Debra Jean

I love checking out the meal ideas posted by all the mommies contributing to Munchkin Meals at A Healthy Slice of Life.  It helps keep me from getting into too much of a rut with meals for my little one.  Here are a few examples of foods being served up in our home.

Lil’ DJ is 13 months old.  At her 12 month appointment we got the okay to move from baby formula to whole milk and the switch has gone well. We offer DJ at least 18 ounces of milk a day (3 bottles, 6 ounces each) which she always takes.  I’ve bought organic milk when its been on sale but otherwise I just make sure that its from no-growth-hormone cows.

Breakfast:  Hubby eats breakfast with Lil’ DJ during the week, most often while I shower and get ready for work.  It always starts with a small handful of cereal for her to snack on while coffee brews and everything else gets put together.  A typical breakfast consists of a waffle, bagel or homemade zucchini bread* topped with cream cheese or peanut butter.  If we’re behind on the food shopping, it will be as simple as half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Breakfast always involves fruit: banana, blueberries, strawberries, peach, grapes or whatever we have to offer.

Homemade pumpkin bread* spread with peanut butter, Stoneyfield strawberries & cream whole milk yogurt. Not shown: banana slices.

*I make zucchini bread and pumpkin bread with whole wheat flour & half the usual amount of sugar.  The zucchini bread comes out great but it doesn’t quite work so great with the pumpkin.  Luckily zucchini is available & affordable year-round, so until I find another ‘healthy’ quick bread recipe zucchini bread will do.

Lunch:  DJ is at daycare for half a day each morning.  At daycare she gets 6 oz of milk we bring from home but she doesn’t always drink it all.  She gets offered a morning snack and lunch.  The menu changes daily but a morning snack is along the lines of pancakes with applesauce or cereal and blueberries; lunch is pasta with veggies, turkey with cheese and crackers.  Early this week they served tomato soup that they thicken with rice cereal to make more munchkin friendly.  I still have rice cereal left from our puree phase and I’m a soup lover.  I think this is a genius way to make winter soups & stews more toddler friendly, plus it adds those extra vitamins and iron!

If my little one doesn’t eat the lunch at daycare, she eats for me at home.  I’ve started buying sliced turkey from Whole Foods which makes an easy and quick go to (thank you Lisa at The Splattered Apron & Munchkin Meals for this tip) with fruit and Cheerios.  Its also quick to make a scrambled egg and microwave some frozen veggies or to serve some whole milk yogurt with Chex.

Scrambled egg, corn, green grapes

Snack:  Trader Joe’s peanut butter cracker sandwiches are a big hit with DJ and make a great afternoon snack offered up with milk and fruit.  We also have a lot of fun snacking on animal crackers.  Blueberries and peaches have been a hit since we started Lil’ DJ on solids but with summer behind us we’re transitioning decently to fall fruits like apples and tangerines.  I slice the apple into quarters then cut the slices in half, DJ gnaws on the hunk until all that is left is a bit of skin and tiny apple bits sprayed everywhere.  I bought a giant bag of tiny tangerine/cuties/mandarin oranges this week.  I peel one and pull it apart, my girl picks them up, sucks & chews on them a bit, puts it down and moves onto the next one.  Grapes and bananas are available and affordable year-round and are still a staple in our home.

Mini peanut butter cracker sandwiches – I try to keep a baggie of these in our diaper bag for on the go snacks.

Dinner:  In general we let our munchkin eat what we eat for dinner.  We usually microwave or steam up frozen vegetable to offer DJ as well, particularly if hubby and I are having hard raw vegetables or some that could be a choking hazard for DJ.  Pasta, chicken, sausages, meatballs, rice, beans, cheese ravioli, pizza, soups minus the broth.

Pasta & leftover vegetables with butter & Parmesan cheese.

Pasta & steamed veggies with butter & Parmesan cheese.  Baby enjoyed it all but the green beans 🙂

Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing your munchkin’s meals to inspire the rest of us.



I’ve never been much of a blogger, I created this blog two years ago to blog about life as a traveling newlywed.  I’m a busy momma now with an almost-10-month-old who eats.  At her 9-month doctors appointment we were given the okay to feed Lil’ DJ finger foods & were encouraged to start sharing food from our plates.  Munchkin Meals started at the perfect time for us.  I’ve enjoyed seeing what other moms are feeding their kiddos, so here is a contribution from the Sandmasters!

I work part-time so mornings are busy for all of us.  Hubby handles most of breakfast duty while I shower & get ready.  The standard breakfast involves puffs, spoonfed purees and possibly some finger food fruits like grapes or blueberries.  Lil’ DJ is formula fed & get her first bottle at daycare.

Lunch is much more relaxed soI have a lot of fun feeding & eating with my daughter.  Lunch is usually finger foods only.  There is always chopped fruit and a carb, sometimes we do more but sometimes its as simple as Cheerios & grapes.  Here are a few of the recent meals we’ve tried.

ImageWhole-grain mini-waffles spread with cream cheese along with chopped apricot.  I’ve made DJ mini waffles a few times now & she likes them.  I cook up 2 at a time, which is equal to about half a standard Eggo, she eats atleast one of the mini-waffles so I offer her more but she’s never completed the 2 mini waffles.


Dry Cheerios, more apricot and Lil’ DJ’s first ever scrambled egg.  The egg was a big hit, she ate most of it!  I never ended up chopping the tomato & offering it to DJ.


Dry Cheerios, chopped grapes & green peas.  Peas are a favorite of our little girl.


Brown rice krispies, banana and a Gerber berry flavored yogurt.  I’ve been trying to find an alternative to all the puffs DJ likes to feed herself and the brown rice cereal work decently.  They are crispy, easily stick to any drool-dampened toddler hand.  They don’t have a ton of nutritional value but I consider them less processed and sugared any puffs I’ve found.

For Dinner we try to offer Lil’ DJ a taste our own dinner: ground meat broken off a turkey burger, ravioli & greens, pasta w/tomato sauce, cheddar quesadilla, chicken & veggies strained from homemade soup, etc.  We also get through a tub or two of baby purees and puffs.  We also offer a finger food or two like grapes, peas, steamed carrots or corn.

Each meal is accompanied by a sippy cup of water.  Sometimes DJ sips when I hold it for her, sometimes she doesn’t.  Sometimes she swallows the water, other times I she just gnaws at the nozzle & lets the water run out of her mouth & down her face – I think this soothes her teething gums a bit.  My goal is to get her to handle & drink from the sippy cup on her on by our Hawaiian vacation next month.  Wish us luck.

Thank you to all the moms who have shared their Munchkin Meals.  You’ve given me great ideas of foods to try on my munchkin.

I guess I never finished writing about our road trip. Thats okay, the trip was awesome & the Sandmasters have been in Santa Barbara for over a month now. We’re enjoying the California sunshine and our new kittens!

Gettysburg, PA: Rich in Civil War history and home to Gettysburg College.

As a lover of American history, Gettysburg was on my must-see list.

Battlefields of Gettysburg

The town has a cute center with a Lincoln statue and a few restaurants but it isn’t too commercial.  Every building seems to have housed a Lincoln, an Eisenhower or a Roosevelt.

Once you get to touring the battlefields, you soon learn how big Gettysburg is.  Stones, statues and signs memorialized every step of the great Civil War battle.  Despite all the tourists, the battlefields were peaceful and everyone was respectful of the lives lost and sacrifices made here.  The markers and silence reminded me a bit of the US cemetery in Normandy, France full of white crosses and stars for the fallen soldiers of WWII

Abe Meets the Sandmasters

Debbie & Dwight @ Gettysburg College

The weirdest thing about Gettysburg?  I could not find a mailbox.  The first batch of roadtrip postcards burned in my purse waiting to be mailed out.  Luckily the helpful man at our hotel’s front desk helped me out.

Stop 1: Poughkeepsie, NY

The Sandmasters on The Walkway Over The Hudson

Poughkeepsie, NY is on the Hudson River and home to Vassar College.  Poughkeepsie’s history inclues whaling, mills and breweries as well as Vanderbilts and Roosevelts.  The Hudson was a major transportation route for shipping and railroads.

What was Poughkeepsie like for us?  Well, it was a location for our first night: a few hours from Boston and far enough from NYC to be affordable and avoid major traffic.  We had dinner overlooking the river and its beautifully lit bridge.

The Hudson River @ Night - August 2010

The next morning we walked over the Hudson.  An out of use railroad bridge was recently converted to a walking bridge for pedestrians & bicyclists.  We got in a little exercise and got an unmatched view of Hudson.

The Hudson in Daylight - August 2010

The Sandmasters have hit the road.  Dave & I are driving cross country to Santa Barbara!

A rough idea of the stops we’ll be making along the way:

  1. Poughkeepsie, NY
  2. Gettysburg, PA
  3. Charlottesville, VA
  4. Great Smokey National Park, TN
  5. Nashville, TN
  6. St. Louis, MO
  7. Kansas City, MO
  8. Omaha, NE
  9. Sioux Falls, SD
  10. Badlands National Park & Mount Rushmore, SD
  11. Cheyenne, WY
  12. Rocky Mountains National Park, CO
  13. Denver, CO
  14. Santa Fe, NM
  15. Flagstaff, AZ
  16. Grand Canyon, AZ
  17. The Grand Finale: Life in Santa Barbara!  Yay.

Over the next 2+ weeks I will try to post updates and photos of our journey.

Today I visited my endocrinologist.  I love going to the endocrinologist.  I leave feeling very positive, empowered and in control of my disease and body.  It is always a very good day.

I occasionally read up on Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Disease on WebMD & do a few Google searches.  Today I did my first Twitter search on the subjects – how disappointing.  Most of the tweets I found were from women sounding confused and frustrated by conditions they don’t understand.  Twitter led to thyroid blogs written by those coping with thyroid diseases.  I am not coping with my hypothyroidism, I am living well with hypothyroidism.

I am writing today to add a little encouragement and hope to anyone coping with a hypothyroid.  Diagnosed with Hashimoto’s at age 8, I have lived on Synthroid & Levoxyl for the past 20 years.  I know my body better than any doctor.  I’m no health nut, but I try to eat a high-fiber, high-iron diet to counteract the irregularity and anemia I can experience.  I avoid NyQuil & DayQuil type medicines when I get a cold.  I carefully read the warning labels on over-the-counter meds & I avoid unnecessary multi-vitamins and herbal supplements.  I have read and own a copy of The Thyroid Sourcebook by M. Sara Rosenthal.

My TSH level has been in the normal range for years.  For over a year now, I have maintained a level low enough that it is considered ideal for pregnancy.  I have spoken to my endocrinologist about a plan of action to follow if and when my husband start a family.  I ask the questions I want answers to.  I’ve been lucky enough to find doctors who take the time to answer me and explain tests and medication dosages.

I encourage thyroid patients to read The Thyroid Sourcebook and legitimate medical research, articles and information on the thyroid and thyroid diseases.  Research endocrinologists and choose one you feel comforatable with.  If your primary care doctor wants to treat you him/herself instead of referring you to a specialist, find a new primary care doctor who will grant you a referral.  Write down questions you have and note things you may forget to bring up: dandruff, dry skin, anxiety, that you always seem hotter or colder than everyone else in the room, frequent heavy or missed periods, is there more or less hair in your hairbrush each day.  Bring the list to your appointment and work with your doctor.

Pay attention to your body, your doses and your doctor.  Trust you gut and speak up.

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