I had someone leave a comment asking what I feed Little Bug so she has 3 square meals a day. So I thought I’d make a post of it!
First, let me say that Little Bug eats just about everything. She does not turn her nose to many foods. I know some kids are just better eaters than others but I do believe the way my pediatrician taught me to introduce foods to her has A LOT to do with the fact that I now have a toddler that eats three square meals a day. I wrote a post about that here.
Now for what Little Bug eats…
Little Bug loves whole wheat waffles with cream cheese. She also eats toast with cream cheese. Another favorite is whole wheat blueberry muffins (the Pillsbury ones). I usually make them after she goes to bed, have one or two for a snack, and then the next morning we have the rest for breakfast. Little Bug also enjoys eggs. There was a time when she did not like the texture of eggs, but now she will eat them.
Lunch and Dinner:
I always serve her the vegetable first. Veggies she eats are: broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peas, green beans, sweet potatoes, pinto beans, kidney beans. (I do realize the beans aren’t veggies, but I put them here anyway.)
Then she eats dairy, protein, pasta, wheats, starch: cheese, yogurt, chicken (cooked any way…rotisserie chicken, parmesan chicken, chicken nuggets), pork chops, ham, turkey, steak, pasta with chicken and cheese, spaghetti, whole wheat rice, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, grilled cheese sandwich, mac n cheese.
She eats fruit with every meal. Fruits she eats: banana, apples, cantaloupe, grapes, mandarin oranges, kiwi, pear, blueberries, mango, strawberries.
Tips to A Toddler eat three square meals:
1. Limit snacks. I don’t let Little Bug snack all day long. When it is meal time, she is good and hungry and ready to eat what is put in front of her. If kids snack all day long their meals become “snacks” as well. Right now, she typically has one snack after nap and before dinner (around 4pm). Her snack is usually raisins!
2. Limit bread. Many meals, with the exception of breakfast, bread is not served! When Little Bug started eating table foods bread was NOT a food I would give her. Bread is so filling and does not have the nutritional value that veggies and other foods have, so I don’t offer it often for lunch and dinner. A hungry kid is going to eat! If you put bread in front of them as they are learning to eat table foods, most likely they are going to eat it and love it. But if you put veggies in front of them from the start, they will learn to eat veggies instead of filling up on bread. At least that is what we did with Little Bug and I have seen nothing but positive results with it!
3. Limit juice. I still have not introduced juice to Little Bug! And she is almost 2 years old. Juice is empty calories and sugar, which is my next point!
4. NO SUGAR! Yep, you read that right. We do not give Little Bug any sweets. I get a lot of grief from this, but frankly, I don’t care. During the first three years of life, I have the ability to train Little Bug’s brain to WANT the good stuff (like veggies) and I am going to do just that! Babies don’t know a thing about cake, cookies and cupcakes until they are introduced. Same goes for veggies. I just want to take advantage of these first three years and train her brain to desire the veggies, fruits, proteins…foods that are packed FULL of nutrition for her growing brain and body. I guess the way I see it is if I start giving her a cookie here and there, there is the potential to spiral out of control and all of a sudden that cookie that she had “every once in a while” has become a “pretty often” occurrence. It all goes back to protecting the power I have NOW to be able to train her brain to not desire all the sweets. It probably does help too that we don’t keep sweets in our house! It’s not a problem in our house. It is when we leave the house that it can become an issue because society is so set on filling kids up with sugar!
There are no guarantees, I know, that our 2nd baby will be a good eater like Little Bug, but this has certainly worked with Little Bug. It will be interesting to see what #2 does.
I had absolutely no control over what my daughter was exposed to in the womb (and she was exposed to some pretty harsh things for a developing little fetus!) but since she came home from the hospital, she has had nothing but GOOD enter her mouth!