I am back with another month of #MomTalkTuesday with Marquis of Simply Clarke and Maggie of Polished Closets. Our guest host this week is Monika of Some Pop of Color, and this month we are all sharing our tips and tricks for our little one’s eating habits!
Marina’s eating habits are typical of most 17 month olds. When she first started eating solids she couldn’t eat enough, downing all sorts of vegetable purees and healthy concoctions. Now that she’s a more discerning toddler, with teeth, she won’t touch most green vegetables, carrots, or other healthy ingredients unless they are masked in fruit… and even then she is wary.
And then there is the inconsistency! Some days she loves turkey, sometimes she hates it. Sometimes she’ll eat an entire omelette, sometimes the scrambled eggs end up on the floor. Mr. R and I do our best to come up with healthy food combinations that she will eat, but end up frustrated as expensive and time consuming meats, shrimp, tomatoes, avocado and even peanut butter end up all over the floor! So, I’ve been trying lots of baby food brands and services in the hopes that they know something I don’t (spoiler alert: they do) in the hopes of saving me at least one meal a day where I’m not scratching my head for what she will eat or scraping it off my wallpaper.
Marina’s Adventure in Eating: Her Favorite Baby Food Brands and Services
I should say that like anything, Marina’s favorite baby food brands and services are what have worked for us in the current stage she’s in, from about 1 year to 17 months. Who knows in a few months time what will change! Her schedule will change as well, but this is where it is currently:
7 am: First bottle of milk (in bed with me)
9 am: Breakfast. Mr. R and I almost always make her scrambled eggs, banana/egg pancakes, or give her some sort of healthy ‘muffin’ we have made stuffed with zucchini or carrots. It’s the only way. She used to eat yogurt, but now won’t look at it unless it’s in a pouch (but we’ll touch on that later). She also won’t eat cheese or avocado… so we finish almost every breakfast off with fruit!
12 pm: Lunch. Lately this is where her favorite baby food brands and services have come into play. Although sometimes I can get her to eat a fresh chicken salad or sliced turkey, those need to be super fresh and instead of running to the grocery store for the 6th time that week I dig through the freezer for something that I can make quickly and won’t create a huge mess for me to clean up.
3pm: Typically she has a snack, which is usually fruit, sometimes a pouch or Yumi snack (more below).
6pm: Dinner. We try to have her eat what we’re eating, which lately has been burgers, chicken, pasta, seafood and grilled vegetables. She LOVES grilled vegetables right off the grill. The next day however? Nope, someone her fancy palette knows it’s been reheated!
7pm: Last bottle before bed, which is a struggle to get her to drink.
Favorite Baby Food Brands and Services
Organic Food Pouches
Vegetable- I am not the first mom to hail the pouch. I get a value box of Happy Tot vegetable pouches delivered every 2 months with my Amazon Prime subscription, so that I get the best deal. She will ALWAYS say yes to a pouch, so when I am traveling or she’s rejected everything I’ve tried to give her that day, the pouch serves as my saving grace. I try very hard not to use them often, but on average I would say she gets 1-2 a week.
Yogurt- Mentioned above, Marina won’t touch yogurt in a regular container. Since she doesn’t drink much milk, I try to have her eat at least one Stonyfield organic kids whole milk yogurt pouches a week, typically when she’s with my mom or at the play club at my gym. I’m not too worried about this in the long run, because I think as soon as she can chew and eat granola, she’ll be back on the yogurt train!
I recently discovered Yumi but wish I found it when Marina was younger! They have tons of prepared food options, with advanced palette food combinations like mango buckwheat pudding, vegetable texas chili and even baby borscht (!) that sound amazing for budding palettes. The brand is not inexpensive, but the toddler finger food options are much cheaper and Marina’s favorite for on-the-go healthy snacking. The Cubano Bites and the Pizza Bites (both vegetarian) fill Marina up for a whole meal, and take much longer to eat than a pouch, which makes it easier to get errands done!
Raised Real is probably my favorite option for healthy food that works from baby to toddler to little kid. Basically, the small flash frozen packets are already chopped into bite-size chunks with the seasoning in the packet, so all you have to do is steam or heat over a stovetop to cook. If you have a Beaba, it’s super easy to just dump in and blend as well for smaller babies. Marina didn’t love all the combinations when she was about a year, but now that she’s a bit older, she gobbles up pretty much all of them. I love it because they can stay in the freezer for a long time, and I can make 2-3 of them at a time when I want to save even more time later!
When in doubt, Kashi cinnamon oat cereal is a life savor. I have a little glass tupperware in the car with them at all times for when I’m in a pinch and need something I know will work.
Vegetable Burger Patties
Our local Safeway sells frozen organic vegetable patties which are a life savor for time and health value. They have combos like ‘southwestern black bean’ and ‘sweet potato and corn’ which she loves! I love that I can just quickly microwave them and save myself a headache of cleaning lots of dishes.
Tolerant Foods Lentil Pasta
If I can’t get Marina to eat her vegetables, then Tolerant Foods make the best green lentil and chickpea pastas, in small baby friendly shapes like elbows and rotini. I mix with either tomato sauce or just butter and cheese, and thank goodness she inhales them!
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