Normally, I photograph Alma’s meals and snacks for a day when I link-up with Brittany’s Munchkin Meals, but I yesterday I totally forgot about it! So I’ll just go through what Alma has been eating lately, with a few photos from the past month or so. Sorry if there are repeats!
Alma is 13 months old and has recently switched to a one-nap schedule, so the timing of her meals and snacks has changed a little. A typical eating schedule looks like this:
- 6:30am: wake-up/nurse
- 7:30am: breakfast
- 9:30am: nurse
- 10:30am: snack
- 1:30-2:30pm(depends on length of nap): nurse
- 2:30/3:00pm: “lunch” (really just a glorified snack, but she sits in her high chair)
- 4:00pm: optional snack if lunch was light
- 5:00pm: nurse
- 6:00/6:30pm: dinner
- 7:00/7:30pm: nurse to sleep
- 4:00am: nurse (sometimes at midnight, too)
And here’s what she typically eats for those meals and snacks:
- Yogurt: This has become an everyday staple. If all else fails, she will eat yogurt. We switched to a carrageenan-free almond milk yogurt, and she has about 1/2 cup of that each morning. I mix in a teaspoon of flax oil for extra fat and omega-3.
- Tempeh Bacon: Usually just one slice, sometimes an extra 1/2 slice.
- Grain: I’ve been trying to get her to eat oatmeal, but she usually only takes a few bites. Then we resort to some Trader Joe’s O’s, or other whole grain cereal. Or she has 1/2 slice toast (Dave’s Bread) with either soy-free Earth Balance butter or coconut oil.
I made a snack basket, so when she starts to get hungry around 10 or 10:30am, I bring her the basket and let her choose.
Typical selection includes:
- Freeze dried Mangos: I get these at Trader Joe’s and Alma really likes them. She also likes the freeze-dried bananas, but she usually just eats those fresh.
- Freeze dried peas: For some reason, Alma doesn’t like fresh peas, but she loves these freeze dried ones. She eats them every day, either at one of her snacks or a meal.
- Plum Organics Little Cremes: These are the dairy free version of yogurt melts. Alma likes the Kale, Apple, Sweet Potato cremes.
- Fruit/Veggie Pouches: This is what Alma usually picks for her snack, in addition to one or more of the above items. They are expensive, but I don’t mind because she is getting some extra fruit and veggies.
Also, if we are out and about, I pack some O’s or a graham cracker (depending on what she ate at breakfast) and she snacks on those as well. She usually has a substantial morning snack.
So, her nap falls right in the middle of lunch time now. She falls asleep around 11:30 and sleeps for 1.5-3 hours (so far, but we’ve only been at this for a week). She eats lunch after she wakes up. She doesn’t often eat very much at this meal, but sometimes she does. I offer her a few of the following:
- PB&J: 1/2 slice Dave’s Bread with peanut or almond butter and 100% fruit spread (no added sugar). She rarely eats the entire amount, but she has a few times.
- Baked Tofu: sometimes I buy pre-baked organic tofu – Wildwood brand or TJ’s (though I think they are the same). It’s hit or miss whether she’ll eat it.
- Broccoli bites: I made this recipe (the first one) this week, with vegan cheese, and Alma really likes them.
- Hummus: I’ve tried spreading it on crackers or bread, but she likes it best just plopped straight on her tray!
- Banana slices
- Avocado: Alma is not a fan of avocado. She was eating it for awhile, smashed with banana, and spoon feeding it to herself, but that’s not fun anymore I guess! I keep offering it to her, though she only takes one or two bites. Maybe it will grow on her?
- Veggie burger: She used to eat one (or rather, part of one) everyday, but lately she hasn’t touched it when I make her one. When she does eat one, she usually eats 1/3 – 1/2 the patty, depending on the size. We stick with soy-free, minimally processed burgers, composed of beans/nuts/seeds, grains, veggies, and spices.
- Vegan cheese: This is just for fun, and for some extra fat. I cut up a small square of a Daiya cheese wedge, and she eats maybe 1/2 ounce.
Sometimes she has one, sometimes she doesn’t. It depends on how much she eats at lunch, and what time her dinner is ready. She eats one or two of the items listed in the morning snack section, or I offer her lunch again, if it was salvageable. Sometimes, she’ll have another pouch.
Dinner is also hit or miss. She always eats something, but the amount can vary greatly. Things she’s been eating lately:
- Rice or Quinoa: I stir-fry the grain with a little soy-sauce, nutritional yeast and garlic powder. She loves it!
- Lentil-Veggie Soup: If I’m low on time or energy, I mix up some rice with TJ’s organic lentil soup, and she gobbles it up.
- Veggies: I typically offer steamed or roasted broccoli florets, chopped steamed or stir-fried kale, or a frozen mix (corn, peas, carrots). She nibbles on them, but rarely is excited about it. Occasionally we try roasted sweet potato or carrots, but she doesn’t care for either anymore.
- Sliced olives
- Pasta: We use a variety of sauces that Alma likes, including Butternut-Squash Mac’n'cheeze and Creamy Tomato Basil. Or we just use a jar of marinara sauce, and mix in a vegan meatball or lentils.
- Mmm sauce: We love this homemade version of Cafe Yumm sauce, and so does Alma. We mix it with rice, quinoa, or pasta for her, as well as some chopped broccoli or leafy greens and black beans.
- Beans & Rice: Alma isn’t a huge fan of beans yet, but she likes refried beans mixed with rice, or slathered on a tortilla and chopped up.
- Applesauce: After her meal, we offer her a small bowl of applesauce (about 1/4 – 1/3 cup). She loves it, and it has vitamin-C added, so it compliments her iron supplement we give her at dinner.
*It might seem like we give her a lot of rice, but we actually keep it to about 2 or 3 servings per week since we read about the concern over arsenic levels in rice.
Alma also sips on a mixture of hemp and full-fat coconut milk throughout the day. She drinks anywhere from 4-8 ounces per day. Our favorite cup is the ZoLi Bot Straw Sippy Cup.
I try to give Alma as much control over her eating as possible: giving her a spoon or fork and only assisting when she’s having trouble, offering her choices, and respecting her cues when she tells me she’s all done. I think it will be fun when she can actually tell me what she wants to eat (before I make it!). For now, I just try to offer her a combination of tried and true favorites, new foods, and things she’s previously rejected, since it can take awhile for babies/toddlers to develop tastes for certain foods.
Don’t forget to check out all the link-ups for more great munchkin meal ideas!