(Originally posted here)
I've gotten quite a few emails after yesterday's post, asking what exactly the kids eat, so while this is no way the full list (because it constantly changes!), this is some of what goes on in our kitchen.
First, I'd like to start by saying that once they were able to start handling food, we've introduced what we eat to them. And we've been heavily rewarded. They both enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables, all sorts of ethnic food (Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, as well as Italian and Puerto Rican just to name a few), and typically can be found eating some of what we are eating. When they are at my MIL's on Wednesday's, she typically still utilizes babyfood for some of what they eat, but that is becoming more and more rare around here.
A second big thing is that our kids eat at our dining room table. When they were much smaller, we used high chairs, but, once they were able to better sit, we bought booster seats with removable tables. They usually sit pulled out from the table a bit (so they cant attack the table cloth!) and with their trays, although at restaurants we take our portable boosters without self-tables and they eat at the main table. Mealtimes are family eating times. For breakfast, they have their food and we have ours, which tends to be similar. For lunch, they eat while I eat. For dinner, we are all (usually) together around the table (unless something comes up and they have to eat without us, i.e. bad traffic when Peter is on his way home, etc; in that case, I feed them first and we eat after).
So, as to what to do they eat... They'll eat just about anything! They love shrimp, scallops, and salmon. They really enjoy scrambled eggs with olives and (funny thing) rye toast (although they'll eat pumpernickle and wheat, too). They cant get enough of the newly introduced peanut butter and I think, if we'd let them, they'd turn into an avocado. Pickles are still a big hit. Apparently, oat milk is a good thing too. They'll each eat a piece of veggie pizza themselves! If I'm making it for dinner, they get some and, if they want more, then we give them more. So far, we havent run into too much that they dont want to sample.
Typical Breakfast (served with organic whole milk or, as of 1/24, organic oat or nut milk, or sometimes juice):
1) eggs scrambled with milk, butter, & black olives and toast, with some maple puffs as an appetizer and a shared fruit bar
2) whole grain cheerios (no milk), diced fruit (pears, peaches, apples, bananas, grapes- you name it!), animal/graham crackers with creamy peanut butter, cheese
3) maple puffs to start, pancakes or waffles, diced fruit
Typical Lunch (served with milks from above or water):
veggie or cheese puffs to start
cubed bagel with cream cheese or cubed pita with peanut butter
yogurt or banana custard (baby food)
Typical Dinner (served with milks from above or water):
In addition to whatever we are eating, I usually give them yogurt or custard and their meal starts with cooked mixed veggies (carrots, corn, green beans, green peas, lima beans). Our dinners consist of a protein source, a vegetable, and a starch, and sometimes bread and salad. (For example, last night, dinner was scallops, roasted squash & carrots with olive oil and herbs, yams mashed with almond butter and cardamom, and salad).
Throughout the day, they get 2-3 snacks: rice cookies, graham/animal crackers, cheese, fruit, or rice cakes. They also get their cups with milk (no more than 16-20oz during the day), juice (no more than 4oz a day), or water. At night, they take an 8-9oz bottle, fortified with 2 scoops of rice, before bed. (And, since we're discussing routines, they also get a 1ml dose of vitamins with flouride, take a bath, and brush their teeth daily... I'm about to add a second tooth brushing since they like it so much.)
Obviously, these menus change based on what we have in the house, what I'm making for a meal, or if we eating outside the home. Kids should get about 1000-1400 calories per day, approx 40 calories per inch of height. Using that calculation, Bobby needs about 1320 and Maya about 1200. They average between 1200-1300 with their drinks and snacks added. About 500 of their calories come from milk or milk-like beverages. That leaves 7-800 from food. Each meal tends to be 200-250 calories (600-750 calories total). Snacks tend to be 50-100 calories each (2 snacks=100-200 calories for the day). So, on average, that comes out to 1200-1450. It's a little bit of work to figure out how much they are getting but well worth it to watch them have such a varied diet that keeps them growing.
(Oh, and, this morning, we're trying hazelnut milk... doesnt, so far, seem to be as big a hit as the oat milk!)
Sounds great! Good healthy eaters!
Michele!! I love LOVE this post and am so grateful to you for taking the time to write it out. As we get closer and closer to table food I was beginning to get anxious about how to make sure they get everything they need and how much to make, etc. This is a huge help for me to just see an example written out. You're awesome! I'm bookmarking this!
This is awesome! I would love to have my kids eating like this. At about what age were they able to handle their own food and eat what you ate?
We started with baby food at 4 months old and, as they got teeth, started introducing other foods. I want to say that, at about 6-8 months, we started them with puffs. That really helped their food-into-mouth coordination. In the beginning, there was food EVERYWHERE: the floor, on them, anywhere but their mouths, LOL. Then they slowly got better. By 9-10 months, we would give them soft foods (like veggies and breads) from the table. We took them to restaurants and would usually order them steamed veggies and cut them into tiny pieces. By a year old, they could sit at the table (home or restaurant) and get the majority of their food in their mouth. Now, at 16.5 months, they eat pretty much everything we do, although I usually cut things into (if soft) half inch pieces and (for meat or stringier textures) quarter inch pieces.
Thanks so much for visiting my blog. I live just south of the city and work in the city. I just saw your F2F meeting group on your blog, very interesting.
Right on! Glad that B and M eat so well. It's great to have kids who welcome food experiences. Ninja also eats all kinds of things, including Indian food, salmon, scallops, spicy Chinese food, tacos, and it sure makes mealtimes easier. I loved baby-led eating - no baby food or purees for us !
Thanks for your response! I am excited to get into a new phase of "real food" Also, I need to check out Dr. Sears, I am not a big fan of the CIO method, but I have really not known what else to do when two babies are crying and there is only me to console, ya know? I am definitely open to more options. So, thank you!
De-lurking. I am wondering why you are so concerned with the actual caloric intake of your children? I have never counted calories. I have always offered a variety of healthy food - if they want more, they have it - if they refuse, then I know they will be hungry later.
@Debbie- Our pediatrician asked that we keep note, especially because Maya is on the smaller side, to make sure they were getting enough. They always have and, at times, have had more b/c, like you, we let them have what they want to eat, so the assumption is that Maya simply inherited genes that have her on the slight side, like her dad!
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