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I'm starving my 16 mo old... - Page 3

post #41 of 73
You've really gotten some awesome advice mama! Just chiming in to send a hug and a suggestion to try recipes that 'hide' nutrition in things they already eat. There's one that 'hides' pureed cauliflower in mashed potatoes, and you can't tell it's there. There's another that does pureed carrots in mac and cheese, things like that.

Of COURSE I can't think of the name of the danged book, but I'm sure it's google-able, and I'm fairly certain the recipes are also online.

I'll come back and post 'em if I can, but if someone else can find them before me please feel free.

I promise they grow out of this mama, you're doing all the right things by getting input from others and working with the pediatric team
post #42 of 73
Originally Posted by cschick View Post
The one thing to remember is that they're also probably using a marinade with some pretty icky stuff in it to make the salmon so moist and flavorful at restaurants.
I just wanted to *yeah that* the above!

*long story*

I worked at a cookie store during college, and had access to the nutrition information. Even though we advertised "fresh baked cookies"-- the cookies were made with enough fat to last months. 500 calories and tons of chemicals to make sure that the cookies lasted and lasted adn always looked good and tasted moist. there is a reason that outside food tastes so good. It's scientifically engineered and studied to taste good. You can't compete with that because you care too much about what goes into your child's body.
post #43 of 73
You've already gotten tons of great suggestions about different foods and quick meals. One thing that has helped me a ton with finding time to cook is that I bought my DD a Learning Tower so she can see what I'm doing and "help." A lot of the time, she actually just stands in her Learning Tower and splashes around in a little tub of water on the counter while I cook. As long as she can see what I'm doing, I can get some cooking done without having her fuss at me too much.

Where are you in Colorado? If you're anywhere close to me (I'm in Colorado Springs), I'd be happy to give you some cooking lessons. Seriously, PM me if you're anywhere close.
post #44 of 73
After thinking it over, I also wanted to come back in here and say that I hope all the advice isn't giving you that feeling like it's all so easy for everyone else and there must be something wrong with you. We all face tough challenges as parents, they're just in different areas. I happen to be really passionate about good food and unable to afford to go out all the time, so I've learned to cook well and that area isn't as much of a challenge for me. But if you want to talk about sleep or discipline, I can tell you all about all the self-doubt I've had in those areas.
post #45 of 73
I also feed my daughter quesadilla's. And since you are still feeding pureed veggies, I'd try what I do. I combine one or two puree veggies (usually sweet potato and cauliflower), add the cheese and some finely shredded chicken (obviously skipping the chicken if you don't eat meat). Then I spread it all on a whole wheat or multi-grain tortilla and cook it in a skillet. I make several batches at once, cut them up into serving sizes, and freeze them in a baggie. Then I just take them out and throw them in the toaster oven or microwave and serve them. My almost 2 year old loves them.

And don't be afraid to use pre-packaged foods. I work full time and some mornings for breakfast I give my daughter scrambled eggs, but lots of mornings she gets yogurt smoothies, toast with jam and nut butter, or organic frozen waffles with flax with some cream cheese and honey on it.

In a crunch, we give our daughter Amy's frozen mac and cheese or Annie's out of the box. It's not our first choice, but it's still all pretty good for her.
post #46 of 73
to you. Make sure you have ruled out celiac disease as that can cause failure to thrive and pickiness.
Oh and the book is called The Sneaky Chef that does the veggie purees in regular foods.
post #47 of 73
Ditto the pp... if you don't like to cook or don't have time, by all means buy some pre-packaged foods. If not for pre-packaged foods we would starve to death in this household. I "know how" to cook, I just hate it. Hate. I spend as little time as possible preparing food. We eat a heckofalotta hamburger helper (ok, you might not want to sink THAT low...), mac'n'cheese from a box (the velveeta brand with the whole grain noodles is soooo yummy), chicken nuggets, frozen pizza, and lunchables around here. If I'm feeling "fancy" we make sandwhichs, quesidillas, or hamburger bun pizzas for lunch.

Like others said, you definitely don't have to heat/cook food to make a meal, especially for a toddler. My older daughter is fond of what we call the "Vivian sandwhich" meal, which is basically a selection of stuff on a plate. Originally it was sandwhich fixings on a plate, but I really just throw on anything that seems like a decent balance of foods, so it might be, say, a slice of cheese, a slice of bread, edamame, half a banana, and some applesauce. Or maybe a couple slices of pickle, a slice of ham, some crackers, a few strawberries, and a glass of milk.

For lunch and snack, I do serve a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits -- slices of cucumber, steamed broccoli, carrot sticks, apple slices, mandarin oranges... DD also loves to eat frozen peas, frozen corn, or frozen edamame straight from the bag.

For simple dinners I recommend:

- Salmon patties -- we actually had this for dinner tonight. I can bake fresh fish, but salmon patties are yummy and taste like "mom cooking" to me. Mix together 15oz salmon from cans (or 10oz salmon +5oz tuna), 1/2 cup cracker crumbs, 1 egg, a dash of salt. Make into 4-6 patties. Fry in a pan with 1 tablespoon canola oil for 8 minutes (4 min per side). Easy-peasy. We served with rice pilaf or similar from a box and a vegetable.

- Spaghetti. Yes, with sauce from a jar. Whole wheat noodles take a tad bit longer to cook, but taste so much better than white grain noddles. We serve with crescent rolls from a can.

- Chili (from a can) over white rice with a sprinkle of grated cheese (from a bag).

- My husband's gourmet dish is tuna noodle casserole. There are tons of different recipes, but it's overall a pretty easy one to learn. Otherwise, my husband would not make it.

- Burritos! Tortillas, grated cheese, refried (or whatever) beans from a can, some salsa, and whatever else you want in a burrito. The hard part is softening up the tortillas.
post #48 of 73
You know, at that age (and still with my 3 year old) home cooked meals just aren't that big of a hit. Quite frankly my daughters favorite foods are cottage cheese, turkey, string cheese, yogurt, Annies (boxed) mac n cheese, etc. Easy stuff... feeding your child healthy foods doesn't have to involve an intense recipe.
post #49 of 73
I am a lousy cook myself, and quite disorganized, so I can sympathize. I can't tell you how many times I've undercooked chicken! But I've been keeping at it, and I think I'm getting better. It doesn't help me that my husband is a good cook (used to actually work in a restaurant many years ago), because sometimes I feel judged by him and he doesn't have time to do much cooking.

But anyway, I want to echo everyone's comments above: a lot of toddlers (mine included!) won't eat a really good meal that we slave over and find super yummy. I did baby-led-weaning with my daughter and she used to eat EVERYTHING, no matter how unfamiliar or spicy, and now she's 19 months and super picky. All she wants is pizza and pasta (actually your diet sounds like something my daughter would thrive on), with the occasional chunk of meat or fish and sometimes fruit. She also happens to love oatmeal for breakfast, and for that I am eternally grateful.

As a sample, here's what she ate today:
2 large portions of oatmeal for breakfast (this was a good day)
most of a banana for snack
cheese quesadilla for lunch (my new specialty- i tried making one with veggies but she wouldn't touch it)
a whole bunch of annie's whole wheat bunny crackers and raisins for afternoon snack
a few bites of chile rellenos with rice & beans wrapped in a tortilla (the disguise worked for a few bites- yay!) when we ate out for dinner at a mexican restaurant (we don't normally eat out- maybe once every 6 weeks, because we're poor)

And that's it! Yesterday was almost identical, except she had dried apricots for snack and pasta for dinner. We're on a cheese quesadilla kick.

Anyway DD is doing well... she's a little on the lean side (30th percentile for weight and 90th for length) but the doc is ok with it because DH is super lean ectomorph man and I'm fairly long & lean, so it's probably genetic. and she's happy and doing all the milestones.

I think you should change your immediate focus from "OMG I need to learn to cook" to "OMG I need to figure out what DS will eat." And then over time, also work on cooking, because that will be really useful later and will make life more healthful for all of you. I have a couple of really great vegetarian cookbooks (I used to be veggie), but to be honest most cookbook meals are too involved for me and not really worth the effort. I've become hooked on the recipes on realsimple.com, because they are SO EASY and pretty tasty. I also have turned to allrecipes.com, because that site has some nice features and I like that all the recipes have a ton of reviews with good suggestions for modifications.
post #50 of 73
Time to space out the house projects more and put more into cooking. It sounds like everything else is a priority instead of feeding your family which needs to change. I'm just sayin!

If DS doesn't like something, offer it again and again on other days. My DS loves plain (whole milk) yogurt with a little molasses (just dip a teaspoon in it and stir in whatever sticks to the spoon), honey and cinnamon.

ANYONE can get better at cooking with practice.

What is your fridge filled with that you have to stack? Is it eating out leftovers or real food?

What kind of milk are you offering him? (I'm assuming whole if not it needs to be whole)

Since he likes salmon, give it another try, and practice, practice. Start with smaller pieces so you don't waste so much, and check it often. Baking is pretty simple and if you follow the recipe it will be fine. Does your oven run hot? One way to know is to buy an oven thermometer and hang it on one of the racks in the oven. Turn the oven to 350 and when it's fully preheated, see what the thermometer says. If it's 25 over, then automatically take 25 off the temp every time you set the oven to bake. That can ruin food every time no matter how closely you follow a recipe.

Seems like most kids like chicken and that is a great meat to practice cooking, just cut into it first to make sure it is not pink inside.

There is a bunch more I could say - I know you have gotten other suggestions.

Don't give him ANYTHING low fat. He needs the fat.

ETA: you mentioned coconout oil - for months my DS loved eating that with a spoon (I'd feed him). See if he likes that, keep it to about a couple teaspoons a day but it's a nutrient dense food.
post #51 of 73
Hugs from me too! I feel I'm in the same boat - I'm a terrible cook, and very self-conscious of it, and my LO is a tiny thing who is being monitored for failure to thrive. The doctor has reduced me to tears several times by saying that the only thing that seems to be explaining my LO's small size is that she doesn't eat enough. (On the other hand, she eats well and my husband and I are both small, so I don't entirely buy that.)

Still, it's very stressful for me too to think about what she's going to eat at each meal.

One thing that helps is to cook larger amounts a few times a week instead of everyday, so that you have several leftovers on hand to just warm up for a meal. That also gives you options of what to serve, in case the first thing offer gets rejected.

Also, focus on becoming good at just one dish (one that your LO tends to like) at a time, by cooking it once or twice a week, regularly. For one thing, it will take out the decision of what to cook on those days - you can just fall into a rhythm of if it's Sunday, you make roast chicken or whatever. And for another, you'll eventually become comfortable making it, maybe even without the recipe in front of you, and that sense of comfort will help when you try other things. I've noticed that my LO also kind of like some predictability in her menu as well.
post #52 of 73
Lots of hugs! I know how to cook, but I'm so busy/overwhelmed that I just don't like it anymore!! You've got lots of great suggestions here!!

Oh, and I wanted to say I'm the mama of small kids. My oldest was not even *on* the charts when he was young. Now, he'll be 8 in a month and he still only weighs 40 lbs. He's tiny, but he's a healthy little man and the doctor was always able to see that so he didn't worry too much, as long as he was gaining. Still, it was scary to me and I had some guilt at times thinking I wasn't doing something right. Turns out, I was and he's just a small guy.
post #53 of 73
Hi Mama,
Ok... you've gotten tons of food ideas for you and your LO.
Here's my COOKING tip. CROCKPOTS are awesome. You can throw in some cut up veggiees, broth, barley, etc in the am and have a wonderful soup for dinner. You can even throw in some pasta about 30 minutes before dinner and have it be even more toddler friendly. Both DDs will eat any (cooled-off) soup from the crockpot. :-)
I also inherited a bread machine from my MIL. So now I make homemade bread to go with our soups.. All that is is measuring and adding in the ingredients and pressing start... homemade bread 4 hours later. :-) It's hard to mess up bread in bread machines and soup in the crockpot.
Good luck!
post #54 of 73
i know you've gotten a ton of suggestions, and i havent had time to read through them all, but here are my quick tips that help us:

-smoothies! so easy, yogurt or kefir, fruit like banana and frozen strawberries, mango, or raspberries and whatever milk you use or you could even use some type of juice. also adding a scoop of coconut oil tastes really great and totally beneficial. and nut butters.

-we like to make green smoothies, so half greens, then 1 banana, and some frozen fruit mentioned above, with water and a splash of pineapple juice to make it sweet enough. this will help with the iron as well.

-also in the smoothies you could add some type of powdered or liquid supplement, like multivitamin or green mix etc.

-aannnnnddd.....if you dont want to make it, bolthouse juices sell great tasting smoothies already made, but you wouldnt be getting the dairy or coconut oil or nut butter etc.

-for lunch here, i buy a 1/2 lb. of ground turkey and 1/2 lb. of ground beef and put them into portion size ziploc baggies for the week. i take one baggy out the night before in the fridge so it thaws. heat it up in a skillet on medium heat with some butter, and then mix the turkey with applesauce for lunch-tastes sooo good! and the beef with pasta sauce or ketchup.

-i steam frozen broccoli, green beans, and peas for 6 minutes and serve that with lunch and dinner.

and i would just keep offering your ds all different meals, because i promise you, he will eventually eat one!
post #55 of 73
Oh, mama. That must be so hard. All of us have our weaknesses as moms.

My tips:

1. Even if it doesn't look nice, or taste restaurant-perfect, or even that good at all, eat it with your son. Like the pancake that falls apart. No problem. Pour real maple syrup on it and go for it. Have fun. That's okay. It will get better with time.

So what if the bottom of the rice burnt. Eat the top part and put a lot of teriyaki sauce on it to cover up that burnt aroma. Or whatever.

Cut the tops off burnt biscuits, don't be afraid to microwave them if they aren't cooked all the way through.

Chicken look horrid? But at least cooked all the way through? Scrape it off the bones, whatever isn't burnt, and put it in pasta with butter and italian herbs from the bottle.

I kid you not I have done ALL of those things and my cooking slowly improved. I've been cooking for years and I still sometimes have to salvage rice and eat a plate full of gooey pancake crumbs. MMMMM. If you put defrosted berries on them and sprinkle with powdered sugar you can pretend it's a delicacy.

In Russia they have a saying: "The first pancake never turns out." So make sure you don't take the first one... or the first batch... too seriously. They have another saying: "Practice, practice, practice!"

(2) Keep offering veggies and drown them in butter. I don't care what anyone says, it tastes good, there's calories and kids love stuff they can pick up. You put them (frozen veggies) in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with water, microwave 3 min on high, pour out water, stir butter in if hot, or microwave for another minute with the butter if not. Wah-lah. Serve with a kosher hot dog warmed up in a frying pan and bread and you have a meal.

Keep trying. Nobody ever learned to cook in a year. You can do this!

It's okay to serve mediocre and even bad food. LOL. My memories of childhood winters were coming home to smell smoke and seeing my mom over the trashcan with a cheese grater, grating the burnt bottoms off of chocolate chip cookies.

To this day, when I smell burnt chocolate or sugar, I think of those winter days.

Oh, and canned beans. Dump in microwave-safe bowl, top with cheese, microwave, serve with the microwaved frozen veggies. Yesss children love it and it's a healthy, balanced meal.

Honestly, if I can do it, you can. Know, when you are scraping burnt spaghetti off the bottom of the pot, after having eaten globby overcooked pasta with under-melted cheese and canned peas in butter, that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. And if your child is eating it... He's eating!!! :yay

For recipes, start simple. I learned to cook using Betty Crocker's Cookbook, Bridal Edition. Basically, it's cooking for idiots. Though, there is probably a Cooking for Idiots book out there. Anyway, she explains everything and there's lots of familiar recipes in there you can go for. It's worth a shot. Now I make more natural, healthy foods but everyone starts somewhere!
post #56 of 73
i also think that children are more apt to eat something that they have been involved with. as simple as taking your ds grocery shopping with you and talking about the food you're picking.

i let me ds turn the blender on for smoothies and he gets really excited,

and he also counts and throws the broccoli and green beans in the steamer before i turn the stove on. (if it doesnt take all day that is

or he likes to squeeze and stir honey in his plain yogurt.

just please be patient with yourself, because i think most of us have been there, and i think learning from not having is the most concrete permanent way to learn. i still go through uncreative times, so i just come on mothering and research what im missing or how to change it up. even just one new meal for a week can really get myself and my ds into food again
post #57 of 73
This is such a wonderful post! The most difficult thing for me in this stage of parenting (my son is 18 mo.) is getting him to eat! I've found more good suggestions from this post than from anywhere else, and am once again hopeful that I can feed my son well.

I agree with the PP who said that a toddler is more likely to eat a given food if he/she is allowed to help prepare it. That's exactly my experience. I try bring down the food that I'm mixing to where my son can see it (usually spreading a towel or mat over the floor and sitting down). The day he ate a big bowl of mac and cheese with edamame mixed in, that he helped prepare, was the best day of my life (even if the next day he wouldn't touch it)!

Good luck, mama! Think of this as an opportunity in disguise (though such oppotunities are rarely easy)!
post #58 of 73
Thread Starter 
I'm the OP.

It turns out, I AM effectively starving our DS, obviously not on purpose. He has not been given enough of an opportunity to chew on things like crackers and other crunchy things as one example. Whenever I tried, he would spit it out, so I would wait a couple of weeks (per what books I read indicated) and try again. He has had texture/oral aversions, so I was taking it slowly. We just needed some professional help along the way and should have taken that route sooner.

We had a feeding clinic appt today with 4 specialists, and the ped and nutritionist indicated that breastmilk past the age of 1 cannot provide adequate calories for an active toddler. BM cannot make up for the lack of variety and volume of a solids diet. I liken it to an adult on a liquid diet with nutritional shakes, obviously not milkshakes. You lose weight. Hence, my underweight DS. He's on a 99% liquid diet predominantly.

They evaluated his eating and it turns out he is not chewing properly and that has repercussions on his speech development because the lateral movement of his tongue is what helps him develop words. Since he has not learned to move his tongue properly eating crunchy things like crackers, it likely has hampered his speech. He only says 4 words and he is so obviously behind his peers when I go to playdates.

So, now he is going to be doing weekly therapy with an OT, which they thought was better than a speech therapist for his needs, because he is thought to have sensory issues as well, and the OT can help with that.

He has fallen off the charts for weight, and they used a growth chart that speaks to babies breastfed for the first year. He is 16 mo and his 12 mo pants fall off him. I have to buy 9 mo pants for him.

I'm kicking myself that we didn't keep our previous feeding clinic eval appt a couple of months ago. He sometimes surprises us by eating well and we thought that the switch must have gone off and he didn't need the help. We almost cancelled this appt for the same reason because his eating volume had increased in the past week. Thank goodness we went.

They were very thorough and took a very detailed history from birth to now.

I wish I hadn't second guessed and self diagnosed. I should have left that to the experts. They collectively have seen thousand of kids, so they know what's normal and what's not.
post #59 of 73
I'm glad you went in and got some good guidance! Let us know how it goes. You can't change the past, but it can educate you for the future.
post #60 of 73
I have issues with what the docs said about BM. Your son is only 16 months. The WHO recommends BM till at least 2. It is a perfect food for him and helps his speech and every other development. Breastfed babies have strong tongues. Have you had issues with his nursing at all since his birth? Did he nurse a lot as a baby? There is far more nutrition in the BM then in crackers. I say nurse him more frequently. How many times is he nursing now? The iron you give him via your breastmilk is more easily absorbed them any other source of iron. As far as table foods are concerned, let him eat whatever he will eat. If he will eat your almond butter on toast then great. It's good for him and it has texture. You can mix rice into his avocado (no reason he can't eat that everyday). You can buy brown rice at Trader Joe's that you can nuke in the microwave.
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