he can reach our (edible) day lilies they will be done blooming… One flower might survive the grazing habits of my pint size son.

Now, the downside to this floral binge that it has put the whole 4-day-wait food schedule in disarray.  I have things like “dandelion” in the slot where “white potato” should be.  Grapes got put on hold in favor of lilacs.

So, all that scheduling angst aside, it’s horribly cute when he goes tripping outside towing the Mommy Walker behind him, then does a dead stop&drop to nosh on one of those delightful yellow weeds that my father-in-law tries so hard to irradiate in his own yard… in these parts we just enjoy the sunny view & blow the seed heads in the wind for wishes! (or my kid tries to eat those too)…

 

Oh, I forgot to mention, all that chewing on chewy dandelion heads has helped break a tooth through.  Thank You!  We’ve been waiting for that sucker since he was 3 1/2 months old!  Now if the other 3 would come in we might get a break from the Mr. Droolbuckets for a bit.

This & That

I don’t really have much exciting to babble about.

At 7 months & change he’s sitting up for quite a while, can correct his balance, but hasn’t sat up on his own yet.  He pulled up to standing from sitting via his activity center.  Boy was I surprised!
He’s a champ in the walker, but losing interest; he wants me to walk him all over the world unless shoes are involved, in which case sucking on them is the preferred activity.  My back is killing me – thank heaven for my massage therapist, she’s a miracle worker.

The crawling thing… not exactly happening regularly yet.  He’s still rolling, squirming, swimming & rocking to get places.  He’ll make it a few inches & then it’s SPLAT again.  Soon enough.  He crawls in his sleep just fine.

We are up to 3 meals a day, and he’s fussing about nursing in the daytime – my boobs are killing me & I’m pumping because the kid wants to eat ALL NIGHT.  Last night I had 3 dreams, and remember all of them if that tells you anything.  Zzzzzzzzzzz.  The food list is growing rapidly, but then so is his allergy list.  I fear this poor kid will have my food issues.  Yogurt is off the menu, it gave him a rash, the runs & major tummy issues. Not surprising considering I had to cut dairy when he was a newborn, but still disappointing.  We’ll reintroduce it later & see if it’s any better.  He actually tolerated green beans mixed with tofu & oat cereal.  Someday I will win on the green beans thing… or he’ll hate them as much as I do; whichever.  Beets are a win when mixed with applesauce.  Egg yolks are fab when mixed with bananas (so is tofu & bananas, kinda like tapioca, which I miss desperately & can’t eat anymore, so baby-food combo win for the mamma too!).  Peaches & pears & oat cereal are awesome.  peas & oat cereal are great, we’re doing whole peas in the blender now vs. hulled peas in the foley food mill, what a relief that he can handle a bit of texture now!  He plays with his food more, which is good.  That high chair tray is finally coming in handy.  Still only a little in the mouth via fingers, but he piles the goop up & sucks it off the tray.  Whatever works kid.

Object permanence is mastered.  He hides his own toys in blankets & then finds them.

He says “up” “hi” “mama” “ga-ma” “boowa (boob)” also “boob-boob” and “ungy.”  Yesterday was “yeah” which I realize I say way too much.  He said “cake” once but hasn’t said it again, but I haven’t mentioned it either and we haven’t had any.  He does NOT like chocolate cake (YAY! more for me!).

Naps are still MommyLapNap, so nap time is not “get stuff done time.”  At some point this kid will be too big for my lap & we’ll have to adjust.  For now I’ll take it.  He gets a nap, I get internet or book time and he wakes up happy.  I won’t deny being a fan of the cuddles either.

Time.  It has flown and there isn’t enough of it, and some days are empty and some drag and some never end or end too soon.  I’ve been trying to get his reenacting outfits together in stolen moments, but what once would have taken me a couple days at the most has been a week & counting and nowhere near done.  Tick Tock & I still have to make Husband something decent (read “not polyester”) to wear.

 

Nursing: A Fountain of Boobajuice

WARNING: There’s a boob pic in this post (but no worse than you’d see in an underwear ad on the side of a bus, so don’t panic)

I want to get my son a onesie that says “I drinka da boobajuice.”
Maybe a bib because my little komodo dragon’s bibs cover the onesies.  Unless he wears them as superhero capes.

Nursing.  Breastfeeding.
Repeat after me “I am more than a milk factory.”

Breastfeeding was a no-brainer for me, we knew we were going to do this when we first decided to have a family way back in 2010.  We both knew it would be a 9 month commitment at the least, goal of 1 yr, possibility of more depending.

But ideals are find & dandy when they don’t have real life fussing in your lap at 3:30 a.m. attached to one boob while kicking the other & pulling your hair because he’s a multi-tasking kind of guy, with your left leg falling asleep & your right arm about to fall off and oh god he’s hungry again at 4:30 and 5:30 and 6:30 and FINALLY you can sleep in but your husband didn’t turn the alarm off and GAAH.  Oh wait, that’s “having a baby” not “breastfeeding.”  Sometimes I get the 2 confused.

Image

Boobajuice 12 course meal, minimum 1 hour

We had latching problems in the beginning because he sucked in his bottom lip (still does), popped off constantly, there were engorgement issues, and to this day I’m horrible at pumping.  I had thrush in my milk ducts (take your probiotics ladies!) which was so painful I’d just cry – it was like glass in my breast.  He had a milk allergy, so I had to cut dairy; which would be fine if I wasn’t allergic to everything BUT dairy.  My shoulder got wrenched during the birth and so holding my own child was torture.  And he’d nurse for an hour.  Now he’s the 15 minute king, but the first 3 months were this insane insomnia nightmare of boobs & pain & fussing.  Most of that fussing was mine.  We made it to 3 months which was nothing short of miraculous, and then 4 and now 6 and we’re like the Boobajuice champs!  Massage therapy took care of the shoulder, he’s gotten better at eating faster (sometimes he still sits down to a 12 course meal), the thrush cleared up (ty probiotics) and the latching issues are mostly resolved.  I can eat cheese & milk again, but ice cream still has the poor boy in hives.  No broccoli.  Broccoli is bad.  I miss broccoli.  Umm… broccoli cheese casserole…

Yes, breastfeeding is totally natural.  But don’t let anyone tell you that it’s easy!  It gets easier.  Not the same thing at all.
I’m a huge fan of it.  I think every mother should try it for at least 2 weeks – with a certified lactation consultant there as back-up.  If it suits, I think the pair ought to continue for as long as they can.  There are too many benefits to both mom & baby not to at least try.  But oh lordie I understand why people don’t!  It takes a tremendous amount of dedication, and — do you know my boobs thought that honking geese were the same as a crying baby?  I leaked all over during migration season!  Stupid boobs.  6 months later the geese are back.  Stupid boobs.  For which I’m a huge fan of nursing pads.  Reusable & washable nursing pads.  Get 12 pairs because you will go through those things like nobody’s business.  There’s also this weird little cup thing that will catch leaked boobajuice (why waste it?)

Alas, it’s late, I’m exhausted (what’s new?) and the bed sheets need changing thanks to an aging cat and someone who didn’t make the bed this morning with the anti-aging-cat cover on it.  But then my memory is shot these days so I’ll forgive me this time.

 

OH!  How could I forget?  (That’s right, MommyBrain)
When you nurse full-time, one of the lovely benefits Mother Nature provides is that you don’t get your period.  Time frame is variable, but NOBODY TOLD ME THIS!  Instead they dangled the totally false “you’ll lose weight” carrot stick in front of me – which isn’t true BTW, it’s only true for 40% of nursing mothers, the rest of us are fat till we stop, which of course no one will tell you because then 40% of us would stop nursing in hopes of dropping baby weight.  Don’t bother, you look fabulous with those sleepless eye circles.  Trust me.  But seriously – No Period While Nursing.  Far better than a stupid carrot stick.