Congratulations! Your baby is now one, so what the &%!@ do you feed her? I had (and still have) major anxiety about what to feed Ruby. I grew up at the height of the processed and packaged food industry. The food world has changed drastically since the 80s, and I felt unprepared to be in charge of a brand new little person’s diet. My husband, Ryan, is an incredible cook. Like, seriously, he should be a chef. I’m the baker in the family, I love PIE. Again, I’m not a good food role model. To complicate matters, just for fun, we became borderline vegans a month ago. It’s quite hard to eliminate all dairy with a toddler in the house. But other than limited dairy, we do not have any meat or eggs in the house. (You might be thinking, does Ruby drink cow’s milk? No, we have fallen in love with Ripple. A plant based non-dairy milk that is high in ALL that baby needs from cow’s milk with ZERO grams of sugar. It is high in protein, calcium, Vitamin D, and Iron. *Insert Praise Hands Emoji Here* We also cleared this with our Pediatrician, and he was completely on board with our modified vegan endeavor.)
Toddlers need to have a minimum of 900 calories a day, but ideally 1,000-1,400. These calories need to come from protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Our babes need healthy fat for brain development. (I wish I needed extra fat…hello, ice cream anyone?) Ruby was in bed when I was researching, and I added up how many calories she had that day. Even though she had dark leafy greens, a variety of fruits and vegetables, milk, and pasta…she MAYBE had half of what she needed. I felt TERRIBLE.
For a Mom who already feels anxious about the foods she is choosing, then to find out that her babe wasn’t getting enough it’s …. devestating. So I did what I do best. I got out my best friends for thinking (pen & paper, I’m not a digital girl at all) and made a PLAN. Another “P” word I love, planning.
So here is my plan for this coming week. Today (Saturday) we went grocery shopping. We picked up beautiful fruits and veggies from our Farmers Market, favorite frozen and packaged items from Trader Joes, and our favorite non-dairy, meatless, and soy-less items from Whole Foods. I do not want to become obsessive about this, because that is a slippery slope. So don’t worry, I’m not counting my child’s calories. If I make sure she is at least offered enough high-calorie food throughout the day, I can fall asleep worry-free.
Let’s add another layer to this hot mess, I own my own business and work from home. So I have ZERO time to prepare meals. (My husband cooks dinner…duh, the chef.) I’m committing to spending her Saturday afternoon nap to prepare breakfasts and lunches for the entire week. Today I made a large amount of Avocado Blueberry Smoothie, and Coconut Chia Seed Pudding. These will be breakfasts and afternoon snacks.
Breakfasts: Multigrain Waffles with Butter, Bananas, Almond Butter Greek Yogurt with a fruit pouch, Blueberry Oatmeal, Avocado Blueberry Smoothies, and Cherry Beet Smoothies
Lunches: AB&J Sandwiches with Sweet Potato Fries, Superfood Quinoa Blend (Costco) with Avocado and Goat Cheese, Pasta mixed with 1/2 an Avocado and a large dollar of hummus, Veggie Burgers with Fruit and Sweet Potato Fries, Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Broccoli Cakes
Snacks: “Ruby’s Rockets” Non- Dairy Yogurt, Coconut Chia Seed Pudding topped with Honey and Blueberries, Cheerios, Fruit Pouches
Ryan is in charge of dinner, so we’ll leave that to him. 😉 Ruby gets more vegetables and greens at dinner, that’s for sure. We do a lot of Naan pizzas topped with piles of spinach, and veggie pastas, etc.
***The beauty about all of this is with about two hours of preparation I can grab any of this from the fridge or freezer and have it ready to go. I think the most time consuming part will be putting sweet potato fries in the oven. I mean COME ON, easy peasy healthy squeezy.
Avocado Blueberry Smoothie
This smoothie is delicious, and the recipe below makes A TON. Please feel free to halve or even quarter. It fills an entire mason jar, and the leftovers I freeze in popsicle molds for a cold treat during the summer.
1tbl (heaping) flax seed meal
1c Whole Milk Greek Yogurt (Substitute Non-Dairy)
1c Water or Coconut Water
6-8 ice cubes
Place all ingredients together in a blender, and blend away! Makes 4 smoothies. Keep Refrigerated for up to 48 hours. Freeze as popsicles for the deliciousness to last longer!
Coconut Chia Seed Pudding
1 can Coconut Milk (Full Fat, ya know…babies…)
1 can Coconut Cream
1/2c Chia Seeds
1/4-1/2c Unsweetened Flaked Coconut
Literally dump all of the above into a mason jar, put the lid on and SHAKE. Shake it like a polaroid picture!
Ruby just woke up from her nap, and she is sweetly laying down saying “Hi” in that groggy little baby voice. Omg I LOVE her! Snuggle those babes friends!