I have been extremely blessed with a toddler who is an enthusiastic and non-picky eater. Perhaps it’s all luck. But there was one book that was very helpful when I started feeding her solid foods, Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense by Ellyn Satter. Satter explains a principle called the Division of Responsibility in Feeding, that has worked like a charm for us and helped avoid any mealtime drama.

The Division of Responsibility in Feeding

This principle is basically that the parent is in charge of feeding, and the child is in charge of eating. She said this:

– The parent is responsible for what, when and where the child eats.
– The child is responsible for how much and whether he/she eats.
 

Following this principle allows me to be totally neutral about food with Leela. I put good food in front of her, she eats some, she drops some on the floor, she pushes some away. And I have a pokerface the whole time, and never worry about whether she’s having enough. I never praise her for eating, saying things like “Good girl!” or “The bumblebee comes out of the woods … bzzzz” or “Have another bite.” I let her do her thing.  

This week Leela is staying with my parents, and I typed up some notes for my mom about what to feed her, but truthfully how to feed her is more meaningful for me. I’m sharing my notes here because back when Leela started eating solid foods, I was overwhelmed and would have liked looking at a list like this.

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Breakfast: 

– Milk, eggs, sausage (applegate farms), banana – sometimes she wakes up very hungry and demolishes a banana.
– Misc: berries, asian pear, kiwi, cheese, sometimes gluten-free waffle, she LOVES a little dab of peanut butter on a spoon. She usually has a few sips of my shakeology in a sippy cup diluted with milk.

Lunch: 

– Avocado – LOVES
– Turkey breast (organic)
– Cheese
– We often heat up the Dr. Praegers spinach patties or Kale burgers
– Salmon

Snacks: 
– pouches by Plum Organics, go for the ones with green veggies rather than the sweet fruity ones
– Baby Mum Mums (little rice cracker biscuits) can be good for car rides
– Siggis squeezable yogurt tubes – we keep a box in the freezer, then cut a tube in half and she likes that, it’s like an ice pop and keeps her busy for a while

Dinner: 
– She can eat what you’re eating!  She’s not fussy at all.
How she eats:
She’s very independent. I put food on a plate for her (I don’t put too much at a time, I feel she gets overwhelmed) and she likes to feed herself. I don’t really spoon-fed her at all – she would rather pick up the food herself. I’m very neutral – I don’t “congratulate” her or praise her for eating bites or force her to eat stuff she doesn’t want. I just offer her food until she loses interest, starts playing with the food or pushing it away.  Then she’s done!

Notes: 
She can eat any foods/ spices! She’s great with Indian spices. Nothing is off limits (except unhealthy/ processed stuff!). We just avoid choking hazards (nuts, grapes must be cut in half, no popcorn).  Any good quality meat is fine. We’re still pretty strict about avoiding sugar/ sweets, and she doesn’t do much bread/ pasta. We don’t make a big issue about any food though, or make anything “forbidden.”

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Other Resources: 
Healthy Finger Foods for Baby, I wrote this post for the Aden + Anais blog

Healthy Food Ideas for your Baby, I love this post from my friend and fellow health coach Katrine

RaiseHealthyEaters.com, lots of sensible advice here
 

P.S. Have you thought about your January fitness plan? Not to worry – I’ve got you covered! I’m starting a fitness group on January 4th and it’s unlike any group I’ve ever run before, I am so excited!  30 minute workouts, a precise meal plan, individual coaching from me, PRIZES, support, friendship, accountability, hustle and heart! Did I mention that I’m excited? Shoot me an email if you want details! xo 

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