More Nibbling

>> 12.07.2012

We've been using our nibble tray all week for lunch/afternoon snacking. It hasn't solved all our problems yet, but we have experienced progress. At this point, we'll take what we can get.

Let's take a look.

There was little progress after lunch on day 1. They way we're doing this nibble tray thing is to first offer it to Ada in her high chair at lunch time. See what she eats. In this case, only grapes. Then we get down to play and I bring it out a little later in a less formal way.

I also decided for the time being to take off the green dipping part of the tray. Ada didn't know what to do with a dab of yogurt. We usually spoon-feed her that type of stuff, and we haven't started her on her own utensils. We'll try it again next week.

I made a couple rookie mistakes for the first day. Like offering thawed raspberries. The deep magenta juice gets EVERYWHERE. Also: Younger toddlers will want to pick up and toss this tray despite hearing "NO!" and a million times. It will happen. Be ready to pick peas off the carpet.

The second day, I introduced some different foods and kept some the same. Like sunflower seeds and roasted sweet potatoes. It's interesting to see what Ada likes and what she doesn't like. And to observe how one day she'll love something and the next she won't touch it.

As you can see, she didn't eat much at lunch on day 2 either. So, we moved on with our day and brought out the tray again. I forgot to snap a photo, but she ended up eating a lot of this stuff, as we offered the leftovers with dinner that night.

I have read again and again that persistence is the key to getting babies and toddlers to try and like new foods. As in: I'll keep offering those not-dogs that she couldn't get enough of at first . . . despite how she hasn't touched them since.

Yes. That's just what she ate a LUNCH. She easily finished the rest in the afternoon. It's funny to see her make her way through the little selections. She'll go with her favorite first. Then you'll see her almost resign herself to the next and then the next, etc.

She is tossing the tray less often by day 3. Definitely more used to the whole concept. Knows more of what to expect. Or maybe she's just heard me say too many times in my best Joan Crawford voice: "You will eat everything on that plate."

One thing's for sure. Table manners go out the window with this method. She looks like a little animal, doesn't she?

Some additional points: 
  • We're wasting far less food. If Ada doesn't eat it, it stays in the tray. Before this point, we were tossing a lot out because it ended up on the floor.
  • I'm learning more about when Ada is actually hungry for lunch. Perhaps timing has a bit to do with our woes.
  • I'm forced to offer variety. It's not that I didn't before, but filling at least six trays with different foods keeps us from getting in a rut.
  • I now prepare lunch during breakfast. Versus what I used to do -- scramble to figure out what to give her at the moment she needed it. Planning ahead rules.
  • I can see us on the go with this method. Just pack and snack.
  • I also think we'll be able to use this tray for several years. Even if Ada somehow magically starts to get the whole lunch concept -- I know she'll be eating more snacks in the years to come. This will be great for that.

This is just my initial, first-week review of the nibble tray. I hope to give you guys more thoughts after a month or so. You can read more about the tray in my first post. You can get your own to try out here.

And -- as always -- if you have more questions, just ask 'em in the comments.

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