Sunday, November 05, 2006

Table for one, please

"I'd like to sit all by myself -- like a grown up -- at my toddler-sized table. Well, not totally by myself. I'd like Pooh bear, Raggedy Anne, Ballerina Duck and Witch to sit with me."
... 10 minutes later...
"Now, I'd like to move to the recently rejected high-chair. No, I don't need any help. I'll just climb up myself and fiddle around with the clasp."
... 5 minutes later...
"All done. Now, I'd like to have a chair just like mama and papa's at the big table. No, no need to place that new booster seat you just bought on the chair. Yes, I know I can't really reach the table - its OK, I'll just kneel here."
... 3 minutes later...

Its mealtime at our house. Peanut's in toddler eating mode. That is, she's eating more or less, now and then. We thought that seating might be playing a role, in addition to just being an 18 month old. Changing the venue has helped. She enjoys her meals most of all when she's at her toddler table with her friends. It gives her some control over when she sits and for how long.

But, like all toddler parents, I worry about what she's not eating which seems to be a growing list each day. Fortunately, we can usually count on fresh veggies with dip, rye bread, oatmeal, cheese bites, Cheerios, waffles, eggs and fruit going in. Didn't see a lot of meats on that list, did you? Nope, neither did I. That's my biggest worry.

Dr. Sears has some super tips. I'll be trying them out 'spread it' and 'top it' during the coming week!

Most parents advocate for a strict approach - eat it now at mealtime or you'll go hungry and eat later. After all, toddlers won't starve themselves and can only eat what we give them, so there's no excuse for 'my baby will only eat crackers'. I suppose she won't unless you give them to her.

I've also dusted off my gourmet baby food cookbook for some fresh ideas and have been trying to think of ways to take foods/servings Peanut loves and apply them to other foods. For example, the girl loves corn on the cob because of its 'cob-ness'. Would chicken on a stick have the same effect? Dipping into ketchup and salad dressing is great; could we dip into a lentil puree? Pizza is just heaven. Perhaps its the single bite or that it comes in an interesting box? Could we make little boxes for pork chops & mashed potatoes?!

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