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Organizing a toddler’s meals

Posted Jan 24 2013 7:00am

I have written a few times about adventures in feeding a baby , and then how it turned into feeding an infant-toddler . I would go ahead and say that Logan is now eating like a toddler–3 meals a day plus snacks and bottles. He’s a hungry hippo.

An unexpected side effect of feeding a toddler who doesn’t talk is that I must plan all these meals for him…everyday. That’s a lot of responsibility! Before, it was just bottles and that is easy. Even adding purees was easy. I just picked one from the shelf or the freezer. Now, I have to plan all his meals ahead of time, have enough groceries, roast vegetables ahead of time, and come up with ideas to keep it fresh. It became a lot of work overnight. One week Logan loved broccoli and would literally smush it in his face, the next week he picked the broccoli from his tray and threw it on the floor. Like he was saying “try again mom, this is boring me now.”

I found myself thinking long past my bedtime about what Logan would eat the next day and if I had the right things in my house, not to mention backup foods if he doesn’t like what is first offered. Then I would have to find time to prepare foods, since the moment he is hungry is not the right time. And what about the rest of the family? I already had to think ahead for our meals, and now I have another mouth who eats different things. This was making me nuts.

I decided to draw up a chart and try to plan his meals at the beginning of the week. Even if I did 3-4 days at a time, it would be better to figure it out once and not 21 times. I created this chart below, and this is the first week to use it and I like it so far. I have already moved things around, but it doesn’t bother me, because I at least know I have enough at home to figure things out.

photo-36

One part of the chart is a list of foods for breakfast, lunch/dinner and a list of foods I want him to try. This also gives me like an index of things to think about instead of my mind going blank when I try to remember what he has liked. I hope eventually that this will be super long.

At the bottom of the chart, I listed out our adult meals for a few days. I find that when our dinners are planned ahead, our nights are less stressful, Jeffrey can come home earlier instead of picking up dinner, and we probably eat healthier since we aren’t eating take-out.

Just wanted to share in case the idea can help another family!

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