I've gotten a lot of questions about what we feed Nora, so I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to share! She's 13.5 months now, and right around 12 months she started to be more opinionated about foods, rather than when she was younger and would eat anything and everything without a second thought.
She has 7 teeth and number 8 just popped through in the last week or so. She's always done surprisingly well at chewing her food, taking bites and not shoving everything down her throat thankfully. Every baby is different though! Mabel may be a complete opposite, and maybe your babe is far from how Nora is. I definitely think it's all trial and error when it comes to feeding toddlers, but being consistent is really helpful.
I LOVE these plates. They're sectioned off, suction to her high chair, and act as a little placemat. I've had friends who've tried other brands similar, but don't actually suction! I highly recommend ezpz!
I like to keep it pretty simple and not too strict. These plates are also helpful to keep an idea of portion sizes. For the two little sections, I typically add one fruit or veggie, one protein or another veggie, and in the big section I either do a grain or protein. We aren't vegan or gluten free and have no allergies - so obviously adjust to your specific needs!
Breakfast (she has been refusing eggs and avocado for several months now, but if your babe eats those, then I highly recommend adding those in the mix!):
- applesauce, cheese, oatmeal
- strawberries, yogurt, gram crackers
- applesauce muffin (homemade), cheese
- banana muffin (homemade), yogurt
- toast with almond butter, fruit
- peas, organic grass fed macaroni and cheese, blueberries
- deli meat (turkey/chicken), cheese, carrots
- spinach spaghetti noodles (with butter or spaghetti sauce), chicken, carrots
- applesauce, toast with peanut butter, cheese
- carrots, peas, chicken
- sweet potato "fries", chicken, broccoli
- corn, strawberries, chicken
- brown rice, green beans, chicken
With dinner especially, I typically give her whatever I'm eating. I follow the same guidelines for my own meals (veggies/protein/grain(or potatoes)) so it works easily. Sometimes she won't eat what I give her, and it's hard not to be annoyed or frustrated, but I just try and try again. I won't force her to eat but if I let her down, and she shows me later that she's hungry, she'll see she has the same options. Most times she'll eat it, other times she won't. I can tell when she really doesn't like something (tried it and spit it out or just didn't grab for it again), or when she's testing the waters. Either way, I don't like wasting food so I choose my battles. She'll wake in the night if she's hungry, so I just try to feed her what I know she'll eat, but still trying to introduce other things in between it all.
I think it's also just most important to know your babe and what works best for you guys. Some toddlers will eat all the things, some won't. Just find your balance! We use pouches and fruit/veggie bars on days when we're out a lot and that works great for us.
Nora only drinks water or organic coconut milk. I know how she reacts to too much sugar (hi first birthday), so I just don't give her juice or many things with added sugar. She does eat crackers and cheerios which I know have sugar, which is why I limit/eliminate it from everywhere else. Plus whatever's naturally in fruit etc.
I think finding variety is super easy using the ezpz plates plus having my little guideline of a fruit/veggie, protein, grain. All you have to do is swap out each little section and it's a totally new meal. Canned veggies are great and super easy (just look at ingredients! make sure it truly is just the vegetable and not a ton of added crap), and so are frozen. Nora will eat mangoes and peas frozen. Other frozen things I can cook/steam and they're easy peasy. Smoothies with hidden spinach and lots of fruit + almond/oat/nut milk is a great way to have a quick snack or breakfast packed with good stuff.
Anyways, I'm no pro but I've been asked a bunch what and how we feed Nora, so there it is! Hope it's helpful in some way <3
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