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Nutrition for Toddlers: Little Sammy Part 2

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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: Nutrition for Toddlers: Little Sammy Part 2

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Nutrition for Toddlers: Little Sammy Part 2

A day or so after my previous correspondence with "Sammy's Mom", she shared with me what their day was like... food wise anyway.  Again, I've abridged it for space reasons...

Dear Babychaser,

Today, I gave him a bottle when he woke up (5 ounces of milk with 2 scoops of baby cereal mixed in). I know I need to stop the morning bottle, but it takes me a while to get breakfast and everything ready (I am not a morning person, though I am learning) and I always feel like I need to give him something as soon as he wakes up. About an hour later I tried to give him homemade oatmeal but he refused it without even trying it. I think I need to work on my oatmeal, I mean, I couldn't eat it either. It was too dry. Because I was already frustrated, I tried giving him a Gerber baby food Stage 3 (Oatmeal, Pears and Cinnamon). He ate half the jar. I gave him 4 pieces of watermelon and he ate 2. I gave him water and let him go. 

I think at this stage, he dislikes being at the high chair even more that he dislikes being hungry (if he's ever hungry). 

For a snack, I gave 1/3 cup of Cheerios and another bottle of milk (with the baby cereal). He drank 4 ounces.

For lunch, I gave him a grilled cheese sandwich made with 1/2 slice of whole wheat bread but I think he must have eaten 1/4 of it. I gave him broccoli with cheese sauce and I can say he ate 1/4 to 1/2 cup of it. This time I gave him 100% Juice White Grape. He drank 4 ounces.

For the afternoon snack I gave him yogurt. For dinner, I tried giving him one of those Gerber Graduates toddler food. It was Creamy Chicken and Vegetables but he only ate 3 or 4 spoonfuls. 

Then before bed, he drank 6 ounces of milk (with the baby cereal again). 

Sammy's Mom

Hi Sammy's Mom!

Thanks for sharing your day with me.  I’m off to bed shortly, but I wanted to send a quick note. :)

You didn’t ask, so at the risk of helping when you weren’t wanting me to (*smile*), I have a couple little thoughts for you.  Please feel free to take them or leave them!

I am wondering if the reason he won’t eat much breakfast is because of the cup of milk/cereal.  One of the things I do to keep my little one happy while waiting for “real” breakfast (or for me to be ready to feed it to him) is give him a banana (he eats it whole, I just take the peel off).  I don’t know if your son likes bananas or not, but perhaps you can sub some other fruit.  Even canned fruit or fruit cocktail (in pear juice not syrup) may be an option.  Even a few whole grain crackers could tide him over and give him the added fiber!  :)  If you set up this “snack” before going to bed at night, you won’t even have to think about it in the morning when you’re still tired!

I’m not sure what you do with your oatmeal, but we often have that for breakfast.  I add to it a bit (few tablespoons or more as needed) of no sugar added applesauce and sometimes a shake of cinnamon.  The applesauce will add some moisture back in if yours it too dry, not to mention add the sweetness and nutrients of yet another fruit (in addition to the banana or whatever).  Yey… already two fruit servings in your day! :)  I’d recommend giving him ½ cup or so of milk in a sippy cup with the oatmeal… just to see if he’ll take it and drink along with the meal instead of first when he’s really thirsty.

Use “high chair time” for the most nutrient dense things since he doesn’t seem to want to be there.  Take advantage of what little hunger he may actually have by feeding him the best foods first… fillers and drinks and such at the end! :)

Is there a reason you are adding the baby cereal to the milk?  I did this with my first when he was young because he wasn’t keeping anything down and we were trying to get the calories in any way we could (Doctor's orders), but there are quite a few calories in that stuff.  I wonder if he’s never hungry because he is already getting so many calories through that.  If a doctor has suggested it, I’d talk to them first.  But perhaps you want to try *not* adding it for a few days and see what happens to the rest of the food. 

Also, again, I recommend diluting the juice some.  The number of nutrients that make it through the pasteurization process isn’t enough to balance even the natural sugars he’s getting and number of calories.  One ounce juice to 7 ounces water is probably fine.  I really never give juice to my 16 month old except to add a splash of flavor when he sees his sister and brother having it (even then the older ones only get that splash unless it’s OJ).  Otherwise it’s milk or water.

Does your son need that extra bottle before bed?  Maybe he does.  I was able to nurse my son until just after he was a year old, and when I weaned him, that night time milk went out the window.  Again… I’m not talking from education, just wondering.

Well, that was more than I expected to say.  Sorry for the long note.  I’m excited to hear how passionate you are about setting things straight! :)  Keep in mind as you experiment with all this that some kids don’t need as many calories as others.  A lot depends on metabolism and activity levels.  If he’s one of those that doesn’t eat as much, watch those calories carefully and keep it to the most important things! :)


So there you have it... anyone else have some ideas???  Feel free to send in your own questions.  I'm far from all knowing on this stuff... but I'm happy to share my insights and brainstorms with you!



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