I am such a creature of habit; H usually has to spur me to make a change or break out. We've been in the same eating routine for months now: Five bottles (sippy cups) and at three of those bottles also solid food.
We also have the issue that our babes are consuming too much milk--over 30 ounces a day when it should be no more than 24 ounces. This is my fault. Our routine has been working, so I haven't wanted to mess with it.
So this weekend we discussed making needed changes to our routine. The naps will not change. The children dictate the nap schedule. They are definitely ready for a nap at nine am and about 1:30 in the afternoon. We will not be tweaking naps.
We have decided to make changes to the feeding schedule. We were feeding as follows:
7 am bottle and solids
11 am bottle and solids
1 pm bottle
4 pm bottle and solids
6:30 pm bottle
A while back, months actually, I posted a pretty photo of the five of us eating our first meal together. It hasn't happened since. We just feed the kids in their high chairs. During the day I eat standing up and at night H and I eat after they go to bed. Usually we don't eat until after 8:00.
We've been wanting to eat as a family for a while now, so we are now making a concerted effort to make it happen. The babies will be in their high chairs around our little pine table. Here is our new feeding schedule:
7:30 am breakfast then milk (all sit down together)
10:30 snack and water
noon lunch and milk (I sit down with them)
3:30 snack and water
5:30 supper (all sit down together)
The babies go to bed no later that 8:00 each night, usually between 7:30 and 7:50. This new schedule will also give H and me more time together in the evenings. It will also get us out of the habit of eating so late. I, also, am in a terrible habit of not eating anything until about 11 am, when the babies were having their second meal. I fuel on coffee until then. This change makes sense in so many different ways.
We've been working on using spoons and they are getting pretty good. We are now going to start working on using bowls and plates. We are still on sippy cups and will stay with those for a while.
The photos in this post are from yesterday's afternoon snack: water and spiced yogurt muffins. Our friend Whit came up and spent the day with us Friday and we made a recipe she'd found in the November Food & Wine. I recommend the recipe. The muffins are healthy, barring the sugar, as they are made with yogurt and applesauce and lots of spices. They are a good autumn muffin. The babies ate them up.
I am working on getting in the mindset that they can eat (pretty much) everything we can eat. I am so used to just giving them food in its simplest form. Last night we sat down to a supper of applesauce, cheese, sweet potatoes, and homemade chili and cornbread. They ate a little broth, but mostly ate tomatoes, beef, and kidney beans off their trays.
As you can see, we are still working on keeping the bowls upright and keeping the food in the bowls. We are also working with them on staying seated for the snack. They seem to get the concept, though Lu felt if she wasn't actually taking a bite she should be able to stand up until the next bite. These are new skills for the babies to learn, but, if I can learn to change things up, surely they can learn to use a bowl.
Elliott thinks you should try making the spiced yogurt muffins. They're delicious.