Week in Food

I’ve been asked to do this post by multiple people, I’m just sorry it took me so long.

Warning: I am not a good food photographer. In fact, I kinda suck at it! I just don’t have the time or the patience (I’m super impatient!) to stage and snap pretty shots. So if you’re weirded out by food or whatever, skip it. If you wanted to know what Lexi eats on a weekly basis, read on.

toddler food

Please note that these photos were taken when Lexi was about 18 months and that the foods she eats vary greatly by season and preferences. We tend to cook our favorites and then forget about them for a while, so things might be different at the moment, but it will give you a good idea of what our meals might look like. All of these photos were taken in the same week, if I am not mistaken.However sometimes I forgot to take a picture, so it might not be ALL she ate that day.  And finally, when my mom visits, she cooks so at that time Lexi eats differently from what you see here.

 Day 1:

  • Pluot, Peach, Pear and Kiwi
  • Nature Path Cereal with Almond Milk
  • Homemade vegetable soup (recipe here)
  • Whole grain pasta with sauteed vegetables (eggplant, mushrooms, olives) and green peas with corn (she loves those!)
  • Not shown: quinoa with peas and sardines plus kiwi and strawberries

day 1

Day 2:

  • Orange, strawberry, cherries and blueberries
  • Eggs
  • Whole grain pasta with sauteed tomatoes
  • Whole grain pasta with sardines and green olives
  • Toddler Vegetable Soup
  • Cherries

day2

Day 3:

  • Eggs, Banana, Raspberries, Orange
  • Black Beans, Brocolli, Green Peas and Corn
  • Roasted potatoes with mushrooms and herbs

day3

Day 4:

  • Peaches, Green Peas.
  • Butternut Squash Chickpea Stew
  • Quinoa, green peas, steamed potatoes, hake (fish)
  • Eggs
  • Kiwi

day4

Apparently, then I got sick of taking pics of every little thing she ate, so here is the overview of the last 3 days.

Days 5, 6, 7:

  • Toddler soup (with the addition of peas)
  • Quinoa with sardines and green peas
  • Quinoa with eggs, green peas and potatoes
  • Whole grain pasta with peas
  • Whole grain pasta in broccoli, tomatoes, green pea sauce
  • Broccoli, egg, potato salad (just these three ingredients chopped and mixed together with olive oil. Really tasty and Lexi loved it) and strawberries
  • Not Shown: pasta with tomato and egg sauce (I blended lightly sauteed tomatoes with eggs and spiced it with pepper and herbs)

day5

So as you can see, the clear favorites here are peas, eggs and whole grain pasta. She also loves fish but I refrain from making it every day for mercury concerns, even though the fish we eat is very low in mercury.

What are some of your favorite toddler recipes that your kids love?

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36 Comments

  • Reply
    Elena C.
    January 16, 2014 at 5:16 AM

    What a yummy menu!!!!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Tarynkay
    January 16, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    What kinds of things does your mom cook? Is there anything better than your mom coming to town and making all of your childhood favorites?

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      January 16, 2014 at 1:12 PM

      Pretty much the same just more complicated like lots of vegetables in one meal.
      It’s just nice to have help since Lexi doesn’t let me cook much.

      • Reply
        Tarynkay
        January 16, 2014 at 1:16 PM

        It is so nice to have grandparents around to help!

        Do you have a Learning Tower? I bet Lexi is old enough to help you cook at this point.

        • Reply
          Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
          January 16, 2014 at 1:26 PM

          I’m looking into buying it soon. I want to see how Lexi is when my mom leaves and then we will probably buy it.

          • Jayne @ The Naptown Organizer
            January 16, 2014 at 11:48 PM

            We have the learning tower and my three year old LOVES it – it is so helpful for letting him cook with me, I’m able to accomplish so much more while he is in the learning tower and my little one is worn on my back!

  • Reply
    Anne
    January 16, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    Does Lexi like nuts at all? My daughter doesn’t eat dairy due to allergy, so we give her lots of eggs and nuts and avocado to get some nice, healthy fat for brain development. Macadamias and pistachios are her favorites.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      January 16, 2014 at 1:11 PM

      I’m not sure how she would eat nuts. I used to grind them into her meals but stopped for some reason. How do you give them?

      • Reply
        Anne
        January 16, 2014 at 1:41 PM

        We started by giving her halved macadamia nuts, one at a time under supervision. They are pretty soft compared to other nuts. Now she’s 28 months and eats them whole. A lot of them. And they are expensive. LOL. She just recently started eating pisatchios. I haven’t tried other nuts, but I assume almonds would be way too hard for her little teeth to chew properly.

        We also give her almond butter (the kind that’s just almonds and a little salt) on toast or bread.

      • Reply
        Tawny
        January 16, 2014 at 2:18 PM

        Once they had molars I just gave them nuts whole. Choking hazard? Sure, but they would sit at the table with us and it was never an issue. Also, nut butters (organic creamy peanut butter). It’s a fave here. I’m not sure how people do without peanut butter!

        • Reply
          Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
          January 16, 2014 at 4:38 PM

          We do butters too just haven’t tried actual nuts. And I’m suspecting she’s sensitive to peanuts so I gotta test that out.

          • Luise
            January 17, 2014 at 12:35 AM

            You could soak your almonds, walnuts etc. overnight before giving them to her. They become nice and easy to chew, plus there are added benefits, like more enzymes, easier digestability and less phytic acid. Read about it for example here http://vegetarian.about.com/od/beverage1/a/soaking-nuts.htm

          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
            January 18, 2014 at 12:05 AM

            Brilliant! Thank you!

          • Kay
            January 18, 2014 at 6:19 PM

            What symptoms does she have that are making you think she may have a peanut allergy?

            Nut allergies are extremely serious – even if they seem to be mild to begin with, they can quickly become life-threatening.

            I would definitely recommend that you don’t give Lexi any peanut or tree nut products (even though the two aren’t related botanically, if you have one allergy, you’re more likely to be allergic to other botanicals, and an anaphylactic reaction to a tree nut is every bit as serious). Not to mention that fruits and seeds such as mango and sesame are also part of the same family that can cause reactions.

          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
            January 18, 2014 at 8:45 PM

            No i don’t think it’s an allergy. Maybe a sensitivity. I just noticed a reddish ring around her anus that evening which I read could be a sign of a sensitivity. I have to rest it again. No one is our families have any allergies, so that’s definitely not a clue….

          • Kay
            January 22, 2014 at 8:46 PM

            I’ve never heard of a sensitivity to peanuts that doesn’t lead to an allergy. Can you cite sources on that?

            From what I’ve read (and in my experience, my nut allergies developed after being exposed from an early age. Also, no allergies in my family, so there was no reason for my parents to be worried), what starts out as a sensitivity – such as a rash – is very likely to turn into a full blown allergic reaction after consistent exposure.

          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
            January 22, 2014 at 11:10 PM

            I don’t know much about. I just remember reading that you can have sensitivities to certain things and full on allergies. And from what I remember they actually disproved the fact that early exposure has anything to do with allergies and pulled back recommendations to hold off on allergens.

          • Kay
            January 24, 2014 at 3:31 PM

            Sorry – I didn’t make myself completely clear. You’re absolutely correct to say that it has been disproved that early exposure to peanuts is the cause of peanut allergy. I one hundred percent agree with you on that.

            However, if a sensitivity is already present, continued exposure to the offending allergen will make make matters a hell of a lot worse in the future. (Again, I wasn’t completely clear – in my case I had very mild symptoms of a nut allergy at a young age, this before allergies were a “thing”, so my parents ignored them, I had no clue, and I had my first anaphylactic reaction at age 17.) I do think that if you are concerned that she has a “sensitivity”, you should either be very careful with her diet, or make an appointment with an allergist.

  • Reply
    Sara
    January 16, 2014 at 6:30 PM

    You make ME so hungry!!

    • Reply
      Biljana
      January 17, 2014 at 4:23 AM

      My daughter is 18 months old and she is eating nuts on her own. We didn’t gave her to try, she took one while I was making cookies and eat it well. Now we give her half of nut once in a few days and she loves them and have a patience to chew them, although she have only eight teeth.
      Thank you Elena for food inspiration, my little one is picky, so I’m always looking for new recipes.

  • Reply
    Jessica
    January 16, 2014 at 8:15 PM

    I’m impressed that your toddler eats such a variety! We have a very very picky 3 year old- she just refuses to try anything. I wish she would eat soup, but she especially dislikes anything messy like that! She spent 2 months last summer in Ukraine with my in-laws and left liking cucumbers, pelmenj, buckwheat, and blini. Of course, they also showered her with chocolates, piroshki, etc., but I guess there’s always a trade-off 🙂

    It’s a little disappointing because we’re such healthy eaters- nothing processed, no GMO’s, organic, etc. And we never go out to eat. I’m hoping it’ll rub off on her slowly but surely!!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      January 17, 2014 at 11:54 PM

      As she gets older, she becomes more picky or I guess picky is not the right term to use. She will eat and try anything and never refuse any type of food (except she spits out cooked zucchini and eggplant because of the texture, she will only eat these if they are diced finely), but lately she has been only taking a few bites of the foods we offer and moving on. But if we offer a food she really likes, she will go on eating. I think it’s just a matter of offering variety and not giving up

  • Reply
    Britt
    January 16, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    Thank you for (finally, lol) posting this! I am always scouring the Internet to find food ideas for my toddler. Lots of healthy food here. Although my munchkins love chicken and blueberry muffins.
    I was wondering, you seem to travel so much, if rules go out the window as far as mealtime is concerned. Like, it is so hard to keep track of salts, butter, etc at a restaurant. And I have seen her with yummy “unhealthy” treats while at Dsiney, for example.
    Will you ever feed her meats or dairy?

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      January 18, 2014 at 12:01 AM

      Haha! I know it took me a long time to get this one out. 🙂

      And yes, of course when we travel and eat out, we can’t be as selective as we are at home, so we do what we can. We’ll order the healthiest thing on the menu. She almost never eats meat or diary (in its raw form not as one of the ingredients because obviously we can’t help that). Even as ingredients I try to avoid these for her. She only once had meat, it was in a meaty marinara sauce on her pasta and I picked the actual meat out. Plus I am sure they put butter and cream in certain soups she has had while at restaurants, but I don’t really worry about it since we have little control over that. If we have a vegetarian option, that’s what she gets. Cheese is hit or miss. If it happens to be on the food she is eating, that’s ok, but we try to select items without it.
      When it comes to sweets, if the situation lends itself to a special treat, we go with it.

      Same with salts- again I will try to select a food low in sodium, but it’s not an unbreakable rule. Actually as far as I am concerned, nothing is unbreakable, I always try to be flexible when I need to.

      Oh and we also bring our own food often (like to Disney). But most of the time, we are able to find a place that serves fish, grains and veggies so that’s what she tends to eat. I mean we eat only organic at home, but outside of home that’s not even remotely an option, so we just go with the best option available

  • Reply
    kat
    January 16, 2014 at 8:42 PM

    Okay. Now you’re speaking my language! lol. I love cooking for my LO (though it is often stressful bc she whines for my attention). I also love getting inspiration from other people who are obviously health conscious. I’m going to have to try putting more sardines into sauces for pasta, etc. I don’t do that for her now. I’m also inspired by how you keep it simple. I rarely have time but often overthink things, trying to create something overly complicated. Anyway…I could go on and on about my 18-month old eats, but I’ll just name a couple of our favs. 1.) Smoothies with fresh fruit and greens (sometimes a spoon of almond butter for protein). 2) A warm cereal made from a mix of whole grains (like oats, barley, quinoa, brown rice, farro) cooked together with raisins and cinnamon, blitzed a little with the immersion blender to make it creamy, and some fresh fruit tossed in at the end. It’s been our go-to breakfast since she started eating solids. 3) Beans (any type) and brown rice with a sprinkle of soy sauce and sesame seeds. 4) spaghetti with a marinara sauce loaded with veggies 5) can’t beat a good old peanut butter sandwich in a pinch. we get good bread from the farmers market, freeze it, and take it out as needed. Whew, knew I couldn’t just stop at 2, lol.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      January 18, 2014 at 12:04 AM

      Omg, I wish i could have the time or the inclination to make these amazing things you listed! I just don’t get that kind of time allowance lol But I think I am going to take some inspiration from you and try some of these. Right now my mom is cooking, which is heavenly because I can spend more time with Lexi and sometimes get work done, but once she leaves I think I will try some of what you suggested. Smoothies and cereal sounds amazing… And marinara sauce too…mm I mam hungry.

      On brown rice, are you not concerned about arsenic? We stopped giving her rice because white rice is empty and brown is full of arsenic. I am yet to research if we can eat black rice but that’s a good option.

  • Reply
    kat
    January 19, 2014 at 8:42 PM

    I am concerned about arsenic, but from my understanding the arsenic was concentrated in the southeast, and I buy rice grown in California (I hope I’m not wrong about this – I haven’t researched it in depth). And because these days it seems there’s something bad in almost EVERYTHING and we’re constantly having to be fearful, I just make sure to give her a big variety of things. She eats lots of different grains, not just brown rice. We definitely cut back (sad, because it’s my fav grain). And I’m careful about rice products, too. Another tip I heard on NPR is to boil the rice in water instead of steaming it, then rinse (aka, use a bigger ratio of water to rice than normal so any arsenic is diluted/rinsed away). However, I don’t do this…hmm, now i’m going to google this. Hope I haven’t been too lax.

    • Reply
      kat
      January 19, 2014 at 9:04 PM

      Oh boy. I just read the consumer report on this. It’s scary! I will have to cut back more, and research a brand without arsenic, maybe a foreign one I can order online or something. It’s always something, isn’t it?

      • Reply
        Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
        January 22, 2014 at 1:49 AM

        It’s crazy! I am so sick from running from one thing to another…. We buy white california and jasmin rice for ourselves right now. But I read foreign has an issue too.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      January 22, 2014 at 1:49 AM

      I actually never steam rice… is it tastier that way? And I’ve pretty much COMPLETELY cut out any rice products (meaning processed stuff with rice in it like cereal or purees).

  • Reply
    M
    January 19, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    I can’t thank you enough for this post!! It is so nice to get some other yummy toddler food ideas when I feel stuck in a rut always making the same few meals for my daughter.

  • Reply
    Katie J
    January 28, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    Does Lexi have water with her meals? I’m so confused about whether breastfed toddlers should be offered water with their meals. I’m planning to have my daughter self-wean, and I’ve heard that if they still nurse 3-4 times a day, they don’t need extra fluid. Still, I think she’d like water (she’s always sucking on a washcloth in the tub!) and I wonder if offering water might change how much milk she drinks/how often she nurses. I’m torn–I love nursing! But, I also want to make sure she gets plenty of fluid and regulates her own milk intake. At this point, I still prompt her to nurse (although obviously, sometimes she lets me know), just as I do to eat–she’s always been the type of child that goes from 0-60 when she suddenly realizes that she’s hungry! For reference, my daughter is 13 months–I’m just curious about Lexi’s progression.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      January 29, 2014 at 12:18 AM

      Hi, Katie!

      I am a BIG believer in getting lots of fluids throughout the day, so I say you should absolutely give her water. I have not heard or read anything about withholding water from a BF’ed infants, aside from old wives’ tales and hearsay that doesn’t even sound rational.
      Lexi has had water since she was able to take sippy cup. Babies and kids are so amazingly self-regulating in many aspects that you rarely need to worry about doing things FOR them. Let her tell you when she wants to breastfeed, drink or eat by offering her plenty of options of either throughout the day and she will automatically do what she needs at that moment. Your supply will also adjust itself to her need as long as you’re always near her and never deny her breastmilk. Same thing with solid foods, really. Offer healthy foods and let her regulate her own intake.

      I am telling you that from the research I’ve read and personal experience and beliefs. As far as how it worked with us, I never noticed any issues in supply following this. A few months ago, I felt like I didn’t have that much milk, but I continued simply letting Lexi decide when she wanted to BF and just a few days ago I noticed a big spike in my supply that was clearly a response to her non-stop BFing in the last week.

      Hope this helps and feel free to ask more questions.

      Elena

    • Reply
      kat
      February 2, 2014 at 8:15 PM

      My daughter is 19 months and still BF and I have been offering her water with her meals since she first took a sippie cup. They get thirsty! Since water has no calories, it isn’t like they’ll be replacing your milk with water. This makes me thirsty just thinking about it! I keep a sippie with water available at all times for my daughter.

  • Reply
    Mari
    February 15, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    Where did you get your bowls and spoon??? I need them so BAD!!! What brand are they? I hope you answer!!

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