She’s not yet 18 months, but will be this weekend. It seemed like a good time to check in!
A few things to know if you’re new to my blog: Alma and I eat a primarily organic vegan diet. She still breastfeeds, but I have a low milk supply (some posts about that here, here, here and here), so I also offer her a hemp/full-fat coconut milk combo in a sippy cup throughout the day. She has always been a light-but-frequent eater, and will generally try any food she is offered. Whether she will continue eating it after the first bite is a constant mystery!
We used a combination of baby led weaning (BLW) and purees when we introduced solids, and now Alma uses a spoon and fork, mostly on her own. The fork is still a bit tricky for her, so she asks for help loading it, and occasionally she asks us to spoon feed her things like yogurt or applesauce (she hands us the spoon and says “bite?”). She also loves the store-bought fruit/veggie pouches, but we’re trying to slowly cut back on those! You can check out some of our favorite items we use for feeding Alma here.
Here’s a day of Alma’s eats:
- 1 Earth’s Best Organic Blueberry waffle (4 mini rounds): 2 spread with Earth Balance vegan butter, 2 with peanut butter – all drizzled with a touch of maple syrup
- 6 oz blueberry coconut milk yogurt
- tofu scramble with spinach & mushrooms
- 1/2 kiwi (not pictured)
- toddler spoonful of peanut butter (not pictured)
As you can see from the photograph, our strategy is to offer Alma a very small amount of food at one time. We often don’t even give her the entire amount pictured at one time, but rather set a few bites of one food on her tray at a time, letting her ask for more. It does seem to overwhelm her to have too much food in front of her, so this strategy usually leads to her eating more (and wasting less food).
It doesn’t always work, and some meals she’s just content with a few bites, making up for it at subsequent snack & meal times.
This morning, she ended up eating a few bites of yogurt from the bowl, as well as a few bites of waffle and kiwi. She was mostly interested in the tofu scramble, and she asked for three more helpings (each the same size as pictured).
Once she started to get antsy at the table, Andrew put her yogurt in a reusable squeeze pouch (we use the EZ Squeezees brand and are happy with them) and put her pieces of cut-up waffle in a small bowl. He set them on the coffee table, allowing her to continue grazing as she played. She ended up eating all but a few bites of waffle, and about 3/4 of the yogurt over the course of about an hour or so.
Other common breakfast offerings include: oatmeal, tempeh bacon, cereal with hemp milk, toast, and occasionally pancakes. We always offer some variety of fruit as well.
As a side: I know some parents are strict about all meals at the table, and we thought we would be that way, too. But even since Alma was an infant, she preferred to nurse frequently, in small amounts, rather than fill up at longer intervals. I think this has a lot to do with my milk supply – she was able to get more milk overall if she nursed every 1-2 hours during the day, rather than every 3 or 4 hours.
So, we respect that she prefers to eat in this way, and we accomodate her accordingly. We still have set times that we offer her meals in her high chair, but we also recognize that she may not be hungry when it’s convenient for us to sit down for a meal. She eats about 5-6 times a day, so it’s pretty boring for the both of us to be sitting at the table so much. I try to find healthy foods that I don’t mind her eating around the house, and supervise her closely when she’s eating while playing.
Onto the rest of the day!
Morning Snack (9:30-10:30am)
- 6 oz fruit/veggie smoothie (spinach, carrot, banana, strawberry, mango, flax oil, almond milk – from this recipe, but I used different measurements)
- bowl of pretzel sticks, rice crackers, and peanut butter panda puffs
Alma drank 5 oz of the smoothie as she played at the park, and in the car on the way home. When we got back, I gave her the snack bowl on the coffee table, and she ate all of the pretzels, half of the rice crackers, and half of the panda puffs.
Alma takes one midday nap, and I offer her a ‘formal’ (high chair) lunch after she wakes. She doesn’t typically eat much at this time. Today, right after her nap, she discovered the snack cupboard was unlocked and helped herself to some graham crackers (though she only had a few bites).
Today I offered:
- 1 slice tofurky
- 1 heaping tablespoon hummus
- pb&j sandwich (1/2 slice of bread)
- about 1/4 cup lentil vegetable soup
Again, I didn’t offer her all of that food at one time. She went right for the hummus and ate about half of the scoop. She had one piece of the tofurky pictured, and one bite of sandwich. She also ate about 1/2 of the soup. She wanted to get down, but when I offered her a banana, she ate 3/4 of it!
I left some bits of sandwich and the tofurky out for a little while, and she ate most of the tofurky as she played. She didn’t touch the sandwich again.
Typical lunches involve avocado, hummus, Daiya cheese, baked tofu (if she didn’t have soy at breakfast), freeze dried peas, spoonfuls of pb or almond butter, veggie burgers, veggie-infused mini muffins, and always bites of whatever I’m eating.
Afternoon Snack (4:30pm)
Sometimes she has an afternoon snack, and sometimes she doesn’t. It depends on how much she ate at lunch, really.
Today she ate (not pictured):
- sweet potato, apple, corn pouch
- a few samples at the farmer’s market
She generally eats a decent dinner. Tonight we offered:
- seasoned garbanzo beans
- 3-4 roasted broccoli florets
- about 1/4 cup tuscan risotto (box from Lundberg)
- 2 tbsp sliced olives
- 1/2 cup applesauce (not pictured)
Alma ate 2 garbanzo beans, and I’m actually thrilled with this. She typically rejects beans in their whole form, but I’ve been trying to offer them more often to get her accustomed. She ate 3/4 of her broccoli, almost all of the risotto, and probably 1.5 tbsp of olives. She ate all of her applesauce, except for a few bites that she fed to us
Other favorite dinners include pretty much any pasta dish (sauces include vegan mac & cheese, like this one and this one, creamy tomato basil, avocado, and basic marinara w/ homemade or store bought “meat”balls), tempeh tamale pie, and sweet potato quinoa chili.
In addition to solid food, today she drank 7.5 ounces of coconut/hemp milk from her sippy cup, and nursed at 1am, 5am, 7am, 9am, 11:15am, 2:15pm, 4:15pm, and 7:15pm (and I think a few other comfort nursing sessions). She typically doesn’t nurse this much, usually more like 6 times, but I guess she was needing it today! (I don’t think she gets more than about 10 ounces of breastmilk, if that. My supply has lowered since I stopped taking the herbs & domperidone around the 12 month mark.)
I’m glad I’ve been participating in these link ups, because I find it really interesting to look back on the ebb and flow of Alma’s eating habits. It’s funny that some months I was so worked up about how little she was eating, and sometimes I think she actually eats less now!
Here are my previous munchkin meals posts:
- 6 months – first foods for vegan BLW
- 7ish months – easy vegan baby ‘meals’
- 8 months – a day of solids
- 9 months – BLW challenges
- 10 months – check out my plan for cutting back on nursing after a year….hahaha!
- 11 months
- 12 months
- 13 months
- 14 months
- 15 months
Thanks for stopping by!