Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hoping to develop a healthy palate

I always find it humorous how folks without children or very young children ask me if I've seen any good movies lately. I can't even get through a 30 minute program nowadays.
Anywho, the topic of food and toddlers is usually on my mind and the minds of most parents with toddlers. It seems as if toddlers go through stages where they eat and don't eat.
I figure my kid isn't wasting away so I'm not going to fight it. I do get a little compulsive about making sure she eats a protein, even if it's 1 bite, once a day. Ideally, I'd like to have her meals be a balance of protein, veggies and grains but nowadays it's mostly, fruits, grains, veggies and a hint or two of a protein.
I think this week, I'll make some ragu sauce for TG this week. DH can mix it was pasta or rice.
Every week I try to make a food that incorporates a protein and veggie that DH can feed TG. Usually it's something like chicken loaf or baked fish with veggies in rice. It makes me feel better that she's given something with proteins and veggies and DH who isn't a cook has something to give our daughter aside from pasta, waffles or scrambled eggs.
TG still isn't keen on big chunks of meat and veggies, unless it's carrot slices, so I usually have to think about an all encompassing casserole or meatloaf or dish.
She's a huge fan of tomato sauce though so I use that alot.
The kid eats more pasta with tomato sauce than anything else but I don't complain. I figure the pasta is whole wheat and the tomato sauce is the veggie. I add softened carrots or spinach, garlic and onions and a protein and voila!
Anyway, some folks were surprised to see TG wasn't eating any candy that was strewn all over the tables at our family gathering. The fact is she hasn't had candy yet and DH and I don't see why a nearly 2 year old would need to. We didn't mean to get on our soapbox but we stated that she'll be exposed to this soon enough. Until then, we would like to instill in her a healthy appetite and a palate that is free of as much processed foods and wasted calorie foods as much as possible.
I don't plan to be some sort of militant anti-candy mom but for now I like that my daughter's desserts and treats are peaches, bananas, strawberries and apples. I love that a little jam on her waffle is a super treat and an occasional bite of a chocolate date muffin is a treat.
Oh, we taught her how to dip her food into ketchup a few days ago. She's so dainty. It's adorable. If she gets something on her fingers, she stops eating and says, "Fingers." and either grabs a napkin or holds it out to be wiped.