Saturday, March 26, 2011

What the Boy Eats

Over the past few weeks, Jack has really turned a corner with his eating. Ever since we switched him to whole milk, he is eating more and drinking less. I have to be honest, I was nervous about the switch from formula to milk, but honestly, it's been great! He doesn't miss formula at all and took to the taste of milk immediately. Some days are better than others.

Some days Jack will eat a TON and some days he picks like a bird. He has stopped eating most purees. I still have a few left in the cupboard so he gets a container every once in a while, but ever since he started being able to feed himself finger foods, he doesn't want to be fed with a spoon.

Jack normally eats about three meals and two (sometimes three) snacks. This might seem like a lot to some people (two snacks rather than one), but he really needs to eat every couple of hours.

During the weekend, when Jack is at home with me, this is what a typical day of eating looks like:

Breakfast #1: An organic cereal bar and fruit

Breakfast #2/snack: Some dry Cheerios and yogurt or more fruit

Lunch: Peanut butter and all fruit jam, cheddar crackers and either a fruit or a veggie (peas or green beans are his favorite).

Snack: Annie's Organic bunny snacks or the occasional homemade cookie or banana bread

Dinner: Pasta with sauce and a veggie. Or turkey with a veggie and bread

You can see that my child loves fruit. A lot. Over the course of one weekend, he went through an entire half pint of blueberries on his own.

I always serve water or milk with meals and snack. He loves to drink water from a cup (no lid) and he takes about 6 ounces of water total throughout the day.

Now, here is where I get honest. I try and feed Jack organic food where I can. There are some things that I don't buy organic (bananas and milk and usually not meat) because I don't buy organic for Jason and I. But, I think it's important to feed Jack that way. He doesn't eat organic at daycare. However, I am not perfect. He has gotten the occasional Oreo or bite of my donut from Starbucks. It sounds slightly hypocritical, but I think it's okay to feed him a few junky things once in a while if he eats pretty good the rest of the time.

My mom works on a dairy farm (really, she does), and she told me not to buy organic milk because all that means is that the cows when they are sick and getting antibiotics don't have their milk used in the general supply. I should do some reading to see if that's true because I might change my mind about buying organic. I don't right now but if the cows are getting gross feed, I might want to buy organic. In Oregon, you can buy milk that is hormone free, which I already do purchase.

I also try not to feed him foods that are full of added sugar or high fructose corn syrup. That is why he gets all fruit jam and organic boxed things. Those typically don't have added junk. If I feed him a cheese cracker, I can at least feel okay that it's organic.

While Jack eats a variety of foods, he doesn't eat a huge volume overall. Like I said before, some days he picks like a bird. Dinner is his smallest meal volume-wise. He sometimes only eats a couple of bites. I don't push him though. If he is getting veggies and fruits and protein, I am happy!

What food does Jack totally hate? I try to feed him everything that we are eating (if we happen to be eating together), but he isn't a huge fan of beets or pickles. I guess that is probably not that unusual for a baby. He has eaten some really weird foods that I was surprised that he liked: Black olives, mushrooms (both canned and fresh), lettuce?!?, coffee, and beer. The coffee and beer were from my husband and I was not too thrilled. He only got a finger taste though so I guess it could be worse. Some kids eat poop after all.

The final thing I want to touch on is mealtime. Since my husband works swing shift and I don't cook during the week, Jack eats a different meal than I do. He gets a good healthy meal and I find that I usually eat leftovers or a frozen dinner (I know, I know). I am on Weight Watchers, so I don't want to feed him my "diet food". I much prefer to give him a separate dinner and I don't mind cooking different foods for him.

I would love to hear what you are feeding your little ones and what food strategies you have. Leave a comment!

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