Part Two of our Toddler Eats series is here! Here's an overall look at what Olive is eating recently in our home. You can read Part One HERE. First I listed what she's been eating and then below I answered a few questions I get quite often. I think its super easy to over think toddler food. Sometimes I ask myself "is this too simple" and then I realize I'm over thinking it and that simple foods are healthy foods. As always let me know if you have any questions or if any of the links aren't working! Thanks so much for reading along with our lives and I hope to continue sharing these posts as we find new snacks & recipes.
Juices + Smoothies: (we turn these juices into homemade popsicles as well)
- 1 bunch Celery, 1 pineapple, 1 cucumber juiced
- half a watermelon, lime juice (peel the lime) juiced
- 5-10 carrots, 5-10 oranges juiced (we make a lot of this and use it for a smoothie base + popsicles)
- head of lettuce, 1-2 cucumbers, 3-5 apples (green or fuji), 1 lemon juiced
- Carrot + Orange Juice from above, Mixed with Organic Frozen Fruit from Costco
- Olly Protein Smoothes. Recipe in this post HERE
- For a "special treat" I blend the protein powder with canned coconut milk. It makes it thick like a milkshake! It's more for me than her haha because she doesn't know what a milkshake is.
- She also drinks Almond milk before nap and bedtime but the rest of the day its mostly water!
- Non GMO Popcorn. We either make if fresh or buy Quinn Kale Popcorn
- Veggie Go's Bites. They are actually Fruit + Veggies and no added Sugar. Organic, Non GMO, Vegan & Gluten Free. You can buy them at Sprouts or Amazon. Here is their site.
- Snap Peas
- Steamed Green Beans
- Apples Slices
- Cucumber slices, Olive likes to eat the seeds out of the cucumbers and then hand the rest to me
- Mama Chia Green Magic. Olive eats a lot of these because they are easy when we are on the go.
- Non -GMO Totilla Chips + Salsa. We eat a lot of Chips and Salsa so Olive has just now started liking it too.
- Any Fresh fruit she really likes nectarines and peaches right now.
- Bare Snacks coconut chips or dehydrated fruit chips.
- Watermelon or any kind of melon
- Peanut butter toast
- Avocado toast with sprouts
- Kite Hill Almond Milk Yogurt. We buy plain and add honey + berries. (this is also a snack for her too.
- Homemade Peanut Butter Granola. This recipe is great HERE
- Homemade Nut + Fruit Granola. We do Gluten Free Non-GMO Oats, cashews, pecans, peanuts, dried cherries, raisins, pumpkin seeds, flax seed, hemp seed and pure maple syrup. We first toast the oats with cinnamon, salt and pure maple syrup (from Costco) then before they are 100% done we add in the fruit, seeds and nuts. Once we take it out we at cacao nibs! We eat granola either with Almond Milk or eat it with Almond Milk yogurt.
Lunch: Usually its leftovers from the night before, But heres a few go-to's. Also Olive gets overwhelmed if I give her a plate of food. So its usually one thing at a time. She will sit and eat a good amount of something but then gets up and snacks through out the afternoon.
- Rice & Beans covered in avocado (this is an easy go-to)
- "cheesy" cauliflower rice (cauliflower rice with nutritional yeast)
- Pita + Hummus
- Kite Hill Yogurt
- Hillary's Veggie Burger Bites
- Peanut butter tortillas. (Warmed up tortilla then fold in peanut butter)
- Tostadas with black beans
- Any Fresh Fruit
- Toasted Chick Peas
Dinner: Olive goes to bed at 6:00-6:30 so she doesn't really eat dinner with us. Usually she is eating leftovers or the start of dinner. OR she isn't very hungry because her lunch time is more of a snack all afternoon time.
Veggie Chili. This is something we make pretty often as a staple in our house.
I sauté onions, zucchini, broccoli and peppers in coconut oil. Then once they are almost all cooked I add a can of crushed tomatoes, black beans, kidney beans, white beans and chili seasoning. It depends on how many vegetables and cans of beans I use based on how much we are wanting to have as left overs. We usually eat ours over tortilla chips!
- Grilled asparagus! This has been a house favorite lately. We grill it in the cast iron with Olive Oil, salt and lemon until its blackened
- Vegan Corn Chowder Soup. This recipe is great but I would double it and add more seasoning. Also I'd recommend blending half of it!
- Veggie Bites Veggie Burger (linked above)
- Sautéed Spinach. She loves this! Just Sauté Spinach in Coconut Oil with pink salt + garlic
- A whole avocado. She still loves this and its a quick and easy way to give her lots of healthy fats before bed.
- Lentils! I just cook lentils with a can of crushed tomatoes and lemon and she loves them.
- Sweet Potato Noodles or she'll eat it just cooked and cut up.
Below are a few questions I get quite a bit. I know that my perspective on food and how we deal with it as a family will change but currently, this is how we live and eat. I know as Olive gets older we will adjust and come at every new situation with a different perspective. So I'm answering these questions based off of how old Olive is right now and the stage we are in right now.
Right now she isn't even two, so of course, she can't be making these choices on her own. It's our job as her parents to be in charge of her diet and make sure she is getting everything she needs. I honestly know a lot of people think I'm crazy or that "this won't last" or "wait till baby number two comes you won't even care". I've gotten all the looks, eye rolls and I'm sure things talked about behind my back. But in the end, all of that doesn't matter. I pray that I care just as much about baby number 2,3 and 4's digestive system like I do with Olives. I hope I have enough grace and patience's to teach my children right from wrong in the way we see fit. We are doing what we feel is best to give our children the best start to their digestive system but also their immune system! There's article after article you can read about how kids with healthy fresh diets don't get sick like kids with all processed food diets. The two are completely linked and we have committed to trying our best.
How do you respectfully decline food items that friends and family or strangers offer to her or you?
Most of my friends know how we eat so they don't really offer Olive food or if they do they say "can she have this" Sometimes I say yes and sometimes I say "No, but thank you". Olive doesn't quite understand what she can and can't have yet so if we are at a playdate I make sure to bring plenty of food she LOVES and will always say yes to so that way she doesn't melt down if someone else has something she can't have.
As far as family, they all know that we are very strict about our food. I mean sure we've gotten comments like "but why can't she have a litttttttle ice cream" but in the end I always say, Olive eats like this for a reason and if she was to have that it would make her sick or upset her stomach for days and I have to deal with that, not you.
As far as strangers... I made ONE mistake ONE time on a plane ride. This sweet mom offered Olive Cinnamon Bread. Both of our kiddos were crying, it was during landing and I didn't even care. BUT Olive's stomach paid for it later and I felt so bad. Not to mention it was probably filled with GMOs and the thought of it makes me cringe. It wasn't the sweet mom's fault it was mine and all I had to say was I'm sorry, her stomach will get upset if she eats that. So now I just always decline. Most people are very understanding and frankly, I don't care if they get offended because I'd rather my daughters stomach not be upset.
Do your have Family/Friends that make jabs at you offering your child cookies, donuts and snacks you wouldn't approve of?
This is hard because we don't live by family so when we do visit we pretty much bring our own food or stop at the grocery store beforehand. Also, they all know how we feel about food and respect that. I will say if you are having trouble with family members, Don't let anyone make you feel bad for their unhealthy choices. Most people try to guilt you into their way of eating so they don't have to change. How does it benefit them if they give your child a cookie when you would rather them not? It just causes strife and probably an upset stomach. Maybe try bringing your own special treat you approve of and letting them give it to your child? Also remember If other people choose to eat a certain way, your family should be able to eat a certain way too. They have a choice and you do, you don't hassle them for their choices and they shouldn't hassle you. You honestly might have to have an uncomfortable conversation or two if you are having an issue with friends or family
If you send Olive to a daycare or preschool how do you feel about her eating fish crackers or snacks they give?
Most "kids snacks" are filled with horrible stuff and I'm not okay with it. We send Olive to our gym child care and on her sticker, I put Allergic to Dairy and SOY (soy is in everything) and say "no outside food". They don't give her age snacks yet but if they did I would just pack her own snack. They haven't had an issue yet I'm sure when she is two and in the older class I will have to be more specific but for now that works.
If this is your issue, I would have a big talk with the staff or director. Don't be afraid to make your requests known. Most likely you are paying for that care and you should be heard.
What will you do when she starts going to birthday parties?
Honestly, I'm not sure. I've read tons of mom blogs where they just bring their child their own version of whatever the party is having and I could see myself doing that. But I also think there's an importance in balance and teaching our children when we eat this or that our bodies feel good, and then letting them see when they eat "junk" how their body feels and letting them learn a little on their own. I know I can't tell Olive her whole life not to eat something and pretend like she's not going to. So instead I hope to teach her the importance and meaning behind everything and let her make choices for herself as she grows.