Update on Leo’s Eating Habits

Jillian HarrisBaby, Breakfast, Dinner, Food, Lunch56 Comments

Jillian Harris Update on Leo's Eating Habits

Well hello everyone!! I wanted to share an update with you on Leo’s eating habits as lately, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about what his favourite foods are and what sort of milk we give him because we are somewhat “Plant-based” …

So fill up your cup of coffee … and maybe get a snack for this read because I don’t know about you but I get hungry talking about food. LOL.

Leo is 15 months old (crazy, I know …) and when it comes down to it, he is basically eating everything WE eat, which means he is MOSTLY plant based as well. I’ll admit I REALLY struggled after pulling him off of formula because I was so confused as to what to give him for milk. Because we are mainly plant-based and NEVER bought milk before I struggled with this decision. We have friends and know people who are completely vegan and whose babies and families are completely vegan (and THRIVING!). I am aware there are many healthy plant-based milk options for babies as well, but I just could not move past “what was normal for ME, what I grew up with and what our family was comfortable with”. To be honest, this is just a really confusing topic for me because there are very reliable sources who say that animal products are still good for you and then there are some very reliable sources that animal products are actually NOT healthy for you. So imagine the torment when trying to decide what to give my child?!?!? LOL Am I the only one here!!? … All I know is that I wanted to make sure that Leo was getting what was best for his growth and development so in the end, we decided to go with grass-fed cow’s milk … now, we are SUPER PICKY when it comes to the milk he drinks … he gets two 8 ounce bottles a day (one when he wakes and one before bed) and we only give him Grass Roots Dairy Homogenized Milk.

I actually went and visited this dairy farm a few years ago and I really felt that they treated their cows the best and loved their systems and policies with calves and cows! Having said that, Leo only gets two bottles a day and sometimes I find myself flip-flopping between what really IS the best way to go and I start stressing myself out about it … but I think back to how I was raised (pretty much off of hot dogs, KD and apple juice!! LOL) and today we are so concerned about whether it’s organic or from Whole Foods, etc. that it can be hard to make the “right” decision. I remind myself that surely caring THIS much, must ensure he is getting the proper nutrients!

If I were to do this all over again, I would have kept breastfeeding until he was 2, so that I didn’t have to make the decision at all … well, there is always baby number 2!!!

I guess in the end, if I really didn’t want Leo consuming milk products then I should have kept breastfeeding him. Period. However, due to my crazy schedule I just found it harder and harder to do so I stopped breastfeeding him when he was 6 months old this was SUCH a difficult decision for me!

Jillian Harris Update on Leos Eating Habits

Welp. Moving on from the milk part, as most of you know we are MAINLY plant-based in our household but I would say we still eat meat maybe once or twice a week. It is usually either ocean-wise seafood, local wild line caught, or chicken or beef from a local farm. We do also eat eggs in our home, this is one of Leo’s favourite foods in the morning, the boy loves his scrambled eggs. I get our eggs from our neighbors down the road, the chickens don’t have a pen, they roam free and lay their eggs in the field and the kids run around and pick them up! You can’t get much better and free range than that!! So, bottom line, I actually feel good about the amount and quality of animal products we eat (and Leo eats!) …

Leo also LOOOVES my green smoothie, and for me, it’s a HUGE nutrient peace of mind every day! I make one for myself and I make sure to add a little extra so there is enough for him as well … I put it in a cup for him and he hunkers down on Nacho’s chair and sips away! LOL. Here’s what I like to add to our smoothies:

Our Green Smoothie

  • Spinach
  • Oranje Juice (mixing the orange juice with the spinach ensures ultimate iron absorption or something like that … Tori taught that to me! LOL)
  • Banana
  • Coconut Water
  • Avocado
  • Coconut Oil
  • Chia Seeds
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Vanilla (Just for a little flavour)

Jillian Harris Update on Leos Eating Habits Jillian Harris Update on Leos Eating Habits Jillian Harris Update on Leos Eating Habits

Leo also can’t seem to get enough of pasta (apparently, neither can Nacho … LOL) … and raspberries … couldn’t he have picked a cheaper fruit to like?? LOL!! But along with those, he seems to really like the following …

Leo’s Favourite Foods

  • Baked Beans
  • Whole Grain Toast with Peanut Butter
  • Cheese (I usually buy cheese curds from Grass Roots Dairy as well!)
  • Waffles
  • Pancakes
  • Fruit (of all kinds but those raspberries are his number 1 … lol)
  • Avocado
  • Potatoes, French Fries, Tater Tots (thank god for potatoes)
  • Corn
  • Fish (he is a HUGE sushi fan!)
  • Ceviche from Cactus Club (LOL … seriously kid, you’re breakin’ the bank!)
  • Kite Hill Cream Cheese on Toast
  • Vegan Perogies (You’ll have to wait until the cookbook for this recipe!!)
  • Broccoli Tots
  • Smoothies

Oh … and cupcakes. LOLLLL!!

Jillian Harris Update on Leos Eating Habits-8 Jillian Harris Update on Leos Eating Habits Jillian Harris Update on Leos Eating Habits

So you’ll see that he eats quite the mix of foods so it’s pretty hard for me to “label” Leo’s diet … and mine, for that matter. While 90% of the time we like to eat a plant-based diet (for our reasons and plant-based journey click here), when Leo goes to his grandparents he has whatever they give him … whether it’s ice cream, chicken, beef, bologna (ewww!! LOL) … Leo actually enjoys meat so if we are at home and I provide him with a bunch of plant-based options and he doesn’t like anything I’m offering, I will dig into the freezer and whip the kid up some meat LOL. I mean, what Leo eats will certainly be up to him as he gets older and we will give him that choice, but I will absolutely educate him on food and where it comes from.

Leo also goes to Daycare 2 days a week now and I let him eat whatever they are served there EXCEPT ham … that’s my one rule … I’ve done so much research on pigs and have come to learn that they have such a high level of intelligence and they are really emotional animals … they’re just like dogs. Eeeppp. So we are a no – pork household! (yes, that means we don’t eat bacon anymore and YES I miss it! LOL) …

Well, there you have it! That’s my update on Leo’s eating habits so far … it’s no lie that sometimes I do get a little stressed about what I’m feeding him … but like I said I keep reminding myself that there is NO way in hell my parents over thought it like I did and I turned out ok so I think Leo will be JUST fine full of love and beans! LOL!!

xo

Jilly

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56 Comments

  • Catherine  • 

    Feeding my children solids as they age is one of the biggest stressors for me as a mom, hands down. And though we are not vegetarian my 5yo daughter basically doesn’t eat meat (if it’s in something like a chili she would but would never eat a piece of chicken or beef on its own). As a traditional meat-eating family I’ve become quite educated on providing nutrition to a self induced vegetarian child lol… She would absolutely live on crackers, hummus and blueberries if I let her… It stresses me out that she will go days requesting the exact same foods for lunch which, is almost always hummus, crackers and fruit… Then, like you said, I remember that I grew up on KD and juices boxes and there are kids thriving on a 80% McDonald’s meal base and need to simmer down. Feeding little ones (I also have a 10.5mo) is stressful because you really do want to make the best choices for them!

  • Joanne Hubley  • 

    Your doing a wonderful job with Leo…he is thriving and looks like he’s a healthy and happy little boy (with his cupcake lol) I wish I could have gotten my children to eat as well and healthy as Leo does.

    It is so hard to believe that he is 15 months old now. Kids grow way to fast. I look at mine three girls, and now I have 2 grandchildren. And I wonder everyday where the time went.

    I sure hope they bring Love it Or List it Vancouver…I miss the show. And all of your wonderful designs.

  • Great post! Don’t worry about needing to “label” yourself. I was a vegetarian for 5 years and added back animal products occasionally into my diet because I did feel like I was missing out at family holidays and special foods I loved as a kid. Honestly I think I’m more attached to the memories of food than eating meat itself as I still don’t prefer to eat it. On a daily basis I eat no meat. Can I call myself vegetarian? No… but am I conscious of what I put in my body and it’s impact on the environment, yes. All I think we can do is ask people to try their best and not push labels on people or get angry for them not being a perfect “vegan” or “vegetarian”. Keep inspiring Jillian!

  • Where is his high chair from ? So cute

  • I went through the same hard decisions with my son. I’m breastfeeding our newborn now and will hopefully continue longer this time around but it’s so hard!!! Plantbased eating is the best for our family and we’re making our own rules for what’s best 🙂 good for you Jill!

  • Would Tori be able to tell you how to get the most iron consumption out of food (ie spinach) when orange juice isn’t an option? I’m allergic to oranges and am also anemic.

    Your green smoothie sounds good.

  • I stress so much about what to feed our little man too. We have a one year old (turned one on 10/12) and he usually eats everything we eat, but the last week or two we’ve noticed that he won’t eat his veggies. He is borderline anemic so it worries me that he’s not getting enough iron. I might try your smoothie and see if he likes it. I did start giving him Zarbees vitamins with iron, but I would prefer a more natural way. Hopefully things turn around and he starts eating his veggies again.

    And in regards to what milk to give Layne. I struggle with that one as well. I still do nurse as well as pump, but my supply is dwindling and I’ll need something to takes it place. I did try coconut milk but he hated it. We don’t want to give him cow’s milk. Is there something else you might recommend? Maybe almond milk? I’m unsure… Thank you for writing this blog! I come on every day to see if there is something new. I love seeing photos of you and your family. Leo is so adorable.

    • Valerie-

      Our family is completely plant based and my 13 month old really likes homemade hemp milk! I am still nursing as well but introduced it to him at 8 months to try out!

      He doesn’t drink that much a day since he gets breastmilk but eventually he will transition to only that. Hemp milk is full vitamins and minerals, along with HEALTHY fats and protein.

      1/2 cup hemp seeds
      3 dates (no pit)
      4 cups water

      Blend it up on high for 45 sec or more and that’s it! Consistency is great with the vitamix.

      • Wow thanks! That sounds much easier than making my own almond milk. I will try it!

        • Hemp milk was recommended to me as well by or dietitian because it is both high in fat and protein. However, just so you know, as long as your child is getting calcium and fats from other sources, they don’t have to drink any milk at all once you stop breastfeeding. My children refused cows milk when I weaned them (at 17 months for both) and didn’t like milk alternatives either. I was stressed out but our pediatrician said not to worry if they are getting adequate calcium and fat from other food sources. That’s really the only reason whole milk is recommended. And keep your child on a vitamin d supplement as well. Most people don’t know that kids don’t HAVE to drink milk once they turn 1.

  • We have been struggling in my household with the same issue. My husband just got through surgery to remove a cancerous tumor, so we are very weary about what we are putting in our (and our 16 month old’s) bodies. We have also made the change to mainly plant based because of health benefits. Our daughter does eat a little meat, and after research drinks only the best cows milk I can find. It’s so funny how times have changed!

  • I love all of your suggestions! Leo is absolutely adorable! Jillian, were you or Justin blonde as a child? He has the most beautiful blonde hair but since you both are brunette (or appear to be) I would love to know where the blonde came from 🙂

  • please post the recipe for your green smoothie! Sounds delicious ? And my 13-month old hasn’t loved any smoothie I’ve made for her yet.

  • Amen sister! I am 99% WFPB no sugar or oil and I struggle so much with my family still eating meat and my daughter who was born 4 months early and being too small still (2yrs old) so I feed her anything she will eat even though I eat plant based for health reasons and feel like I am doing wrong by my daughter and my family. But like you I grew up eating crap so I figure I can fix her later… for now eat up child! You are doing great and you know what’s best for Leo and your family! ?

  • You’re doing an amazing job with Leo!! He’s sooo cute and you can tell that he’s sooo loved by everyone!! He seems like such a happy and easy baby (from what you show us :P) My daughter is 16 months old in a couple days and she’s very picky when it comes to food! I’m not an amazing cook but I’ve been trying to make healthy options and overall just good food. It’s no doubt the hardest part for me. I’m fine eating a quick salad or grilled cheese for supper but I put in the effort to make good home cooked meals for her. She loves eating with her hands and I even attempted to make spaghetti squash this weekend (she’s having that for dinner tonight…. hopefully LOL) I never thought in a million years I would even touch squash honesty lol.
    I love your instagram stories and I knowwww I shouldn’t compare but my daughter is sooo much more behind than Leo lol she’s still not walking (she’s too spoiled I think and just won’t let go.. she barely even holds on to my hands anymore but she just will nottttt let go!) and when I law Leo walk at his 1st birthday I was so sad lol happy for you obviously, but sad for me 😛
    Keep posting your stories, I watch them during my breaks at work and before bed ahaha you’re so honest and just real so I really enjoy watching what you guys are up to 🙂

  • A great substitute for bacon is smoked tempeh.

  • Hi Jillian,

    I am a long time follower of your blog. This morning I started to read your blog post about why you blog, what it means to you and the 100% transparent truth. I had just finished readying the into paragraph when I was pulled away by my 2 year old. When I came back to finish reading the post was gone!? Are you re-posting an edited version? Changed your mind about posting this at all?

    Krissy

  • He shares the love I have for the cactus club ceviche ❤

  • I love this post, and am learning so much about how I want to adjust my diet, as well. Leo is lucky to have such a thoughtful Mommy and Daddy!

  • I love this post so much – my children are now 18 and 20 (and they grow up so fast!) but I love your philosophy on what you feed Leo! And by the way he is absolutely adorable? Did you mention baby number two? So excited for you guys thank you for sharing your life with us – much love! – Susan

  • How does Leo like day care? My son is the same exact age but he’s been struggling just when I take him to the daycare at the gym! He cries the entire time, heart breaking. Just wondering if Leo had a hard time at first at day care?

  • Hi! Thank you for posting this! Food is SO personal. My husband and I are vegan and really struggled as to what we should do for our 15 month olds milk- your comments really resonated with me! And NO, our parents never thought about this! Keep it up, mom!

  • Christine  • 

    Thank you so much for sharing! What formula did you give Leo when you made the switch from breastmilk? And what brand is your high chair?

    Thank you!!!

  • What are the portions for the green smoothie? Please post recipe :). You’re fabulous and an awesome Mom! Thank you for sharing all this information.

  • Love this post. I’m not vegatarian but pork is the one meat I have almost completely cut out too. PS. Bologna is pork though haha ?❤

  • Did you do baby led with Leo? What age did Leo start with the smoothie?

  • Thanks for sharing this post, as a mom to a 18 month old we too struggled with cow’s milk. Like Leo, she only has 2 8oz bottles/day of organic milk, but after reading this I think that we’ll make the switch to grass fed milk.

    • I struggled with the milk issue as well and my friend recommended goats milk and my daughter (14 Months) seems to enjoy it but she doesn’t drink very much. I don’t force her and I have still been giving her formula before bed I’m so nervous to stop ??‍♀️

    • We’re a vegan family and I wasn’t able to breastfeed so I pumped until my baby was 9 months, but then my supply dried up. I stressed about the milk to give her too. We finally decided to do a mix of organic soy milk, hemp milk and almond milk. Together, they provide the fats, protein and calcium she needs. But solid foods are even tougher for me! She changes her mind often about what she likes. Except she always loves raspberries too! I thought the same thing, such an expensive fruit! $$ 🙂

    • As long as your child is getting adequate fats, calcium and protein from other food sources, they don’t have to drink any milk at all after the age of 1. If you don’t want to give cows milk and you want to be done with formula, just feed your child foods high in fat, calcium and protein and your problem is solved. This was my pediatrician’s advice when my daughter refused cows milk when I weaned her.

  • Hi Jillian,

    I’m just wondering what formula you gave Leo?

    Thanks!

  • What a cutie pie! You are doing great Mama!

    • That was meant to say high chair 🙂

    • Hi Jillian!! We’re launching our new I Made A Happy Plate® kid’s plate and would love to send you a set and feature photos of Leo!! Can’t wait for your new cookbook! Can’t wait to hear back! ?

    • I don’t eat much meat either ( although I love seafood). It’s hard because every animal group has something special about them: pigs are extremely intelligent; cows form friendships and are emotional beings etc..
      I say do what’s best for your family.

  • Can you tell us where Leo’s high hair is from?

  • Do you mind sharing what kind of formula you used withbLeo?

  • Sonja Bermingham  • 

    Hi, according to what I’ve researched, “grass fed” = Vitamin K2 = calcium absorption = bone health????

  • When did you switch from formula to homo milk?
    I am going back to work in 2 weeks and am still breastfeeding my 10 month old but have to start to switch him to a bottle…
    Also how do you clean your bottles? I have put them in the dishwasher but then taste like the soap!

    • Jillian Harris  • 

      We switched when he was one!! I felt so guilty when I stopped giving him breast milk, I actually stopped producing because of my crazy work schedule and I felt so guilty especially when I saw what was in the formula!! I remember looking at the ingredients and thinking that there are so many things in it that I can’t even pronounce. I have actually heard that there is an amazing formula from Europe and I think next time I will try and give that a go.

    • Hipp or Holle are great! Try one of those for baby #2 🙂 Love you and the fam!

  • You’re awesome!!!! Question though regarding Leo’s food intake.. since you only give him 2, 8oz bottles a day. How many times does Leo eat solids a day ?? 3 meals and 2 snacks ?

    • Jillian Harris  • 

      Hi Hailey!! Awesome question!!! He has a bottle around 6:30am, around 8-8:30 he has breakfast (which are solids), he then has a snack around 10, lunch between 11:30-12 … then he goes down for a nap. Once he is up and around 2:30-3 he has another snack and around 5:30 he has dinner!! Thennnn another bottle before bed. I’m going to add this into the blog now!! XOXO

  • I am just about to start solids with my little one and we are also a plant based home! This was a great read for me so thank you! I also have a no pork rule for the same reasons as you.. I miss bacon and pulled pork but just can’t do it.

  • Hey Jillian, I may have missed this in a previous post, but what type of formula did you give Leo when he was at that stage ?
    Thx!

  • I just stumbled across this and it made me think of your post so I thought I would come back & share! It talks about plant based beverages (almond, coconut, rice milks etc) vs animal milk for children.

    https://www.dietitians.ca/Media/News-Releases/2017/PlantBasedBeveragesChildren.aspx