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The Toddler Food Challenge

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Keeping little ones on a healthy track isn’t always easy. When Evelyn, my now 12-month-old, first started to eat baby food, I thought, “I’ve got this.” She was like a blank canvas and I was going to try to keep her as healthy as possible. I still see her like that; she just has more opinions now and I’m told they will get even stronger as she grows up. Prayers for the teenage years are appreciated.

The first foods were a breeze. She ate pretty much everything just fine. Pureed pears, green beans, peaches, bananas. She went through them with a smile on her face. We started with just oatmeal. She got it all over her face but absolutely loved it. A few weeks later, we moved on to “real food,” which was pureed sweet potatoes and once again, our girl gobbled them down. We would stay on individual foods for a few days, making sure she didn’t have an allergic reaction, and then moved to the next.

We slowly graduated to a less pureed version of the food and eventually solids. And that’s where I got stuck. I didn’t come to a complete halt, though. I already have a hard time planning meals for myself. I usually just grab something for dinner; not the healthiest, I know. But now I needed to get it in gear, not just for my health but my husband’s and especially our baby’s! I started to really work on getting meals figured out at the beginning of the week, ones that were packed with nutrition and ones I knew Evelyn would be able to eat.

I fall off the wagon with the whole meal planning quite often, but I’m trying! Now add Evelyn’s opinion to the mix and we’ve got a whole new ball of wax. For some reason she has decided she’s just not into fruit. Instead of eating it, she will squeeze it in the palms of her hands until it pops out between her fingers. And if we are truly lucky–sarcasm here–she will then rub it all over her face and hair. I thought maybe it was because the fruit was cold. Nope. Right now, the only fruit she will eat with ease is applesauce. But nonetheless, we keep trying.

I’ve also made it a point to stay away from sweets. Evelyn didn’t have any sweets until her first birthday. We got her the cutest flamingo cake and it was a bust. Our sweet one-year-old just mushed it up. NEVER EVEN TRIED IT! Then I started questioning if she’s really my child. Just kidding, I know she is; she loves her carbs just like me.

It’s okay if you get off track. Your little one will be okay. There will be some nights when SpaghettiOs® is your go-to. Just try the next night to mix in a little fruit and veggies with the O’s.

Written by: KRCG13 News Anchor, Meghan Lane

Meghan Lane is the evening anchor at KRCG 13. She is the longest-tenured female on-air talent at the station and has worn many hats at the station including morning anchor and interim news director. She has recently begun a series called Mom to Mom in which she focuses on the stories and challenges motherhood brings. She actively volunteers in the community through Big Brothers Big Sisters and several local nonprofits. Meghan is married to husband Daryl and is a new mom to her beautiful baby girl, Evelyn.