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, 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?”


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.


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.