Friday, February 4, 2011

Mom, What's For Dinner?

In parenthood it seems like once you master one phase, it's time to move on to the next challenge.  One of the biggest challenges that mothers face is what to feed their children.  I remember when Will was about five months old I realized that it was time to introduce solid foods.  I couldn't believe that he was old enough to eat solids.  We'd fallen into an easy routine with breastfeeding (well, it was easy once we both got the hang of it) and now it was time to disrupt our routine to start solids.  I started with rice cereal mixed with breast milk and progressed to cereal mixed with veggies or fruit.  I remember feeling so nervous about what I should feed Will, how much I should feed him and when I should feed him.  It was the same feelings I had when he was a newborn.  I guess it's the fear of the unknown and the pressure to want to do everything just right, especially when it comes to your children.  To help ease my anxiety I found this book very helpful, Your Baby's First Year by the American Academy of Pediatrics.  It included a menu for the different phases of the first year.  I looked at various articles on Babycenter for advice and information, and I bought First Meals by Annabel Karmel.  I made some of my own baby food for Will and Ben, but I mostly used what was available at Wal-Mart, Super Target or Babies R Us.  I chose to feed the boys organic baby food even though it was more money.  I don't judge if others don't do that, but it was a personal decision that I felt good about. 

The next challenge came when my boys were past the baby food phase.  It was definitely easier on my wallet but harder in terms of being creative and coming up with healthy and tasty things for them to eat.

My boys are 20 months and 4 years old.
Here's what my boys typically eat.

Breakfast:
Dry cereal, Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Frosted Mini Wheats
Yogurt,  We eat a lot of yogurt! 
YoBaby yogurt is awesome, my toddler loves the yogurt squeezers and we also really like Chiobani Greek yogurt
Toast with jelly, whole wheat bread
Eggo Waffles
Cinnamon Rolls
Donuts
Bagels
Poptarts
Cereal Bars
Eggs and bacon
Fruit, we go through a lot of bananas and apples. I recommend investing in one of these gadgets.

Lunch:
Pasta: Whole Wheat or Barilla Plus Pasta with marinara sauce or with butter
Ravioli
Whole Wheat Tortillas
Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches
Grilled cheese sandwiches
Cheese quesadillas
Lunch meat
Chicken Nuggets
Mac 'n cheese
Spaghetti
Brown Rice
Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potato Fries
Veggies and Fruit
Cheese sticks

Dinner:
Whatever I cook.  Usually it includes some type of meat, tacos, meatloaf, roast, pork chops or pork tenderloin or chicken used in casseroles, marinaded or grilled.  We also like fish, tilapia (breaded or fillets cooked in a little butter with lemon pepper) and salmon patties.
If you are a working mommy, get to know your crockpot.  It's my best chance at a home cooked meal during the busy work week.
Sometimes we grab burgers or pizza
Veggies and Fruit

Snacks:
Goldfish crackers, we eat our weight in these
Annie's Cheddar Bunnies are a favorite as well
Cheese sticks
Fruit
Ice Cream or Sherbet, we think Blue Bell is the best :)
Raisins and other dried fruit

If your kiddos don't like veggies or fruits, I'd have to cheer you on and say don't give up. Keep trying! I've found that my little guys will eat steamed veggies better if I sprinkle just a little sea salt on them for flavor.  I buy frozen vegetables because they have very little sodium, if any at all.  You can find frozen organic vegetables at Whole Foods.  I forgot to mention that I also own, Deceptively DeliciousI must admit that I don't refer to it as much as I should. 

* I feel as if I need do to a little disclaimer.  Sometimes I let my little ones eat cookies for breakfast or muffins for lunch.  I've also been known to let them have pickles and chips for dinner.  I do make an effort on most days for most meals to serve them something nutritious.

Going out to eat--Best Kids Meals:
Chipotle, my boys love the chicken quesadilla meal with a side of rice, black beans and a small bag of chips and an organic chocolate milk.

Panera Bread, my little guys love the bread that the turkey sandwich comes on and it includes an organic yogurt squeezer.

McAlister's Deli and Jason's Deli, each has a pretty good kids meal.

Pei Wei, my boys love rice and the honey seared chicken.

Chick-fil-A, what kid doesn't love Chick-fil-A and I love the fruit instead of fries option.

Sonic, Dairy Queen and McDonald's, I can not rave about the health benefits, but my boys love it.



Ben snacking on a cracker while I get his food ready.
Ben
August 2010


Ben eating some spaghetti and peas and carrots.
Ben
August 2010


Just keeping it real!  Will enjoying an ice cream cone from Dairy Queen.
Will
May 2010



I remember this photo.  Will was potty training and a trip to the donut shop was a big reward.  He loves a chocolate donut with sprinkles!
Will
May 2009


 There's a lot going on here. Some veggies, a whole wheat tortilla, maybe some other bread and a side of sour cream.
Will
August 2008


 Will eating some spaghetti.  Can you eat spaghetti and not make a mess?  Clearly we can't :)
Will
August 2008


 Will eating some home made baby food.  It was summer break and I was feeling ambitious so I made baby food.  I think I pureed some zucchini.
Will
June 2007


Best of luck getting your little ones to eat a healthy, well-balanced meal!

I'll be sharing my meal ideas at Kelly's Korner.

Show Us Your Life--What Do You Feed Your Kids???



1 comment:

  1. My kids are 6 and 9 and I STILL struggle to get them to eat healthy/normal food. Ugh! It's the bain of my existance! ;-)

    ReplyDelete

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