Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Food

Alden loves eating.  Loves it.  I feel like I probably should have started him on solids long before he turned 6 months.  He has taken to eating with such gusto, lunging at each bite and banging his little fists between bites, demanding more.  He is hilarious to watch.  So far we've tried bananas (LOVES them), avocados (likes them just fine -- especially if mixed with milk and rice cereal), pears (meh - he wasn't that into them), yogurt (loves it), sweet potatoes (seriously loves these), butternut squash (likes it), broccoli (HATES this... you could tell he felt tricked.  He SCREAMED.  But, later we mixed it with rice cereal and milk and he choked it down... a boy has to eat, after all), oatmeal (the baby kind -- he likes it), rice cereal (likes it). 

Alden will eat a whole banana and a bowl of baby oatmeal for breakfast and still nurse from both sides (about 7 - 8 ounces of milk).  For lunch he'll have half an avocado, yogurt and rice cereal and another 5 - 6 ounces of milk.  He usually nurses in-between breakfast and lunch, too.  I mean, he LOVES eating.

Which may explain why he is in 12 - 18 month clothing already.  He's far from fat.  In fact, he's only about 70th percentile for weight.  But, he is tall.  99th percentile for height.  And, all that food seems to make him just grow and grow. 

Feeding him is so satisfying because he loves it so.  It's adorable to watch.  And, really, not that messy anymore.  He is serious about getting everything into his mouth.  We have let him play with his food a few times, and that made quite a mess.  But, he loved fingerpainting with his avocado and it was fun to watch (less fun to clean up).

I'm hoping that Alden continues to love food as he gets older.  Kai has become quite the picky eater, and it's so irritating.  All she ever wants is noodles, sushi, pizza, shredded bbq chicken, or ham/cheese sandwiches.  She's still pretty good about fruit.  She really doesn't eat many veggies -- except soy beans.  She loves those.  And corn and peas.  And sometimes artichokes (for the butter, of course).  We still make her try everything we're eating -- but, whenever I do something different, it's such a hassle listening to her whine and complain.  I'm hoping she outgrows this phase. 

Actually, I should say, the last few days have been better.  Recently, I went with Kai on her class field trip to the pumpkin patch.  There was a little show that they watched while there that re-enacted the three little pigs and focused on the 5 food groups and how important it is to get something from each of the five every day (dairy, grains, protein, fruit and vegetables).  After that, Kai was complaining one night about food and refusing to eat.  Eric threw his hands up and said, "Kai, if you don't eat you're going to DIE."  He actually freaked her out, and she started taking bites.  And then she started asking questions and I reminded her of the play and how important it is to get all the food groups every day.  We talked about what was on her plate (the casserole had protein, grains and dairy and there was a veggie).  We talked about what she had for lunch and breakfast (grains and fruit).  She started to get into thinking about what she was putting in her body.  This morning, she scrambled her eggs (she scrambles her own eggs -- how awesome is that!) and then had a banana and gorilla munch.  After eating, she said, "I got protein, fruit and grains -- pretty good!" 

So, hopefully we're turning a corner with her and food and she'll start expanding her repertoire.  Now that we are settling in, I'm back to meal planning and we've been eating at home a lot and eating together.  Kai has also been cooking with me, and that helps to keep her engaged and interested in what we are eating.  I think all the chaos with our moves set us back in the eating department because we started taking so many shortcuts with meals (eating out, fridge night, using easy stand-bys like mac and cheese or ramen).  Kai got used to being able to mostly just eat the things she really likes -- but, now I'm focusing in a bit more on nutrition, cooking, and preparing meals as a family.  Feels good to be getting back to the basics -- and feels good to have both kids eating healthy most of the time. 

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