If you have a food allergy or you've ever gone on a restrictive diet, you can probably appreciate how challenging it can be to eat healthy meals at a restaurant and on the go, but also at home. It takes planning and preparation. The girls eat a dairy and wheat-free diet, which takes time on my end.
Teagan and Quinn now eat three solid meals per day. They also breastfeed morning and night, as well as after their two naps. Each meal includes a protein and a veggie or two. Usually, I will give them some fruit as dessert.
Watching them eat is fascinating. They eat off of 3-sectioned plates. I will separate each food out. It is interesting to watch the order in which they eat. For instance, despite fruit being on her plate, Teagan will eat eggs first. Tonight, Quinn devoured the fish on her plate before anything else. Quinn also adores carrots and will usually polish those off quickly. They both love berries, especially blueberries. Teagan isn't a fan of asparagus, but fortunately, that is the extent of the dislikes. Asparagus makes your pee smell anyways! Overall, they are fantastic eaters, which is a joy to see considering I spend a good amount of time planning and preparing their meals. When their meals are ready, I will sign eat and ask them "Do you want to eat [breakfast, lunch, dinner]?" They usually come flying over to their high chairs anxiously awaiting their meal.
As I mentioned earlier, the girls are dairy-free. They breastfeed four times per day so they're getting lots of milk in that way. I also make sure they get plenty of calcium and fat (the reason that cow's milk is heavily pushed on toddlers) from other foods. I shared my thoughts on dairy in a previous post. Wheat is so heavily processed these days, it is virtually void of all nutrition. While Jenn and I are not wheat-free, we do not eat a ton of wheat products.
Even though they're dairy and wheat-free, this doesn't mean that they will never get to enjoy an ice cream on a hot summer day or eat a delicious homemade grilled cheese sandwich. I can't and won't control what they eat when they go on play dates in the years to come. Quinn tried wheat about a month ago when she stole homemade zucchini bread from her friend's hand and shoved it in her mouth like she hadn't eaten in a week.
Right now, my goal is to develop their palates for healthy, whole (not processed) food. I want them to try lots of different foods and hope that they remain open-minded in the months and years to come. I use a variety of spices, as well as fresh garlic and ginger. I try to make different ethnic dishes each week. They eat with such gusto, usually making "mmmm" noises while they munch away. I absolutely love it and can only hope that that never changes!