September 6, 2013 by BettyCupcakes
I remember thinking feeding Sam as a baby was tough. He used to take an hour to drink a bottle and when you’re feeding them 6-7 bottles a day, I was spending most of my life in a chair staring out the window.
And then there’s the burping. Oh God, the burping. Burping a floppy newborn is one of the unmentioned circles of Hell. Dante clearly didn’t have children.
Somedays, now that I have a toddler, I’m a bit nostalgic for those long hours holding a bottle in the rocking chair. It was definitely less taxing than chasing Sam around the playground with a forkful of pasta.
An easy day breakfast: Cheerios, hardboiled egg, banana, and milk. On this day, he ate the banana, a few Cheerios, drank all the milk, and threw the egg to the dog. This was weird because the night before he ate two hardboiled eggs for dinner. Toddlers are weird!
Thankfully, he still LOVES going out to eat. He is a total social butterfly and flirts with all the waitresses. His little voice says “hi” to all to pass by our table. As long as it doesn’t take too long to get food, he is good to go. We especially love places that serve bread before the meal- I’m looking at you, Bertucci rolls. Yum.
He also loves to cook. When I’m making pancakes on Saturday mornings, he’ll pour some of his milk into a bowl and stir it with his spatula. During dinner, he’ll dip his leftover sweet potato fries into his yogurt for a new flavor profile. Though I don’t think he’s ready for MasterChef just yet, I love that he loves to sniff new spices and try everything I make even if he promptly spits it out. Last night we discovered the wonder that is garlic salt- no surprise that my Italian baby was obsessed. Plus it makes a cool noise when you shake it.
Despite his culinary interest, feeding him can still be a challenge. Flavor-wise, he’ll eat sweet and savory things equally. However, he’s definitely into the picky toddler stage and it mostly has to do with textures.
Things with Sam has to pass what I like to call “The Squish Test”. He is not into crunchy food at all, so things must squish when pierced with his chubby baby finger. If they squish, he might try a bite. If they don’t squish, no dice. If I’m lucky he’ll leave it alone and if I’m unlucky, he’ll hurl it across the room. There is one exception to The Squish Test and that is crackers. He adores crackers. Especially cheddar ones (duh).
Foods that have passed The Squish Test:
- Sweet potato fries (as long as I don’t bake them too long)
- Turkey or turkey lunch meat
- Hot dogs
- Cooked carrots
- Broccoli that is completely overcooked (as long it’s doused in marinara)
- Peas (sometimes)
- Kale (in marinara sauce)
- Spinach (in marinara sauce or a smoothie)
Food that have failed The Squish Test:
- Roast broccoli
- Green beans
- Fish sticks
- Chicken tenders
- Brussels sprouts
- Tomatoes (these squish, but are not liked)
A few months ago, this list would have driven me nuts. I was constantly trying to get him to eat new foods and just generally stressed out about the whole prospect of mealtime. Now, I just go with it. If he only eats sweet potatoes and Cheerios one day, he’ll make up for it with a monster serving of turkey and fruit the next day. I look at his nutrition through a weekly lens and try to make sure he gets enough of each food group over the course of a week, rather than a day. I’ve also introduced green milkshakes to get in some spinach. I’ll share my recipe for those soon.
Overall, I’m grateful that he’s got a good appetite to fuel him through his busy days playing piano, crashing trucks, and chasing the labradoodle. And I’m truly blessed that so far he has shown no sign of food allergies. I can’t imagine the stress that would bring.
What are your (or were) your kids favorite foods?