Ada’s Eats

>> Monday, November 9, 2015

I received a question a couple months ago about how we approach eating with Ada now that she’s a preschooler. It’s true, I haven’t written much about Ada’s diet in quite some time (or mine, for that matter). So, I thought I’d give you a brief overview of the sorts of meals we make these days.

As far as “diet” is concerned, Ada is primarily a lacto-ovo vegetarian, like me, but she does occasionally eat fish, like Stephen. She’s been living on this diet since she started eating solids, and with her height and weight and overall health, I’m confident that eating this way is working well for her.

Here’s more food specifics . . .


Since Ada’s in school five mornings a week this year, breakfast has become somewhat frenzied. We usually get downstairs by 8 AM, giving us around 45 minutes until it’s time to walk to school. So, breakfast is all about healthy efficiency.
Ada is actually rarely hungry at breakfast, so this is the meal where I’m usually pleading with her to eat “two more bites” or just get something healthy in her tummy. At school, she gets a snack around 10AM, so on days when she won’t eat much, I at least know she won’t go totally hungry.


I always ask Ada what she’d like for lunch on our way home from school. These days? We’re rotating between a few different assembly type meals that always hit the spot. They’re simple, easy to make, and I often eat the same thing. On the side, she’ll eat an apple, carrot sticks, cheese cubes, black beans, or whatever else we have around.
  • Hummus with bread on the side
  • PB&J
  • Grilled Cheese
  • Oatmeal (if we didn’t have it for breakfast)


We were in a pretty good rhythm with eating family dinners until recently. So, Ada would eat a portion of what we were eating (very often crock pot soups + stews with biscuits). Now that I’m feeling sick, we have taken a few steps back. I try to cook for the whole family, but when it doesn’t happen, Ada eats:
  • Fish sticks
  • Mac and cheese
  • Pasta with butter or red sauce
  • Cheese and black bean quesadillas
  • Eggs and toast (if she didn’t have it for breakfast)
I’m going to try to make a better effort to cook our meals again soon. In the winter, I make pumpkin mac and cheese, stuffed shells, pumpkin chili, and other good stuff. Ada will often eat at least a small portion and then supplement with whatever fruits and veggies we have. We also make sure she’s getting protein, so sometimes we’ll serve her cubed tofu on the side, eggs, or another protein.

SNACKS, etc.

Ada doesn’t do a whole lot of snacking by nature (I don’t know where she gets that from). I offer and sometimes she’ll graze a bit. Anyway, most of the items on this list are things that we add to meals above on the side. In fact, she always has lots of sides with her meals. It reminds me of when we used to do the Nibble Tray back when she was a toddler.

But if she’s hungry between meals, these are our go-to foods.
  • Bare apple chips
  • String cheese
  • Popcorn
  • Greek yogurt tubes
  • Beans
  • Applesauce
  • Fresh fruit (favorites: bananas, apples, and strawberries)
  • Fresh veggies (favorites: carrots, celery, and tomatoes, which I know are fruit)
We also give Ada a dessert most every day. It’s just what we do in our house, and we try to make healthy choices. Usually I’ll have freshly baked cookies around and she can have one. But she rates begs for it, so sometimes we forget and life goes on without the cherry on top!

So, that’s a good snapshot of how Ada eats these days. Those of you who are raising vegetarian or vegan kids, how does this compare to your day? How do you get good protein in? I’d be happy to answer any more kid feeding questions you have -- just leave a note in the comments!

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