Oh hey! Starting this out with… It feels really wonderful to be creating content again. Fancy meals are rarely a thing over here, so I’ve struggled to find my place over the past year. But after surviving over a year with the most toddler-y toddler, it’s been brought to my attention that I have some valid content to share (thanks supportive family and friends!). So here goes! And a few recent pics of Ez fun 🙂
I’ll touch briefly on where Ezra is at in his food journey as it’s easy for things to look extra perfect on the ‘gram. Ez is a much stronger personality than Haven was at this age and thrives when he feels in control and is given notice when transitioning from one activity to the next (especially when the current activity is fun and the following activity is… not). The kid is a breakfast monster and loves pancakes, french toast, steel cut oats, yogurt, and fruit. He definitely front loads his calories! Lunch gets a little trickier, but is still fairly easy. We’ve found that the earlier the lunch, the lower the potential for hangry, and the best chance of a pleasant meal. He’s pretty open to whatever we serve, but he def has a strong presence for cucumbers or fry shaped veggies during this time. Or soup… he lives for soup! Dinner has been difficult. Remember that calorie front load blip? Between breakfast, lunch, snack, and nursing on demand, he’s front loaded his calories pretty well. Dinner brings new challenges as activities are winding down and, it’s becoming clearer by the day, that bedtime is near.
Our solution for this has been low pressure dinner, which falls in line with both the Feeding Littles and Big Little Feelings courses that we love. It is not a big deal for us if Ez doesn’t want to sit at the dining table the minute we sit in the dining table. Often we’ll leave his high chair pulled out and he’ll climb up a few min after we start eating (see where that control thing comes into play?). We apply the “always provide a safe food” rule, especially when serving new foods. And that’s where this pancake recipe comes in. Pancakes are devoured over here 100% of the time (by both kids)! And we will often serve him what we are having as well as some fruit and a green smoothie to drink. Sometimes he works his way through the plate, but sometimes he doesn’t. But since we are low pressure, we don’t sweat the food waste that comes with not forcing foods. The important thing is exposure – providing food and letting Ez decide (“You provide, they decide” per Feeding Littles).
But in addition to exposure to foods, it’s important to me that our safe food feel relatively complete from a nutrient standpoint. I loved the idea of the Feeding Littles pancake recipe, but they were a little flat for my taste and had so much potential. Adding almond flour and hemp hearts really helps fluff up the pancakes as well as add a ton of good fat and protein. And zucchini adds fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin B-6, among several other nutrients. Serving a more complete safe food ensures that Ezra is fuller longer, getting the nutrients he needs, and feels in control of his meal. They’re not a bad “complete” snack for mama either!
What are some of your toddler’s safe foods?
Are meal times more challenging than you anticipated during these toddler years?