Posted by tntmck on Mar 17, 2012 in Information
, Overall Diet
How much food should I be feeding my baby? How many calories does my toddler need? Is he eating too much fruit? Should I be preparing more protein? It’s so easy to question everything from milk intake to bowel movements. Sometimes I think we might be just a little too close to the subject. I’ve had times where I’ve needed to just step back and make sure I’m seeing the forest for the trees.
I discovered the following website http://www.mypyramid.gov recently. This link shows the food pyramid specific to your child’s age and weight. You can enter age and activity level for your child and it will calculate the exact number of daily calories needed. Oh my! I consider myself to be fairly Type A personality and this is too much for me! It seems to me that if you eat real food to fullness and true satisfaction, then things will fall in place. I think kids have this ability built into their little bodies. And, remember, they are growing. Things will ebb and flow. It is my job to present my children with healthy food options and encourage them to try things.
This government site goes so far as to provide a tracker to keep a tally of the daily requirements by grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, meat and beans. I seriously think I need to stay far, far away from this as it could easily become obsessive for no good reason at all!
I’ve shared some of my favorite meals in the past, but here’s another great place to find Toddler Meals. My philosophy is to share good food with my children and maybe we there will be a little chef in the making.
What do you think of the Super Tracker?
A 10oz. bag of frozen veggies is perfect for cooking and puréeing using your favorite method, then freezing.
You might enjoy these more detailed posts:
BATCH PREP METHODS: Part I – Cooking
BATCH PREP METHODS: Part II – Storing
When you’re making food cubes to store in the freezer, save yourself some materials. Freeze them in regular ice cube trays, but put them inside of large freezer bags that you will use for storing in the freezer once you pop them out. This saves the extra piece of foil, cling wrap, or wax paper that you would have used to cover each tray.
Posted by tntmck on May 25, 2010 in Purées
There are many reasons that you may want to thicken for for your baby or even toddler. For baby you may have just made it too runny or might be trying to transition to a thicker consistency with a little more texture. When your baby is learning to eat from a spoon or if you have something for your toddler to eat from a spoon and want to keep things neat, then thickening might be helpful.
To thicken, try mixing in some of the following ingredients as long as they are age-appropriate and you have given them before with no reactions.
- mashed potato (sweet potato is best)
- yogurt (whole, plain)
- wheat germ
- grains or cereals
- pureed lentils or beans
I mostly added ground grains or cereals when I was thickening, but there were times when I had potatoes or beans handy and used them as well. Wheat germ often helps to thicken the oatmeal that I tend to get a little too runny in the mornings.
Please share your thoughts and ideas.
Posted by tntmck on May 21, 2010 in Dairy
, Grains, Beans, Legumes and Nuts
First, let me say that my boys have NEVER been constipated. I feel very strongly that the food they have eaten has played a large part in this fact. As a huge fan of Ruth Yaron’s Super Baby Food book, I think that her Super Porridge plays a large contributing roll in keeping my boys “super regular.” They eat porridge daily as well as a wide variety of meat, fruits, vegetables, other grains, and dairy. So, the following tips don’t come from experience of dealing with constipation, but rather from my experience of avoiding it.
- Feed Super Porridge daily. I actually give my boys oatmeal with flax seed, apples, and cinnamon every morning. Recently, I have even started using steel cut oats and soaking them overnight with water and a couple tablespoons of yogurt. Most nights for dinner, they also get some form of grains or mixed grains with beans or legumes mixed in as well as tahini, wheatgerm, or some other “healthy extra.” Not only can Super Porridge be a complete protein, but it is full of fiber.
- Offer water daily. Any time we are on the run or outside, my boys get water. It is also the general drink at dinner if they have finished their milk for the day. One of the major symptoms of constipation is dehydration and water helps to keep things moving.
- Serve a variety of fruits and vegetables at meals and snacks. Many fruits and vegetables offer lots of good fiber including avocado, pear, broccoli, etc., but the best idea is just to make sure you’re including a variety of tastes, textures, and colors. Lots of nutrients and minerals aid in the digestive process.
- Avoid added sugar. Sugar may add to digestive problems and be a source of constipation. Let your little one enjoy sugar from natural foods including great tasting fruits.
- Yogurt, yogurt, yogurt. Don’t buy prepared over-marketed yogurts. Just buy whole milk plain yogurt and add natural fruits or vanilla. Yogurt is a great source of nutrition all around.
- Avoid processed foods. I’m not going to rant about this one as I’m planning a post soon about all of the processed stuff in grocery stores today, but do yourself and your whole family a favor and just stop buying it. If you really knew how to pronounce all those words in the ingredients and knew what they were and how they were processed in a large plant to make what you’re eating, you’d probably drop the box, can, jar, etc. and run. So, just take my word for it and run!
If you’re in the middle of your little one experiencing a bit of constipation, you may want to focus more on a few of these things to get through the situation, but overall, keep a well-varied, natural, whole food mix to the meals and snacks your offering and everything should stay right on track.
Ok, there’s a new poll up, so invite your friends and let’s get as many votes as possible for the best results. It’s at the top of the page and will be there until it closes next Friday.
And, for those of you who are eagerly awaiting my milk post based on the last poll, I promise it’s coming soon. I’ve been busy researching, testing, and learning and want to get everything just right before I post.
Please share your thoughts and ideas.
Posted by tntmck on May 2, 2010 in Dairy
40% (26) organic cow’s
3% (2) raw cow’s
7% (5) local, pasteurized, un-homogenized cow’s
9% (6) soy
1% (1) rice
6% (4) goat’s
3% (2) dry
51% (33) standard, pasteurized, homogenized cow’s
Total Votes = 64
This is such an interesting poll. When the poll started, I was in the last category with the largest group buying standard cow’s milk. However, since then I’ve been doing lots of reading and research on the different kinds and have even been purchasig various kinds to give them a try. My thoughts on dairy have been changig throughout the course of this poll and I’ll be writing about them in my upcoming post called “The Great Milk Debate.”
NOTE: I accidentally left kefir off the poll when I started, so feel free to add your comments about that and anything else I may have missed.
I’m leaving these results as a post so that you all can share your comments on the results.
Posted by tntmck on Apr 29, 2010 in Dairy
The more votes, the better the results. Vote now and spread the word.
Posted by tntmck on Apr 26, 2010 in Dairy
3 DAYS LEFT TO VOTE: This is getting interesting. Invite your friends and family to vote and follow the blog. The more votes, the better the results. Then, stay tuned to see the final results. I’ll post and everyone can comment with your own thoughts on the subject. This is all gearing up for the “The Great Milk Debate” post coming soon after.
Posted by tntmck on Apr 21, 2010 in Tips
Milk. Don’t they say it does a body good? Well, it does. But, you don’t want your toddler to fill up on milk and not eat his food. Alternately, you don’t want a baby to fill up on food and not be hungry to nurse or take a bottle. So, what’s a mother to do? Well, it’s another one of those classic balancing acts. You have to be keen on what your little one needs at his stage in life. You also have to decide how much is best.
You can usually tell how much is best by letting your baby dictate the amount for you. You did this from day one, but once you start introducing solids things start to change a little bit. I found that when first introducing solids, my boys worked best getting about half of their milk first, then solids, then the rest of their milk. I soon learned that Wyatt would do just fine eating plenty of solids first, then taking all of his milk. Owen, on the other hand, needed to be offered his full amount of milk first and save the solids for last. This sounds really odd, but once I figured it out, it seemed clear to me how much you really have to follow your baby’s cues for feedings. As babies, breastmilk or formula is still the primary means for nutrition and you don’t want solids to be filling him up before he has a chance to drink his primary nutrients.
Then, that magic age hits. Your baby is now a year old. You’ve probably either started weaning or are considering it soon. For us, we started adding in whole milk around 11 months (consult with your physician when making this decision). By a year, my boys were both completely on milk from cups at the same time as meals with one afternoon snack including milk. With my doctor, we decided they only needed to be offered 16oz. throughout the day. I have also learned that they are better milk drinkers at certain times of the day. At breakfast, for instance, they want food. Once you get them started, they will enjoy some milk, but rarely a full serving. That afternoon snack, though, is all about the milk. They can drink it down. I am cautious, however, to not let the milk take over. I really want my boys learning and trying new foods and getting all of the good nutrition from those healthy foods. If I were to let them fill up on milk, this would not happen and I would probably have more picky eaters right now.
So, what’s the tip? The tip is to pay attention to your little one to learn when are the best times and order for milk and solids.
Please share your thoughts and ideas.