What’s Eating You Baby?

Quinn Eating Her Grilled Cheese Sandwich With Baby Spinach and Tomato

Quinn Eating Her Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Baby Spinach and Tomato

A few of months ago, I had a conversation with a mother of a two and a half year old, and she was sharing with me how her little boy has become such a picky eater. Getting him to eat any “healthy” food choices, outside of certain fruits, has been an ongoing battle. It was then that I knew my days were numbered with my little girl’s (who just turned 20 months yesterday) willingness to eat new and healthy foods. Within the past month, she has become more vocal, saying, “No,” shaking her head, shoving the spoon or fork away if my husband or try to feed her or even putting her hand over her mouth to show her disdain for certain food choices. Sometimes, she convinces me that she is just not hungry, but then my husband may have something “not so healthy” in addition to our meal for dinner, and Quinn will cozy up to him as sweet as can be and say, “Please.”

On one hand, I am excited that Quinn is becoming her own person and standing her ground, but on the other hand, I want to ensure that she is receiving the proper nutrients. Fruits are no problem, but veggies are getting tricky. So I’ve been getting clever with her meals. One of her favorites (I hope it stays this way) is grilled cheese with baby spinach and tomatoes. Another is mac and cheese with added broccoli, which she will ask for by name.  I have a feeling that I’m going to need to compile quite a few healthy meal selections as Quinn’s taste buds change or she refuses a meal choice. If you have any healthy options that your toddler loves, please feel free to let me know.

All the best,

Tanya

My Baby Loves Food Fights: It’s all organic!

Quinn eating her organic waffles and strawberries

Quinn eating her organic waffles and strawberries

 

Peas and carrots go flying! Tomato sauce smeared on the table. Smashed blueberries scattered on the floor. Green beans mushed, chewed up and spit out. No, this isn’t a food fight at an elementary school; it’s my baby girl Quinn expressing her emotions towards eating solid food.  Sometimes she loves them, and other times she loathes them. From her eating habits alone, I can see that my little one year old is formulating her own thoughts and figuring out that she can choose what she likes and dislikes and if she wants more or has had enough.

Prior to Quinn being born, my husband and I decided to go the organic and non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) route as much as possible and have been conscientious in selecting and preparing her baby food. Now that she’s eating more solid foods, putting together a variety of toddler friendly meals has become an arduous yet exciting task. Though I enjoy shopping at Whole Foods, coming out with just one bag of groceries worth $50 or more to prepare one week worth of meals for my daughter is not something I’m looking to do on a regular basis. So I’ve been compiling places and brands that have been helpful on my quest to keeping Quinn’s food organic as well as non-GMO when possible.

Trader Joe'sTrader Joe’s has been one of my favorite “go to” places. I can get organic fruit, vegetables, cereal, etc. at a reasonable price for the entire family. One of my favorite deals is the bag three pound bag of organic sweet potatoes for a little over $3.00

 

Simply BalancedTarget actually has a nice selection of reasonably priced organic foods in their grocery section. Not all but some of their Simply Balanced line is organic and may even be non-GMO. I’ve been able to use some of the frozen organic fruits and vegetables to prepare meals for Quinn instead of going the “prepackaged route.”

 

Annie's HomegrownAnnie’s Homegrown is actually a line I stumbled across at Target. Many of their foods are non-GMO and organic. They’re great when I need to prepare a quick meal. My daughter, like most children, loves their macaroni and cheese, and the pasta noodles are small enough for her to chew without choking being an issue.

Earths BestEarth’s Best has far more than breakfast, but their organic waffles with no growth hormones  are the perfect size for my daughter, and this is the first solid food breakfast item that Quinn happily eats up with little to no assistance from me.

 

Ella's Kitchen

Ella’s Kitchen has been wonderful in helping Quinn transition to eating solid foods that require more chewing. She loves the perfectly pleasing tomato-y pasta with plenty of vegetables. I love this meal because it has many nutrients unlike the few organic options Gerber has for toddlers. Though I’ve been successful at replicating the meal by purchasing my own organic ingredients, it is great to have it readily available when Quinn wants dinner “now.”

 

 

Tots Teensy Fruits Plum Organics is our “go to” not just for quick dinner meals but for healthy snack options as well. Though many of Quinn’s snacks are fruits such as bananas, strawberries, blueberries and kiwis, occasionally she gets a packaged snack. When comparing the organic snacks Gerber offers with the ones Plum Organics offers, the latter has more nutrients an less empty calories. (I want to instill the importance of eating healthy with Quinn from the very start)

I’ve located two toddler meal recipe books for preparing healthy, organic meals:

first meals

First Meals by Annabel Karmel

Start Fresh by Tyler Florence

Start Fresh by Tyler Florence

Perhaps my list above will help out some mommy’s and daddy’s going the organic route and looking for more reasonably priced alternatives. If you have any suggestions for me, please feel free to share.

All the best,

Tanya