Making meals and snacks for Jane isn't the hardest thing I've ever done, but it's also not the easiest. I think she's a very good eater and will mostly try everything. It's me I worry about.
I don't want to push her or nag her to "eat your veggies" or the like, but I find myself asking her to please take a bite of your squash or eat some more apple and we'll talk about more crackers or yogurt or whatever. (She loves carbs and cheese/dairy just like her mama!)
It's hard to know what to do because I recognize the enormity of establishing good lifelong eating habits. But I'm trying to be more relaxed and laid back -- providing her all good choices so it's OK if she doesn't eat all of her peas or beans or whatever. She's getting plenty of variety across the days and weeks.
One way to get veggies and fruits in her no problem are with the baby food pouches. She still loves to suck those down and I keep getting coupons for them. I also have the reusable squeeze pouches that I can fill with things like yogurt and pureed fruit or veggies. I did it once and it was a big mess, so I haven't repeated it. But I could/should.
Anyway, I felt kind of virtuous about those stupid pouches because she gets greens and interesting fruits in her system. But in reality she loses out on fiber and nutrients from the whole foods. Also I started thinking how are these any better than juice, which I don't let Jane have at all? *headdesk*
The pouches are mostly a travel thing, as they are great to fill in at restaurants or on the go as a snack. The guilt I felt when I realized what I was doing -- and then continue to give them to her! -- was not even the close to the worst guilt I've felt over a parenting decision.
And although we try to focus on whole, fresh foods she does eat
processed foods like cheddar bunnies, regular bread, crackers, etc. I
alternate between feeling like her eating is great and feeling like I'm
doing her a huge disservice by letting her have those things at all!
Jane is amazingly healthy, and whatever she's eating it's powering her play and development in fantastic ways. (She can sing songs from memory and is working on her jump right now!) But being me I'm always going to fret and second guess and worry about what I'm not doing right (not feeding her full-on organic for everything -- mostly because I'm cheap and lazy/not everything at our regular grocery store can be had organic, or not eating the exact same things as a family at each meal, etc.).
I need to keep my eyes open to the reality of a healthy little girl, even if she does throw her sippy cup to the floor at least once per meal. (Another worry: should she be drinking from a cup right now? I don't even let her try because I don't want to clean up water or milk multiple times a day from the throwing!)