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Thread: Should I be offering food more often?

  1. #1
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    Feb 2012
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    Question Should I be offering food more often?

    This turned in to a long post so I'll put the question(s) first then details for those interested.
    -How important is food other than breastmilk for the nutrition of a 17 month old?
    -How often should I be sure to offer?
    -Am I lazy for not offering the food more often?

    I work part time (3-4 days a week- 7-9 hours per day)and I have noticed that when my 17 month old dd is with her caregiver (my mil) she eats a ton more food than with me. I'm thinking this is because I'm available to nurse so she gets it while she can. My concern is that I don't want to deprive her of the nutrients her growing body needs. It is so easy for me to just nurse her instead of putting a meal together for her, packing a bunch of food for the beach etc. I love nursing and am in no rush to wean, but I want to make sure she gets all she needs. When does the nutrition of breastmilk become "not enough?"
    Additional Details:
    I will soon (at the end of August) become a full time sahm so she won't have those days eating with Grandma anymore.
    She enjoys many different types of food.
    We have always (since she started foods @ 6 months) followed a bls approach.
    I typically offer a banana at breakfast. She always eats this and sometimes some egg too with her grandmother, but almost never eats any breakfast with me.
    She always sits for dinner with us, but the amount she eats varies.
    She often naps while I'm eating lunch so I frequently don't get around to offering her food mid-day. With my MIL she often has multiple snacks and meals mid-day.

  2. #2
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    Nov 2008
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    Default Re: Should I be offering food more often?

    For my girls I found it was more important to offer food to them at meal times. They were included with the family ongoings as every member should.

    The nutrition offered during breastfeeding is still very valid, at any time. If you are concerned about solid foods impacting your nursing relationship, offer to nurse first. That way she'll get the balanced nutrition from you and the solids you offer afterwards will only compliment her diet.

    I question those who say babies need "more" than nursing for nutrition. Breastfeeding nutrition is balanced. Offering a balanced diet of solids to a young child who simply cannot eat the sheer quantity is incredibly difficult. I don't know about you, but I find it hard to eat a "balanced diet". I attempt to do so across the course of a week. Attempting to get a young child to eat that much in my opinion, is impossible.

    This is why we still nurse children at this age. Nurse to give balance and coverage. Offer quality solids to round things out and to help the discover more foods and establish good eating habits for a life time. Don't decrease nursing, offer as she wants, offer before meals. I wouldn't skip solids, but think of them as an addition to, not a replacement of.
    Mommy to our DD1 early bird (34 weeks, 2 days, 7lbs, 14oz)! Oct. 2nd, 2008 Emergency C-Section, Frank Breech, HEALTHY Girl!
    Weaned @ 17 months
    Our DD2 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 12oz) Aug. 10th, 2010 Our Successful VBAC, growing like a bad weed!
    Weaned @ 15 months
    Our DD3 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 6oz) Feb. 16th, 2012 Our 2nd VBAC and lightening speedy birth!

    Loving being a Mom of 3, 40 months apart!!
    and

  3. #3
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Should I be offering food more often?

    -How important is food other than breastmilk for the nutrition of a 17 month old?
    It depends on the toddler in question. At this point breastmilk still supplies complete nutrition and is capable of filling a large part of a toddler's calorie needs- remember, until around a year breastmilk can supply ALL of a child's nutritional needs. And toddlers have a slower growth rate than babies, so it's not like their calorie needs are just going up and up and up. I think they actually dip slightly after a year!

    -How often should I be sure to offer?
    I'd want to offer solids at least 3x per day. Don't feel like you need to do complete "meals" every time. Sometimes a handful of Cheerios or a cup of yogurt is all your child needs/wants. Having the solids opportunities occur at the same time of day is totally not important.

    -Am I lazy for not offering the food more often?
    No.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
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    Feb 2012
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    Default Re: Should I be offering food more often?

    Thank you for your answers.
    I have no worries about nursing being impacted at this point. She really likes to nurse still for many reasons being hungry is only one motivator for her. I'm glad to hear that her nutritional needs can still be met by breastfeeding. She is a very adventurous eater. If she is reluctant to try something we put garlic or italian seasoning on it and she'll try it right away. She loves spices! That's how we got her to try chicken and now it's one of her favorite foods plain or seasoned. We've stayed away from "processed" foods at this point. Any ideas for quick, easy snacks that I could grab a handful of, but aren't processed?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Should I be offering food more often?

    Cheese cubes, sliced strawberries, raspberries, Nutrios (Heinz version of Cheerios but without added sugar or salt)....

    My youngest is almost 17 months and eats just about everything (short of nuts or hard raw veggies). She eats much more than her sisters ever did at this age. But that's more because she steals food from her sister's plates! LOL
    Mommy to our DD1 early bird (34 weeks, 2 days, 7lbs, 14oz)! Oct. 2nd, 2008 Emergency C-Section, Frank Breech, HEALTHY Girl!
    Weaned @ 17 months
    Our DD2 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 12oz) Aug. 10th, 2010 Our Successful VBAC, growing like a bad weed!
    Weaned @ 15 months
    Our DD3 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 6oz) Feb. 16th, 2012 Our 2nd VBAC and lightening speedy birth!

    Loving being a Mom of 3, 40 months apart!!
    and

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Austin, TX
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    Default Re: Should I be offering food more often?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*m11612 View Post
    Any ideas for quick, easy snacks that I could grab a handful of, but aren't processed?
    Fresh fruits or veggies plus some cheerios is a quick snack for us. We always have leftover chicken in the fridge so I'll dice some of that up for him. (Chicken is our most common dinner protein so we usually grill up an extra chicken breast with our meal and then it's available for a sandwich or snack whenever - or lately, more often than not, a quick meal for LO!)

    Also sometimes on the weekend I'll make a big batch of an easy, freezer friendly finger food. So far we've tried:

    -Silver dollar pancakes (whole wheat and/or alternative flours, throw in some fruit, etc)
    -Mini muffins (same concept)
    -Meatballs
    -Veggie nuggets (Basic recipe: chopped veg of your choice, some breadcrumbs, shredded cheese, seasoning of your choice, some eggs OR veggie puree as a binder; mix, shape into patties, bake until browned. Recently broccoli/cheddar nuggets are a hit)
    -Mini frittatas cooked in a muffin pan -- if your LO likes eggs this could go over well (Mix together beaten eggs, milk or breastmilk, seasoning & sauteed veggies of your choice, pour into muffin pan, bake until set)

    Having a few things in the freezer is helpful. It's minimal effort -- like I cook/freeze a meal batch every other weekend. That way if I'm eating something that I can share with LO, I do (which is most of the time); but if my meal is too spiced, has something non-baby-friendly in it, is something he doesn't like, etc - I just grab something from the freezer. Then I'm not "preparing" things for him day to day but he's still getting "meals."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Should I be offering food more often?

    What's wrong with being lazy? I've slowly learned the hard way it is better for my family if I am a lazy mom than if I am a stressed out A personality mom trying to do everything 'right.' And yes in my case those are the choices.

    For me it's the cleanup after every meal that gets me. Clean the kid, Wipe down the highchair, Wash the tray, wipe up the table cloth we put under the kid because we have carpeting in our dining room and not room to turn around in our kitchen- all while trying to keep the cleaned kid out of the mess.

    Some brilliant person posted a bit ago about feeding kid in the bathtub. That is so smart!

    Without knowing what is being offered or how it is being offered by you MIL, I would not be able to form an opinion on if you 'should' offer more. Maybe the food is being subtly pushed. Maybe it is stuff kids will eat a lot of but maybe should not eat a lot of!

    As far as offering I agree it depends on your kid. Many 17 month olds can pretty clearly ask for what they want, verbally or non-verbally. And it makes perfect sense for your child to nurse more and eat less when with you.

    Again I am going to recommend the book My Child Won't Eat by Carlos Gonzalez. I know your child will eat, but trust me. This book changed much of my thinking about children and food.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Default Re: Should I be offering food more often?

    Thanks again.
    Mercystreet. Mmm frittatas sound perfect!
    lllmeg. Those are my choices too.
    We are very lucky and my mil offers only the good stuff (i.e., avocado, chicken, spinach, sweet potato etc.) For a treat my little one likes frozen breastmilk or whipped coconut cream (no sugar added). Also, luck in that she is very vocal for a 17 month old. I do think that she is open to suggestion and I offer infrequently while mil offers very often (read constantly). So there's that.
    I will get that book. Checking it out for my Kindle now.
    Okay- new question. Am I crazy for wanting to limit cheerios and stuff like that? It is a frequent suggestion, but I'd rather she eat vegetables, chicken and other things that have few ingredients. Needless to say I'm a first time Mom and somewhat of a control freak so I never know when I cross the line into crazyville.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Should I be offering food more often?

    Cheerios are't the worst processed food out there, but they're still a processed food. No reason to use them if you're not comfortable with them, and if you have the bandwidth to give your child better options.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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