Feeding a 14 Month Old

Aaron is a big little dude.  At his 1 year checkup he was 93% for weight, and 98% for height.  Solomon and I don’t seem to grow them small.  The funny thing is, when I look at him, I just see my baby.  I don’t see him as big, just as my little boy.  Also, I think he is absolutely delicious.

Picture 009 It should come as no surprise when you see him that he loves to eat.  Loves it.  He gets so excited for mealtime that he jumps up and down.  He begs people for food, and then I feel like I don’t feed him enough, which I think must be impossible.  He loves to look at food, and even be part of the whole cooking process since he always manages to find his way into the kitchen when I’m cooking.  The thing is, he doesn’t just love food, he seems to already have somewhat of an appreciation for it (at least I hope he does).

From Day 1, Solomon and I have always been on the same page with feeding children.  We want our children to enjoy and appreciate food.  We want to be able to feed them real food and take them to real restaurants where they will try and enjoy a variety of food.  We want to avoid kid’s menus whenever possible and have our children enjoy what we enjoy.  We want our children to be exposed to lots of flavor, color and textures.  That’s why we let Aaron enjoy food that’s flavorful and sometimes spicy.  In fact, he tends to prefer spicy food.  He also likes foods that pack  lots of flavor.  I don’t know too many 14 month olds who love grapefruit, sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, polenta, and roasted red peppers, but Aaron loves things that pack a lot of taste!

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Sometimes I wonder if we’re being a little foolish, since we are much more careful with what Aaron eats than what we do.  That’s not to say that we don’t eat well (I’d say we eat clean 80-90% of the time), but we do eat some things that we wouldn’t be willing to give Aaron (namely some sweets), which is kind of foolish.  Why is it OK for us and not for him?  Of course, there are some things he can’t eat (like nuts), but I do think we are more aware of what we eat because of him.

People always comment that it must be so nice to have a good eater, and I can’t help but think how untrue that is.  Yes, Aaron is a big boy who loves his food, but that doesn’t mean he’s a good eater ALL THE TIME.  There are days when he will eat absolutely anything that is put in front of him-he’ll happily eat his veggies (or drink them since he usually loves green smoothies), and will chow down on everything else.  On the flip side, there are days when it seems all he wants to eat is fruit.  Fruit is always, always the fall back food for Aaron.  When in doubt, fruit. 

Sometimes Aaron will eat 1/4-1/2 an avocado in one meal, then won’t touch it at all the next day.  The thing is, we just never, ever know what to expect.  With a toddler, I think it’s all about being prepared.  Always having options on backup that you know he’ll eat, but are still healthy.  For us, that is Dr. Praeger’s veggie burgers (seriously), cheese and fruit.  I don’t like to have to go to the default food, but sometimes he just won’t eat.  You know what though?  That’s OK!  Sometimes I don’t feel like eating much, or only want to eat the same food repeatedly.  Sometimes I want to eat a million different things, and sometimes I want a few bites and then I’m done.  The bottom line is that Aaron, and all babies, are people, just like us.  Yes, their palates are slightly different, but that’s no reason they can’t have an off day or a day where they barely eat.

For the most part, we feed Aaron what we are eating.  In restaurants, we share our meals with him.  He doesn’t particularly care for typical kid’s food anyway, like mac and cheese (or any kind of pasta for that matter) or fish sticks (with the exception being chicken nuggets.  He loves those).  We just try to feed Aaron the way we would want to be fed if we didn’t have the power to make all of our own choices.  Yes, Aaron can make decisions regarding his food.  He can pick out which foods he prefers from his tray, he can reach for what he likes at a table and he can express his like and dislike for foods.  At the end of the day, we just want him to enjoy food.  Eating it, and the experience.  It’s not the easiest thing, but it’s really a lot of fun watching his tastes and palate develop!

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See, he even likes to dig through my cookbooks and pick his favorite recipes!


One Response

  1. That is wonderful that he likes all of those foods. Hopefully he keeps with that and leans more towards those healthy foods permanently. Keep up the good work and no worries that you feed him how you would want to eat and leave out some of those indulgences that we adults allow ourselves from time to time.

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