I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while. But it seems that every time we get in a groove with eating, something changes!
I’ll be honest. Camryn doesn’t always seem to have the biggest appetite. As with everything, there are days when she eats a ton, and other days where she isn’t super interested and just prefers milk to real food. I do respect and understand that she is an intuitive eater (all babies are), so she is honoring her hunger and fullness cues as we go!
It’s funny how little ones have these lessons to teach us, isn’t it? 😉
I will say that since starting daycare, she seems to be eating more consistently, which I know is a result of seeing other kids eat and eating with them.
Favorites For Child Feeding
I’ve already learned so much about feeding babies and toddlers through these short 17 months. I often get asked about my favorite products so wanted to list them here.
- Bentgo Lunch Boxes – We use these for daycare, and Camryn actually prefers to eat out of them in her highchair, too.
- Splat Mat – Necessary for the mess and food she throws on the ground!
- Water Bottle – We struggled on finding the best sippy cup/straw cup for Camryn. The Munchkin ones leaked for us, and there were some Camryn just wasn’t interested in. She seems to like the baby contigo bottle so far.
- Spoon and Fork – We are at the age (hello, independence!) where Camryn wants to imitate everything we’re doing. And while she does eat with her hands alot, she is often becoming proficient at using a fork and spoon. She uses them in both hands now (which is so cute), sometimes it’s her right, sometimes it’s her left.
- Kitchen Helper – She’s at the age now where she wants to be helping me with food prep, which I am all about. This helper has been GREAT for us and Camryn loves it just as much as I do.
Here are some of the meals/snacks she may eat on any ordinary day. Please feel free to share any tips that have worked for you or other meal and snack inspiration.
Whole grain waffles with peanut butter, yogurt and frozen blueberries (she could eat these ALL day long but they are SO messy!) Thank goodness for the splat mat.
If it’s a day she’s not at daycare, snacks are usually on the go – eaten in a stroller, or while she’s running around. If I’m eating too, we’ll sit down together.
It’s typically 2 food groups – so fruit and peanut butter or yogurt, or chips with hummus are common ones. She tends to LOVE crunchy things!
A typical lunch may look like a protein, carb and some fruits/veggies and usually something crunchy. She seems to love pretzels (I buy no salt ones for her), snap pea crisps , crackers and Imagine cheese crisps.
This day was mashed sweet potatoes (she prefers them in fry shape or cubed but I experiment with different textures), hard boiled egg, edamame, tomatoes and cheese crisps with raisins.
A clementine and cheese. She loves string cheese so she has that as a snack often. She’ll eat pretty much all fruit, but really enjoys blueberries (absolutely favorite food – she calls them “bables”, strawberries, pineapple, oranges and apples).
For dinner, she’ll eat whatever we’re eating. A typical dinner may look like black bean burgers, yogurt, sweet potatoes and roasted veggies. She wasn’t crazy about roasted carrots and cucumber slices. She goes through phases with beans, she used to pick them out of everything and eat them, but this was one of those meals she didn’t eat much of.
I try not to force anything on her or bribe her with food, but I do want to encourage her to taste everything and have her watch us eating a variety of foods.
Challenges With Toddler Feeding
I’ve already talked about the appetite part and how inconsistent it can be. One difficult thing we’re experiencing with a strong-willed and wants-to-be-independent toddler is that she loves to throw food on the ground to Tater and be done with it. And when she gauges our reaction, she loves to do it even more.
Not sure there’s anything that can be done about that, so this is just something I’m prepared to navigate! It can also be frustrating that one day she will love something, and then if I serve it the next day or a few days later, she will be picky with it.
Division of Responsibility
I will continue to follow the general Ellyn Satter Division of Responsibility in that I choose what to offer Camryn and when, and she chooses what she wants to eat and how much. I offer her a variety of foods (colors, shapes, textures), homemade options and storebought snacks. Nothing is off limits.
I do have her help me in the kitchen often, thanks to the kitchen helper. She LOVES touching food and ingredients and seeing everything mommy is up to, so this helper has been such a “helper!”
I know this will help her become interested in more foods.
I’m by no means an expert in this arena and I’m just trying to keep it real with you. We are definitely still figuring it out as we go.
Do you find feeding toddlers easy?
What are your babes’ favorite foods?