munchkin meals: 15 months

We’re 1 month older and that means another addition of MacKenna’s Munchkin Meals!  Lots of things have changed in the past month and I think a lot has to do with the fact that, now that Kenna is walking, she is officially a toddler!  And this little toddler is eating up a storm to fuel her little body!

munchkin meals

MacKenna (15 months) is still eating 3 meals a day, but we are now down to one afternoon snack and we are still taking a bottle before bed.  I really, really want to wean her completely off the bottle, but I’m not sure either of us are ready.  In fact, last night, Kenna had a complete melt down because she just wanted her “Baba”.  But, I can readily admit now that I don’t want to give it up either.  I absolutely love those last 10-15 minutes of her day together.  It’s by far the most relaxing part of my day.  She’ll look into my eyes and hold my hand.  *sigh*  Why must my little girl be growing up so fast?!

Munchkin Meals 15 months - dinner 1

Eating so much more now that she’s walking.

Breakfast is now one of her favorite meals of the day – and mine as well since it’s the one meal where I know she will absolutely eat what we give her.  She will usually eat a blueberry waffle (“wawa”), if not at least another half or whole waffle.  Sometimes she will eat half a banana along with that, but she definitely prefers to eat yogurt.  We haven’t tried letting her use a spoon yet, but that would definitely help us get through meals easier.  Any suggestions on how to teach her how to use one?

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Stealing some of Dada’s yogurt…

We are still using the tasting tray for lunch and it has been going pretty well.  We’re not using like Dr. Sears recommends, but it’s a great way to give her some options when she goes to the babysitter, and we usually get the tray back with almost everything eaten out of it.  Except, of course, some of her fruits and veggies.  But, she’s getting better.

I’ve been working really hard to give her more variety without having to sacrifice a lot of time.  I’ve actually started buying canned fruits (in water, of course) to put in her tray.  She is really loving pineapple and I’m hoping she’ll love the mandarin oranges and fruit cocktail I bought her as well.  I’m still looking for some canned peaches that are canned in water and not in heavy syrup.  Anyone know of any brands that do that?

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Eating lunch is tiring…

Dinner usually comes down to 2 options.  Option 1 is giving her whatever we’re eating.  Pizza is still her favorite, but she loves roasted veggies and chickpeas, pasta, and her newest one, black bean burgers.  If we’re eating something that is just too difficult to make into baby portions or something we just assume she won’t like, we go to option 2:  a quesadilla with cheese, lunch meat, and tomatoes.  For some reason, she absolutely LOVES anything that is cooked.  She would rather eat cooked tomatoes, melted cheese, and anything that is warm.  It makes it a little harder for us with packed lunches, but we’re happy she’s doing so well with everything else right now!

Munchkin Meals 15 months - hands

Last night’s dinner:  English muffin with cheddar, sweet tater tots, and black bean burgers

The one thing that I haven’t tried with her yet but really want to is peanut butter.  Growing up with a best friend who was (and still is) allergic to peanut butter along with a handful of students with peanut allergies has made me almost too aware of the allergy.  I’m sooooo nervous for her to have a reaction.  I mean, I freaked out when she vomited for the first time.  A severe allergic reaction will push me over the edge.  I talked to our pediatrician about it and since we have absolutely no history of food allergies, she said there should be absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t give her peanut butter.  And I really, really want to!  I think it would be a great protein and healthy fat source for her daily morning waffles, but I’m just too nervous!  I just need to man-up and get over my stupid little fears!

Munchkin Meals 15 months - dinner 2

I never want anything to happen to this silly little face!

How did you introduce your child to high allergy foods, like peanut butter?  What should I expect if she does have an allergic reaction?

  • Thanks for sharing little M’s eats! My guy is just about the same age so this linkup has been great to expand our food horizons. I have been waffling on the PB issue too. Our ped says wait til 2 but she uses air quotes and says she didn’t wait that long with her 3 kids. I am considering starting off with almond butter since it’s so much lower on the allergen list. Thanks again for the post!
    Joanna @ Midwestern Bite recently posted..Out With The Eggs In With The Eggs

    • Kristen

      Thanks so much for the almond butter idea! I already have it on my grocery list for this weekend!

  • Our doctor recommended peanut butter at 1. She said new studies are showing that the longer you wait, the more likely a child is to have an allergic reaction. I didn’t do any research, took her word for it, and loaded up his waffle with peanut butter. The smile on his face was amazing. He loved it. Now he will happily have a sandwich for lunch too. With Chet being so small, I really like that itit is a good source of fat, calories, and protein. I did introduce it on a weekend I knew we weren’t going anywhere so I could watch him like a hawk 🙂
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    • Kristen

      I will definitely introduce it on a weekend. And that’s totally the reason why I asked – I want to do it sooner than later since I think waiting increases the risk for an allergy.

  • I just gave Em PB. Google anaphylactic shock signs/symptoms if you want to know what to look for allergically. For the spoon …. I just stripped her down and let her have at it haha.
    Madeline @ Food Fitness and Family recently posted..Munchkin Meals – 16 Months {Giveaway}

    • Kristen

      I love Dr. Google!

  • I don’t know what I would do if our kiddo didn’t like peanut butter! She’s got her 2 top teeth coming in and it is the ONLY food she will eat right now.

    Is she down to one nap? I’m terrified of the Baba situation over here. She is still taking 2 naps and has one before each nap and before bed. She begs and screams for it every single time. I’m hoping when we go down to one nap it will help break the habit :/
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    • Kristen

      We’re down to one nap most days. I dropped all the other day bottles cold turkey and just gave her a snack if she cried or fussed out of hunger. You might need to hide the bottles or use toys or other shacks as a distraction.

  • jen

    We did pb right at a yr with both kids and no problems. Unfortunately, they both do not like it all. Would another nut butter worry you as much? I wish it were an option for my 14 mth okd because he is super picky. with our 3 yr old we started handing her the spoon around 16 mths but it took until about 18 mths before she was decent at it. I actually preferred to just spoon feed her because the messes took so much time to clean up! I bought some refillable pouches from little green pouch that have been so nice to have for things likes yogurt and applesauce for our litte one.
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    • Kristen

      I think that’s why I keep spoon feeding her – less messy! Although my breakfast would be much more pleasant if she’d just do it herself! 😉

  • Weaning off the bottle was the longest week of my life! Get some new toys to bring out as distractions. They will forget about the bottle all together. Get some new books, the time before bed will be just as special 🙂
    I understand the fear of peanut butter, if it makes you feel any better my little guy hates it! LOL He is allergic to milk and eggs, thus had allergy testing so we knew he wasn’t allergic to peanuts and tried it starting at about 14 months.
    As for the canned fruit. I am a huge fan of Dole snack cups fruit(little plastic cups that come in 4 packs, usually in the store around lunch making supplies). They are easy to throw in the diaper bag and with smaller portions then cans I feel like I waste less as well. They have all the options in 100% juice which I prefer. Because I don’t know if you have noticed but a lot of the fruit packed with water uses splenda as a sweetener. I just think the natural sugars in the juice are the lesser of the two “evils.” Good luck! 🙂
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    • Kristen

      Yeah, I try to look for fake sugars since we mostly try to avoid it (HFCS makes that difficult). I’ll look into those fruit cups!

  • Jessie

    Such a cutie! I love that last picture.

    On the pb, we gave it to Lyric around a year. I actually gave her a piece of a pb Puffin first!! Kind of by accident but after that I figured why not just go for it. Keep in mind that its not always the first taste that causes the reaction. For some it’s the 4th or even the 12th exposure that can go bad. If it makes you feel more comfortable try sunflower or almond butter first to see if she likes the texture. Some kiddos don’t.

    The spoon is something we are still working on but I just open a yogurt, put a spoon in it and hand it over. Lyric usually just eats it with her fingers but she’ll get it eventually. 🙂

    • Kristen

      I’ve been thinking about giving her some of the PB toast crunch cereal I have as a first taste since it’s not the main ingredient. I will definitely be trying almond butter too!

  • Erika

    The longer you wait to wean off the bottle the harder it will be – but I’m sure you know that.

    The spoon/fork – you just have to give it to her and let her play with it. She will play with it more than use it for awhile and it will be messy. Our son is 17 months and is just now getting really good with the spoon.

    Peanut Butter – I just gave him some toast with it and watched him carefully. I wasn’t really expecting anything though since we don’t have a history of it in our families. I gave it to him right after he was 1. I have heard of people giving it to their kid while in the parking lot of a hospital just in case so I guess you could do that 🙂

    • Kristen

      Haha! I love that idea! Maybe I can steal an epipen from school! 😉

  • The first PB my daughter had was from a Reese’s mini. Then I gave her more and more in increments and never saw a reaction. I’m sure there are other foods that have more common allergies that we don’t even think about.
    Did McKenna have a pacifier? I’m trying to wean mine off the paci but I’m so afraid of meltdowns.
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    • Kristen

      She weaned herself off the paci around 10 months. Her other bottle feedings we dropped cold turkey. I’m afraid to to that with her bedtime bottle. She is starting to drink less of it now though!

  • We started Alma with a spoon around 11 months. She got the idea of dipping it in the bowl right away. We just showed her how to do it, and she copied us. She is pretty good at getting several bites on her own, and some from us as well. We really like these spoons:

    They are lightweight and really easy for Alma to hold. Good luck!
    kim @ vegan mama recently posted..munchkin meals: 12 months

    • Kristen

      Kenna is great at mimicking so I don’t think she’ll have a huge problem if we show her. She gets frustrated really easily though!

  • Such a cutie! I’m glad her recovery has gone so well. I second what Kristy said about peanut butter. L had it in fragments of cookies before she was a year and then we gave her thin layers of it on crackers. It’s probably her favorite food right now (she’s 16 months). You could always consider giving it to M in a diluted version like a baked good or a sauce to ease her into it. Good luck!
    Kelly @ Runmarun recently posted..Munchkin Meals: Full Day Edition

    • Kristen

      She’s had pesto which usually has nuts in it and didn’t have a reaction, but I definitely might try in baked goods!

  • Kathleen

    Hi Kristen,
    I’m not a doctor, but I am a mom to a 14 month old with allergies to egg, sesame and (you guessed it) peanuts. Still, I would say you can confidently trust your doctor who recommended trying pb with McKenna. You might keep some children’s Benadryl on hand just in case (our doc says 1/2 tsp for our son, but you should ask yours). Allergies are scary, but I am comforted by knowing how extremely rare an anaphylactic reaction is (less than .4% of the general population). Best of luck!

    • Kristen

      That definitely makes me feel better! I will probably start with almond butter and see how she does with that. But I will definitely be getting some benadryl!

  • Melissa

    Do you have any of the bowls with suction cups on the bottoms? I think the ones we have are munchkin brand. We almost always use those when letting our son eat with a spoon, it seems to eliminate some of the mess. Otherwise, counterintuitively, I’ll give him yogurt, oatmeal, or cereal in a heavy ceramic bowl. It seems he is less likely to toss that than a flimsy yogurt container or plastic bowl. It’s really messy at first but you’ll be surprised at how quick she gets good at using a spoon with just a little practice.

    • Kristen

      Love that idea! We don’t have any that suction but I think a big heavy bowl would keep her from throwing it!

  • Brenda

    My son is the same age as MacKenna, and he’s been eating peanut butter for about a month. However, the first time he was exposed to it was Halloween when he was sucking on a butterfinger (in wrapper) and cut through the wrapper with his tooth, thus actually eating some of the butterfinger including peanut butter. So far, so good. But I know reactions can pop up at anytime. I recently bought Sunbutter for him to try out. He likes it and it has twice as much iron per serving as regular peanut butter. Maybe try that first? Also, instead of jelly, I put on coconut oil. Babies need all the healthy fats they can get!

  • My son just turned one, and since his one year check up is tomorrow I’m planning to give him some peanut butter right beforehand. I think food allergies are usually pretty immediate, so it can’t hurt to be at the pediatrician’s office should something happen 🙂 I’ve let our son use a spoon several times and found that I have to load it for him (with yogurt since it’s not runny), and I only do it before a bath time.

    It’s fun to read what you’re feeding your daughter–it gives me ideas, so thanks!

  • I waited till a Friday afternoon to introduce peanut butter to both of our girls. I gave them peanut butter crackers and just watched, waited. I had all weekend to keep an eye on them and continued to give them small amounts. All was well!

    As for the spoon — the best (and only) advice I can give is to go out and buy some suction cup bowls and hand over the spoon. It’s gonna be messy, but it’s gonna be worth it! Start with small amounts of yogurt or whatever you’re wanting her to eat and let her go. She’ll figure it out pretty easily and pretty quickly.

    Good luck!!
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  • Our Ped suggested two for PB – so we go with sunflower seed butter for now. It works. We JUST gave up the night time bottle last week – she is 14.5 months and our dr. wanted her off it by 15 months. It was hard on me – I cried, alot – just thinking about taking it away from her – and me, I guess. Like you said, it is a peaceful time and I love that part of my day and it so relaxes her. But – all good things must come to an end – we weaned from it – instead of cold turkey. We did COLD milk at first (she cried during this phase) – then half water half cold milk – and then – just like what I read – she was no longer interested in it – at all. Good luck. She’s so cute.

  • If you’re worried, take a car trip near the local ER and give her a bit in the parking lot! If anything happens, you’re right there, and if nothing happens… well, even better!

    As for canned peaches, I was actually looking for this the other day and found it!

    Del Monte has “no sugar added” peaches packed in water. My son is not a fan (he’s about your daughter’s age too and started walking about a month ago!), but I hope that if I keep offering it up he’ll warm up to it. He’s going through a picky phase.
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