Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Toddler Bites

If the first year of life can be marked by the phrase "baby steps" then I think the second year of life can be marked by the phrase "toddler bites". Depending on which toddler you are talking about the last phrase could have many meanings. In Walter's case it means that he will take exactly one bite of banana and play for 15 minutes come back and have exactly three bites of his bagel and go back to playing for another 10 minutes and then come back for a swig of water and then go back to the business at hand. Then there are the times where he will ingest an adult portion of spaghetti and veggies, eat through an entire bagel, or an entire pint of blueberries and insist he wants more.

This all provides for stress. Who knew that eating would cause so much stress? This was definitely something I did not anticipate. I stress out about how much he eats or if he doesn't eat, when he eats and when he doesn't. At any given moment you could ask me how much Walter has had to eat and I can give you a detailed description down to the last crumb. Now there is a talent I never knew I had.

So here are my golden rules of combating the stress of Walter's eating habits:

  • When thinking about how many servings of fruits, veggies, whole grains, dairy, ect Walter has I don't think in terms of per day, I think in terms of per week. Or not as a snapshot but rather a video. Some days its all carbs and some days its all broccoli.
  • Typically the biggest meal of the day for toddlers is lunch, so I don't freak out if he has four bites of banana and 19 Cheerios for breakfast
  • I keep an open door policy for Walter all his food is on a shelf he can access in the pantry so he can get his food himself, likewise for the fridge, he just needs me to open it.
  • And I try to have healthy super-foods on hand such as blueberries (the amazing little berry that has too many good vitamins and antioxidants to mention), salmon, yogurt and oatmeal.

And what exactly are the guidelines for serving size for a toddler? Check out the age-by-age guide that babycenter.com has. It is a truly magnificent tool. 

At the end of the day I know my job as mom is to offer healthy selections and it is Walter's job to eat. But it is so hard when I ask if he wants an apple? no. Banana? no. Cheerios? no. And then he settles for the 3rd cheese stick of the day. Huh? Cheese the wonder food for toddlers and adults alike.  


  1. mmmmmm, i can't wait until Walter's old enough to have cheese sticks and red wine with Aunt Sunday for dinner :)

  2. hey this topic sounds familiar :) it can be so difficult to sit back and chill about what our kids are eating. sometimes i can totally do, others, well, i want to put a funnel in arden's mouth and pour food into her. ugh. but your bullet points are ones i need to remember and/or utilize. thanks blog buddy!