Monday, May 24, 2010

Feeding a Toddler

I have had some requests to do a post about what I feed Easton so I thought I'd share. Although I have degree in Nutrition, I wouldn't say Easton ALWAYS eats the healthiest, but I can tell you what we try to do and keep working on. I am not as picky as some moms that I know, but I do have my limits and I feel like we do okay.

Easton doesn't care for baby food anymore. He will eat baby cereal and some baby food fruits, but that is all. He hated any of the combo jars we tried and frankly I wasn't impressed with them anyways. Once he stopped eating baby food, I found myself scrambling to find things for him to eat. He had a few days of mostly Cheerios and crackers. But I wanted him to learn to eat other foods so I started looking.

To start with, I found a list of the best suggested foods for a toddler online. It agreed with what I know, so I wrote it down and posted it on the fridge. I added a few other things, but it is a great place to start. Now if I don't have anything planned, I can glance at the list and pick some things off of it that I know I have. If its on the list, its fair game pretty much anytime.

Here is our list:
  • chicken
  • avocado
  • banana
  • cooked carrots
  • sweet potato
  • yogurt ( I just try to buy what is on sale and stay away from artificial sweeteners. I don't spend extra money on baby yogurt.)
  • baby cereal (mixed with juice, milk, yogurt, baby food, sometimes peanut butter or jam)
  • oatmeal
  • cheese (Easton like string cheese a lot or just chunks)
  • eggs (he likes scrambled)
  • citrus fruit (he loves the Cuties)
  • red meat (ground beef alone or in left-overs)
  • fish (healthier fish sticks are what we have tried so far)
  • squash
  • tomatoes (any tomato based soup goes down well with Easton)
  • peas
  • broccoli
  • pasta
  • peanut butter (depends on the kid, but Easton does fine with pb.)
  • toast
  • apples (knaws on the whole thing), applesauce
  • bluberries, strawberries, peaches, etc.
  • grapes (cut up)
  • rice and beans (Easton loves this! I just cook rice and open a can of beans and drain them.)
Breakfast: Lots of time we do cold cereal for breakfast and Easton loves it too. He just eats plain Cheerios and milk. He also likes yogurt mixed in like his Dad and loves to drink the milk at the end. We also give him fruits with it or raisins.

Lunch: Left overs from dinner. If I can't feed it to him I try not to make it for dinner (such as things that are too processed or have too much sour cream and things like that). He also likes toast okay, more fruits, cheese, frozen peas or anything on the list above.

Dinner: Usually what we eat plus somthing else if he can't eat it. (We do salads for dinner a lot and besides sucking the dressing off of the vegetable, we have to find him something else.)

So that is what I am trying right now. If anyone has suggestions of other foods or meals I'd love to hear them.

Someone asked what foods we take on the go and really most of the ones on my list are easy to take with. We still do cheerios or crackers. Easton drinks a lot of whole milk.

If I think of more I will add it, but this is just a quick summary. I'd love to hear thoughts!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Big First Birthday

Last Saturday, May 15th, we had Easton's first birthday party. We had a get together with friends at the park to celebrate and enjoy the sunny weather. It went well, but it was a lot of work. Thanks to everyone who came and celebrated with us. Here are some pictures from the day.

The party was between 2-4 pm so we just had snacks including fruits, veggies, chips, pretzels, sugar cookies and caramel popcorn.

My friend Melanie helped by making delicious sugar cookies and I enjoyed decorating them. I need to pick a different frosting next time though; this one stayed too runny.

Easton loved this bike! (It belonged to a friend's daughter.) He didn't care about the colors and couldn't stay away from it.

Our friends the Van Leuvens were nice enough to bring two of their adorable dogs. Easton LOVES dogs and puppies. He was a little nervous, but followed those little dogs everywhere.

I had a cute banner, streamers and balloons up. The sun didn't help with getting a picture of it, but we were sure glad it was out and shining.

The Birthday Boy and Mom

As you may know Easton loves chocolate chip cookies so I made a huge one in place of a cake. It turned out really well- in looks and taste. Whipped cream and ice cream helped keep the candle up.

Easton wasn't sure how to blow it out or what to do at all. It was still cute to sing to him.

I think he enjoyed the cake.


Oh, and he did eat some vegetables too. :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Easton!

I've been meaning to put something up all week, but since we are having his party on Saturday, it doesn't really feel like his birthday has happened yet. The crazy thing is that is has! I have a one year old. His birthday was on Monday and we celebrated in a small way by going out to Red Robin and opening a few gifts from Grandma. More pics to come after Saturday.

This past 2 weeks have almost felt like Easton knows he is getting older. He learned how to say hello and mama. He can walk up the stairs while holding onto the wall. We officially play outside in the parking lot with the big kids now. He threw his first fit over a piece of candy at the store. He's just growing up.

As always, we couldn't have been blessed with a sweeter, handsomer, more curious and fun boy. We love him so much. Happy Birthday Buddy!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Discipline/ Purposeful Parenting

As Easton nears his first birthday, he is getting more capable and can do so many new things. I love it, but every day poses new challenges. Each day I understand why they say motherhood is hard in a whole new way. I think I had similar realizations after I got married (why they say marriage is hard), and it really is impossible to truly understand until you are there.

My overarching thought lately is..

that it is so easy to become the kind of mom I never wanted to be.

Everyone has these predetermined thoughts about what kind of mom they want to be. I did and I am sure most of you did. These thoughts probably included many examples of what you didn't want to be- "I'd never let my kids to that!" mentality.

This  monologue may sound like something you have heard before, but just wait. You aren't going to hear me say....
 "Now I understand why that Mom was that way, and I see that it is inevitable for me as well."

Nope. Although I do have a deeper sympathy and understanding for the challenges Mom's everywhere face, I am not giving up on my ideas or giving into difficulties. What you will hear is that now I do understand why some Mom's act the way they do, but it is not inevitable.

What I have been mulling over is the fact that most of the time, when I see Mom's doing something or allowing something I don't agree with- its because it is easier that way. I really do see that it is easier to do things one way, and harder to do them another. Most of my ideals are the harder way. Let me give a few examples to explain.

(*Please do not be offended if you read this and see yourself on either side. Everything a Mom does is personal choice for herself, her kids and her sanity. What I want to point out is that all of the time the best thing really is HARD.)

1. Feeding Your Toddler/Child- It is hard to stay consistant and feed your kid healthy foods. It is so much easier to pull out animal crackers, graham crackers, a granola bar or gummies. All kids will each these things without so much as a squawk.  It takes time and patience to continue offering healthy choices, to plan for them, and to teach your child to eat them. The food industry has made it so easy to quickly choose something less nutritious that you know your child will eat.

2. Naptime- It is hard to establish and stick to a nap schedule. It means constructing your schedule and theirs around it and sometimes letting your kid cry himself to sleep. Easton takes great naps (2 2-hour naps) everyday. But it was hard at first because he didn't always want to do it and he would often wake up to eat in the middle just for fun. If he woke up tired and grouchy, I'd put him right back in bed until he fell asleep. It would be much easier to let him just fall asleep anywhere and get him up if he fussed.

3. Church- It is really hard to even take a toddler to church, much less keep them in a meeting. It is really hard to take enough activities, toys, and distractions to keep your child quiet and in the meeting the whole time. It is so much easier to just take them out to the hall to roam where you can listen and don't have to entertain. This is such a mental battle and exhersion for me. Teaching this takes a long time and lots of patience and creativity.

4. Outside Time- Its hard to make the effort and remember to go outside frequently with Easton. If the weather isn't really warm and sunny (a rare thing here), then I would rather just stay inside or run errands in the car. Planning activities for yourself and a one year old is not something that automatically happens.

5. Personal care- It is really hard to get up earlier than Easton to get my workout in. I never really know when he will wake up and I need to be back from my run or walk before Soren leaves. Its hard to go to bed and to get up and do it- especially if it is dark and cold. It is easy and the default option to sleep until Easton is my alarm clock.

6. Nursing- Two parts of this are hard for me. Nursing itself, while I believe in it wholeheartedly, is hard. Its hard to keep doing for months and months and months. Its hard to be tied to a baby or I guess have one tied to you. The other hard part is quitting. Easton is not showing any signs of wanting to be done, but I so am. My goal was a year, but its not looking like I can stop real soon. It would be easier to keep nursing until eternity (his choice), but I need a break before this next baby so at some point I will be doing the hard job of cutting him off.

All of these things are hard, but the benefits to me are really what I try to keep in mind. I am not perfect at any of them, but these are what I want to be. I can totally see why some Mom's choose otherwise and for me I can see that unless I am disciplined- its easy to take the easy way out.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

We Conquered!

On Friday Soren got off of work early for an Eddie Bauer sponsored hike of Mt. Little Si. Easton and I joined him and had we all had a good time. It was a long day, but we made it up the 2.3 miles. Soren rated his hike a piece of cake for him, but medium hard for me. You can see the disparity when we hike together, Soren usually doesn't get too much of a work-out and I usually get TOO MUCH! :) We hiked to the top despite a little rain and some clouds. The sun poked out just as we reached the view. Afterwards we got burgers to celebrate and really enjoyed those! Easton was a trooper even though he missed his nap and had fun poking Dad from behind with sticks and branches found along the way. (Soren carried him in a backpack carrier.)