Wonder Week 55, and am I raising picky eaters?

After writing my last post about B’s changed behavior and sleeping patterns, it dawned on me that he seems to be going through an actual 12 month sleep regression. This led me to a google search which told me that in fact, B seems to be going through Wonder Week 55. If you’ve never heard of Wonder Weeks, you can read more about it here. Basically, there are certain periods (“leaps”)  in a baby’s first year of life where they grow and develop at such a rapid pace that they go through major changes in their schedules, which also include eating, sleeping, and behavior. Each Wonder Week comes with some cool new tricks a baby can do after they go through it, and the website/book/app explains it more in detail. Wonder Week 55 is exactly B, down to increased tantrums, waking, crying in the middle of the night, and a decreased appetite for certain foods. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before, but PHEW. This is just a stage. A fellow mom told me at the library yesterday, after I made mention of this phase B is in – “It’s a stage. Everything’s a stage.” She has a point there – every period in life is in fact, just a stepping stone until the next one. So if B is going through a tough stage right now, it will surely lead to a better stage..and back and forth. I just feel better knowing that this isn’t B’s new personality. He’s a baby. I’m hoping the phase passes soon.

In other news, I’ve got just a few weeks left until I’m back to work and my nanny starts. I haven’t worked since April of 2013. It has been a very long time, and I’m trying to get my ducks in a row to make the transition for us all as smooth as possible. And one of the bumps holding me back right now is food.

I have wanted my twins to eat healthy, balanced meals from the get-go. It’s something that was high on my priority list. Therefore, I introduced many veggies and fruits in the puree stage and the babies did great. They continued to do well when we transitioned to those same foods in finger food form. In addition to fruits and veggies, they like cheese and potatoes. At first, they also ate beans. I did not give them puffs or Cheerios or anything like that because I didn’t have to. I wanted to keep the processed food down to a minimum if I could. If the babies would eat other, non-processed things, then that was fine by me. I also didn’t give them anything fried or sweet, other than a few frosting licks of a cupcake and a few bites of my ice cream. See, I’m a sugar-obsessed person and have been as long as I can remember. I don’t think it’s doing anything for my health and probably contributes to my hives, but yet I can’t stop eating it. I obsessively eat sugar. I do not want my kids following down that path. Of course, they’ll have it eventually and that’s fine, but I’m not in a rush to get there. That’s why they’ve never had a cookie or a piece of candy or their own ice cream. They will. Fruit is their dessert – and C is proving to me that I’ve made the right decision, because the few times she has tasted real sugar, she’s channeled into a crazy baby. She must. have. another. bite. now – fussing, whining, “GIVE IT TO ME” in her eyes. She must be my daughter. Yes, sugar is being limited for them, bigtime.

So there they were, just eating their little finger foods of mostly beans and veggies, with cheese and fruit added…and then they turned one year old. And then we transitioned to whole milk. They’re following the guideline of 16-20 oz of milk a day, and that’s a lot less than the amount of formula they were drinking. Therefore, they’re hungrier. But with this change has also come picky eating. All of a sudden – they won’t eat beans. They won’t touch chicken. B won’t touch avocado anymore. C won’t eat pasta (yes, I started with some whole wheat pasta because B only wants mushy, slippery foods and that’s something he likes – but not C). B won’t touch certain fruits anymore, like grapes or blueberries. They won’t EAT anything! And I’m not preparing 500 options. What they heck do I feed these babies?

I have read to feed the babies “what we eat” – so that I prepare a dinner for all of us to enjoy. And that sounds wonderful, everyone sitting around the table, casually eating a relaxed dinner – but that’s not my life right now. My life is my husband throwing a dinner together with the scraps we have in our house after the babies go to bed at 7:30 so that we’re eating at 8:00, while I start on the nightly chores. We eat on the couch. The food is not cooked while the babies are awake, and we don’t eat it while the babies are awake typically, only because it’s not ready. My babies currently eat their last meal at 5:00. My husband isn’t even home yet. But even if we solved all those problems (I know a crock pot would help) – I don’t really think I want them eating most of what we eat! Nor do I think they would touch it.

We aren’t eating, you know, french fries every night, or ever. So it’s not like we eat THAT bad. But the quality of our dinners isn’t really…good. I don’t know. Tonight we had tacos at 8:00. Some somewhat crappy-quality ground turkey with taco seasoning, corn shells, sour cream, shredded cheese. There’s NO WAY my kids would even touch a piece of ground turkey – the texture, the color, the shape, etc. And the seasoning is full of salt, right? The corn shells…too hard, too crunchy…we wouldn’t give those to them. Sour cream? They won’t eat yogurt or cottage cheese, I think because it’s too tangy. So sour cream is out. Tonight’s meal wouldn’t work for them.

Unless we’re eating meals of  plain carrots, green beans, sweet potato, butternut squash, avocado, string cheese and watermelon – these kids aren’t eating what we eat. I’m wondering if I’ve done this all wrong, being TOO picky about what I give to them. And I’m really at a loss here – because I want to keep up with the healthy eating, really limiting their unhealthy options, but I want to make this process easier for us. I would love for them to get most of their protein from beans and eggs (we are JUST starting eggs so not sure yet if they like them). Oh, and I want them to be willing to try foods that aren’t fruits or veggies – like tacos, for example. And heaven forbid the food can’t be cut into the shape of a square!! I don’t know how to make the jump from finger food to table food while still keeping it healthy in a way that works for us. This is one of my biggest obstacles that I’m attempting to tackle before the nanny starts. Any suggestions or resources to find some answers?

I’ve still got another post in my brain – I want to back up to the stomach bug at the birthday party, setting up the playroom and some other Pinterest fun, but it’ll wait until next time.

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10 thoughts on “Wonder Week 55, and am I raising picky eaters?

  1. timelessmama says:

    Mine loved the recipes I used out of the “12 month onwards” sections of the following books. Baby Bowl ISBN 978-0-7318-1515-9 and New Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner ISBN 978-0-670-07215-6. All children are fussy eaters really just some more so than others. Good luck. All in moderation.

  2. JustHeather says:

    Oh, yes, wonder weeks!!

    Sugar cravings can definitely be hereditary. My mom also loved sugar and definitely passed that on to me. I try to do what I can to limit my sugar intake, sometimes I am successful, other times not so. 🙂

    As for foods and meals, hubby and I did do a lot of veggies in different combos and some meats. We also do tacos, but give them to Paxlet in pieces/lumps on his plate so he can choose what he wants to eat. Such as: pieces of flour taco shells (could try corn too), avocado slices, tomato chunks, bits of lettuce (he still doesn’t care for this unless it is drowned in ‘sauce’), sour cream (we use plain Greek yogurt), my own spices to the taco meat, cheese (but not generally with tacos) and whatever else you want to have with tacos. Paxlet generally eats enough of it all to get full.
    I think it just takes a bit of thinking on how to make things yourself without using store bought ready-made items/spices. It’s not hard, just a bit more time consuming, sometimes. I also love doing veggies puree/chunky soups. Easy and yummy for all.

  3. randomsqueaks says:

    I love the idea of them eating what we eat but I agree, it just isn’t reasonable for most of our meals. I’ve been cooking a lot of one dish meals lately, for obvious reasons. So even when M gets over his gagging at anything thicker than purée, I’ll still need to prepare separate meals for them. Maybe we can eat what they eat, ha!
    We’re hitting a wonder week over here too. M is doing the three Cs and V is being very cuddly lately. It’s just been a few days but I’m ready for it to be over. It makes it better and worse to know its a phase. I look forward to the end but I know the end is a ways off. Good luck to you three (sorry, four, poor hubby).

  4. robin says:

    I have always given the kids food that we eat (usually leftovers from dinner hte night before). Here is my strategy:

    Give them a plate of food, lots of variety. Usually 1 protein, 2 veg, 1 fruit. THIS IS IT. If it goes on the floor, they are done. If they drop it, it’s gone. If they don’t like something on the plate, that’s fine, but there are NO substitutions. They can have more of something else on the plate. If the plate ends up on the floor, the meal is over.

    I am strict about this. I choose what goes on the plate and when we eat and they choose how much they eat. If they don’t want to eat at a meal, that is their business, but there’s no snack until the next meal (and meals are always in the high chairs / boosters).

    I try to make sure there is at least one thing on the plate I know they will eat, so I am not totally sabotaging them. But I also put things on the plate I’m not sure they will like, and also things I know they aren’t into. For a while, Apple wouldn’t eat chicken at all, but I kept putting it on his plate. Now, sometimes he eats it, sometimes he has a bite or two. I don’t customize their plates much, maybe I’ll put more of something on Banana’s plate that I know she likes (for example she loves roasted pepper, Apple doesn’t, so he gets a couple and she gets a pile), but generally the plates are identical. I also try to eat when they eat, the same food their eating, and I talk about it “Mommy’s eating mommy’s cauliflower! Yummy cauliflower! Is Apple eating Apple’s cauliflower? Wow it is so yummy!” And sometimes I will reach over and pluck something off their plate and gush about how yummy it is as I chew it in their faces 😉

    I have been doing this for a long time, since before they were a year old. They get the picture quickly after dropping their plate and the meal is over. It doesn’t happen a second time (at least, not in a row).

    Now the kids sit in their chairs for long periods of time and eat a whole meal. Tonight we had turkey loaf, zucchini, asparagus, roasted peppers, and blueberries. Believe it or not, they both left blueberries in their bowls at the end, they were so full from everything else! They can use a fork and spoon on their own, and a week ago I stopped giving them sippy cups so now they drink from regular cups like big kids. Yes it isn’t a laid back relaxing meal, there is still a lot of interference to run, but it is as relaxing as a meal with two 23mo olds gets.

    Sorry so long … I hope this is helpful. The best thing to do is have a vision of what a meal with them will look like, and then make it happen. Don’t give them too much power or choice – you are the grown up, you are the one with the fully formed brain, you get to make the choices.

    • robin says:

      Also our kids eat all kinds of food, and even things they don’t eat they will usually try at least once. We joined a CSA and it turns out the kids love fennel – both roasted and raw! Who would have guessed???

      • robin says:

        Also sorry so many comments –

        This is how I am able to keep giving the kids healthy food – I roast vegetables in bulk, almost every day. Not every day but almost. I’ll get 2 cauliflowers and cut it into pieces and roast it (olive oil, salt and pepper, oven at 450 for 20-30min). I will cut up 2-3 zucchinis and roast them. Bell peppers, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, corn on the cob, etc etc. Cut it up and roast it. This way we always have tons of healthy vegetable sides for them and only have to come up with a protein. My husband makes a huge turkey loaf every other Sunday, and we will have a whole chicken on Friday that can be cut up for future meals. Sometimes the protein is hummus or guacamole on pita or other bread. We store bean chili in small containers in the freezer so I can take one out and defrost it for various meals (either as the protein or as the veg, depending on what else is on the plate).

        My kids don’t love the 1 pot meals like in the crock pot, I think because it’s really hard to tell what is in there. They like having the identifiable pieces on the plate. Sometimes we can get them to eat a stew or pieces out of a soup but mostly my kids like to have individual vegetables and proteins that they can choose to eat or not to eat …

        Ahh sorry so long. Food issues are like sleep issues, everyone has so much to say. Good luck, feeding two at once is not easy!!

    • futuresoccermom says:

      I love all of your comments – thank you so much. I was actually hoping you would comment! Your ideas are fabulous and I’m trying to adapt them. I’m already making some progress but didn’t have time to fit it into this newest blog post but I will soon. You are amazing!! Thank you!!!

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