Toddler vs. Vegetables: Pouches

I have not blogged in quite a while. When you have a baby, life just gets a little crazy and honestly, I just felt like my time was better spent elsewhere. There was also an element of just not having anything to say. Okay, so having a child provides lots of things to say but there is that lack of time thing again, desire for privacy, and preferring to share those things with my friends and family rather than the world. I actually do write 4-12 blogs per month but they happen to be for clients and not for myself.

This messy girl enjoyed her dinner!

This messy girl enjoyed her dinner!

Recently, I have been asked by several of my mom friends about Evie’s eating habits. Not because I’m an expert but we just use each other as sounding boards through the different stages our kiddos are going through. We just want the other mom to help us feel like our life is normal. Help! I’m frustrated! Does your kid do this too? What are you doing about…?

Through these conversations I discovered my desire to blog again. I’m going to begin this series of keeping track of what I have done to help my toddler like veggies and when she refused to eat them, get her to eat them anyway. I’m calling it “Toddlers vs. Veggies.” Hopefully, this is helpful for other moms out there and gives me a little bit of a personal outlet (what is that again?). Plus, I really enjoy cooking for my family. Please take it for what it is, one mom just writing about trials and errors that work for her family, or don’t work. I’m not an expert and do not want to be judged as one. One of the things that keep me from blogging about parenting is because there is SO much judgment out there. We are all just doing the best we can. Let’s just all agree that it is important for our children to eat their vegetables and that it can be incredibly difficult sometimes!

kale chips, toddler

Evie eating kale chips

Evie, our daughter who is 18 months old now (OMG), is a really great eater and has been from the start. Breastmilk, purees, table food. Veggies, fruit, beans, etc. She loves food. This morning between the hours of 7:30-11:30am she ate, 1 breakfast pouch, 1 banana, 1 scrambled egg, 1 teething cookie, 3 mini oatmeal muffins, an undetermined amount of corn puffs and raisins, a lunch pouch and half a sunbutter sandwich. I may be missing something in there too. I felt like I could not keep up. “Eat, eat!” was constantly coming out of her mouth.

This leads me to my first topic: Pouches. You know the ones, they are at your grocery store, Target, baby supply stores, Costco, you name it. How did our parents live without food pouches? You twist off the cap, it goes into their mouth and gets sucked down. Three seconds later they have ingested a few servings of fruits and vegetables. When Evie was eating purees only I would even put some on a spoon for her. When she was younger I made most of my own pureed food. If you have a blender, it’s super easy. But the pouches were great on-the-go. They are so great for when you are traveling, out running errands, at the park (like today) or need an easy and fast way to satisfy your toddler’s grumbling stomach with something healthier than goldfish. Who else’s child would subsist on goldfish if they could?

toddler, food pouch

Pouch in one hand, snack (probably goldfish) in the other

Right now Evie eats 2-3 pouches a day and it’s more because she eats more than we anticipate and also because she knows where they are stored in the cabinet and gets them out on her own. It’s not worth the meltdown to say no. Plus, they’re healthy. We always buy organic – now that I think of it, I’m not sure there are non-organic options! I prefer ones that are veggie heavy because she eats a lot of fruit and dairy anyway. She would happily eat fruit and cheese every meal.

There are two things I don’t like about some pouch options.

1: Additives. We only buy options that have fruit and vegetables only. The only additive I accept is lemon juice. There are some others in some of the ones with yogurt and grains in them but we try to keep them to a minimum. Sometimes, I feel like a hypocrite because we don’t always buy organic produce. It’s just not always available or affordable. We try but it’s not always possible. And then there are the processed snacks that we let Evie have like those goldfish. They are completely processed and who know what the ingredients are. I guess I try to control what she eats when I can.

toddler food pouches

Our favorite brands are Plum, Happy Baby or Happy Tot, Ella’s Kitchen and even the Target brand. Some brands, like Earth’s Best, are labeled organic but they sneak in additives that I cannot pronounce.

2. Meat. This is just a personal preference but pureed meat just sounds disgusting. I wouldn’t eat it so I don’t buy it for Evie. She likes meat, fish, beans and dairy so I feel like she gets enough protein.

Fortunately, Evie does not only eat store bought pureed food from the store. My next several posts will be recipes that are tried and true at our house that Evie loves and ensure that she is getting a well-balanced diet.