How much,how often and what?

The last few weeks I have eavesdropped on a few twitter/playgroup conversations about what people are feeding their babies/toddlers. There seems to be a major feeling of guilt amongst a lot of us parents over just what we feed our children. It’s a bit of a battle for me. I constantly wonder if she’s hungry or if I’m feeding her too little or not enough or just not the right food. I definitely think more advice on this is needed. I don’t mean recipe books although they are great I mean how do we know just what to do? I know when I am hungry and I know what I like to eat but with Izzy it’s a whole new big scary world for me (and for her of course)

Izzy with sweet potato chips when she was unwell

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I decided to keep a diary of what she eats. I then promptly forgot. I blame the old baby brain if I’m allowed I still blame that now that she is 14 months. So I didn’t keep a diary but this is more or less a typical day:

Between 6-7am : 6oz of milk – she’s not yet on cows milk which is something I kick myself daily about. Hoping this changes soon?

Between 8-9.30am : a fruit pot/piece of fruit and a slice of toast (sometimes with peanut butter which she loves..marmite not so much) as a special treat she occasionally has a croissant.

Mid morning: some snacks perhaps including raisins, cubed cheese, toddler crisps/biscuits or similar

Lunch 12-2pm : this differs more than most meals depending on where we are, if we are out and about I will mostly take a pouch but at home she loves pasta dishes, a mini chicken dinner, spag Bol or cottage pie. A lot of the times it’s what we (me and OH) eat the night before and I save her a serving. She normally has a little biscuit or bit of fruit afterwards. It used to be yogurts but they don’t seem to agree with her anymore.

Around this time she will also have a 4oz bottle and some snacks of carrot sticks etc in the afternoon

Tea 4-5pm: on most days this will be something like scrambled eggs/omelette with some baked beans. She also like carrot and potato waffles from asda or perhaps some fish or chicken. I do find that when she has more protein in this meal she sleeps better.

Scrambled eggs with tomatoes and spinach

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Supper 6.30-7pm : porridge every night. She loves her nightly porridge and its a big part of her bedtime routine as she has it watching in the night garden and getting sleepy.

Bedtime 7.30pm : 6oz of milk which she feeds herself in bed then puts herself to sleep. This is a new but miraculous development and we normally go in her room a little later and put the bottle away.

That’s just a standard day for us. What do you do? Is it rude to ask for your daily diary? I’d love to compare.

What foods do your children enjoy? I seem to have (at the moment) an adventurous eater and she will eat pretty much everything we try. Gnocchi and polenta are just two new dishes to add to her favourites list. She also has a very cute new habit of pointing at food that she likes and saying mmmmm unfortunately this means that my dad who is a sucker for a cute baba always wants to give her cake! I figure I am pretty strict with her sugar intake normally so I let him spoil her occasionally.

I hope to hear from you all soon!

Gnocchi and sweet potato bake- a herby one for Izzy and a spicy one for us

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13 thoughts on “How much,how often and what?

  1. Zach eats all his meals at nursery during the week and we try to stick to it at home too.
    Our routine is:
    Wake up at 7:20 during the week, later at the weekend: breast feed
    About half an hour later: breakfast of a smaller size of adult cereal with whole milk. Hoops/rice crispies/shreddies/porridge etc
    Mid morning: water (we’ve taken him off having milk as a snack due to very loose nappies. Will reintroduce as a snack shortly.
    Lunchtime (11:15 at nursery but about 12:30ish at the weekend): main meal – I tend to give him a steam pot that’s a ready made one so I know he’s getting a bit of veg/meat/pasta etc. These are 230g pots. Nursery give a main meal but kiddie size. Pudding tends to be a yoghurt or fruit. Water. I only give him the pots as we eat a lot of freezer food and I wouldn’t want Zach eating as unhealthily as we do. On a sunday if we eat out for sunday lunch, he’ll get a small sunday roast out of our plates and part of what we have for pudding.
    Naptime is straight after food and since nursery, I can put him straight down and he’ll fall asleep. At nursery he’ll sleep for 1.5hrs, at home anything from 1.5-3hrs.
    Midafternoon: water and fruit. Tends to be raisins as he loves them.
    Dinnertime is 4pm at nursery but around 5:30 at the weekend due to his longer nap: sandwiches/baby crisps/fruit or cake. It’s all finger food at dinner and Zach feeds himself.
    Bathtime is half an hour later. Latest 7pm.
    We give Zach vitamins due to him not having the extra milk and I stand by the vitamins helping battle illnesses as he gets over them very quickly. That may also be because I’m bfing still.
    7:30ish Bedtime breastfeed. More often than not he’ll fall asleep at the end of him feeding so I can put him straight in his cot. If he’s not asleep he’s dozy so will go down and I’ll sit next to the cot, sometimes stroking his head until he drops off. He’s normally fast asleep by 8:15pm.
    He’ll sleep through on most nights. Sometimes he’ll wake up crying and won’t settle again until I bf him although I turn to that as a last resort. He’s only done this when he’s coughed a lot/is cold/teething.

  2. Hey love

    That’s interesting! I’ve tried to summarise an average day diary here although it does differ each day quite dramatically. Timings are approximate and I add bread sticks in gaps if necessary.

    8am – breast feed

    9am – 2 weetabix with semi skimmed milk then fruit (approx 10 blueberries/raspberries/strawbs or clementine etc)

    10.30am – water & snack of maybe mini breadsticks, flapjack (biscuit if I’m being generous!). This snack is not every day – I just play by ear.

    1/2pm – 2 slices fruit bread/tea cake/crumpet. Cheese and fruit if still hungry

    5.30pm – 2x fish cakes or 3 fish fingers/chicken goujons plus 5 or 6 bits of vegetables/mashed potato. If most of dinner eaten then I’ll give yoghurt.

    7.45pm – beast feed & sleep!

    Hope this helps. Written down it looks a lot but until I’d written it down I thought she wasn’t eating much!

    • On re-reading of this it looks like I dive in the cupboard or freezer for ready meals or birds eye type frozen meals (I do occasionally use frozen fish fingers if I’m struggling for time or if we’re having fish finger sarnies before Scouts or something). To clarify, most of the food is home made and includes curry, spaghetti bolognaise, rice & pasta although it’s difficult to quantify these dishes! Xx

  3. Hi, we have also done BLW and its been fab for us. I love when we go out for a meal my 11 month old can feed himself and eats lovely at the table. A few weeks ago in a restaurant another mother asked what we’ve done as she couldn’t get over how well he was eating.

    Archie loves ‘proper’ meals, pasta, chilli, meat, sweet potato, mash and veggies etc. I’ve just gone back to work and he is now in nursery and I have had to push that they follow through not spoon feeding him, only offering finger food (no purées) and allowing him to do what he wants with his food. For evening meal I like him to eat at the dinner table with us and he eats what we eat 5 out of 7 nights. If I do something with naughties in I prepare a variation for him.

    Since he was 8 months old he’s only been having 210mls milk twice a day…when he wakes and before bed. As he turns 1 in a week I’ve been introducing him to cows milk and he now has cows milk instead. The only problem is that he won’t have it in a cup, but still wants it in his bottle. Early introduction of this was approved by our HV as he was 16 days late, but before that he had been having it in cereal.

    Food wise, for breakfast its always weetabix or shreddies (he loves porridge with dates in too!) he has water available at his reach in every room during the day which he manages himself. Lunchtime when we’re together is around 11.30-12.30 and if we’re out I take a little pack up of cheese spread sandwiches, cucumber sticks (great for teething!) and mini sausages, hummus and breadsticks, cheese and yog. Or occasionally if we’re eating out he’ll have what we have and I pack a bowl and spoons. As I’ve been anal about him eating any sugar snacks (except when mother in law has him she fills him with junk!!) he doesn’t seem to like too much fruit as I think it’s too sweet for him but he loves bananas, apples, plums, cherry toms, cucumber, rice cakes, hummus and I occasionally give him Organix gingerbread men.

    It would be great to see what others do as I sometimes worry he doesn’t get enough with BLW but seems to be gaining fine. Always great to get inspiration. Before I went back to work I lived in Annabelle Karmel’s finger food book for lunch meals and snacks.

    Candy xxx

  4. Sounds about right to me. We tend to do a couple of biscuits with milk before bedtime instead of porridge, but whatever works. Everything else is (portion-wise and timing-wise) pretty much spot on. We do milk first thing, then breakfast (2 weetabix plus half a banana each), maybe a pack of raisins and juice mid-morning, then lunch of pasta and baked beans (or something like that), milk again mid-afternoon with a biscuit (after their naps), then tea of whatever we’re having (veg, mash, chicken etc), then milk and biscuits about half hour before bed. The twins are 21 months old, and we did exactly the same with their older sisters. Hope this helps.

  5. Our routine is very similar for Harley who has just turned 1.

    7-8 milk. He is still breastfed as he turns his nose up at cows milk & I’ve been too lazy to try coconut milk

    8.30-9.30 he usually has porridge and some fruit. This often sees him though until lunch as he devours such a big bowl but if he is hungry around 11ish then he will have some cheese or baby crisp thingys.

    12-13.30 lunch can be anytime dpendeding on where we are or his nap. He has a habit of a late morning nap. He will eat a hot meal that I’ve cooked. He’s always been a good eater & loves flavour (until this week when he developed a chest infection & turned his nose up at food). Typically it could be anything from chilli with pasta, enchiladas, pizza, or anything we have had the night before. He is a big eater and will have a massive portion compared to friends children. He will have a yogurt after this.

    15.00 he used to have an afternoon feed around this time but in the last couple of weeks he seems to have dropped this feed.

    16.00 snack of fruit or a baby biscuit such as the organix ginger bread men made with grape juice instead of sugar

    17.00-17.30 evening meal. Again a hot dinner. I usually avoid pasta or rice in this meal as it seems to give him wind at this time of day & makes him struggle to sleep. He will have sweet potato and chicken curry, shepherds pie, jacket potato with chicken chasseur. This is a smaller portion than lunch and is usually followed by custard or rice pudding.

    19.00 bed time milk

    23.00 dream feed. I’m trying to drop this one but he isn’t interested and still wants a feed then.

    I rarely use ready made pouches for meals as he has never liked them. I do use a curry pouch but add extra spice to it and veg as its not chunky.
    I worry that I feed him too much but he eats what he wants and has shouted for more food if his portion has been smaller. I also worry I give him too much fruit and veg as he has it in all his meals. Often 3 or 4 veg in 1 meal but he loves it. He always eats it first. He also likes strong mature cheese.

    I’m very strict with things like chocolate and cake. This is adult food and I can count on one hand the amount of time he has had either. He as also never had chips other than sweet potato ones I dry roasted in the oven for him. I went mental when a friends hubby tried to give Harley a seasoned chip when we were eating out. I guess I am a little paranoid and controlling. I make our meals from scratch and like to ensure that Harley eats well and without any added junk that can be found in McDonald’s etc.
    So that’s our routine and food. He eats lots of stuff other than what I’ve listed. These were just examples. Basically with the exception of weetabix, if its on a plate he will eat it lol.

    • Thanks Amanda, I agree with the whole avoiding cakes and ahhh especially McDonald’s. I really don’t get the whole giving junk food to your toddler craze. As long as I can avoid giving fast food I will. Having said that when we go out for meals she also tries some of our food and at some point I’m sure she’s stolen a chip.. No salt of course ha.

      Thanks for sharing xx

  6. Have you heard of ‘baby lead weaning’? I did it with my daughter, basically let them eat what you eat, put it in front of them and let them have a go. No fussing. My daughter is 2 1/2 now and is a good eater, and will at least try almost anything!

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