Tips for Baby Feeding Magic

Thanks to Plum Organics for sponsoring my post about tips for baby feeding magic. What if you let baby choose what’s for dinner? Check out their cute “Quest for Yum!” video and see what happens!

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I never wanted to be the mom who dealt with the mealtime struggles. Surely my kids would all be the picture of healthy perfection, happily chowing down on all of their multicolored vegetables. Broccoli! Cauliflower! Squash! Asparagus!

Now as I struggle to get something in 20 month old Zoe that isn’t milk, cheese, or something derived from milk or cheese, I reflect back on the past, when the twins were her age.

I hate to compare, but come on. Those two would eat anything I put in front of them. Including Broccoli! Cauliflower! and Squash!

When R&C were ready to start solid foods, I dutifully whipped up homemade fruit and veggie purees, freezing them in ice cube trays and storing them in plastic freezer bags. Although a process, it was worth it to me to give them the fresh foods, organic if I could, and save a little money in the process. I did keep some jarred food on hand for convenience and variety.

In making my own food, I could control the consistency and water content. I usually made it soft enough that they could easily swallow it, but thick enough that it stuck to the spoon. We never had issues with consistency, and I eased them into chunkier foods with no problems whatsoever. I never worried about what “stage” they were in.

And for months and months those little angels ate whatever in the world I put in front of their pudgy little faces! No complaints! No hands pushing the spoon away! No head shaking!

baby feeding magic, homemade baby food
Claire and Rachel, about 9 months, NOT fans of asparagus

Okay, maybe a little, but they got used to the avocado, and we never tried asparagus again, because super food or not, that stuff was NOT cost effective to make.

Fast forward 2.5 years and here I am with a little one who was raised on jarred food because there just wasn’t time for all of the steaming and the blending and the freezing and whatnot. I didn’t need to add to the chaos of our lives.

And I will tell you that this kid? Survives on milk. And maybe a little cheese, which, well, is really still just milk. Maybe some fruit.

When the big girls went through phases of not eating? It drove me nuts. “Eat!” I would urge. “Please eat!” Our pediatrician assured us that the occasional dinner of strawberries and crackers would not in fact kill them. They wouldn’t starve themselves.

So when Zoe throws pushes my offerings away with a resounding “Noooooo!” I try to keep in mind a few tips we’ve picked up to avoid creating picky eaters. Or at least to avoid going crazy.

  1. Avoid labeling them “picky eaters.” As a nutritionist put it at an event I went to, “You wouldn’t label your child a slow reader, would you?”
  2. Sneak some of the stuff they don’t like into something they do. I often dipped a spoon full of green beans or other veggie into a jar of fruit to mask the taste if I was desperate to get in in there.
  3. Make food fun. Cut out creative shapes with cookie cutters or make fruit kabobs on popsicle sticks. Fun food is, well, fun to eat.
  4. Serve what you want them to eat with something you know they will eat. The will eat items for us are usually fruit and cheese, but we still encourage them to try everything else. Do avoid making another meal entirely.
  5. Keep offering. It’s so frustrating sometimes to throw out an untouched bowl of spaghetti. I think I offered it about 10 times before they actually decided to try it.
  6. Lead by example. Why should they have to eat green beans with a hot dog when you’re eating chips?

With Zoe, in knowing these rules, I’ve been more relaxed. “She won’t starve herself,” I remind myself as she refuses her broccoli that she once loved but now hates and then eats a grape, tosses a grape, eats a grape, tosses a grape. “She’ll eat when she’s hungry.”

Now when in the world is this kid going to be hungry?

While you’re here, check out this cute video from Plum Organics, and tell me you don’t want to squeeze that little baby’s legs!

I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. To learn more about Plum Organics, visit their Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/PlumOrganics.

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14 Comments

  1. Ha! D does this too – one day she’ll love something so we go out and stock up on it, then the next day it goes flying off her highchair when she swipes her hands across her tray furiously to get all food into the floor as quickly as possible. I wouldn’t say she’s a picky eater, but milk and cheese does tend to make up a good portion of her diet, too. 😉

  2. I also made all of my daughters baby food and had no problem with stages until now. Now that she’s hit the stage that she’s feeding herself she’s becoming very opinionated about what she eats.
    I do exactly what you suggest.
    i offer things over and over and over so that she has a chance to try them, I make eating fun, and I let her pick at the things she loves.
    She is tiny and I often worry that she’s not getting enough but the Dr. assures us she is.

    1. I’m sure she is. I think as long as they aren’t losing weight, they’re fine. But it’s hard to see how they survive on so little!

  3. I laughed and cried while reading this, because it’s SO true and SO frustrating. My kid is perfectly chunky but goes through these periods where he eats nothing but yogurt, milk and Annie’s cheddar bunnies. Seriously?!

    He used to eat anything we put in front of him too.

    1. Sigh. I’m hoping that it’s just a phase and that if we keep offering, someday she’ll eat SOMETHING.

  4. Oh man! Did you write this post for me?? I’m in the same boat. My first two boys weren’t “selective” with their food at all. But Buggy, buggy won’t even eat blueberries. BLUEBERRIES! I don’t get it. We are struggling a ton. I guess one out of three ain’t bad but this “selective” eating is driving me batty. Oh and meat…you can totally forget about it. *sigh*

    1. I *did* write it just for you! It’s nice to know that there are so many moms who are having the same struggles. And my kids are practically vegetarians, except hot dogs and the occasional bite of turkey or chicken nugget.

  5. My Dad used to tell me, “relax – when they’re hungry, they’ll eat.” Guess what? None of mine have died of starvation yet!!!

    Great post:)

    1. So true. And I think as long as you’re not continually giving in and giving them junk food all the time, then they’ll eventually learn to try it.

  6. I think #4 is so key! I remember that with both my boys. I always tried to follow that rule and of course – there were many times I would forget.

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