Thursday, 29 July 2010

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Part 2: Toddler's Menu Planning + Daily Consumption Log for Toddler

While planning on returning back to work, our primarily concern was pure survival... we made a schedule on how we could make the day work, who to pick up Joshua from the childcare, how we can put dinner on the table, doesn't matter whether the dinner is decent or not, just as long as we have food on the table at 5pm daily. Therefore, it is usually easy western meal every day, as it is easier to prepare western meals.

After five months of being a working mom and 5 months of practice, our family has established a good routine to survive and thrive. I am now ready to fine-tune those areas for improvements. In a cross-cultural marriage, I wish very much to enrich our cultural experience. Of course, taking into account nutrition. I have now made a generic weekly menu planner for Joshua and the family.

Thus, my daily goals are:

1. Breakfast - Super Porridge Breakfast

2. Lunch - Danish Open Sandwiches during weekdays, Yogurt during weekends and finger food

3. Dinner - Finger food and table food including meat and fish

I need to have a short meal/feeding time, so that I can go to work. It is important to have easily digestible food, so that toddler can absorb the optimum amount of the vitamins and nutrients from the food. At the same time, it is also important to practice fine motor skills with finger food, and to have meat and fish in the diets. By having this daily plan of easily digestible porridge in the morning and finger food in the evening, I would be able to achieve all the above.

My weekly goals are:

1. Three times a week western food, three times a week Asian food, and once a week free-and-easy, where I will serve food from other cultures, if I manage to find the time.

2. Two times a week fish dish.

3. Three times a week egg for Joshua.

And, of course, I have put it all in an Excel overview, so that I can just follow my plan in an auto-pilot mode for efficiency :-)

Furthermore, there are now additional challenges with toddler meal time. I am getting a little paranoid, as Joshua seems to be eating very little nowadays. I have read that babies in-take of food drop after the first year, but sometimes, Joshua seems to be surviving on just "pure air". After recording his food in-take in a "daily" log (I don't do it daily, only on days when I feel that he is not eating much), I am relieved and actually surprised to see that actually Joshua is eating enough of the bare minimum to thrive.

I found a very good worksheet from "The Super Baby Food". Toddlers usually eat 2 good meals a day, if one is lucky, if not just 1 good meal. Thus, this book recommends that if moms can squeeze in one good meal - breakfast, moms can cruise through the day, even if toddler is not eating. I make sure to give Joshua a power breakfast. If he finishes his breakfast, I can relax even if he eats very little for lunch or simply only "flirting" with food during dinner. So far it is working.






This book is highly recommended. I have used it since I started Joshua on solids when he was a baby. I have started to record in a "loose" way the amount and food Joshua eats on a daily basis. I am attaching it here in the following link to share it:

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B8uGpq3ubWWCOWU3NTNmNzQtOGY0MS00YmYzLTk2NjAtMDkzMjgyNTY1YTQ1

Please do not stress if you are not the type who uses Excel to organize your thoughts or do your planning. This is part of my personality, and I actually truly derive a lot of joy and fulfillment doing it. For those who don't, please do not compare yourself with me, who is the freak, and freak out. But if it is useful for you, you can use it in general to get some inspiration on how much food a toddler should eat and gauge for your own child.

References:
Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron

http://www.great-workout.com/nutrition/vegetables

http://www.babycenter.com/0_7-superfoods-to-boost-any-kids-diet_1745746.bc?bclink=bullet1&scid=adhoc_20100618_cobrand_tyson:3&pe=2UyYa5h

http://www.babycenter.com/0_10-nutrients-that-every-child-needs_1201019.bc

Note:
Unfortunately Goggle Docs doesn't not support spreadsheet so well, so if you want the whole Excel file, just write to me and I will send it to you.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Elaine, thanks for your posting. I would like to learn more about it. May I get the excel file from you? I don't know where to write to you. I have tried to search for your email address but I couldn't find it. If you don't mind, could you please send it to my email address dita_utomo@yahoo.com
    Thank you so much.

    ReplyDelete

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