Finally! I’ve been working on this post for a while, so I hope you find it useful!
I think the one thing that has stressed me out the most about raising a baby so far, is what to feed them. It was easy the first year – breast milk and pureed fruits and veggies. I lived by THIS website for foods age birth-1 year. Finger foods is a whole new ball game. Did he get enough? Why does he hate meat? Why isn’t he eating his sweet potatoes? He ate them all last week. Can he have this particular food? Why is he throwing his food everywhere? Am I feeding him healthy foods? Did I ruin his taste preference when I was pregnant? And on and on!
BASIC MEAL PLAN:
If you have a toddler, I’m sure you’ve asked yourself these questions and more. I’m not an expert on feeding a 1 year old, but I thought I would share some pictures of several meals I’ve fed Beckham the last few months (he’s almost 17 months). I try to serve a meat/protein, fruit, and veggie at every meal. He also has a sippy cup of milk (Organic Whole milk) with each meal (about 20-24 oz. per day). I will explore other types of milk (almond, coconut, etc.…), but until he’s 2, I was advised to give cow’s milk. Most of his foods have to be soft since he’s still working on getting his teeth. He eats crackers, but tough raw fruits and veggies doesn’t work just yet. He can’t eat with a spoon by himself yet, so any yogurt type food is done by me. I let him practice with the spoon afterwards though and a few bites here and there. He’s pretty good with the fork, but if he’s super hungry, he just gives up and shoves it in his mouth with his hands.
In between meals, he gets WATER to drink. I don’t give him juice as I PERSONALLY don’t feel it’s needed for HIM. It just has a lot of sugar and he eats TONS of fruit anyway, so we just do water. I don’t think it’s bad, just not for Beckham right now. If he didn’t eat a lot of fruit, I would probably give him some diluted juice (25% juice/75% water).
For snacks, he usually eats fruit (tons of clementines), Goldfish (although he’s not really into these right now), peanut butter crackers, smoothies, applesauce, those squeezable pureed fruits/veggies on-the-go, and yogurt. This boy LOVES smoothies! This is a great way to hide foods your kid may not eat. I don’t want to hide foods from Beckham, but sometimes you’re desperate for your child to get certain nutrients. When I make myself a smoothie, I pour him a cup before I add my protein powder. He gulps it down SO fast! See…
4 Things I Find Important:
- I’m really trying to keep him from sweets that are not fruit because I just don’t see a point in making that a craving. Don’t get me wrong, he’s had sweets and will have more in the future, but he’s too young to make that choice right now, so mama’s in control! Haha.
- I also let him try as many different foods as possible. I was shocked he liked tomatoes.
- I introduce foods he might not like at first over and over and over again! He JUST ate a bite of avocado for the first time without spitting it out a few days ago. He has hated this food since he was 6 months old. He also ate broccoli (all of mine of course) and he hasn’t been liking that either lately.
- Quick meals are mandatory – Nothing will get you moving faster than a hungry child!
Here are several pictures of some of the foods he’s been eating lately. I’ll start with breakfast foods, then lunch foods, and then dinner. Lunch and dinner tend to be the same at times. A lot of these foods may be the same, but I just took a picture of everything I was feeding him.
There are SEVERAL recipe links below, so be sure to read under the meal title if you’re interested in how I made it.
ANOTHER RECIPE NOT PICTURED:
–QUESADILLAS– You can pretty much add anything to the inside of a tortilla, add some cheese, and heat it up in the microwave or on the stove for a crispier tortilla. We add finely chopped chicken and broccoli a lot. Beckham would only eat these for a time period. It was our saving grace for him to eat meat. I also heard you can add hummus to the tortilla for a sticky filling in addition to meat, veggies, and cheese. I will definitely try this.
HOW I MAKE GRILLED VEGGIES AND CHICKEN FOR THE ENTIRE WEEK:
-Grilled veggies on the fly:
A little prep work 30 minutes (if that) a week and you have veggies all week you can serve in seconds. I will wash, peel, and cut veggies such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and broccoli. I’ll steam them on the stove and then store them in an air tight container in the fridge for the week. Whenever I need veggies, I take out a few and heat them in the microwave.
-Chicken on the fly:
1. If there is a day we’re having grilled chicken (or anything that needs to be cooked on our outside grill), I’ll have Ryan grill 1-2 extra chicken breasts so I can have a couple of already cooked chicken breasts ready to eat for Beckham. Usually one will be enough for the week. I marinate them with seasonings and Worcestershire sauce before grilling them. Then I can use them for chopped bbq chicken or inside a pasta or quesadilla dish.
2. Boil chicken in water for 20-30 minutes. This will be very plain so it’s good to pair with other ingredients when serving. It’s a much faster and easier way to cook it though. Great for the winter months when you might not be outside grilling.
3. 1-2 chicken breasts in the crock pot with 1-2 cups salsa (we use medium). I also add about 1 Tbsp. of taco seasoning. Cook on low for 2-3 hours, longer if frozen. Shred with a fork! I freeze this a lot of times to have for chicken recipes.
*I just keep the chicken in a baggie in the fridge!
I hope you found these meal ideas and recipes useful! I would LOVE to hear any ideas you have for feeding your toddler, whether it’s a meal, a snack, a cook book, or an idea that gets them to eat better. Other moms and dads are the best resources! Thanks to my “special moms” Facebook group for so much support and idea sharing. You’ve made this first year and a half SO much better!