As I was feeding my toddler his dinner last night I thought WOW. What a weird combination of foods. Since I'm vegetarian, I don't prepare meat or seafood for him so I'm always concerned that he's getting enough protein. I found these nutrition guides online at KidsHealth.org and the American Hearth Association if you're curious like me. I just want to make sure he eats well-balanced meals but it's easy to fall short.
One thing that surprised me on the health guides is beverages. We only give E water and milk - NO JUICE. I am surprised that anyone includes juice as a regular part of their child's diet, and as early as 6 months old! It's not nutritious and contains a lot of sugar. My philosophy is why start so early? They don't know what they're missing if they don't drink it until much later! If parents want the vitamins or calcium fortified in some juices, it's much healthier for kids to get them from nutritious-rich foods instead.
As soon as he's tasted something he points to the fridge and shouts "ack!" (which means he wants a different "snack" - there's no word for "food" yet). This means he will eat three or four different kinds of food during a sitting. And even though his "acks" are organic, I still try to avoid processed foods during meal times.
So as I was replaying last night's smorgasbord in my head, I thought, this actually could have been a very adult menu. Here's my translation:
(could have been a spinach salad with grapes)
(could have been a pesto flatbread with the mozz and soy sausage)
fresh mozzarella cheese
whole banana in plain yogurt
(could have been a piece banana cream pie or cheesecake!)
cup of water
On second thought, he did alright with dinner last night! Tonight I'll try to work some veggies in.