When choosing food for Lewis I try to stick mainly with things that are fresh, healthy, not too processed, etc. I also try to give him a lot of variety and introduce “new” things so that he can experience all different tastes/textures/etc in his food. When he has something more processed or unhealthy it is usually because he has seen Chris and I eating it (mac & cheese, etc.) or because we are outside of our usual routine and eating things we don’t normally have around (graham crackers for s’mores while at camp).
We give him lunch and dinner regularly every day, although most of his nutrition still comes from breast milk and his “meals” just supplement that. Because of this I don’t worry too much about giving him a fully balanced meal with fruit/veg/protein/grains/etc. He seems to get overwhelmed when I offer too many things at once and prefers to focus on 2 or 3 different things to eat. Instead of balancing out each meal I try to give him a balance through-out the day. If he has fruit and yogurt for lunch then dinner might be some kind of grain and veggies.
Of course he has his preferences and like so many other kids his favorite things to eat are fruit, yogurt, fruit, crackers, fruit, and cheese. He enjoys meat when we give it to him but we only eat meat a few times a week as a family, and although he enjoys it he will usually only eat a few bites because it is difficult to manage. Veggies he loves to snack on raw, but can’t easily eat more than a few nibbles with his four little teeth, and most of the time he thinks that cooked veggies are best for squishing in your hands and/or throwing onto the floor.
So, like so many Mamas before me, I find myself trying to think of new ways to get a few more veggies into his diet.
Earlier this week Chris and I were having salads for dinner, which is one of the few meals that he can’t really share with us. (Try chewing lettuce with just your front four teeth. Not happening.) Lewis had already had yogurt and blueberries for lunch and some pineapple and banana for a snack, so I really wanted to find a way to offer him some vegetables. I remembered we had rice cakes, and pretty much anything you give him smeared on a rice cake (or on toast, etc.) he will lick off and ask for more, so I started to try to think about what we could put on a rice cake.
My thoughts wandered to a kohlrabi we had from the CSA box, with no plan to use it. After looking around online I found a website where they mentioned how delicious a carrot and kohlrabi puree is. Perfect! The only problem is that since we did Baby Led Weaning and skipped purees I’m not that experienced with making pureed food. I managed to figure it out with help of my immersion blender.
We sat down to dinner and I handed him a spoon pre-loaded with the veggie mash. He happily popped it into his mouth, probably expecting delicious yogurt again. He then preceded to make a face and try to scrape the mash off his tongue with his fingers. Huh. I guess he doesn’t like that. I got out the rice cakes and give him a plain piece and one with the veggies spread on it. He ate a bit of the veggies off the rice cake, but mostly stuck to the plain one. I’m not sure if his reaction to the mash was due to flavor (but he likes both carrots and kohlrabi raw) or the texture, since he hasn’t been given much mushy or pureed food. Or maybe it was just the surprise of it not tasting like he expected.
The next day for lunch I mixed the leftover puree onto some pasta along with a splash of tomato sauce (which he loves and would eat straight from a spoon). He happily sucked the sauce off his noodles, so I will have to keep this in mind and try other combo-veggie sauces in the future. I ate some with him and even though I only added a small amount of tomato sauce it didn’t taste too different from normal pasta with sauce, so I think this is something we could have for dinner as a family in the future.
As usual, things have been quite busy around here with day-to-day life. Lewis is quite a busy little guy and likes to always have Mommy and/or Daddy participating in his busy-ness. Of course there is also the usual housework and shopping and everything else that needs doing, and it seems my blog writing has gotten pushed a bit into the sidelines recently.
One of my sisters visited this past weekend, and Lewis enjoyed playing with his Auntie. He has a lot of stranger anxiety/separation anxiety, but it seems he is warming up a bit more recently to the idea of being with People Who Are Not Mom Or Dad. He seems to do especially well with my sisters, perhaps because they are similar to me. He didn’t want Anna to hold him at all, but enjoyed sitting on the floor playing or reading books with her, or walking around holding her hand for support like he does with me and Chris.
We had fun playing with colored ice in our water bin outside on Friday. I’m not sure how much Lewis noticed the colors of the ice, since he just sat and sucked on the ice cubes as usual.
Saturday we all went to Target and Marshalls to do a bit of shopping. We had planned to go to Old Navy but when we arrived there was a huge line of people lined up outside, making us think of Black Friday lines. The only reason we could think of was that we knew they were having $1 flip-flops, but do people really line all up for that or was something else going on? Either way, we decided to avoid the crowds and skip that part of our shopping. We got some tacos/burritos for lunch and then in the afternoon enjoyed going swimming in the pool. Lewis had fun swimming like usual but actually seemed more interested in walking around and exploring around the outside of the pool this time.
For some reason Lewis had a very hard time with his naps all weekend. He has been doing excellent with his sleep, going into the crib with a smile for both naps and bedtime for several weeks now. This weekend he was crying and crying when put down for naps, and a few times he cried for 10-15 minutes, which has always been our limit, and we had to go get him and comfort him. He had some trouble with bedtimes too but not as bad as the naps. It’s been rather draining trying to deal with an upset non-napping baby who wants Mommy all the time, but I think we are past it now and hopefully it was only those few days of it.
He may have been upset from teething pain, since he has just gotten his two top teeth. The sleep trouble didn’t start until after they had both broken through, but one of them was still looking somewhat swollen so maybe it was bothering him. He may also just be adjusting his schedule and not need to nap as soon as before. I normally give him 2-ish hours of awake time before putting him down for a nap, and he takes 3 naps in a day. Today I let him stay awake 3 1/2 hours before his first nap and then about 3 hours of awake time before his second nap, and we didn’t do a third nap. He did great today and napped without a fuss, so I will probably continue adjusting our schedule and maybe switch to 2 naps permanently.
We’ve also started getting a CSA box weekly, which is also making things a bit busy. We are enjoying all the fresh veggies and trying new things, but since there is more veg than we usually have and they are all farm-fresh and dirty they take a little more processing than our usual broccoli/peppers/carrots/etc. that we get from the grocery store.
Since it is spring we are getting a lot of lettuce and other greens so far, plus herbs, radishes, green onions, kholrabi, garlic scapes, and turnips. We’ve made a couple pasta dishes, lots of salad, two batches of pesto, and pizza with a variety of veggies including sliced turnip and radishes. I love watching Lewis try the new veggies and he seems to like pretty much all of it, especially the radishes!