I LOVE my babies (duh) and want them to be healthy (what mom doesn’t?!). Giving your kids a healthy immune system is such an incredible gift and responsibility. Sure, fast food/processed food is easy and convenient, but it does them no favors, and you’ll be paying for it with chronic sickness, doctor visits, and sleepless nights galore.
Everyone has their own health journey. Even from my first to second pregnancy, I’ve changed my ways so severely! Always learning, aren’t we?? With my first child I followed ‘normal’ baby food regime & tried to keep everything organic. I was also a MAJOR anti-sugar queen (slapping anyone’s hand that had anything sweet looking even near his face). Even with my assumed healthy diet plan for him, I would have done a thousand things differently with my more recently acquired knowledge.
5 years ago if someone would have told me to feed my baby bone broth, meat, liver and egg yolks I would have thought they were completely bonkers. Sally Fallon of the Weston A. Price foundation recommends egg yolk and liver as baby’s first food. Both are an excellent source of vitamin A & D. Now I support it, practice it, and am LOVING the results. I promise you I haven’t gone insane… trust me… keep reading.
Toddlers, coming off of breastmilk which is high in fat, need…. FAT! Grains are NOT the best food for littles, contrary to popular belief.
The AMAZING thing about toddlers…. when their body is healthy they know what they need! When you provide them healthy options, they will eat more of some, less of another. There are times when maybe he seems a little under the weather and all he wants is oranges, and raw milk or bone broth – I oblige! Sometimes he gobbles up his whole sweet potato, and refuses meat – as long as he has one bite of everything on his plate, I don’t make him finish his meal… ever.
For those of you that have the excuse of a ‘picky’ eater; we have another word for picky…. “hungry.” Now before you think I’m an evil parent, I do understand picky times and fussy seasons when they just pull on your pant leg and whine whine whine and make you go insane. Sometimes he refuses dinner altogether, and in order to stand my ground, but also not have a toddler waking up all night cause he’s starving we have a couple open bar items: Bone Broth, and Raw Milk (one glass). I feel like a sneaky sneak when he’s refusing everything but then thinks he is getting away with ‘only’ having Bone Broth for dinner. I know that he’s really just filling his tummy up with basically the best thing in the universe (mom win)! He also has a glass of raw milk most every night before bed while I read him books, so even on the rare occasion he skips dinner, he’s never going to bed completely hungry.
Don’t despair, the first few times you offer a new item, there might be the chance of a world war…. but I’ve found that consistent offering and a calm attitude always wins the race. Things he’s thrown fits over are now some of his favorite items!
I shop at the Farmer’s Market weekly and bring him with me. He enjoys picking out produce with me and I find that anything he’s a part of preparing, he is more inclined to eat! Giving him small tasks while I’m cooking (stirring something, putting the liners in a muffin tin, cracking an egg) and he’s in heaven.
Here’s my short list of toddler feeding essentials/food groups:
Raw Keifer (unsweetened)
I get all my dairy from Organic Pastures at my local Farmer’s Market. They also sell it at Sprouts.
Stay away from: ALL processed dairy
All meat! BUT must be pastured, or grass fed/finished.
Favorite rotations: Bison Meatballs, Roast Chicken, Grass Fed Beef Hot Dogs, Applegate Organic Lunch Meat, Bacon (farmer’s market), Roasts, Lamb Burgers, Wild Fish, Liver
Stay away from: ALL conventional meat, meat with added sugar
All, but in moderation. I shoot for ones that are highest in nutrients, and lower in sugar.
Apples (half a pink one, or a green one, with sunbutter)
Stay away from: any non-organic fruit, too many bananas or grapes because of high sugar
Rainbow carrots (they love the colors! Raw or cooked)
Artichoke (his all time favorite)
Green Beans (cooked)
Sprouted Brown Rice
Rice Bread on occasion
Homemade Coconut Milk Ice Cream
Sweet Potato Chips
Fresh Fruit with Raw Cream (whip it!)
Kind Bar (the ones with low sugar)
Organic Fruit Leather
***Note: There are many other healthy food options that we just don’t keep on hand or have in our usual rotation. I try to branch out often and put a new veggie, or different meat in our diet but for now these are our usuals.
Keep in mind, I try as little as possible to make my toddler ‘special’ meals. This is hard when they’re first eating sometimes but gets easier as you just offer them what you’re eating each meal. Yes, that means YOUR diet needs to be nourishing too! Lucky you.
Scrambled Eggs and Bacon
Egg with Raw Cheese
French Toast (which is just a piece of GF bread soaked in an egg & cinnamon, cooked, topped with a grip of raw butter)
Buckwheat Waffles and Sausage
Bone Broth (in a cup) with an egg and fried sweet potato
Bacon and Sweet Potato (fried in the bacon grease)
Hot Dog with Sauerkraut, Cucumber or Raw Cheese and Olives
GF Crackers with Applegate Organics Lunch Meat, Raw Cheese and Carrots
Bone Broth with some leftover meat in it (soup!)
First, a note on snacks:
Applesauce (vitamix’d raw apples with a dash of cinnamon) with Collagen Powder sprinkled on top, or a raw pastured egg yolk stirred in
A Healthy Muffin with Raw Butter
Buckwheat Granola with Keifer
GF Crackers with Raw Cheese
Apple with Sunflower Seed Butter
Smoothie (my usual smoothie is Vitamineral Greens, water, frozen berries & collagen)
Whatever we are eating! Sometimes I make a sauce that has some heat in it, so I’ll pull out some meat for the kids before I mix it all together for us big people. Or if I make a big soup, my toddler is particular and studies his food so I know a big pot of mystery soup will scare him off so I don’t scoop out ALL the options in that pot into his bowl, just a few. If you have an awesome eater who just shovels down what you hand him, THAT IS FANTASTIC. Feed them liver all 3 meals! 😉
In conclusion, baby steps are the best steps toward any new habit, routine, and new way of eating! Slowly phase out junk as you phase in new nutrient dense foods, or jump off a cliff and GET RID OF anything that isn’t helpful or healing to your and your kid’s immune systems. Lead by example: if you squirm at vegetables your children will too. YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!
What is your toddler’s favorite food?