I've had a few conversations lately with some other Mama's about our babies terrible eating habits. Terrible meaning they really aren't interested in food! It literally drives me insane! I worry so much that Johanna isn't getting the nutrients she needs or that she isn't getting enough food. After breastfeeding for 10 months I didn't think this was something I'd still be dealing with. I always worried that she wasn't getting enough milk, as most Mama's do. But now I worry that she isn't getting enough food.
Some days I'm so fed up with it because I feel like I should have figured this out by now. Truth be told this is still in the experimentation phase! One day she'll LOVE a particular food and the next day she's throwing it at the wall or feeding it to Cookie. One day she wants regular food and the next she'll want pureed food only. One day she wants snacks all day and the next she wants food and milk. On those days I feel like I've won!f a agzan km One day she's eating and the next she's washing her hair with her food..... It's frustrating to say the least!
After trying so many different things and having countless conversations with her pediatrician, there are some things I have learned and I want to share them with you all!
If you're child is hungry, they will let you know!
One of my worries is that I'll put Johanna to bed and she'll wake up in the middle of the night hungry. Let me just tell you that I'm not sure why I worry about this.... it's never happened before (at least not since she's become a pre-toddler). Johanna is very good at letting me know when she wants or needs something. Trust me, if they are hungry, they will eat! If they are hungry, they will let you know! Also, if they do happen to wake up hungry in the night, it's really okay. Just give them a bottle or a snack and put them back to bed!
Set a good routine!
You all know I am a huge fan of routines! I do my best to keep Johanna's meal routine the same everyday and the same as her daycare! She get's milk in the morning, afternoon and before bedtime as well as three square meals and 2 snacks and water throughout the day. I love to keep her on a routine when it comes to food because then I know she expects it and it gives me hope that she'll be hungry and actually eat! As she get's older, she knows when her food is coming. Recently, she goes over to her high chair and tries to climb in it. This tells me that she's catching on to our routine and I love it!
Give your baby what they want!
I'm not talking about spoiling them! I'm talking about give them what they like and what you know they'll eat! It's perfectly fine if they are eating the same things over and over again. The important thing is that they are eating! The only time I would be worried is if your pediatrician tells you they aren't getting the nutrients they need.
Typically, I will give Johanna what I know she likes. There are always those times where she surprises me and all of a sudden doesn't like corn anymore even though 2 days before she demolished an entire can of it! I know what she will eat so I try to give her those foods as much as possible. I will introduce a new food or reintroduce one that she hasn't had for awhile about once a week.
Also, I pack Johanna's food for daycare. When I pack her lunch, it is ALWAYS leftovers from dinner from the night before. I hate sending her with foods that I'm not sure she likes or will eat. There is no extra food at daycare and I don't want her to go hungry all day. So, whatever she EATS for dinner is what she gets for lunch the next day. She seems not to mind this at all!
Johanna is 16 months old but still really enjoys her puree's. The pediatrician has advised me that she can eat them for as long as she wants to! That's perfectly fine with me! I always have them on hand in case she wants something! I keep some in the car, in the diaper bag and have them as a back up in case she won't eat regular food. I know for sure that she'll eat a puree any time of day!
Eat with your baby!
I am so bad at doing this! I always sit down with her but I don't always have food in front of me. If you can though, you should try to have at least one meal a day with you baby. For me, it's typically breakfast or dinner. The reason is because around the pre-toddler age, they begin copying behaviors that they see. If they see you eating, they'll likely eat as well. Family meals are also good because they give baby structure and something they can look forward to doing together! It encourages development especially in the eating department!
Here are some foods and snacks that Johanna likes! These are foods that I know she will definitely eat. These foods are always on my grocery list and we keep them stocked in the house at all times! If she is not eating something that I've made or cooked for her, I will give her something off of this list! It's a good idea to keep a stock of stuff you know they will eat in case you run into something they won't!
Gerber Organics Puree Pouches
Stonyfield Organic Yo Baby Yogurts
Apple Sauce Pouches
Bread of any kind (mainly banana muffins, blueberry muffins, pancakes, etc.)
Pasta (she has pasta a lot!)
Annie's Honey Teddy Grahams
Turn off the television, turn off the music and leave your phone out of babies site. This is good so that they are only focused on their food. Too much distraction can cause them to forget the task at hand. There have been a few occasions when we are listening to music while cooking. I forget to turn it off and she is busy dancing and singing instead of eating. I learned that the less distraction the better!
Heading out to a restaurant!
If you're heading out to eat, bring extra food! Sometimes Johanna will eat what I order at restaurants but sometimes she doesn't. Of course, I bring food that I know she'll eat just in case! It's okay to pack food from the house when you want to eat out! Don't worry about the judgement!
That's all I've got so far! I'd love to hear any and all suggestions from you guys because I'm seriously on the struggle bus with the eating thing! On the other hand I really hope these tips work for you guys if you need them!
Remember, you're doing any amazing job!