Toddler J or TJ is going to turn 17 months young next week and already he is a nonstop bundle of energy who only stops his active learning and engagement during sleep times. At all other times, he is either on his toes walking or running around inspecting things, pulling things and putting them back, stacking things, and opening and shutting things, and so on. I watch and sometimes stare at him with amazement. First of all, we often cannot believe how the two of us, A and I could have (with help divine and otherwise of course) given birth to such a perfect little child. He is the highlight of our lives and we just love him so much. He will never know the depth of our love for him and honestly, does any child ever truly get this about their parents?!
At almost 16 months he is up to a lot of things:
1. After an aversion to fruits for the longest time, one day he just decided to start eating them. Just like that. The first time he ate a whole blueberry, he just took it from A’s hand and just ate it like it was the most natural thing for him to do. This was when we were in Chicago. Last week, we visited A’s friends in Canada and their little girl, 13 months, was easily chomping blueberries from her mother’s hand. Asked if J would like to try some, I hesitatingly agreed since he hadn’t shown much of a liking toward any fruit (although he had started eating bananas since a few days prior). There, he absolutely loved these little berries and ate them to his heart’s content. Since then, blueberries have been our go to snack and he just devours them till satiated. I have also given him apples and strawberries and even though he doesn’t eat a lot of any of these, he still does eat a little and that is way more that I could have ever imagined 3 weeks ago.
2. We are still working on veggies. Last night I gave him some tomatoes and cucumber and he ate them well but them spit ’em out. That’s okay. It’s a start and he is getting a taste for them. I’ll try again tonight. He chewed on a carrot today, ate some but spit out most. That is okay too. He is learning new tastes, he is eating independently, and getting a sense of different textures. I’ll keep trying.
3. For lunch and dinner, I have pretty much stopped making him his rice-lentils-mix veggies mush. I did do white rice-veggie blend for him until recently but since we returned to Chicago from our Canadian vacation a couple days ago, I have only served him foods that A and I eat and he has been doing alright. Of course, he no longer eats platefuls of rice and daal like his he used to with me feeding him but with a combination of my feeding him and him eating on his own, he is getting a taste of different foods and even though he is eating less, he is eating normal food…a big step.
4. Breakfast is his favorite meal just because he wakes up hungry and ready to eat. We stopped feeding him milk upon waking up. This really helped build up his appetite for breakfast. I have tried oatmeal (since he was about 8 months and consistently fed it to him), eggs and toast, pancakes, dosas and idlis (neither of which he liked), and fruits smoothies.
5. He likes meats. His favorite is chicken. Because he cannot differentiate between meats, we call everything chicken and he likes it, so far. He has tried fried chicken (KFC no less :)) (no fried part, just the chicken), turkey, pork chops, ribs, hamburger, and meatballs (lamb and beef). He does good with pasta too, reasonably any way.
We still have feeding time drama and those times are the most stressful ones for me with J. Hopefully both he and I will get past this phase. Overall, we are doing alright feeding him. I feel like he gets good nutritious food but I can always do better.