Transition to table food/family dinner

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    IPW - my DH once had to take a course in food safety and he told me the rue for protein is "only 4 hours TOTAL between 40-140 degrees. So if you brown the meat and then refridgerate it it might cause bacteria problems as you mentioned.
    I don't find that much difference in flavor between browning before and just  tossing everything into the crock pot - I'd say, just to be safe, to just keep doing what you're doing.
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    Yeah, but we used our crockpot (a new Rival with a timer, hi, low and medium and keep warm) to cook chicken on low for 12 hours and it was so overcooked it was mealy and totally disgusting.  Tried this with 2 different recipes and same thing happened. Our crockpot seems to just COOK stuff, even on low.  So if it turned off at 4pm and we ate at 7pm the food would be cold, sitting on the counter, ugh.

    I got home at 8:30pm tonight, gotta love directing a childcare center, lol!  Had a crisis I had to take care of..
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Redsoxfan76. Show Redsoxfan76's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    WOW CT, that is a long day. I thought I had it bad. And you are right about how cute it is when DD eats finger foods. This morning she was picking pieces of a honey oat waffle off a larger piece and stuffing it in her mouth. I can't believe she is becoming such a little girl rather than a baby. Sigh. I am surprised that most kids are off of purees altogether by 12 months. Can you give me some examples of menus for kids in your daycare around that age? I always feel like DD doesn't eat much but she is gaining weight fine, I think. This is what I sent DD to daycare with today - does this sound okay? She generally doesn't finish all of the purees that I send (she never has - it is not because she is losing interest) and she usually only has a couple bites of the table food, at most. 

    breakfast - 4 oz yo baby, 4 oz fruit puree, 1/2 honey oat waffle.
    AM snack (this is new - last week was still having an AM bottle) - 4-6 oz milk, 1 earth's best snack bar
    Lunch - 4 oz mac and cheese/veg combo puree, 1/2 PB & J on whole wheat
    PM snack (again, new this week) - 4-6 oz milk, cheese stick

    She also has a morning (6 oz) and evening bottle (8 oz), plus dinner. An example of dinner last night was oatmeal mixed with mushed banana, shredded chicken (didn't eat any), peas (didn't eat any), remainder of the banana I mushed in her oatmeal (had maybe 1-2 bites). I am offering her finger foods at every meal but so far she is not really interested, except in cheese and baby puffs/crackers. Could the fact that she still doesn't have her top teeth contribute to this? Should I be concerned she doesn't have her top teeth yet? She is 12 mo, 1 week.

    Kar - you know, I had the same thought and you may be right. I chose to ignore the thought. At home she happily drinks water so at least if they are contaminating her with juice (just kidding) that it is not affecting her love of water and milk.

    Sorry for the long post. I have pretty much had this transition on my mind since I don't know - she was 8 months?
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Redsoxfan76. Show Redsoxfan76's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    Also, in regard to the slow cooker stuff, maybe if the meals are coming out dry you have a defective slow cooker or not enough liquid in with the meat? I have had success with holding on warm for very long periods. However, to your larger point I also agree the whole family dinner thing doesn't matter as much at a young age. We never have family dinner right now. We have done it once or twice when we have guests or we are guests of someone else's but it usually results in a sleepless night for us because her routine gets thrown off.

  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from amy-lynn. Show amy-lynn's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    Re: Crockpot cooking - I have a few comments on crockpot cooking, the first is about browning things - If you are browning a big hunk of something, then putting it back in the fridge, then you are probably increasing the time that the food is in the "danger zone" (40 -140 F) however, most foodborne contamination on large cuts of meat are on the surface, so really getting a hard sear will probably raise the temperature on the surface enough to kill any bacteria. Smaller foods can be spread out to cool quickly, so overall danger zone time can be minimized (although realistically, how many people will cool cooked food spread out in the fridge - there just isn't room) 

    The second thought I have is on the overcooked chicken comment - was it white meat? I have found that white meat (chicken and turkey breast) get overcooked in the slow cooker really easily, and they get dry, grainy, meally or chalky textured even if there is lots of liquid. Dark meat, however, can hold up without gettting  that overcooked texture. Boneless skinless chicken thighs seem to be excellent in the slow cooker, as a substitute for chicken breast. 

    A third comment I have is that I have a cookbook from America's Test Kitchen called Slow Cooker Revolution that has lots of slow cooker recipes, although many have lots of pre-dump everything in the crockpot steps. I've tried a few things from the book, and they are pretty good, but I am ambivalent about how many call for either browning or microwaving stuff before putting it in the crock pot.

  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    RedSox - check out for ideas.
    my pedi told me "no more puree" at our 12 month appointment.
    And don't worry if "4 oz of puree" turns into 3 tiny pieces of banana for a while. Your DD will get it really quickly.
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from Redsoxfan76. Show Redsoxfan76's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    Thanks, Misslily - I will check it out. I have been on a bunch in the past. I didn't know there was a toddler version! She is waking up a lot at night lately, hungry I think. So I have been keeping purees on the menu because at least I know she will eat something. But I guess I have to go cold turkey.

    I also tried switching to the 'chunkier' style baby food, but she wasn't interested. I frankly can't blame her. They were pretty nasty looking.

    Thanks again!
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    Mine hated the chunkier food too.  And if she needs some puree for a while then give them to her. Just make sure to put lots of finger foods on her tray so she starts getting the hang of it.  Maybe start with the finger foods and give the puree at the end if she's still hungry.
    As for ideas - mine loved fruit - blueberries cut in half, cut up grapes, bananas and the peaches and pears in those plastic cups from Dole.
    Small pieces of bread, cooked pasta like small elbows, those puff things, cereal.
    Lots of toddlers like cooked beans, like black or kidney or garbanzo. Not a favorite of my twins, but everyone else seems to love them.
    Scrambled egg cut up small and pieces of American cheese.
    I just finished that book about French parenting and they don't serve "kid food" like nuggets or hot dogs - they go right to table food - fish, small pieces of chicken, smelly French cheeses. They don't believe any flavor is too strong of a young palate.  So give it a shot - keep offering small pieces of whatever you're eating and see how it goes.
    Good luck!
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from Redsoxfan76. Show Redsoxfan76's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    I want to read that book as well - did you get much from it?

    Thanks for the suggestions. I really want her to be an adventurous eater - mainly because it took me until I was in my 20s to actually start trying anything. My parents never forced me to eat anything (not even veggies) and ate only the most basic of foods themselves (think lots of cream of soup casseroles, hamburgers/hot dogs, white potatoes, etc.).

    One other question for you - did you let your twins try to feed themselves for things like purees or other foods you eat from a spoon? We do but usually she just wants to whack it on her tray or swing it above her head wildly. Which is pretty cute but makes a mess and my DH doesn't really have patience for the messy aspect. Or did you go straight to finger foods only until they could master the silverware?

    Thanks again!

  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    I have been reading both the French book (in general, it's not great) and "Child of Mine" which is all about feeding and people refer to a lot.
    They both really say the same general thing: Offer any food that's safe.  Don't make them eat it.  It is what it is.
    Like, don't hold back on smelly cheeses just because it's not "kid food".  But if they don't eat it, accept that and remain neutral.  And just because they don't want it once doesn't mean they won't want it the next time you offer.

    Also, we still give our LO those fruit/vegetable puree pouches for snacks (she is 18 months).  I think it's fine provided that you don't give ONLY purees or ALWAYS purees, so they get to try their other skills as well.
    Oh, and the spoon is a work in progress for us still.  She's pretty good about most foods, but things like grown up cereal in milk are still a disaster.  So don't worry.  Let her try if she's interested, but if she's not interested, just put it aside.  She'll get to the stage of wanting to do it herself soon enough.
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    I actually held off on spoons and self feeding because when two start flinging applesauce all over the place it's a nightmare.  So I fed them from a spoon for quite a while.  They start to get better at it around 18-20 months and really get the hang of it around age 2. And I really like Child of Mine - offer the food - again and again if necessary. I offered salmon for months and now my DD loves it. DS still hasn't tried it yet.  I fed everyone chicken piccata, rice and green beans last night. I think DS would have rather had nuggets, but he ate some "real" chicken - and DD ate quite a bit.
    And I didn't love Bringing Up Bebe (and I really wanted to).  I wanted some practical tips - and it's really short on that. It describes what "French mother's" do (I put that in quotes because it seems to be a subset of upperclass parisians) versus "American mothers" (which seem to be a subset of upperclass neurotic New Yorkers).
    It talks about building a frame or boundaries - there is no tolerance for crossing the boundary, but there is lots of freedom within. It doesn't really go into detail as to how they implement this framework. No discussion of timeout or other discipline. I guess the littleones learn everything at these state sponsored daycare centers (creche) which everyone uses.
    There is another book coming out in April called French Children Eat Everything - and I'm planning on getting that to continue to work on our adventures in eating.

  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    Its funny, DD has been on purees for 2 weeks now and I'm so ready for her to be on table food! I make all of her food so I have to plan ahead and take stuff out of the freezer for her. But I'm really looking forward to when she's on table food and I don't have to think so much. Second child syndrome will have her on table food in no time.

    We've always offered DS what we are eating, no matter what it is. Though I will admit I don't cook something I know he wont' like...why torture everyone. But DS (3) eats salmon/fish, beef, lobster, chicken, curries, veggies, he eats anything-But I do limit super spicy foods but he gets some spice. Sometimes certain foods are more difficult, like cooked spinach, but we told him it would make him strong so he could do sports and he eats it right up.
    But there's no reason why any child won't enjoy eating some yummy food, be it stinky cheese.

    As for spoons...yeah, that didn't really flow in our house until after DS was 2, he had the skills to do it ONLY if it was a truly yummy food (ice cream), if not it was fun to make a mess.
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    Still going with the helpful information - thanks ladies :o)

    Redsox - If it makes you feel better, it sounds like your DD eats more solids than mine.  You mentioned a morning and evening bottle; are those the only bottles she has?  Not that there is ANYTHING wrong with that, just comparing notes!  We started DD on milk about 2 weeks ago, but so far she just gets milk with her bfast.  She still BFs in the a.m. and p.m. and gets two 6-oz bottles.  On the weekends, when I give her milk with bfast, she seems to be super hungry by the time I feed her the next bottle.  Just this morning, I realized it may be because she needs more solids at each meal or needs a snack.  I need to talk to daycare about how dropping the first bottle has been going during the week.  DD's one year appt is next week, so we should be able to eliminate more formula after that...
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from ash. Show ash's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    Hi Fra,

    Hope you are still reading the advice!  Since I have been following your life since the wedding pages, I wanted to chime in on our new life as a mommy.  I am about to experience "empty nest" syndrome for about 2 months, so family dinners and our transition to "couples dinner" is weighing on my mind.  I also fully confess to not reading everyone's advice, so if I repeat I'm sorry.  I'll go back and read what everyone said later.

    First and foremost, I think family dining, as often as you can, is one of the most important things you can do for your family.  Notice I said dining and not dinner (important distinction).  And notice I said family (so I don't just mean your kids, I mean everyone in the family).  The most important thing about family "dinners" is that not everyone needs to be eating.  It does not need to be dinner.  You do not need to be at home.  The entire family does not need to be there.  The important thing is that this needs to be a time you can talk, share ideas, joke and laugh.  Its just as important for your children to see you talk to each other and to be able to talk to you as it is for you to hear them and them to hear each other.

    So you sitting in the kitchen with little Fra in the high chair eating pasta while your husband prepares your dinner is family dining.  Let her hear you to talk about your day.  Ask her about her day (I know she's too little to answer, but you can practice).  When she is old enough to talk have a standing rule that she has to tell you at least one thing about her day (good for when you ask them what happened and they say "nothing").  You'll be amazed at what you hear.  If she can stay awake long enough, let her sit with you while you eat.    Don't panic if you can't do it every night.  Do this as often as you can, at least once a week.  But do make an effort to get home on time and get this going (also master some 30 minute recipes and have the ingredients on hand).

    At this age she can start with table foods (pending her teeth and ability to feed herself) and I'd start her off with little bits of your food she can manage at every meal.  She's going to do the finger thing for a long time.  Fork management is a fine motor skill they don't grasp for a while.

    My family has sat down to eat dinner at the table (who ever was home) most nights during the school year since my oldest was about this age.  This was of course interrupted by summer (too little structure), cheerleading, and the dance carpool, so I can't say we did every night, but we did it alot.  Some nights we purposefully stayed at the table for longer than we had time for, putting off homework and other stuff so we could keep talking.

    As you know my oldest went off to college this year.  So far, both my kids seem well adjusted, confident and able to talk to us and each other, even when they don't want to.  I think the family table has a lot to do with that.

    Good luck to you all.  Please let me know how its going :-)
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from Effrontery. Show Effrontery's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    This thread is so validating! My oldest child eats anything, as long as it is the correct texture (he has special needs) and I used to think chicken nuggets were the downfall of humanity. Now, I have a 2 1/2 year old who will eat nothing but blueberries one night and cry for cheese and cucumbers the next night. Even if I'm trying to get him to eat a nice family meal, what am I going to do-- refuse to give the kid fruit? so, sorry to all for being secretly judgmental. :) Anyway, I second what Ash was saying about getting everyone into the kitchen for 10 or 15 minutes to talk and just be together. Even if "grownup dinner" is still in progress, and hubby just walked in the door, if I've got the 2 kiddos at the table, we are all in the kitchen for family time. One other thing to try, I like to keep a big tupperware of salad in the fridge. When I actually have that available, I'll eat salad for an appetizer with the little guys, then hubby and I eat dinner after bath time. Plus, it keeps me from munching on smiley fries before my dinner.
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    Ash, so good to see you!!!
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from Redsoxfan76. Show Redsoxfan76's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    Lily - (and KAM) that is good to know about the spoons. And your description of Bringing Up Baby makes it sound like something that would annoy me to no end so I think I might skip it.

    KAM - I read recently about Baby Led Weaning (which I had heard of before and took it to mean something completely different) where you start kids on table food directly at 6 months. No purees at all. When I read that I thought I had totally screwed up with even giving her purees. But now reading everyone's comments I guess I am wrong! I may take that approach though if we are blessed with a baby #2 (I am not exactly a youngster).

    Fram - she is 100% on milk now (I was not able to BF so she was on formula). She has a 6 oz bottle when she wakes up, she has milk in a sippy for an AM and PM snack (with a little food now). That started on Monday and she is taking about 4 oz with each sippy. Then an 8 oz bottle of milk at night before bed. Starting Friday I am going to try condensing the two sippys to one with lunch. But I agree, she seems very hungry all the time. Like to the point last night that I opened the fridge and she ran over and grabbed a yogurt and held it up to me. I think it is taking a few days to realize she needs to eat more at meals because she isn't getting all her nutrition/calories from formula anymore. But she slept through the night last night for the first time in days so I am thankful for that.

    Last night for dinner she had some of the chunkier food but she made a face like she didn't like it with every bite. But I tried giving her cous cous with tomatoes and carrots and tried a few other things she wouldn't touch. Again,  I wish she would get her top teeth in! I think that would help a lot.
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from ash. Show ash's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    Thanks Kar!  Good to see everyone here, too.

    I wanted to add something about being a "short order cook" and giving into certain cravings and desires.  Effrontery is right.  If your kid wants vegetables are you really going to refuse because they aren't on the menu?

    Some of this is a control issue--you do have to be careful not to cede control to a 3 year old--they learn pretty quickly which buttons to push, so I do happen to think you need to set some limits on this sort of thing.  I used to give in on a few things my younger daughter just wouldn't eat, like sausages and fish.  I didn't mind making substitutions for certain things.  But the one thing I did always do was put some of what we were having for dinner on their plates and ask that they at least take a taste (only exception was fish--its such an acquired taste).  That way they experienced everything at least once (and sometimes liked it :-).

    One thing my mother did that I thought was brilliant centered around salad, which we had every night.  Everyone who came over for dinner had to have a salad.  She would put whatever you wanted in it.  My brother and I ate everything, but we did have some fussy friends. One of my friends got a bowl of tomatoes for her salad because that's all she liked.
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    Redsox-I actually gave DD some tomato the other night, gave her a slice and let her suck/chew on it (while holding half to make sure she didn't swallow the skin). She loved it. She took all of the pulp right off. Not sure how you can skip the purees totally though.

    Ash, we also do the salad every night. Some times our salad is just cut tomatoes, peppers and parsley with some olive oil and lemon juice on top. If DS doesn't want to eat the cooked veggies there are some raw ones for him to eat. I agree, how do you not serve up the veggies if your child asks?

    Now that DS is getting older I'm really excited to plant a veggie garden with him.
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    Can't believe I forgot to say hi and thanks to Ash :o)

    We've been giving DD more and more table food, but still giving her some purees and stuff like cheerios, toast, cottage cheese, rice cakes as opposed to what we eat.  Finally had her one year appt, so I feel comfortable moving forward with the switch to milk.  Next week she'll be getting one bottle of formula per day and then all milk the week after.  I could probably just make the switch, but I like to transition slowly... I probably have more trouble than DD!
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from ModeratorJen. Show ModeratorJen's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    Ah, salad! I like the make-your-own idea!

    One thing I do from time to time is get out the platter I use for crudite at parties, and load it up with raw veggies. In the center part I put either low-fat ranch dressing (which a couple of them like) or use it for grape tomatoes. The kids love the "different" way it's served, and since I don't do it all the time, it's extra fun!
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    Fra - for the formula to milk switch you might try mixing. That's what I did.
    3 days of 3/4 formula to 1/4 milk, then 3 days of 50/50 and by that time I knew they were good to go and went with straight milk.
    ...of course now I'm thinking you're also weaning?  I have no idea how to do that. :)
    Good luck - I do think the kids find it easier than the mommies sometimes.
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    I didn't mean to imply that at 12 months of age a child SHOULD NOT have purees, just that in general the majority of our children don't by then - although that's during the day, perhaps they do when they get home because it's faster and easier than trying to make dinner before the children fall asleep for the night.  Our infants and toddlers eat the same things, although our infants need things cut even smaller.

    they get lots of chicken, also quiche (they all hate it), peas, green beans, rice and beans, every kind of fruit, meatloaf, turkey, lasagne, pasta with red sauce, pasta with just butter and cheese, sometimes chicken fingers, never any fish for some reason. 

    our food is made by a company that does this for childcare centers, so we don't have sandwiches or cold lunches (well, lol, they are lukewarm!).  oh, they also have potato soup and tomato soup - although soups are hard for kids - we serve it in cups and they drink it. (again, lukewarm, never hot). and our babies don't get the soup, as they can't drink from open faced cups and putting soup in a sippy would be just plain mean! 

    for snack they get cereal and milk in am, also bagels and cream cheese, raisin bagels, various muffins, PM snacks are "granola" (which is really a mix of cheerios, fish crackers, rice chex), applesauce, crackers (including graham, ritz, saltines, fish), string cheese and crackers, soft pretzels, and I can't remember more.

    I do think children in childcare master (by necessity) their spoons earlier than kids at home do because we simply cannot hand-feed 8 18 month olds once, and if applesauce is on the menu....  they can usually spoon feed themselves most of it, and the teachers will scrape the bowl and get the last bits for them.  and yes, they also scoop the applesauce with their hands like backhoes - which is fine!  but real applesauce and yogurt is easier to serve yourself than purees, which are too thin to keep on a spoon as a baby/toddler.
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from Redsoxfan76. Show Redsoxfan76's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    I want to have lunch at CT's daycare! Thanks for the ideas, by the way.

    DD is doing much better with food lately. Actually starting Friday she was insatiable. I have been trying different things but she is kind of fixated on yogurt this week. But as far as finger foods, we are definitely making progress.

    Also, on the whole eating as a family concept...we had breakfast and lunch as a family both days this weekend and not only was it a lot of fun - she totally wanted to (and did) eat some food off of our plates. I think that the moment she ate a piece of chicken (her first!) off of DH's plate (well, transferred to her plate, then she ate it) was like a huge sigh of relief for me.

    I hope everyone had a great weekend! Happy Monday!
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Transition to table food/family dinner

    Dang, I had some food questions, but now I can only remember one...

    I know that the healthiest way to prepare vegetables is to steam them to maintian nutrients.  How does that work with something like carrots that need to be cooked longer in order to be soft enough for a baby?