Last week I shared a post on how we reached the selective eating phase and how as a mom I have learned to deal with it and overcome some of it’s challenges. I discussed how I serve her whatever I have cooked even if I know she won’t eat it, keeping feeding times short, and not force feeding. I also talked about how I deal with balancing TV and meal times and how I like to keep our snacks and treats homemade and why. I had a lot to share on that post and also wanted to show more in depth examples of some of the points I made. To not make it this huge post that most of you wouldn’t have time to read, I decided to break it up into two parts.
I want to share some of the foods I make for her for every meal. What her usual breakfast, lunch and dinners look like. Also, what foods she typically tends to say no to and how I make up for her not eating them. I also wanted to show you guys some of our favorite snacks and treats we eat at home on a regular basis. These are some techniques I have implemented on our day to day life to make sure my daughter is getting her full nutrition and I’m not stressed out about her missing out on any food benefits.
Lets start with:
Hard Boiled Egg with Multigrain Toast, Flower Shaped Papaya and Kiwi, and Heart Shaped Strawberries
This is a very typical breakfast for Miss Emma. I like meal prepping and hard boiled eggs are my go to for planning breakfast for the days ahead. I make about half a dozen every week and keep them in my fridge with the shell on for up to five days. Like this I have an easy and quick breakfast for either my baby or myself. Emma really likes her hard boiled eggs but when she’s in a picky mood she wants nothing to do with it. Sometimes however, I feel like she may just have had a hard boiled egg for too many days in a row. So she gets bored or sick of them for a few days. Then likes them again.
With a breakfast like this she always starts with her toast first. Once she eats that she then moves on to her fruit. She always turns to strawberries first, then kiwi and probably won’t touch the papaya. Strawberries and kiwis are her favorite so that’s why she goes for those first. If she’s already too full she won’t even touch the kiwi. Along with her strawberry she will eat her egg. If she doesn’t want egg that day then she goes on to ask for more bread.
Since in this meal I have provided her with so many options she is more likely to eat a good portion of it. Best case scenario she will eat her toast, most of the egg and most of the fruit. She can also choose to eat the toast, most of the fruit and not the egg. She will most likely ask for more bread so what I do is give her another slice with peanut butter on it to make sure she still gets some protein on it. Like this I can feel better about her getting a well balanced breakfast.
Sweet Potato Chickpea Nuggets with Peas, Garlic Parmesan Parsnip Fries, and Flower Shaped Kiwi
This is a very well balanced lunch for my baby. I’ll be honest most days her lunches don’t look like this. As I mentioned on the first part of this post she usually has her lunch after she wakes up from her nap. She has a lot of energy so gets really fussy about sitting in her chair for a long time. So, I keep her lunch time very short and her food choices very simple. In this case I would give her probably just a couple of nuggets, less fries and probably no fruit. She would refuse it so I would just make up for it during her afternoon snack.
On days when we have a long morning and get home later she is pretty hungry and has lunch before her nap time. In this case her lunch would look like this. Here she probably wouldn’t touch the peas, definitely would eat all of her nuggets and the fries. The fruit will also get eaten for sure. I still give her the peas so that she gets used to seeing them and knowing that they are an option with her meal. There have been times when she has surprised me and has grabbed a couple and actually eaten them.
Quinoa & Spinach Salmon Cakes with Dill & Lemon Yogurt Dip, Flower Shaped Cucumber, Heart Shaped Strawberries
This is another typical meal for Emma. My salmon cakes are one of her favorites and are still a food she will eat with no problem at all. She likes dipping them into the yogurt dip so it does get pretty messy but hey, that’s mom life. The strawberries get eaten of course, there’s no doubt about that. The cucumber would probably be the one thing that she wouldn’t eat from here. Again, I still put them on her plate so that she is familiar with them and in hopes that one day she will surprise me and eat them. Every here and there she will take one bite out of one and leave the rest on her plate.
When it comes to dinner I don’t worry as much. Between her meals and her snacks she gets plenty of nutritious foods. If she gets really picky at dinner time my mind is at peace because I know she ate plenty of healthy foods the whole day. Plus, I am so tired the last thing I want is to get stressed out about my daughter not wanting to take a few bites out of a cucumber.
Get Recipe Here-> Quinoa & Spinach Salmon Cakes with Dill and Lemon Yogurt Dip
As you can see her meals are pretty well balanced. I give her a lot of options so that she has plenty to choose from even if she gets picky with one or two things on her plate. I keep everything very healthy so that she is always choosing something nutritious and is not eating junk food or something with no nutritional value.
Also, when I put a piece of vegetable in front of her such as broccoli she won’t touch it (before she would eat it no problem). However, if I give her a dish that has all sorts of vegetables mixed she eats it with no problem. So I do make her a lot of soups and rice loaded with a lot of different vegetables and she loves it. I know, go figure!
Lastly, I take a little extra time to make her meals look pretty. Like this they are colorful and appealing and fun for her. I also use the shaped foods to teach her some shapes. Just a little extra step to learn a little something during meal times.
Roasted Chickpeas, Grapes, Flower Shaped Papaya
Plain Greek Yogurt, Raw Almonds, Mini Dark Chocolate Chips
Apple, Peanut Butter, Mini Dark Chocolate Chips
These are some of my go to snacks for Emma. These are all ingredients that I constantly have in my pantry. As you can see they are all homemade and I use fresh and healthy ingredients. These are the portions that I serve but generally we will share them so she doesn’t eat as much as you may think during her snack times. These are all nutritious and real foods that still provide her with essential vitamins and minerals. Nothing is processed or refined so she’s still eating foods with nutritional value. So when she has a day that she doesn’t eat well for one of her meals, her snack time makes up for it. Not just in quantity of food but also in the quality of food.
Other go to snacks are green smoothies, multigrain toast with hazelnut butter and strawberries, Apple Cinnamon Flax Mini Muffins, Blueberry Donuts. I pack my green smoothies with plenty of fruit, spinach, chia seeds, cinnamon, turmeric and almond milk. I usually make these for her breakfast or as a morning snack. She loves green smoothies so that’s a plus. It’s always a great backup for when she’s being very picky.
Like I said on the first part of this post, dealing with this phase is going to require a lot of patience. It is normal for kids to go through this stage. The foods that you choose to give them are going to make all the difference. Opt for healthy, nutritious and homemade. As moms we worry and tend to think that our babies are not getting enough to eat and most of the time they are. Remember to always talk to your child’s pediatrician about this stage so that they are aware and make sure everything is under control. They can also give you some great tips and tricks for getting through this phase. Remember, the fact that you worry means that you are already doing a great job!