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ACK! Food ideas for 18-month-old?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Gah! I'm coming to the end of my rope when it comes to feeding my very crazy toddler "real" foods. Up until 2 days ago, he would go apey for a Gardenburger. He would eat the entire thing in one sitting and still be wanting more. Now, he doesn't want anything to do with them.

He'll eat the Quorn "chicken" nuggets. He'll also eat bananas, rice puffs, kamut, rice (any kind), and pasta. But, I don't normally have a stockpile of any of these things save kamut and rice puffs.

Okay, so maybe I just answered my own question (not maybe, I did...stockpile up on rice and pasta!) but I really would like to introduce other foods into his diet. Maybe I would just like him to not throw everything off his tray and sign "all done!"

He's still nursing a million times a day. In fact, I was making an feeble (VERY feeble) attempt at night weaning and he immediately started nursing 3x more than he usually does (both day and night). Gah!

Any advice or suggestions would be MUCH appreciated!
post #2 of 12
Sounds likes a toddler to eat one day and not the next.

We use the Uncle Ben Rice packets that heat in 90 seconds.

keep cut up fruit and veggies:
yellow and red peppers
cherry or grape tomatoes
snap peas

justtomatoes.com (or at your local food co-op)
We love the freeze-dried fruits.
post #3 of 12
give him whatever is on your plate.
post #4 of 12
I think what you're going through is pretty normal. Lucy's food tastes definitely do major pendulum swings overnight. The child who eats berries at every meal suddenly thinks they're gross.

Anyway, I found that at that age, anything that could be dipped became her favorite. I notice that your list doesn't list fruits and veggies other than the bananas. Also, everything is kind of the same color. Think about flavor and color--would you want to subsist on what he's eating? How about berries, or peeled apples, or roasted broccoli or asparagus (Lucy's new favorite is asparagus quick sauteed in butter). How about avocado? Oh, and Lucy really likes the marinated tofu you can buy in the refrigerator section of the supermarket. We're not vegetarians, so she eats chicken and salmon too.

Looking at what you listed, I'm also noticing a low input of protein and healthy fats--which might be why he's nursing so much. Good luck getting him to eat, and try not to be too frustrated. Just provide a wide variety of foods. Oh, and one thing I read was that you should shoot for a toddler to have a balanced diet over a week, not over a meal or a day like we usually try for as adults.
post #5 of 12
Some things my DD has been eating lately:

I've had good luck making quesadillas. I put various things in them. (Turkey, chicken, chopped veggies, black beans and cheese) Not all things at once, just whatever we have cooked.

Lately she's been liking lettuce?? Like already dressed in a salad. DH started feeding it to her when I wasn't home...and I'm like huh. I never would have tried that!

Veggie Pizzas I make with cheese, super-thin sliced tomatoes and basil.

Cucumber Rolls "Sushi" I take the roll apart for her (she's 14 months and will try and eat the whole thing)
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so much for your quick replies!

This boy is a mystery to me! DH and I eat pretty well, with lots of protein and veggies. I offer, offer, and offer some more but to no avail. Ezra doesn't even like strawberries!

Anyway, thank you for your advice. I hope that one day he will be a willing eater...and I hope that day comes soon!
post #7 of 12
Omelets -

You can hide a lot of good stuff in an omelet! I make a one egg omelet, and as soon as I put the egg in the pan I sprinkle it with some ground flax seed. Lately I've been doing spinach or kale omelets with cheese and homemade pasta sauce, which also has veggies in it (mostly carrots and parsnips).


These are also great to "hide" stuff in. I use the spinach tortillas, and sprinkle with cheese, dice tomatoes, spinach, and anything else I can fit in there.

I let them cool down so the cheese isn't gooey anymore, then cut in small bite sized pieces. The cheese is kind of like the "glue" and holds it together, and for the purpose of self feeding it's easier to wait until they've cooled down and the cheese solidified.

I also make polenta, roll it up in parchment paper and put it in the fridge. When it solidifies you can cut it in bite size pieces and toss with homemade pasta sauce. And you can also had a tone of stuff to the polenta itself, like finely chopped veggies, ground flax seeds, ground pumpkin seeds (which are high in iron), and anything else you can think of.

I also make big batches of beef and barely and put them in single serving containers and freeze them. They take a minute to warm up in the microwave. And of course you can add a ton of vegetables to that.

I also do the same thing with peas and lentils, but I do it in the crockpot and jsut forget about it for the day. I chop an onion and some garlic, then add a cup of split peas, a cup of lentils, what ever veggies I have (both frozen and fresh), then cover with low sodium chicken stock, and just let it go on low all day.

I also make healthy banana muffins, and carrot spice muffins, and bake them off in mini muffin trays and freeze them. They're easy to take out and about, because they thaw out in no time.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Ooooh, North of 60---could you send me some of your recipes? The sort of things you mentioned are EXACTLY what I'm trying to do. Feel free to PM me if you don't want a million people stealing your recipes.
post #9 of 12
Does your family eat dairy? My dd loves string cheese, cottage cheese and yogurt. She also likes to snack on edamame, fruit and of course crackers. Have you looked at the vegan lunch box blog? She lists lots of different healthy meals and snacks and has a great cookbook. Hope that helps. My dd was also born 12/05 and sometimes it gets rough around here too.
post #10 of 12
Banana bread (which I make as muffins)


Carrot spice muffins (which I also make as muffins)


I also had a half teaspoon of nutmeg and ground cloves, hence the "spice part".

Everything else I sort of wing, but I can try to explain the tomato sauce and polenta. I freeze it in glass mason jars. I make a BIG pot of it, and it lasts months in the freezer.

I start by roasting 2 whole heads of garlic. To do this I cut the tops off a head of garlic, drizzle with olive oil, wrap in tin foil, and stick it in a 375 oven for about 45 minutes.

Then I chop and prepare all my veggies. 2 or 3 onions depending how big they are, and about 2 pounds worth carrots, and grate them finely in the food processor. I also grate zucchini so it's like matchsticks. Any finer then that and I find they turn mushy. And about one celery heart (the inner stocks, including the leaves).

I sweat the onions and celery in a bit of olive oil. I add a tiny bit of salt because it will bring out the moisture in the veggies and help you along. I wait until the onions and celery are translucent, then I add the carrots and zucchini (and what ever else). I sauté until they start to soften. About 10 minutes. At this time I'll also some dried seasonings (I add fresh later too), like dried basil or thyme.

Then I add all my tomatoes, which are 3 or 4 BIG cans (I think they're 34 ounces?) of drained diced tomatoes. A 2 (or so) cans of tomato sauce, and a small can of paste. Now is when I'll add all the fresh roasted garlic, too. I bring it all up to a boil, then reduce and simmer for an hour or so. I season to taste, though I try to keep the salt to a minimum. Then I add fresh basil and fresh thyme. I don't over cook the fresh herbs as I think they'll loose their aroma and flavor if you add them in early on.

Then I let it cool and jar it up.

As for the polenta.. it is easy, easy, easy! I sauté whatever veggies I'm going to add before hand because the polenta doesn't cook long enough to soften them up. And I fine chop them in the food processor to get them small enough. I get the quick cooking polenta, otherwise it takes a long time (like risotto). I usually follow the instructions on the package, otherwise it's usually a 3:1 ratio of water (or chicken stock) to polenta. Depending on how many veggies you add, you may need more water/stock. Bring the water to a boil, then slowly add the polenta. When the polenta is all added, then add the veggies and cook as per the directions. Instead of rolling, you can also spread it out on a cookie sheet and allow to cool that way, but I usually roll it up (can be messy the first couple of times before you get the hang of it) because it takes up less space in the fridge.

We have a local market here that also sells it ready made, which I'll do when I'm feeling lazy. But I think mine tastes better.
Hope that helps!
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you North! It's time for me to get crackin'!
post #12 of 12
We're having individual turkey meatloaves tonight and they're all chalked full of veggies.

I managed to get some ground turkey on sale, so I got 5 pounds of it and made a HUGE batch of meatloaf. I made 4 loaves for tonight (about the size of my hand, if that) and the rest went into the freezer to bake off later (just thaw, unwrap, throw in the oven).
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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Toddler › Life with a Toddler › ACK! Food ideas for 18-month-old?