Toddler Routines: Meal Times

Continuing the routines series, I would like to write about our current eating/feeding process, and a follow up post with an average week of meals.

COOKING PROCESS

The “cooking for Lexi” process really happens randomly and is almost never planned, sort of like for us. I try to make enough food to for her to last 2-3 meals and it’s usually rounded enough that she could eat it all day long if we needed to and still get plenty of nutrition and vitamins. According to what I read, at 18 months a breastfed toddler still gets 50% of his/her nutrition from breastmilk which is a staggering number for me. In the morning, when Andrew takes her and I either catch up on sleep or get an hour or two of work done, he usually gives her fruit (per my instructions, though he does tend to forget sometimes) while he quickly cooks hard boiled eggs, peas and broccoli. Those are his staples, and those are the foods she likes to eat now (along with many others). The reason for fruit in the morning is something I have written about in the past, but I’ll mention it again.

In the morning, our body doesn’t have the energy to digest food (the most energy consuming process) because it has just spent hours going without food all night. So loading up on heavy meats, eggs, pancakes, which seems to be breakfast staples in the US, doesn’t work for our bodies as well as getting a piece of fruit that is partially digested in your mouth and then quickly digested in your stomach, releasing that energy you need to digest heavier foods. That’s why fruit goes first and then 30 minutes later heavier foods.

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Once I come down, I attempt to cook her soup or whatever we’re having for lunch while she plays. There is lots of distractions happening at that time, because Lexi loves to involve everyone around in her playtime. Recently I have been putting her into her Svan chair at the kitchen desk with a rolled out butcher’s paper, crayons, stickers and look and find books and it’s been working like gang busters. In fact, I don’t think there is any other activity that engages her long enough for me to chop up some vegetables and throw in some grains or beans to boil, aside from the IPhone.

The dinner is cooked after Andrew is done with work for the day and can watch Lexi or go for a bike ride with her while I put it together our dinner (again a lot of chopping and sauteing), or if Lexi is in a particular mommy mood, Andrew will cut the stuff for me and then I’ll come in to put it together.

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MEAL TIMES

We don’t have a set time for when we eat, because often we are out of the house on some days or travelling on others, so we go by Lexi’s cues. She is pretty good at letting us know when she is hungry, so I just make sure that I have food ready before I know she should get hungry. For example, on an average day at home, she eats first breakfast at 7-8am, second breakfast an hour later. Her lunch is around 11-12 and then often she will have another small meal before her nap at 2pm. We eat after she wakes up, around 4pm and then dinner at 7pm. She doesn’t eat much at one time, so we have smaller meals throughout the day.

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Feeding set is by Toddler

RULES

These are more rules for us, rather than Lexi, because she pretty much does what we ask/tell her to do.

  • I try not to stress about her throwing food, though I always tell her that it’s not something she should do.
  • I definitely don’t stress about her not eating or eating less than I think she should, because I believe that babies/toddlers self-regulate on food perfectly and we, parents, have no way of knowing how much food they really need and when they are full.
  • She cannot eat while playing on the phone (snacking doesn’t count)
  • She cannot eat while playing or running around
  • She has to eat while sitting in a chair or at the table.

And the final rule is: it’s ok to break all the above rules occasionally.

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WHAT SHE LOVES EATING:

  • all green veggies: peas, broccoli, avocado
  • all kinds of beans
  • soups
  • potatoes
  • pasta
  • tomatoes
  • fish
  • frozen fruit purees in an ice cream form, home made popcicles.
  • eggs
  • olives
  • cous-cous and quinoa
  • buckwheat
  • avocado

6-29-2013-Lexi-8204

WHAT WE TRY NOT TO FEED HER:

  • meats
  • cheese (she doesn’t Β care for it herself, I’ve offered a few times)
  • milk
  • candy
  • ice cream (loves it though)
  • salty foods

I’ve offered her some of the things on this list before. Usually she sees us eating them and asks to try. Most of the time, she spits it out, with the exception of cookies and ice cream. I don’t believe in saying no to a food that she sees me eating – if i really didn’t want her to eat it that much, I would not eat it either. So Β if Β I am eating and she asks for it, I give her a taste. She absolutely LOVES ice cream and when she sees me eat an ice cream, she runs to the kitchen chanting “POON POON” (spoon), opens a drawer with her spoons and gets one out. So I try not to eat ice cream around her, but will give her a taste if she sees me do it. She’s never had any candy (correction, just did have 1 one Halloween), because we don’t really eat candy, but she’s asked for cookies and liked them. I have occasionally bought her those baby cookies which she enjoys, but I am not making a habit out of it. On average she will probably have something sweet ( ice cream, cookie) once a week or rarely. She doesn’t ask for it more often than that.

Obviously when we are out and about, we try to bring our own food, but if she has to eat a cheese quesadilla because it’s the only acceptable thing on the menu, it won’t kill us.

EATING OUT

It’s really amazing to have a kid who will eat or at least try pretty much everything, as long as you tell her what it is and ask her to try it. When we eat out (which happens all the time during travelling), we skip the kid’s menu (that consists of all the things she doesn’t eat), and order a meal off the adult menu. Usually it’s fish, or whole grain pasta, or a vegetable meal. It’s always a nice surprise when a restaurant has an unconventional kid’s menu with healthier options than meatballs, hotdogs, chicken nuggets and whatever else is usually offered on a typical kid’s menu. Disney has some restaurants that we loved eating at because their kid’s menu is like a limited pint size adult menu with fish, veggies and rice, chicken or equally complicated meals.

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SNACKING

We didn’t use to do a lot of snacking until recently. She still only snacks occasionally, since she eats in smaller meals all throughout the day, but when snacks do happen it is usually when she wants to relax on the couch, or in a stroller while we go for a walk/run, or when travelling on a plane/car ride. Our main snacks are:

  • peas
  • beans
  • eggs
  • broccoli
  • strawberries
  • blueberries
  • whole grain pasta
  • whole grain buns (she loves those)

bib

BEST BIB EVER

And finally, this is a very recent addition to our meal time…. At the ABC expo, I stopped by a booth, KiddoLogic, that was exhibiting a bib that looked awfully like the bib my sister in law made for Lexi, the one that many of you inquired about and loved the idea of. It’s a cloth bib that has a waterproof lining, sleeves, tight neckline and feels more like a shirt than a cold unpleasant bib.

That was pretty exciting, because obviously my sister in law doesn’t sell them, she only made a few for Lexi, but now there is a source for similar bibs that everyone can get to. Β The owner gave me a sample to show to my readers and it works pretty much the same way. The sleeves don’t interfere with eating and nothing ever gets on the clothes. Seriously, the best and most comfortable bib ever that wears like a shirt and feels like a shirt.

So since I know many of you would love this kind of bib, I wanted to share where to get it: Kiddologic Bib. You’re welcome.

bib2

 

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42 Comments

  • Reply
    Courtney
    November 11, 2013 at 12:42 AM

    That bib is genius!

  • Reply
    Erica
    November 11, 2013 at 5:49 AM

    It’s reassuring to read about another toddler who eats little meals throughout the day. I ALWAYS worry that Eva isn’t eating enough, even though her doctor assures me she’s just a grazer and she’ll be fine. It totally makes sense because I, too, am a grazer. But you know…. I can’t help but worry.

    PS- That bib looks amazing! It’s going on Eva’s Christmas list. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Elena C.
    November 11, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    Oh wow she looks such a big girl in this chair now, esp compared to her in the bib post πŸ™‚ Growing up so fast!
    You guys are doing such a great job fostering her love for healthy food πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Molly
    November 11, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    Thanks for this post. I wish you would share more actual meals she eats. Like maybe photograph and list an actual day- brecky, lunch, supper, snacks.
    Also, for the snacks- those sound great and nutritious, but some don’t seem portable, for a day in the park, running errands, etc. Do you have suggestions on snacks that are more portable/won’t spoil?
    I see that you are starting to give her juice, do you recommend any brands? Or is that fresh squeezed Oj?

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      November 11, 2013 at 3:43 PM

      I do have a post of meals almost ready to go. But I needed to write about our meal times first.

      These are pretty portable snacks. We take beans and peas to go all the time. I have this small cooler bag where I put all the food.
      I haven’t found much in terms of healthy snacks that won’t spoil. Ella’s snack bars seemed to be good. But it’s not real food. Yumaroo from nurturme is great for snacks too.

      Juice – we try to limit this. I do freshly squeezed apple and orange juice and some organic store bough juices occasionally. But mostly she drinks water.

    • Reply
      Corinne
      November 11, 2013 at 3:59 PM

      We like to take clementines for snacks. You will have to peel it when ready to eat (I tried peeling and packing, but it dried out too much). Also we pack grapes and cherry tomatoes in small Tupperware so they don’t squish. All pretty portable and healthy, and don’t spoil after a few hours.

  • Reply
    Tarynkay
    November 12, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    That is great that she is napping for two hours now!

    Is there a reason that she eats separate meals from you guys?

    I also do a lot of vegetable chopping for dinner. The easiest way to get it done while my 2 year old is awake is to sit at the table with him. He loves watching me chop things while he yells “Chop it! Chop it!” and I give him bits of vegetables while I prep things and we talk about what the food is and what we are going to cook. The more I involve him in chores, the easier it is to get them done while he’s awake.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      November 16, 2013 at 11:44 AM

      She doesn’t always have separate meals.
      I don’t salt her food but I like my salt! So thing like soups or eggs are made separately for her cuz I like to salt while cooking.

      As for sleep I wish it was that easy. I can rely on 1 hr nap but two happens only when I manage to nurse her back to sleep after that hour. Sometimes she’s ready to wake up and other time happily goes back down after nursing.

  • Reply
    Irina
    November 12, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Wow – anazing how much veggies Lexi eats! We are still struggling with the veggies πŸ™ although she really likes to eat them at day care – since all the other kids have the same thing and some are eating them. Apparently my child is a social eater πŸ™‚ – mommy and daddy do not seem to have the same effect on her though… Lately, she will eat veggies with the eggs and cheese, so it has been the saving grace. I am not into “hiding” veggies in food…so no deceptively delicious over here. Good job, veggie mommy Elena!

    Also, amazing how Lexi still sits in her high chair for meals – we have abandoned it months ago (at about 19mo) and use only the kiddy table and chairs. She would not have it any other way. I thought the pull over bib is wonderful, but since we are going through “no clothes” stage, I am not sure it is worth the battle. I do insist on pants and shirt when going out, but at home it is sometimes just not worth the battle. And mine is the kid who has always loved clothes…

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      November 16, 2013 at 6:39 PM

      Oh we had/have a high chair issue. It’s just one thing I insist on when possible. I don’t want her running around snacking rather than having proper meals so u insist that she eats her meals in a high chair. I would do the toddler table or adult table with her but she would get off of it and go play. At least a high chair keeps her in one place to eat πŸ™‚

      • Reply
        Lulu
        November 16, 2013 at 9:16 PM

        It’s interesting that you insist on a high chair (which is not a health issue) but not on sleep. I mean, I have two kids, one very “spirited” and challenging in a lot of ways, but at the end of the day, I am the mama and she is the kid, and some things (sleeping at night, eating only at the table) are non-negotiable without my having to bribe her with an iPhone.

        • Reply
          Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
          November 16, 2013 at 11:29 PM

          And I find it interesting that you consider sleeping as something you can actually control. Don’t kid yourself, your baby sleeps not because you insists on sleeping but because he/she wants to sleep and can calm down enough to sleep.
          You can’t MAKE another person sleep, you can help them, nudge them, create a sleep inducing environment but you cannot make them sleep.

          I don’t chose to be a parent who dictates what needs should be fulfilled and how/when/how much, as I have no way of knowing for sure what her needs are without just following her cues. Babies are very much self-regulating when it comes to their basic needs, as long as you provide a friendly environment for those needs to be fulfilled with lots of support and encouragement.

          I am sure many women with babies who do not sleep (and who chose not to CIO) would laugh/get mad at your statement πŸ™‚

          • Lulu
            November 17, 2013 at 1:28 PM

            You’re missing my point. Anyone can see it. 10 hours of broken sleep in the course of a day is way too little for a not-quite 2 year old. It’s not even close. So yes, if you were reading her cues, you’d see what the rest of us can see by the tiny sliver of her life that you’re choosing to show us – that Lexi is exhausted. Your job as a parent is to read her cues (and trust, I’m as AP as they come), but it’s also your job to make sure her needs are being met. And she needs to sleep. Period. So when she’s up at 2:30 and “refusing to go back to sleep”, you don’t give a choice. You keep the lights off, you rock her, you nurse her, you do whatever you need to do to get her back to sleep, but you don’t engage her in play or god forbid, an iPhone!

            But by all means, continue to ignore any tidbits of advice from parents who have been there and done that. What does your pedi have to say about her sleep habits? It’s not healthy. Kids do all of their growing and developing while they are sleeping. Some kids are hard sleepers. I get that. I have one! But it’s not an option. I had to work my butt off with my littest one to get her to sleep and I still do at nearly 3, but since I recognize how critical sleep is to brain development, I do it. I don’t give up and let her rule the roost on that one.Sometimes, you have to be the parent who dictates what needs will be fulfilled because, you know, that’s your job as a parent. You’re an adult. She’s 1. She doesn’t know and you do.

            There is nothing in any of these comments to be offended about.

          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
            November 18, 2013 at 3:50 PM

            That’s the point, sweet Lulu, you CANNOT see anything by the tiny sliver of our lives I choose to show because if you did, you wouldn’t be making these proclamations.
            The only thing other parents know how to do regardless of how many kids they have is how to parent THEIR kids. That’s all. It doesn’t make you an instant expert if you popped out a gaggle of kids. You can only tell me what worked for you kid not what will work for mine.

            You can’t say Lexi is exhausted because you don’t see her/know her/know anything about her life. You can’t say you can put a kid to sleep with all the things you listed because you don’t know that I try every single one of them before I give up. And you especially cannot say that I give into her play or give her an iPhone ( that’s just ridiculous) at night. You don’t know anything about our routine except for pieces of what I shared literally a year or more ago when she was little.

            And all that renders your advice completely useless because the assumptions you’re making are based on about 1% of reality.

            And believe me this kind of stuff does not offend me. I just strongly disagree with that you seem to think you KNOW what my daughter needs or can and cannot do.

            So you can make general hypothetical statements like some of the commenters here about the fact that kids need sleep and that we need to help them but stay away from telling me what to do or telling me what my own kid who you have no clue about needs.

          • Irina
            November 18, 2013 at 3:24 AM

            I am sorry, this is not a dig, but babies need some gentle training when it comes to sleep and they cannot completely self-regulate when it comes to sleeping… sure it is a lot more fun hanging with you than sleeping in the dark, boring room… BUT they NEED to sleep and numerous studies show that lack of sleep leads to a host of issues. There is absolutely no need to CIO if parents gently but firmly guide their toddlers to sleep. It takes a long time and it must be consistent, but it pays off in the end. For instance, once it is bed time, never give in to any avoidance techniques, like more food, water, etc. It takes time for them to get it, but once they realize that you will not give in, they really stop putting any effort in asking! This is just an example. I am sorry, but many sleep issues can be remedied, or at least made better with adhering to schedule and consistent routine. You can not make them sleep, but you can help them realize that they actually need to sleep. Some situations are more complicated than others, and there may be underlying health concerns that prevent babies from sleeping, but barring those, it is possible to help even the most active toddlers to sleep longer and better.

          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
            November 18, 2013 at 3:40 PM

            I don’t disagree with that. As a parent we can help them sleep but we can’t make them sleep.
            I just had a really weird two days of sleep where she refused to nap, went down early, and was up at 2:30 am and wouldn’t go back to sleep (she usually does after a few hours when she wakes up at night like that) no matter what I did until noon.
            And then two days later she’s back to her normal nap/sleep schedule. I don’t presume to know what went on with her that day but it was obvious she needed to do what she needed to do and no gentle training from us helped that.

          • Irina
            November 18, 2013 at 4:49 PM

            OMG, that is terrible – 2:30am – poor baby! Glad that she was able to figure it out – the lack of sleep is so hard on them. When is Lexi’s normal bedtime/wake up? A lot of books seem to advise to try an earlier bed time when sleep disruptions occur and “sleep deficit” develops…

            I noticed that in the past month my daughter seemed to sleep 11 hrs rather than 12, and it took her a little longer to fall asleep. Naps are always a crapshoot, but if she is really tired, she takes 2+ hr nap, and sometimes only 45 min if she is not. If she does not nap, it is usually because she is too agitated for some reason, not because she does not need it, and these days are usually very hard on her towards the end. I noticed that her emotional state has a lot to do with how fast she falls asleep (and naps), so I try to keep going to bed a very loving time while still maintaining our usual behavior standards and pre-bed routines (i.e. putting toys away, putting on PJs, no hitting or throwing, brushing teeth, etc), and use the utmost patience with the whining and the tantrums should they occur (shit happens, and quite frequently with a 2 year old πŸ™‚ ).

          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
            December 17, 2013 at 7:17 PM

            Sorry it took me forever to approve and reply to your comment. I keep the comments I want to reply to in pending so that I wouldn’t forget about them before I find time to respond and this time it was just a very long time πŸ™‚ lol

            Anyways, we have tried pretty much anything known to man when it comes to sleep ( except for any form of CIO) and the only thing that works is following her cues. Otherwise, it just bites me in the end ( like putting her to sleep when she isn’t sleepy enough usually ends up in waking up in the middle of the night, or skipping naps completely). She has a very good routine that she has set on her own with when she needs to sleep and it pretty much works every time. The only times it doesn’t work is when I think I know better and pull something crazy on her like an earlier bedtime.

            As for her normal bedtime/wake up, she goes to sleep no earlier than 9 ( if she skips a nap and I manage to get her down before 9, I can guarantee myself a “night party” at 2 am or 4 am because she’s had her fill of sleep hours). She wakes up anywhere from 7 to 8, but occasionally at 6. Her nap is pretty much always consistent at 2 pm, like clock work (1 pm when she is really tired from lots of activities that morning) and lasts till about 4-5 (with a few wake ups in between where I nurse her back to sleep). She will often wake up at 3pm and then basically nurse all through the rest of her nap till 4 or 5.

  • Reply
    Mary Kate
    November 12, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    I hope this comes of as the begining of a discussion, not a snark. I read and enjoy lots of blogs and points of view, like this one, and just like to get a discussion going. I love to hear how all the other moms do it. We are a team, us moms. We may not do everything the same, but it’s fun to bounce ideas off each other.

    That being said, I think it’s so interesting that in your household, milk is not offered, but you do have the occasional juice. Where as in ours, we offer organic whole milk, but absolutly no juice, not yet. It’s the one thing that, to me, is the worst for teeth enamel.
    You (and I’m sure a lot others) don’t let her have sweets, but we do– I use it as a treat. I want her to find joy in all types of food.
    And finally, sounds like you guys eat out a lot, which I’m sure is fun. You said Lexi doesn’t really like cheese, but eats quesadillas (who doesn’t love a quesadilla!), But I just can’t trust the hidden calories/chemicals/salt in restaurant foods. Even a simple thing like grilled veggies. We just don’t eat out (with the kids). All homemade in our house. Not necessarily THE HEALTHEST EVER, but I know what is going into each meal.
    Any others want to join in on the conversation? What are some things you allow and don’t allow in your house for the kids?

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      November 16, 2013 at 6:48 PM

      I don’t give her foods based on how good or bad they are for her teeth but on how healthy they are for the whole body. Hence juice and no cow’s milk.
      Though after visiting the dentist we stopped giving her Juice because she explained to us how it eats away at the teeth more than giving a piece of fruit.

      She doesn’t necessarily eat or like quesadillas. She’s eaten it once because there was literally nothing better. (I loooove quesadillas myself and get them more often than I should).

      And finally about going out, while I do love going to restaurants to relax and have a nice meal, when we are home we almost never go. Maybe once a month if that. But we also travel a lot so in those cases we almost always eat out when we are not staying in a hotel with a kitchen πŸ™‚

      • Reply
        Renee
        November 20, 2013 at 8:21 AM

        I am curious as to what you find “healthy for the whole body” about juice. The consensus that has emerged fairly strongly in the last several years is that juice (especially apple) is basically just sugar and there is no nutritional need to serve it. It offers a few more vitamins than soda, but otherwise, it’s not nutritionally that different. It’s nowhere close to as healthy as fruit, in which the sugar is nature’s way of getting you to eat your fiber. All of the fiber is stripped out once it becomes juice. I am not trying to attack you in any way, as I think you are definitely feeding Lexi a healthy diet overall, but I was just surprised to hear you say that.

        • Reply
          Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
          December 16, 2013 at 8:49 PM

          Juice as a substitute for actual fruit or water- absolutely not. A small cup of juice made at home with a slow juicer that actually extracts as much as a juicer can once in a while = good for you. Everything in moderation. Even though we don’t eat meat, I actually think that the right type of meat is ok in moderation, we just choose not to eat it at this time.

          Besides she really isn’t a fan of juice in general. The most she drinks is one to two sips whenever she sees me drinking it which isn’t very often.

    • Reply
      Tarynkay
      November 16, 2013 at 7:40 PM

      @Mary Kate

      I am always interested in this as well. The culture of kid-food is really fascinating to me, and I love hearing about how parents approach feeding their children.

      For us, our son (now two) has always eaten the same things we eat. Starting at six months, we just gave him some of whatever we were having for dinner. We eat a wide variety of food from lots of different cuisines. We eat a little meat, lots of beans, lots of fruits and vegetables, and lots of eggs. We do eat dairy. I cook everything from scratch b.c I really enjoy cooking. We just salt things at the table so that his food is not salty. I do use lots of spices, though.

      Since we have always fed our son the same food we eat, he now surprises people by enjoying spicy things and Indian food and so forth. We do not make him eat anything. We never bribe him to eat. We just put the food on the table and he eats what he wants. This works really well for us. I don’t stress about the balance of his nutrient intake, b.c It all evens out over time. One day he will eat nothing but kale for dinner, another night he might eat only cheese. He is a toddler, after all.

      We enjoy sweets in moderation, so we let him have sweets as well. If we are eating cake, he can have cake, too. We let him eat his Halloween candy on Halloween (I think he got maybe six pieces.)

      We don’t buy juice, so he doesn’t get juice at home. If we are at someone else’s house, they will often give him juice and then he can have it. We do not restrict what he eats at other people’s houses at all. If they are having chicken nuggets and gummy bears, he can too. Eating is such an important part of social interaction and in the absence of actual food allergies, I don’t want to be the mom who is jumping in and forbidding all fun food. We got out to eat very rarely (maybe a few times a year) so we don’t worry about him eating restaurant food on those rare occasions.

      The only thing that we don’t allow him to have ever is alcohol and caffeine. We drink these things, but he knows that he is not allowed to and this doesn’t seem to bother him at all.

      • Reply
        K
        November 19, 2013 at 3:30 AM

        My LO is thirteen months old and eats anything we eat with the exception of too many lollies and chocolate (and let’s be honest, I should be eating less of them!). She drinks only breastmilk or water but has been eating table food since she was seven or eight months old.

        I have no interest in lumping her with hang-ups over food and I’m too lazy to be a short-order cook πŸ™‚ I also believe that it’s important for little people to eat with their families in terms of both nutrition and family communication / bonding.

  • Reply
    erin
    November 12, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    I’m glad to read your finding that the average 18 mos old baby that is still breastfeeding can get 50% of their nutrition from breast milk. Earlier you wrote that you felt it was more just a hydrating snack and not really substantially nutritive (in the extended breastfeeding post I think). Since my baby is still quite a light eater it’s nice to know that their nutritional needs are in fact still met by breastmilk in their second year (which makes sense, otherwise why would they do it…?). Anyway, nice post.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      November 16, 2013 at 11:27 AM

      I don’t remember ever saying that it’s nonnutritive. I’ve always believed breastmilk is crucial for a baby and that its contents change with age giving them the perfect balance of nutrients. Not sure where you read it but I’m positive I was saying something different or was drunk and didn’t know what I was saying haha. I’m a huge supporter of BM after 1-2 years.

      Lexi still comes to the breast to EAT- I can tell. In fact she will go to the breast first when she is hungry and then have a meal. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    AE
    November 19, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    Hi Elena, I really enjoy reading your blog, Lexi updates, Product reviews etc. I think you are doing an awesome job with the blog, keep it up!
    Your nutrition posts are always incredibly interesting, while reading this one I got a little confused though. You say you dont give her cow’s milk because it’s unhealthy, but you do give her cheese. But cheese IS made from cow’s milk. Can you please explain your way of thinking here? I really don’t get this. Sorry no offense πŸ™‚
    Ps. In a previous post you said that you studied German in high school, and as a German I would like to know if you still know any German, if you enjoyed studying it, if you think it is hard to learn/speak and if you have ever travelled to Germany. Thanks πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      December 16, 2013 at 8:52 PM

      I don’t FEED her cheese. I’d give it to her if she asks for it and sees me eating or if it’s the only option (like we are in a restaurant). Same with cows milk. It’s easy to avoid actual milk but I don’t try to necessarily avoid it anywhere else like baked goods. I don’t really stress out about small amounts of it if it happens. We just don’t drink cows milk at home so therefore she never drinks it.
      I do sometimes eat cheese at home and when she asks for it, I give her a taste. She usually decided she doesn’t like it πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      December 16, 2013 at 8:53 PM

      German was easy for me because it was my second foreign language however when I was studying it I didn’t appreciate it. Only after college did I realize that I should have been paying more attention πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Kay H.
    November 25, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    Hi Elena,

    Before you said how busy you are with Daily Mom and Lexi and I am sure there are many other things going on in your live also. I just wanted to let you know that I really miss reading your weekly posts and wanted to thank you for all of the insightful information and first hand knowledge you have shared! I have been a very devoted reader since before Lexi was born and it this is still my favourite blog. Anyway, please keep writing if you can, I am sure other readers feel the same way!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      December 16, 2013 at 7:18 PM

      Kay, I really appreciate your comment- it’s really really sweet! And I absolutely plan on writing here. I just had a very busy fall/winter with DM and holidays and travels. I am just now catching up, but I am dying to post on here. So you can expect regular posts in 2014- hoping to get some written during the xmas holidays that I will be laying low during πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Samantha R K.
    December 16, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    Hi Elena, I’ve tried to like Daily Mom but it is just too big and unorganized for me. Wish you would still write on this blog.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      December 16, 2013 at 6:23 PM

      I know, Samantha! I hate being away from this blog too. But I promise I am coming back. This Christmas season killed me.

      I am looking to get DM more designed and organized in the coming year, so hopefully you’ll like it more. But in the meantime, I’m hoping to work on some posts during the holidays and start regular postings again in 2014 πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Dana
    February 28, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    Would love to hear what you would do in place of breastmilk, if Lexi was not still nursing. My son weaned himself and hasn’t nursed in 6 weeks (he’s 13 months). Could just be a strike, so I am pumping 3 x’s/day, BUT I have decided to intro a local grass-fed, organic cows milk as part of his daily milk intake. Thus far, I haven’t seen issues w/reflux or eczema. I was on the fence about this since I don’t drink much cows milk. Would love to hear what others have done.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      February 28, 2014 at 3:10 PM

      Obviously many families drink cow’s milk but if you’re looking for an alternative to animal milks, hemp milk is great. We drink almond milk but Lexi is still nursing. I don’t really see the need to substitute breastmilk with some other milk. If you’re looking for those nutrients, then try quinoa, teff, buckwheat, collards, fatty fish, hemp milk. Having a rounded ration doesn’t have to include milk if you don’t want it. πŸ™‚

      • Reply
        Dana
        February 28, 2014 at 9:59 PM

        Thanks for the reply. I wish my son would still nurse…I miss it πŸ™‚ I mostly drink almond or coconut milk, but haven’t tried hemp. Maybe we’ll check it out.

  • Reply
    April Rose
    March 5, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    Wondering if you will post Lexi’s second birthday party soon? Love to see how u did decorated the beautiful decor, it will help me to preparing the birthday for my daughter.

    And I am still struggling with my daughter’s meal routine, she’s so picky on foods. All she only want is a whole milk. I tried to give her almond milk which she’s allergic to. Which milk u recommend? Love to hear ur helpful tip.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      March 7, 2014 at 10:57 PM

      Yes, absolutely! I am still struggling to catch up and things keep coming up in the meantime. But yes, pictures are beautiful, we sort of had to do decor last minute, so I’ll probably disappoint there, but still excited to post!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      March 7, 2014 at 11:01 PM

      Oh and as far as milk, we don’t do cow’s milk. Lexi drinks almond, but since your daughter is allergic, do you think you could try hemp (carefully since she is allergic to one nut already). if not, just do what works. If whole milk is what she wants, and you’re ok with it, then it’s all good πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Michelle
    March 10, 2014 at 12:40 PM

    Hi Elena
    I have a 2.5 yr old who’s eating and sleeping habits seem a lot like Lexi’s! He still breastfeeds and doesnt seem anywhere close to weaning himself. Just curious, do you plan on weaning Lexi on your own eventually and if so, how? If not, how long do you plan on bfing her? I’m currently TTC again and am having difficulty this time. Even though my cycles are normal, I’m not sure whether it’s bfing that’s making TTC difficult this time round. I know others that have become pregnant while bfing, so I am not sure this is a factor in TTTC. Anyways, just wondering your thoughts…love your blog! We have very similar parenting styles, from what I have read πŸ˜‰

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      March 10, 2014 at 4:27 PM

      Hi, Michelle!

      Nice to “meet” you! Always nice to hear from moms with similar children.
      To answer your questions, as of right now I am planning on weaning Lexi. I am not in love with the idea of mother-led weaning when it doesn’t HAVE to happen, so we’ll continue doing it until she weans or until it “has to happen” haha. So as of right now, if she is breastfeeding at 3, I am planning on going along with it. (though of course better sleep patterns will certainly be welcome once she does wean).
      Currently, breastfeeding is a huge source of comfort for her and it’s not something I feel is fair to take away from her especially during such difficult years of her life- toddler hood.

      Unfortunately, I cannot advise you on TTC because only you know how important it is for you to conceive now vs let her wean naturally (that’s if bfing is even the issue here). Try boosting your fertility via supplements (check out fairhaven fertility products, they have been known to work great.

      Also, it’s possible your body knows well and doesn’t think that it can handle a pregnancy while demands on it are still high ( i’m referring to nursing). Over this whole journey, I’ve strangely learned to trust nature while learning as much as possible and doing the best I can.

      Good Luck!!

  • Reply
    NS
    March 11, 2014 at 6:48 PM

    Hi Elena, Would you please help me understand why you avoid giving milk to your daughter..? I have never heard that milk should not be given to kids.. I fact, since childhood. I have been hearing that milk is an wholesome food and is always good for your health. Also is it just that you are not giving her milk now and you are planning to give her milk may be later ?

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