Perhaps this should be titled “Meat Free Toddler” because this guy is officially ONE!
I always had a sneaking suspicion that time would start moving on fast forward once I had children and I was right. Though there were (and still are) a ton of long days and nights to contend with, a year of life with this adorable little boy has seemingly flown by. So now, as I celebrate Tripp’s first birthday, I’m also pausing to reflect on one year of parenthood. What strikes me is that I have spent a lot of time tormenting myself over various parenting decisions or (what I see as) shortcomings, and not enough time just soaking up the wonder of it all. So as we enter the next year of parenting Tripp, that is something I am going to be more mindful of. I’m sure I’ll still feel stress, but hopefully I can deal with it a little better.
At 12 months old, Tripp is constantly in motion, testing his physical limits (he’s a climber!) and exploring the world around him. He continually investigates every corner of our 2 bedroom apartment, literally laughing in the face of our attempts to set up barricades. He rarely slows down, except to nap or nurse, and even then there’s a fair amount of tossing and turning involved. The one thing that we have discovered will stop him in his tracks? The Wiggles.
A busy, growing boy needs to eat more, so Tripp’s 3 square(ish) meals a day have increased in portion size and we’ve started adding more substantial snacks to the mix. In Meat Free Baby: 10 Months Old, I confessed that his meals were still mostly mush and vowed to get more texture and more finger food into the mix. I am pleased to report that we’ve come a long way in this department. Although purees and pouches are still in the mix, Tripp has also been putting in a lot of time and effort learning how to take bites and mash bigger pieces of food between his gums. Aiding his efforts are the 4 new teeth slowly pushing their way through his top gums.
Here are some of the new foods he’s enjoyed lately:
- Earth’s Best mini waffles
- Trader Joes falafel
- Dr. Praeger’s Spinach Littles
- Vegan cheese quesadillas
- Whole wheat crackers
- Bites of a whole banana
- Annie’s mac and cheese
- String Beans
- Pasta (whole wheat rigatoni was especially a hit)
- Happy Tot Super Foods pouches
- Whole wheat bread + almond or peanut butter
You’ll notice there are some vegetarian items on this list. As mentioned previously, my husband is not vegan or vegetarian (or any labeled way of eating) so our our compromise for Tripp is no meat (from land animals). I feed him a mostly vegan diet at home, but we’ve been more flexible when eating out, myself included. Like if we’re at a pizza place with no vegan pizza, I’ll have regular slices with the rest of the family. I’ve also been eating sushi again, which I have less of an excuse for. Being flexible has made life easier in some ways, but I am torn about it and tend to drive myself a little crazy over it, to be honest. It feels like a slippery slope and like I am straying from a lifestyle that I really identified with. So, I feel like I need to come to a decision – either be comfortable with this flexible approach and a “mostly vegan” diet for myself, or recommit myself to 100% vegan – which worked really well for me before! What I definitely don’t want is to constantly stress out over all of this, because that’s not healthy either.
I’m also trying to sort out where we are in the nursing department. I’m so happy to have breastfed Tripp for a year and counting, but am thinking more and more about weaning him. While he is eating much more food, he’s only nursing a bit less these days. We’re still averaging 4-5 times during the day, and thanks to a recent sleep regression, 2 times during the night! Honestly, I feel fatigued, both mentally and physically, and could really use a break. I’m not making any major moves just yet, like introducing a bottle of other milk, but am reading up on weaning, and am offering Tripp the boob just a little bit less. The good news is that so far he doesn’t seem to mind.
If there’s anything I’ve learned in one year of parenting, it’s that both mama and baby are always evolving. So Happy Birthday Tripp and here’s to whatever comes next for us!