23 October 2008

On Toddler Eating and Twin Love

After Maddie's request to have dinner for breakfast the other day (something which, by the way, I love to do; I'll eat pretty much anything for breakfast), I decided to turn the tables and have breakfast for dinner tonight. I made Maddie and Riley an egg and cheese sandwich on toast, and served it with some frozen peas and blueberries (no, not mixed).

They ate as they usually do, meaning that Maddie snarfed down her egg, ate the cheesy part of the bread and left the plain part, and ate all her blueberries and a few peas. Riley ate all of his bread, two bites of egg, most of his peas, and most of his blueberries.

While they were eating, I cooked some broccoli. By the time they were done eating, it was cool, and they ate some of that.

They claimed to still be hungry. Maddie asked for grapefruit. I cut a grapefruit into segments and we shared it.

Still hungry. Riley spotted plums in the fruit bowl, three little tiny ones.

"I want a plumito!" he yelled.

We shared one of those. They demanded another. We ate that.


I dug up some whole-wheat crackers and gave them a handful to munch on while I did the dishes. That finally seemed to satisfy them.

Can anyone say growth spurt? Or something. Sheesh. I'm not complaining, mind you, but I just can't get used to this toddler thing of eating next to nothing some days and eating everything but the kitchen sink on others.

We had a rough evening yesterday. Riley was crabby and whiny from the moment I picked him up, and I'd had a long day and my temper was short. There was yelling, dinner got served late, and we didn't have time to make the chocolate cake I'd promised Maddie and Riley we'd bake together.

I told them that I'd make the cake after they went to bed and that they could have cake for breakfast if there was no screaming in the night.

There was no screaming. What was the first thing Maddie said to me when I went in to get them this morning? "Mama, I no scream! I want chocolate cake!"

I gave them each a smallish piece, which they thoroughly enjoyed. They both asked for more. I gave them each another smallish slice. They each ate a few bites, then were clearly done. "Are you all finished? Can I take your bowls?" I asked. "All done!" they cheerfully replied.

I love that they listen to their bodies about eating. They weren't hungry anymore, so they stopped eating even though they had HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE CAKE with HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE FROSTING containing CHOCOLATE DELIVERED FROM EUROPE BY MR. COFFEE in front of them for breakfast. I try to stop eating when I'm not hungry anymore, but if someone were feeding me chocolate cake for breakfast, I can tell you that there is no way I'd leave three bites on my plate because I was "all done." I'd eat it all even if I didn't really want any more. I wonder when—if—that awareness will change for Maddie and Riley. For now, it gives me a great deal of parental joy to see them eat a variety of foods and enjoy them all in moderation. I truly don't take credit for their eating habits; yes, I've always fed them a variety of foods and encouraged them to try whatever they want, but I know plenty of people who have done that and who still have really picky eaters. It's just luck.

And of course, now that I've posted about it, Maddie and Riley will probably start eating nothing but Cheerios and applesauce. Hah.

I always put Maddie in bed first, then Riley. Before I put Riley in his crib, I hold him over Maddie's crib and he says, "Night-night YaYa. I love you, YaYa!" For the past few nights, Maddie has been replying, "I love you, Riley!" Tonight, they bantered back and forth, "I love you, YaYa!" "I love you, Riley!" SO CUTE.

So, back to that chocolate cake . . . the kids are sleeping, and I'm looking forward to an evening of red wine, chocolate cake, and Grey's Anatomy. Ahhhhhh . . .


Melissa said...

Hayden has been experiencing a growth spurt (or whatever it is - maybe a tapeworm?) lately as well. It seems I can't give her enough food, PLUS she's started asking for "ba-ba" (breastmilk, alas) again PLUS she wakes up in the morning and promply says something like: "Morning mommy!Toastandpeanutbetterandjuice PLEASEE". :) So funny....


KLS said...

Now I want some chocolate cake dammit! Thanks for that :(

We love breakfast for dinner - it's my go-to meal when I don't know what to cook!

Anonymous said...

My daughter is 2 1/2 and the varying appetite thing is interesting (and a little frustrating). She eats a ton at daycare so I try not to worry too much about how much she eats at dinner. The other night she took her pants off and crawled under the table instead of eating. Sigh.

My favorite nights are the ones where she eats nothing and then announces at bedtime that she's hungry!


Forever In School said...

I am looking forward to Grey's Anatomy. Actually I look forward to Thursdays for that reason all week. But I don't have chocolate cake!

Nancy said...

Your kids are so cute :)

Yummy Mummy said...

and i'm the mom with the kid that only eats applesauce and Cheerios. and I don't have any chocolate cake. Clearly you have got this mom thing down pat!


Amy said...

Are the kids sleeping in the same room? Curious!

Snickollet said...


Yes, they share a (small) room. We have a 2 bed/1 bath condo, so they get one bedroom and I get the other. They've always shared, and while they do talk to each other A LOT and sometimes keep each other awake (meaning that Riley keeps Maddie awake or wakes her up), they also get a lot of comfort out of having each other so close.


Emmie (Better Make It A Double) said...

Awesome -I love how you can roll with the particulars while still keeping the big picture goals in mind. You are an inspiration.

luolin said...

The one time I was consistently able to stop eating when I was full--even chocolate--was during my pregnancy. No morning sickness at all, but my body told me very firmly how much (little) to eat.

Julie said...

Your comment about the kids saying "I love you" to each other brought a smile to my face. I just had a baby two months ago and I'm looking forward to hearing that kind of interaction someday.

amber said...

if they ever leave homemade chocolate cake again, feel free to ship that out here to LA. i'd be happy to take it off their hands ;)

The Whitsitt Family said...

I have a hard time getting used to the eating everything one day, and nothing the next too. Nothing better than chocolate cake in the morning!

Parisienne Mais Presque said...

My mother always encouraged my natural tendency to stop eating when I was no longer hungry, so I never really lost it. She used to model the behavior herself, and she kept my dad from imposing too many "just one more bite" rules.

It seemed to work. Sure, I overindulge from time to time (who doesn't?) especially when European chocolate is involved, but I am generally pretty good at knowing when to stop.

So, I think that if you keep doing exactly what you're doing, being flexible and attentive about feeding, the twins will keep their healthy instincts.

Isn't it fun when your child eats a variety of things and enjoys them? I love that le Petit is a good eater, but like you, I don't give myself any credit for it.

Kerrie said...

Beautiful babies...heart meltingly sweet.

My Maternal & Child Health Nurse suggested I look at how much my daughter ate over a week rather than day to day...it made a lot of sense really. I could see that on some days she ate really huge meals, others quite small meals, it balanced out well. She's 14 now and to a point I still do it.

Chocolate cake for breakfast...oh yummo...living at your place would be such fun...!!!

Mama Mama Quite Contrary said...

Now the trick is NOT eating the toddlers' left over chocolate cake. (That's MY problem!)

Susan said...

Oh wow, what a cool mom, chocolate cake for breakfast!!!! Even my teens would love that!!! I would love the receipt for the homemade frosting. I think the frosting can make the cake sometimes!!!


Susan said...

Oops, not receipt but receipe!!! Sorry. SEC

Christine said...

My son (who is almost 10 months) is only starting to calm down with the eating. He is always hungry. My mom says little boys have a hollow leg.

Mmmm, chocolate cake.

Giovanna Diaries said...

The 2's is a hard age. At least I thought so.
3's are better.
4's are so much easier.
5's are awesome so far!

Did you ask for that info? No! But thought I'd share it just the same.

Ruth said...

You've reminded me of the old Bill Cosby routine, "Chocolate Cake for Breakfast" ....


mlg said...

oh, breakfast for dinner is a staple in our house. Egg sammies work any time and I am always prepared to fall back on cereal when necessary. Like you I am also happy to eat left over chinese, mexican, indian, etc for breakfast.

My kid, at 13, can also push away a half serving of chocolate cake when she is full. She gets it from her dad. I have seen him eat 3/4 of a small bag of M & Ms and put the rest aside until later. because he was done. what is that? 6 M & Ms? Now THAT is a skill I never had. glad she takes afer him!

What A Card said...

Can I come cook for your kids? Last night I made falafel sandwiches with hummus (the hummus you served at book group...thank you, that's sooo good!) It was the most awesome dinner ever in the history of dinners, and they both turned their noses up. I served it with chickpeas on the side...just kidding, though it would be funny to have falafel, hummus, and chickpeas. Maybe it's just me!

Oh, my word verification is verite, so I'm taking that as a sign that all my words here are truth. It's official. Though I'm not sure why I would make up anything in a blog comment. Like maybe we really had spaghetti for dinner last night, and I'm just messing with you. I wasn't, though that would have been a little funny, too.

Are you glad you know me and don't have to worry about "who is this idiot leaving me a comment?"

Rev Dr Mom said...

Red wine, chocolate anything and Grey's Anatomy sounds like a little bit of heaven.

Aimee said...

Yeah, it sounds like it might be a growth spurt. Or not. Toddlers are funny that way. :-)

I'm totally jealous of the cake.

You reminded me about Grey's! I forgot! I got home after work, and feeling awful, went straight to bed.

Congrats on having 2 good eaters. I'm still working on that with my 4 year old, and am so happy she's finally ready to try new things and (gasp) likes them, too! Keep up the great work with food and the kids. You have no idea how many people out there don't want to do the work you do (variety, lots of fruits and veggies).

Annie said...

I hope the kids remember the cake for breakfast. My 20 something nieces still talk about the time I gave them root beer and cheesey poofs for dinner !

Looks like Yang is gonna get some next week. Meridith does not deserve McDreamy.

Lindsey said...

Ever watch John & Kate plus Eight? Your post reminded me of that show for some reason, I love it!

Amy said...

Good to hear it.. that they sleep in the same room. My twin girls always have and I can't help but feel that has something to do with the fact they were always half decent sleepers. I did have to get them in their own cribs early though, one of the girls would always wake early and wake up her sister for company. Some 10 years later she still does!

Twins.. I was just musing to my girls earlier tonight that they should be so thankful to have a built in friend. They thankfully get along great (MOST times) and are each others best friends. I can count on one finger the times they have expressed they are 'bored'. They always have each other.

Twins are a wonderful thing.. So glad I had them, great kids.

Growth spurts. I so hear you. But good as they are aware of what their bodies need during this time.

Pass me a slice of cake please. Oh how that would hit the spot about now!

Anonymous said...

My two year old (a couple weeks older than your two) is experiencing a growth spurt as well. He is actually eating, and asking for more. Considering that at the beginning of the month he was only eating ONE piece of toast an entire day, this is wonderful.

liz said...

Where are the Very Hungry Caterpiller comments? I want some Very Hungry Caterpiller comments!