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Monday, February 8, 2010

Spinach Patties

I thought I'd kick off this post with a discussion about food. I've been finding feeding Micah a challenge lately. He is becoming quite picky, and it is always either feast or famine with him. He is currently eating a diet of 100% table food (no more baby food for us!), but I am often unsure whether he is eating enough or eating healthy.

I think we have the best handle on breakfast. Micah wakes up in the morning and he will drink some milk - anywhere from 1-5 ounces. We usually sit and snuggle a bit on the couch while he is drinking his milk, and then he likes to go play with his toys and chase the dog. While he is playing, I prepare his breakfast (well, sometimes his Daddy does the cooking, too). We seem to have a "rotation" of breakfast foods - we either give Micah waffles, pancakes, french toast, scrambled eggs or cereal. I prefer to give him french toast over regular toast because he gets some protein that way, too (since we use the bread to soak up an entire egg). I usually put a bit of cinnamon and vanilla in with his french toast, we try to vary the waffle and pancake flavors (blueberry, pumpkin, plain, etc.). We always give him fruit with breakfast - sometimes we put applesauce or homemade jam and/or yogurt ontop of the waffles/pancakes/french toast. With the eggs, sometimes we mix in veggies or melt cheese on top. He will usually eat a pretty hearty breakfast...except when he doesn't. At the very least, I can usually get him to eat 1/2 a banana.

Sometimes, Micah likes to drink more milk later in the morning. I think on daycare days, they give him a morning snack of breakfast foods (although I am never sure how much he eats there). Around 10:30, we put him down for his nap, and he likes to sleep until at least 12. When he gets up from his nap, he usually drinks a few more ounces of milk and we start preparing lunch. I am beginning to find lunches a bit more difficult and boring. He will usually eat a melted cheese sandwich, but how many days in a row should he really be eating that? Micah also loves pizza - but isn't that just a fancy melted cheese sandwich? We are able to sneak some pureed veggies in with the tomato sauce when we make pizza. He will eat hummus and chips as well for lunch. He does not seem to be particularly fond of eating meat/chicken for lunch - that is pretty much always a bust. We have very little luck getting him to eat pasta, although occasionally he'll eat some tortellini or some lasagna. Micah loves veggie burgers - we usually alternate that with dinner a few times each week. I'm thinking of testing the waters with peanut butter soon to expand our lunch options. We've tried a number of other options - spinach patties (see the recipe below), and I make these delicious veggie/cheese/bisquick squares that he seems to like as well. Once again, we'll top off the lunch meal with either some crackers, bread, and/or fruit - if all else fails, Micah will load up on fruit. Currently, he is having a love affair with Clementines - I think he would eat a dozen a day if I let him. Does anyone else have some good lunch suggestions for a picky 1 year old with only 4 teeth?

Naptime hits anywhere from 2:30-3:30. When he wakes up, I offer him milk and an afternoon snack. Afternoon snacks are the easiest - fruit is always a safe bet, but veggies are almost always a no-go. I buy him these sippy pouches of organic baby food that mixes fruit and veggies together - he loves to feed himself the sippy pouches and it is the best way to sneak in some veggies. Sometimes, Micah eats cheese for a snack, or crackers, or fruit, or cereal, or mum mums, or dried fruits (we are currently loving freeze-dried strawberries - the freeze dried fruits are wonderful because they sort of crumble and melt in Micah's mouth). Pretty much any basic "snack" food is a hit with my little man.

Dinner time falls around 6 or 6:30. Once again, I find dinner challenging, and I am feeling starved for new ideas. Some nights (like tonight) a veggie burger is a hit. He particularly enjoys eating it with a touch of marinara sauce and a fork. I give Micah turkey burgers and hamburgers (with veggies mixed in), and we'll try tortellini, lasagna, and pizza, but other nights there seems to be no winning. Some nights, everything I hand him ends up on the floor. At least the dog is always up for some dinner! On those nights, I try to get Micah to eat some crackers or cheese or fruit and call it a night.

We round out the day with some milk before bed. The last few nights, Micah says "night night" to me when he goes upstairs to sleep. It is just SOOO cute! I love watching how he communicates now - he knows the signs for "Itsy Bitsy Spider," he tells me when he wants more food and when he is all done eating. He is using words more and more often, and just turning into a little boy before my eyes.

As promised, here is the recipe for my spinach patties:

1 pkg. chopped spinach—thawed and drained
½ cup bread crumbs
1 onion sautéed
¼ cup mozzarella cheese
½ cup egg beaters (or 2 eggs)
2 tbsp. parmesan cheese
Seasonings (I usually add garlic and a touch of salt)

Mix all ingredients together and make into patties. Bake at 350o – 45 minutes to 1 hour. Can be made into a loaf.
Optional: shredded carrots, either cooked or sautéed, can be added.

Micah loved these! I used organic frozen spinach, an organic vidalia onion and organic cheese and eggs.

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