It was time for another munchkin meals link-up but I missed the deadline. However, I like this space to chronicle my girl’s feeding progress, so I’m sharing it anyway and you can go check what other healthy families have been feeding their kids over at A Healthy Slice of Life.
Now, remember my hungry little girl who would almost eat anything and everything offered? Well, for the first couple of weeks this month, that girl disappeared and led way to an opinionated No-saying young girl. I don’t know if it was because she had just learned the word and is trying to explore it in every way possible, or it was because we were traveling again and she was missing her dad and her environment but whatever we offered her, she would move her head left and right, uttering a big fat “No” and then following it with “La2” (Lebanese for No). Yeah, that girl had to make sure her word is heard and understood in any language.
She wouldn’t eat her much-loved oatmeal or any other favorite foods. She survived on bread, concon (her word for cucumbers), a few bites of a zaatar sandwich here and a couple of spoonfuls of yogurt there. She would still eat some steamed veggies and baked potato or a ladle of any stew mum was making, but that was nothing compared to her gobble-everything-in-sight old self.
Luckily, this lasted a couple of weeks, and even though she’s still practicing very much her “No”s, she is quick to change her mind and start eating especially if we’re eating together. That’s why I can’t emphasize enough the importance of family meals. I have witnessed first hand her erratic eating pattern and constant nibbling whenever we’re eating at different times. Family meals are crucial to teach kids good feeding skills and to get those picky eaters to enjoy a larger variety of foods.
I didn’t manage to take a lot of pictures this month, but we made two important introductions. The first is raisins, walnuts, blanched almonds and cashews. She’s had them all before ( she doesn’t have any nut allergies), but this time we’re talking whole nuts. She can now nibble on a walnut half or a cashew nut. However, she’s got to have my full attention before I offer them. I don’t want to be busy doing something else if she ever puts the whole nut in her mouth and she couldn’t chew it. The second is smoothies. I offered her three kinds: a Swiss chard almond smoothie, a beetroot smoothie, and an avocado/spinach smoothie. She didn’t like the Swiss chard one but the other two she loved!! So that’s one field I’ll have to experiment more with.
This month as well, she discovered her love for dipping. She would dip pieces of bread or potato into hummus, labneh, baba ghannouj, mashed potatoes or she would dip cucumber and tomato strips into zaatar.
But what really astonished me was her Lebanese bread feeding skills*. You know, in Lebanon, scooping out the food with the Lebanese pita bread is a much needed skill. Most of the meatless dishes need bread to make them more filling. So my girl, with her tiny agile fingers, would tear a piece of bread, drop it in her plate, try to scoop something out, and eat it. Of course, her scooping wasn’t much successful but she still managed to get out some sauce or one bean. Nonetheless, it was one of those parenting moments where I felt like screaming: “Look what my 16-month old can do!” Silly I know, but if you have kids you’ll understand.
So here goes this month’s munchkin meals!
Zaatar sandwich in whole-wheat pita bread
Having homemade almond milk (I did almond milk for the first time and it really couldn’t be easier, I will be sharing the recipe soon), with muesli with added goji berries. Note the cashew nuts in her hand.
And the beetroot smoothie straight from mummy’s glass
The avocado/spinach/parsley smoothie (she had about a quarter cup)
That’s one of the meals she didn’t like: lentil and Swiss chard soup ( 3adas bi hamod in Arabic)
Vegetable and vermicelli soup that she liked …
…and that’s how we eat soup around here
Picking up the “tata” first… (potatoes)
Sitting at the big table, having rice with potato stew and kafta meat…Not sharing the actual eating photos, they’re horrendously messy, I’m afraid I’ll scare some of you away
Chicken and rice
Stuffed eggplant (parsley, chickpeas, rice, tomato stuffing) …(mehsheh ati3 in Arabic)
We’ve spent many afternoons at the park: the main snack included an apple and raisins. A change of pace here with raspberries and apples.
And we played with dough; this small piece kept her busy while I made Swiss chard whole-wheat turnovers for the first time. (she actually love the Swiss chard in here as opposed to in a smoothie or in soup)
I couldn’t resist sharing a last picture of her St. Barbara costume while eating blanched almonds (it’s gotta be a picture with food, right?) . She dressed up as a lion and she roared every time someone said the word “lion”!!
How about you? At what age did your child start refusing certain foods and become pickier? Are you active with your child in the kitchen?
* You can check the etiquette on eating Lebanese bread on The Food Blog by Fouad Kassab http://thefoodblog.com.au/2010/06/the-scoop-on-the-etiquette-of-eating-lebanese-bread.html?src=banner