Ask the Moms: Aversion to Solid Food

What to do when a child won't take solid food? Feeding therapy may be the answer.

Reader Brielle had the following question for us:

I have 1 year old twins (11 months adjusted). My little girl is doing great, but my little boy is slightly delayed in some areas. One area that I’m concerned about is his diet. He. Will. Not. Eat. Food!!! He only wants to nurse! He won’t take a bottle or sippy cup. (I try every day.)

We first started solid foods when they were 6 months, and he has always been a struggle to feed, but there have been times when he will eat. But not anymore.

The doctor hasn’t really given any suggestions. His weight is right on track, so the doctor isn’t concerned about development. I feel like I will be nursing forever! I was hoping to start weaning them, but I can’t if he won’t eat anything else. Has anyone experienced anything similar? Any suggestions??

Brielle, it sounds like your son may have an aversion to solid food. Feeding therapy is available, usually through your local speech therapist. When my daughters’ pediatrician suggested seeing a speech therapist for dinnertime issues, it sounded crazy to me. I quickly realized that speech therapists work with children on all aspects of oral motor control.

Feeding therapy changed our lives. I am not knowledgeable enough to be able to predict what the source of your son’s dislike of solid foods, cups and bottles is. However, my daughter suffered from trouble swallowing (dysphagia) due to poor tongue muscle control thanks to a tongue too big for her mouth (macroglossia). A few months of tongue exercises at age 2 made mealtimes manageable and helped her get the calories she needed.

HDYDI author Goddess in Progress‘s youngest daughter has also been through feeding therapy and Marissa‘s son is working on it right now. Their situations sound more like your son’s. I’m pleased to report that Goddess’s daughter now willingly eats crackers, sandwiches, and other solid foods. Marissa’s son has been seen chowing down on a pickle!

  1. Ask your doctor for a speech therapist referral.
  2. If he/she is not supportive of your going down this path, get a list of available speech therapists in your area from your health insurance company.
  3. Document details of your feeding efforts between now and your first speech therapist appointment. Write down what you try and the details of your son’s reactions.
  4. Once you do start meeting with a speech therapist, make sure that he/she is someone your whole family is comfortable working with.
  5. Do your homework. Make sure your son does any exercises he is supposed to do. Make it fun.

Please let us know how it goes, Brielle. And HUGE kudos for having breastfed twins for a full year!

Anyone have other advice for Brielle? Your own feeding therapy stories?

 

Toddler Thursday: We Are So 2

On June 18, my twins turned 2.

So they have been 2 for a few weeks now. Let me just assure you, in case you were at all worried, they are VERY good at being 2. Sidney is contemplating becoming 2 professionally, but Spencer has decided to maintain his amateur status, so he can be 2 in the Olympics.

We Are So 2

With my older daughter (now 5), 2 was SO MUCH FUN.  18 months was a bit hard, but looking back it was more like a few hard days. Overall, 2 was fun. I have my doubts that I will look back on the twins’ “reign of 2″ and say the same thing. Instead I am fairly sure I will win (or at least earn) an award at the end of 2. And yay (read that yay very sarcastically please), three is next. Three, when they get stubborn and opinionated.

So maybe my twins are not 2. Maybe they are very advanced (in addition to being the cutest and smartest babies of all time, naturally). Maybe they are somehow already 3.

Let me share with you some of the things that the now 2 year old twins excel at.

Let’s talk food. Breakfast generally consists of 2 -3 waffles, 2 hard boiled eggs, and a smoothie full of fruit, veggies and flax seed, for protein. So needless to say, they eat a HUGE breakfast.  And generally barely any lunch at school. But that is ok, food is a whole day experience, right?

But lately, dinner is a challenge. I put down 3 plates of food, and at least one twin, often both, pushes the plate away crying. Or hands it to me and says “all done”. Dinner used to consist of a variety of foods – they LOVED salmon. Now, it’s generally crock pot chicken and pasta. Their favorite. Occasionally. Because they might love something one day and hate it 3 days later.

My kids now hate mac and cheese. What kid hates mac and cheese? I have tried the box stuff, organic stuff, homemade. Nope. They have even refused pasta with butter. If I allowed it, they would live off hard boiled eggs (without the yolk), yogurt and fruit.

Meal time is frustrating lately.  And I wish I was writing this to offer all the other moms out there some genius tips. I do have one tip though.  I make up a 4th plate of food.  (my husband gets home around the kids bedtime, so he and I eat after the kids go to bed). And this 4th plate of food is “mine”. You all know what I mean.  The second you put food on the table and claim it as yours, the kids flock to it.

This morning I made the most incredible smoothie for me, and got one drink of it. So they eat off my plate. And it generally works. Tonight Sidney sat on my lap and inhaled my chicken (crock pot with barbeque sauce and some red wine vinegar). She would not touch the roasted potatoes, but OMG that was fine with me. I roasted a combo of sweet potato and red potato with steak seasoning and a dash of cinnamon and they were SO good!  She ate a ton of chicken, and once he saw her eating, Spencer dug in. And we all enjoyed a fabulous dinner.

It was a great success. Actually every meal today was a great success. But what about tomorrow? Tomorrow I wanted to make salmon. My favorite is teriyaki salmon with fresh orange juice. The kids used to inhale it. Now I am not so sure, it is hit or miss. Meal time is much more stressful for me.

What used to be called the “terrible twos” is now the “trying threes”. For my oldest, 3 was the age of resistance. Of defiance. Of having opinions and acting on them.  So why are the twins acting so 3 now? Has 2 become the new 3?  And if not, how will I handle 3?

But then again, maybe 2 is good for the economy.  At least the wine industry….

 

Beth is known as mommy by a 4 year old and boy-girl 17 month old twins.  She blogs about life, kids, and DIY, at Pickles in my Tea and in my Soup.

 

Foodie Friday: Getting Dinner on the Table

Getting on the table can be such a challenge! Some tips for getting it simple and healthy

Recently my long-time friends and I were sharing an email thread describing our shortcoming when it comes to getting a healthy dinner on the table during the work week. We are three intelligent ladies living in different areas of the US, each with different daytime duties and schedules and yet we all have one thing in common: we feel like we are failing when it comes to seamlessly feeding our kids at the end of a long day. I’m no expert, but I did come up with a list of ideas that have made my weekdays easier. Maybe some of these ideas will help make your dinners easier too:

  1. Instead of trying to plan out five meals to cook during the week, pick three.  I have found that five is too many to put together and you can usually float two meals between leftovers and schedule changes that come up as the week goes on.
  2. Make (at least) three of the same things every week.  You can switch up little things like the starch and/or the veggie side dishes (and you can change your three meals monthly if you fear you will get board) but making the same basic things during the week will save time and will help you get into a groove.
  3. Don’t make elaborate dishes.  I’m not sure about your kids, but mine really like individual foods.  Chicken legs, broccoli, avocado, rice.  Done.  Hamburgers (no bun because they really don’t eat constructed sandwiches at this age), sweet potatoes fries, veggie.  Done.  Red meat sauce and pasta, side veggie, yogurt.  Done.  Rice, lightly seasoned black beans, avocado, pork, done.  Pizza with whatever topping we have left in the fridge.  No chicken pot pies, no stews, no chili, limited soups.  I love the thought of them, but my children don’t eat them as well as individual foods, and they take too much time and effort for little return on investment.
  4. Prep SOME things on the weekend.  I have been cutting up a batch of onions, sweet potatoes, washing greens and cutting up broccoli on Sundays.  Then I just grab and go from there depending on what meal I am constructing.
  5. Make some grains on the weekends.  Make a batch of rice and cook some noodles or quinoa to have ready to go with any meal.  You can construct a lot of meals under pressure if you have these things cooked and in the fridge ready to use.  Refill your stock of one grain on Wed.
  6. Make ONE of your weekly meals on Sunday (the one that takes the longest to cook).  Roast a chicken, cook a giant package of chicken legs, cook a pork shoulder (I cook my pork shoulder completely plain then season it for other meals later e.g.  pulled pork (add bbq sauce) or tacos (pan cook it with taco spices), burrito bowls (reheat the meat with Mexican spices add it to a bowl of roasted veggies plus rice and avocado, cilantro, fresh tomato).  Cook this beef, chicken, pork, item relatively plain then add spices later to make it work for whatever you are doing.
  7. Anything you make a batch of (e.g. chili, soup, red sauce), freeze half immediately to be used for another meal.  I found that we get board of leftovers and I was consistently throwing some foods away. Having one meal in the freezer from a previous cooking adventure can be more helpful in the future.
  8. Frozen peas can be added to any meal to round it out :)

Those are my helpful tips and how I have managed to keep meal time somewhat sane.  Feel free to add any insights that have helped to get healthy meals onto your table.

One Grilled Cheese

A mother makes dinner for 3 on autopilot, instead of just for herself and one of her twins.

This year, my daughters’ after school care provider, the YMCA, began offering free dinner to children who are still in their care at 5:30 pm.

While it take some relinquishing of control on my part, I’ve come to love it. The girls aren’t grumpy from hunger when I pick them up. Waiting to feed myself until after they’re in bed gives us that much more time together. I don’t have to do backbends to ensure that they’re fed before evening activities such as dance lessons and Girl Scouts.

Sadly, as the novelty has worn off, my daughters have discovered meals they don’t like and won’t eat. They’ve always skipped the same meals… until last night.

M overheard her friend Tori’s mom say that there were bad unhealthy things in corn dogs, so she decided to do without. J, on the other hand, gobbled dinner down.

When I learned this, I offered M a couple of dinner options, from which she chose a grilled cheese sandwich. When we got home, I sent the girls off to wash their hands and put their backpacks away while I made M’s sandwich. I began heating up the sandwich press, washed my hands, laid out two slices of bread, topped them with cheddar cheese slices, layered on a second slice of bread.

Once the sandwiches were warm but not crisp, the way my kids like them, I put them each on a plate and assembled a turkey sandwich in the sandwich press for myself.

When I served the sandwiches, J didn’t come to the table, of course, since she’d already eaten. And then I realized what I’d done. From habit, I’d made a sandwich for each child, even while consciously aware that only one would eat.

M ended up taking the extra sandwich, plus an apple, into school today for dinner. And then, after a friend sneezed on her sister’s dinner, she gave her half.

What do you do on autopilot?

Foodie Friday: Make-Ahead Baked Oatmeal Casserole

I pinned this recipe for baked oatmeal months ago, and I’ve been meaning to try it for ages now.  I am a big fan of cold cereal (the cold crunch wakes me up in the morning…or so I tell myself!).  My husband likes warm cereal, especially in the winter, and the girls usually alternate between oatmeal and cream of wheat.

Sadly, I'm no food photographer!  Click the original recipe link for a yummier picture.  :)

Sadly, I’m no food photographer! Click the original recipe link for a yummier picture. :)

I liked the idea of mixing things up a bit on the weekdays.   (On weekends, I usually make at least one big family breakfast.)  I also liked the idea of making something ahead that I could just heat up for the next few mornings.

The verdict at our house?  The girls love this!  Hubby wasn’t a big fan.  Truth be told, he probably eats too much sugar in his regular oatmeal, so I’m guessing this felt a bit too healthy for him.

The girls have said the past two mornings, “This looks like a dessert!  And we get to eat it for breakfast!”  (This makes me laugh a bit, too…we don’t eat a lot of sweets at our house, so I guess it’s all relative.)

The original recipe is gluten-free, and it has a little more sugar and chocolate chips in it.  (I’m sure that would be delish!)  Here’s the recipe, as I made it.  I think this is probably one of those that you can tweak, depending on what you have in your pantry, and how “dessert-like” you want it to be.

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:10]

I believe you could use any kind of berries, and any kind of nuts.  Raisins or dried cranberries might be good, too.  I might try mixing in some sunflower seeds or flaxseed next time, as well.

I made this one evening, and stored it in the refrigerator.  I’ve cut pieces for my girls the last couple of days, and heated them in the microwave.

I hope you enjoy this “breakfast dessert” as my girls call it!

MandyE is mom to five-year old fraternal twin girls.  She blogs about their adventures, and her journey through motherhood, at Twin Trials and Triumphs.

Foodie Friday: Baked Chicken and Vegetables…and Then Chicken Noodle Soup!

I’m sharing a recipe that I made a couple of times a month when my girls were smaller…juicy, flavorful chicken and tender, yummy veggies, all from scratch…what’s a toddler (and her mommy and daddy) not to love???  Almost five years later, this recipe is still a favorite.

This recipe uses all REAL ingredients, which is something I strive for.  And it makes enough for my family to eat two meals…plus extra veggies…PLUS stock for a small batch of chicken noodle soup.  That’s a home run for time-crunched mamas in my book!

DSC_0613Grease a LARGE baking dish (I use a big lasagna pan), and place 10 or 12 chicken legs with the skin on.  Around the chicken legs, place baby carrots (I buy the petite ones so they cook a little quicker), potatoes that have been peeled and sliced into wedges, peeled garlic cloves, and quartered mushrooms.

Finely slice an onion and arrange it over the chicken and veggies.  Then arrange pats of butter on top of the dish.  The recipe I referenced from originally called for 4 Tbsp. of butter, but I only use about half that.  I cut the butter into very thin slices and arrange it evenly.

DSC_0615Then sprinkle spices over the dish — I use a tablespoon of dried parsley, 1/2 a tablespoon of garlic powder, and fresh-ground salt and pepper, to taste.  Then pour water over everything, to about 1/2″ of the rim of the dish.  Cover the dish tightly in foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for an hour.  Uncover and bake for another 20-30 minutes, until veggies are tender and juices in chicken run clear.

I forgot to take a picture as I pulled this out of the oven (as my crew was clamoring!).  Here is the pan after the four of us ate supper.  You can see we had about half the recipe remaining!

DSC_0625This dish heats really well.  I separate the meat and veggies into one bowl, and then I strain the stock into another…and this is the dish that keeps on giving!

Refrigerate the stock, if you’d like, and it will congeal.  Skim the fat from the top of the dish and discard.

DSC_0677DSC_0680Heat the stock in a saucepan, along with finely sliced carrots (1 or 2), finely sliced celery (1 or 2 stalks) and finely sliced cloves of garlic, if desired.  If you have left-over chicken, you can shred it and add to the soup, too.  Bring the stock to a boil and add some egg noodles.  Cook at a slow boil 8 minutes, or according to the directions on the package of egg noodles.

Viola!  Super easy chicken noodle soup!

DSC_0682I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does!

MandyE is mom to soon-to-be five year old fraternal twin girls.  She blogs about their adventures, and her journey through motherhood, at Twin Trials and Triumphs.

Foodie Friday: “The Rules” of Eating

I am a rule-follower by nature.  As a first-time mom, I was quite set on following our pediatrician’s instructions, particularly when our twin girls were infants.

When it was time to introduce solids, I was extremely pedantic about the order in which our girls tried new foods…first green veggies…then orange ones…then fruit.  I took copious notes (which I still have, of course!) to keep track of how many times the girls had had green beans, lest there be some type of allergic reaction.

Our girls are now 4 ½, and I guess old habits are hard to break.

No, I’m not still recording every bite my girls take, but I am still keenly aware of how many fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins they have every day.  It started innocently enough…replacing baby food bananas with fresh diced ones…adding in some avocados to round out their green veggie intake.

The first few months of big-people food, we ate a lot of baked fish and baked chicken.  It was easy for me to dice that for the girls and serve it with a side of veggies and fresh fruit.

It took quite a while for me to make the leap to casseroles and one-dish meals…does this mixture contain the proper amounts of protein and veggies?  Do I need a veggie on the side?  How do I log this into my spreadsheet?!?!  (I’m kidding about the spreadsheet…mostly.)

By the time the girls were about 18 months old, I was beginning to relax a little bit about what they ate.  Looking at how I still plan most of our meals, my “relaxation” is probably relative.

Breakfast religiously consists of a protein, a grain, fresh fruit, and milk.  I vary our proteins between scrambled eggs with cheese, cottage cheese, and Greek yogurt; and our grains between oatmeal and cream of wheat.  On the weekends I sometimes get a little crazy and make whole-wheat French toast to fill the grain slot.

About every other day, our lunch is two veggies and a fruit, usually with some cheese and a couple of wheat crackers.  On alternating days, I will fix a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat with one veggie and a fruit.

I’ve relaxed my “rules” the most at dinner time.  We sometimes stick with the baked fish / chicken + veggie + fruit model.  More often, though, I make a one-dish meal…a soup or stew or baked pasta or stir fry over rice.  I occasionally serve a veggie with that; we often have bread dipped in olive oil; and I always serve fresh fruit and milk.

This model works for us.  I buy lots and lots of fresh fruits and veggies, and I try to limit processed foods as much as possible.  Most importantly, my girls eat a wide variety of foods, and I feel like they are getting a very balanced diet.

It just struck me as funny a few days ago, though, when I made pulled pork barbeque in the crock pot and served it up to the girls…with a side of Brussels sprouts and diced mango.  That’s not exactly the type of barbeque plate I grew up eating.  ;)

I’m not sure if my pediatrician would be proud…or a little frightened at my [still] literal interpretation of “the rules”.

MandyE is mom to 4 1/2-year old fraternal twin girls.  She blogs about their adventures, and her journey through motherhood, at Twin Trials and Triumphs.

(Un)Foodie Friday: What I’ve Learned from a Lack of Family Dinners

My daughters attend a YMCA after school program located at their public elementary school. At the end of the school day, when the other kids rush off to their parents, my girls and their friends head over to the school cafeteria to check into after school care. Well, this year, their teacher often lets them help around the classroom with her daughter, M’s best friend, so my twins can avoid the check-in chaos in the cafeteria.

(Un)Foodie Friday: What I've Learned from a Lack of  Family Dinners from hdydi.com

Photo Credit: woodleywonderworks

New this year, they’ve started offering children dinner at 5:30. The kids who are still there are fed food from the next day’s school lunch. It’s a win-win situation. The school’s food doesn’t go to waste and the after school kids don’t get crabby from hunger.

When I picked up J and M on their first day of second grade, I was surprised to learn that they had already eaten. Part of me was sad that we wouldn’t have our family dinner together. The lack of family dinner went against one of my core parenting philosophies. I was miffed not to have the opportunity to assure my children a homemade meal in which every ingredient was high quality and nutritious.

It took me less than a week to fall in love with dinner at the Y. We suddenly have an extra hour or more together in the evenings. Instead of a mad rush to make and eat dinner, check homework, and get ready for bed between 6:30 and 8:30, we have time to talk and play between the homework check and bedtime routine. Instead of hungry, grumpy kids who haven’t had a meal in nearly 7 hours, I have happy, energetic little girls bursting with news from their day.

We get home and there’s no sense of urgency. Once the girls put their backpacks away, our time is our own. One night this week, J sat down with her knitting and phoned her grandmother while M and I read, snuggled up on the couch. Another evening, M entertained us with a high energy 45-minute rendition of Feliz Navidad, switching between a hairbrush and a remote control for her microphone and her sister’s head and mine for percussion. Last night, M spent an hour telling me, in great detail, all about her PE lesson, while J played with our cats, drew ducks and swans, and worked on some optional math homework. I can’t remember the last time M told a complete story on a weekday, in her own way without me trying to rush her along.

There’s been a lot more laughter in our house since the school year began. There’s been a lot more singing and dancing on weeknights. My house is cleaner than it’s been in a long time; I can fold laundry and dust while I’m talking to my daughters. I now wait until they’re in bed to eat my own dinner.

Providing excellent nutrition to my children has always been high on my list of priorities, but I’m now reevaluating those priorities. Nutrition is important, of course, but the school lunches aren’t awful. Yes, they’re mass produced and include some processed foods, but there’s a large number of dishes produced from scratch, and they, like me, include a whole grain, protein and vegetable in every meal. Far more valuable is the time I spend with my kids, and spending it over food didn’t work nearly as well for us.

I say good riddance to weeknight family dinners, and welcome weeknight family time.

Sadia (rhymes with Nadia) has been coordinating How Do You Do It? since late 2012. She is the divorced mother of 7-year-old monozygotic twins, M and J. She lives with them and their 3 cats in the Austin, TX suburbs and works full time as a business analyst. She retired her personal blog, Double the Fun, when the girls entered elementary school and also blogs at Adoption.com and Multicultural Mothering.

Foodie Friday: Summer Rotini and Cheese

After years of reviling the stuff, my 7-year-old daughters have discovered a love of macaroni and cheese. I’ll confess that the boxed stuff is sinfully easy for this single working mother. I try to assuage my feelings of guilt by using our grocery store’s (HEB) whole wheat store brand.

One day, we ran out of the boxed stuff, but M was adamant that she wanted mac and cheese for dinner. I do make a divine mac and cheese from scratch, but the recipe is long and involved and, of course, the kids hate it. There was no way I was going to make anything involving the oven in our Texas summer heat. The air conditioner was working hard enough as it was.

It was a Friday and the end of a long week, and I just wanted to get dinner on the table. I offered to boil some pasta and sprinkle cheese on top, with apples on the side. M refused. Preparing myself to do battle, I asked M if she’d let me try to invent my own version of mac and cheese on the fly. To my shock, she agreed. To my greater shock, both the girls loved it. J has never deigned to touch any mac and cheese that wasn’t processed to death, but she was right alongside her sister in licking her bowl clean. I’m being literal here. Their fingers were scraping the bottom of their bowls, trying to get every last speck of cheese.

This is a thick, thick sauce–more glop than sauce–that sticks in the crevices of the rotini.

Sadia’s 15-Minute Rotini and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 squirt ketchup
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or more)
  • 5 oz (1/3 box) whole grain rotini pasta

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, set salted water to boil for your pasta.
  2. In a saucepan, melt the butter.
  3. As soon as the butter has melted, whisk in the flour. Keep whisking, for at least a minute after it’s well combined.
  4. Continuing to whisk, slowly pour in the milk.
  5. Continue to whisk until the mixture is smooth. If you must take a break to get the baby to stop chewing on the cat, it’ll be okay. Just don’t let the sauce burn.
  6. At this point, your water is probably boiling. Pour your pasta into the water and set the timer. The brand I use boils for 12 minutes.
  7. Get back to whisking. You can afford to take a break or two to get your kids to stop fighting.
  8. Squirt the ketchup in and whisk some more.
  9. When the milk mixture begins to bubble, sprinkle in the cheese and pepper and whisk it smooth. Resort to Mean Mommy Voice if you must, but spend the 30 seconds it takes to do this. It’s worth it.
  10. Turn the heat off for the cheese sauce.
  11. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to the cheese sauce.
  12. Stir and serve.
  13. Pat yourself on the back and pray that your kids will eat it.

Foodie Friday: Ode to a Smoothie

Today’s post is not about sharing a huge secret or a magical way to get your kids to eat when they are on hunger strike. I’m not going to pretend that a smoothie will solve all your kitchen problems and keep you from having to cook dinner this Friday night. I am; however, going to highlight the utility of “the smoothie “ and hope that you will find them as useful as I have over the last few years.

Before babies

6947646919_92b2711dc6_m

Photo Credit: madlyinlovewithlife

I have never been a big fan of breakfast. For whatever reason, I did not enjoy eating cereal or oatmeal and never really found breakfast foods all that appealing. During graduate school, I got in the habit of eating a blended smoothie for breakfast. I did not own a proper blender, and instead, I used an immersion blender and a big cup to blend together milk, yogurt, fruit, and protein powder. I enjoyed drinking my breakfast on the way to work and found that I was full until lunch-time. During my post-doc years, I not only graduated to using a bender but I also graduated to making smoothies for my husband. The heat (we lived in Arizona at this time) combined with the fact that I road my bike to work, made drinking a cool smoothie for breakfast ideal. I drank them for years and never got bored.

While pregnant

As many of you know, the protein requirements for pregnant moms of multiples is quite high (eating between 80-100 grams of protein is suggested). Food aversions, nausea, heart-burn, plus the myriad of other symptoms that one can experience during pregnancy can make it hard to ingest enough calories, not to mention protein. I found “the smoothie” a great way to add protein to my diet. In fact, I found that the days I did not drink a smoothie, I landed nowhere near the 80-100 gram protein goal. For me, it was an easy way to get food in my belly and in the rare case it made a reappearance during “morning sickness”, it was not the worst thing in the world to revisit.

For my kids (before age 1)

My kids were breastfeed until 1, but I was keen on them learning how to use a straw and how to drink from a cup around 11 months. By this age, they had tried yogurt but not milk. I found smoothies made from yogurt, bananas, blueberries, and a little water to be a great way for them to learn how to drink from a straw cup as well as a great way for them to start getting some solid foods. One we started to wean off breast milk, this smoothie was a great drink to have around during snack time.

The toddler years

It is still amazing to me how often my guys are unwilling to eat a regular meal in their highchairs. Whether it is my fault (e.g. because I booked a doctors appointment to close to the time they get up in the morning) or if it is their own doing (e.g. teething, not hungry, it’s Wednesday, insert other random reasons here), sometimes you need a food option that will fill up your kids but that’s portable too. “The smoothie” fits this bill nicely. If I need an on-the-go meal or something to feed my guys when they are clearly having trouble chewing foods, I will make a hearty smoothie for their enjoyment. I start with milk, add yogurt, frozen fruit (bananas, berries, cherries, peaches just to name a few), a small handful of spinach or kale, a carrot, and them I blend away. These days, I use a Blendtec high-powered blender. This blended makes adding vegetables to smoothies very easy because they basically disappear into the drink perfectly. The combinations are endless and are only limited to your imagination and the contents of your refrigerator.

I find that I don’t make smoothies everyday like I used to, but I keep the idea in the back of my mind and pull it out when needed. They are a great way to pack in some calories and nutrition when you need it most. Happy blending.