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Eating His Way To A Healthy Life

Nowadays, Shakeel does not really latch on 24/7 unless it’s bedtime. He will still need to latch on every 2 hours or so at night, just for comfort I reckon. So that also means I can forget about date nights for now. HAHAHAHA.

But with a face like this, I think date nights can wait.

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I truly enjoy breastfeeding Shakeel, and I still refuse to stop. There are so many things that I do to motivate me further in my breastfeeding journey with Shakeel like shop for cute nursing covers, for instance.

And it’s really cute to see how Shakeel will take the nursing cover and give it to me whenever he wants to latch on. Or when he sees me putting on the nursing cover, he will squeal with delight.

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There are so many reasons why I love breastfeeding & why I refuse to stop:

  1. It makes me feel good about myself.
  2. It’s so easy and convenient
  3. I know I am giving him the best
  4. Night times are fuss free. I can even feed my baby when half asleep.
  5. Needing to breastfeed him also means some quiet time for me and him. I can even use it as an excuse to escape from a conversation! “Sorry, it’s time to feed Shakeel, please excuse me!” Perfect when you bump into someone you do not quite fancy lol.
  6. I don’t need to worry whether the milk is safe, clean or nutritionally adequate – my body takes care of it for me.
  7. It’s impossible to forget to bring my breasts when I go out. But it’s possible to forget to bring the bottle or milk powder.
  8. Breastfeeding works for every mood of his – sleepy, cranky, sick, tired, hungry & thirsty.
  9. It promotes bonding – this one is possibly still the top reason why I love breastfeeding so much. He will giggle and play with me in between our sessions. I want to continue enjoying those moments with him while I still can.

 

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Other than that, Shakeel generally enjoys his food and meal times these days. The moment he sees me getting food ready at the dining table, he will be babbling “MAM MAM MAM” or “NAK NAK NAK!” I am guessing “MAM MAM MAM” means food since we always ask him “You want to mam mam?” and “NAK NAK NAK” means “I want!”

However there are also days when he will eat only a small portion or refuse to eat totally.

Picky eating surfaces around one year of age because that’s when they will begin to feed themselves. It is therefore normal for toddlers to peck and poke at their food.

Now that Shakeel is already walking, he thinks he is a big boy and he cannot sit still for anything – NOT EVEN HIS FOOD.

This explorer of mine is super curious about everything around him!

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Toddlers need less food, and that means they may prefer snacking their way through the day rather than sit down to a full-fledged feast. This boy runs everywhere now! 

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That said, it’s no longer about getting Shakeel seated obediently while I feed him a bowl full of porridge until he finishes it. I WISH!

So these days, I just ensure that I prepare the right food for Shakeel and I try to make it as nutritious as possible for him. I will also allow him to enjoy what I am eating as long as it is not hot or spicy.

And oh this boy loves to snack in between his meals! So I always ensure that there will be some snacks ready at home like:

  • low-fat string cheese
  • yogurt cups
  • apple slices or strawberry halves
  • whole-grain crackers with peanut butter

 

When I first introduced solids to Shakeel, I was initially alarmed when he finished a bowl of rice cereal one day, and totally refused it the following day. The same thing happened to some other foods, which I introduced to him like egg and cheese.

But as mentioned earlier, it is actually normal for toddlers to be confused and be inconsistent with their likes and dislikes as far as food is concerned.

Familiarity with foods is key, as a toddler may need to be exposed to new foods more than 10 times before they try it.

If your child doesn’t eat at one mealtime, you can offer a nutritious snack a few hours later. If your child doesn’t eat the snack, offer food again at the next mealtime. A child will usually eat at the second meal. Try it!

“The only thing consistent about toddler feeding is inconsistency.”

So what can we as parents do to help our little eaters enjoy a range of foods?

  1. Eat a range of healthy foods ourselves so that the little ones will also join in and eat with us.
  2. Gently but frequently offer new kinds of foods.
  3. Avoid showing disgusts of disinterest when trying new foods.
  4. Track your child’s food sensitivities and keep them in mind when preparing meals. If he does not like soft foods, give him the crunchy version for instance. Shakeel prefers his food hard and crunchy anytime. (This boy really thinks that he is a grown up, didn’t I tell you?)
  5. Put new foods next to the food that your child already likes
  6. Use healthy dips like home-made hummus (with little or no salt!) or plain yoghurt seasoned with herbs and garlic to encourage your child to eat fruits, vegetables and meats.
  7. Let him feed himself by preparing more finger foods for him to hold on his own
  8. If your child is super active like Shakeel, make sure the food is already prepared before you get him seated at the high chair.

 

And lastly, how much should we be feeding our toddlers?

The rule of thumb or rather hand is, the size of their stomach is approximately the size of their fist. So that’s roughly how much they should be eating.

I monitor what Shakeel’s eating behaviour is like every single day (since toddlers are inconsistent lol). If he’s eating a lot, then I will not mind if he does not drink as much milk. If he is not eating so much, then I will let him latch on like every hour or so.

Mummies, you cannot force your little ones to eat.

Many parents try to force their child to eat more than they need because they worry that their might get sick or develop a vitamin deficiency due to the lack of food.

Here’s the thing – our child’s brain will make sure that they eat enough calories for normal energy and growth.

So what we can do instead?

Encourage them through healthy eating habits and pleasant mealtimes!

For tips and more information, may I suggest this website which I think is really useful for us mummies? Click here !

 

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