Confession: I’m a picky eater. I also married a (not as) picky eater. Between the two of us there is probably a lengthy list we could compile of the foods we aren’t fond of or don’t frequently have in our home. The older I’ve grown the more unfortunate I have realized this to be. I’ve thankfully grown into many foods, and for that I’m very proud of myself, but yeah, I’ll still push things aside or opt to leave things completely off my meal. We meal plan each week and try and make a conscious effort in our fruit/veggie consumption in order to eat a balanced diet. This has never proved any sort of problem other than being the p̶i̶c̶k̶y̶ annoying eater. That is, until our daughter starting eating solids as well.
Here’s the thing. I really don’t want to be that mom who lives the “Do as I say, not as I do” model. I want to be a good role model for our little girl to look up to in all facets of life. When it was time to start introducing solids to Caitlin, we agreed on an approach called Baby Led Weaning (BLW). No purees. No spoon feeding. When our baby was ready, she would eat what we were eating, entirely on her own.
*insert panic attack here*
In addition to the normal first parent worrying (Is she gagging? How has my baby grown up so fast and where did the time go? Wait, are you sure she’s not going to choke? How will I ever teach her to use a cup?) came the big one that has been nagging me for quite some time…are we eating enough healthy food to sustain this model of introducing solids? The answer: yes.
I wish I had documented her food intake since we started. She started right at 6 months with us at the table and the speed at which she learned how to eat astounded me. She went from fistfuls of food that often didn’t even make it to her mouth to tiny pieces she selects oh so carefully. It’s amazing. I’m counting my lucky stars that she is nearly a year old and hasn’t thrown fits over fruits or veggies. I started thinking about what her meals look like and for the last week or so tried to photograph her tray before she devoured it. Not only for me to go back and see trends (she might really like strawberries and blueberries) but also for others to stumble across my blog and maybe steal some ideas. Finding meal ideas can be so stressful that we forget the normal things are totally ok! We don’t go spend our hard earned money on tons of organic food and I don’t go out of my way to make anything special for Caitlin. I limit salt which is great for us all, but feeding her a healthy diet has been easier than I imagined. The best part is our diet has improved as well and I even get to eat a hot (ok, warm) meal with her at the same time. Here are some of her meals from the last week! My goal is to do a post like this every once in a while to review our meals!
Scrambled eggs with ham, strawberries, blueberries, cheddar cheese
Scrambled eggs, strawberries, blueberries, english muffin with butter and grape jelly
Scrambled eggs, strawberries, blueberries, preloaded spoons of organic oatmeal
Scrambled eggs, strawberries, green grapes, whole wheat bagel with peanut butter
Graham crackers & smoothie
Smoothie: milk, orange juice, chia seeds, half a banana, frozen grapes, peaches, & strawberries
I also use spinach if we have it for a green drink!
Grilled chicken breast, edamame, strawberries
Graham crackers, colby jack cheese, strawberries, blueberries
Chicken enchiladas, avocado, preloaded spoons of refried beans
Deconstructed tacos: grilled steak, corn tortilla, black beans, cilantro lime rice
Deconstructed “loaded” baked potato: baked potato chunks, cheddar cheese, black beans
Grilled hot dogs, roasted potatoes, steamed carrots with balsamic and cinnamon
A huge benefit of BLW is the confidence building it promotes in little ones. Caitlin was supposed to be napping so mom and dad ordered pizza for a treat. She decided she needed in on the action. She walked around the table, grabbed the piece, and ate THE.ENTIRE.THING. on her own. There’s a mom of the year moment…
In the words of Ron Bergundy…Actually I’m not even mad, that’s amazing!!