about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    For general inquires, contact: EmilyBMalone@gmail.com.

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    5K - 23:28

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    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

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    A Look Back.

Foodie Baby: One Year.

For the previous posts in this series, check out:

Now that Cullen is one, we are starting to wean and he is getting the bulk of his nutrition from food.  When he first started eating solids, I found it really overwhelming and confusing.  But with a little research and experimentation, meal times have become a lot of fun. 

Sometimes a little too much fun…

Now that Cullen is eating three meals a day, plus snacks – I thought I’d give an update on how things look at the one year mark.  Here’s how a typical day of eating, drinking, and nursing looks right now…


Cullen wakes up around 7am most mornings (this is a very new development).  After he wakes up, I change his diaper and nurse him in his room, and then we head downstairs for breakfast.

I try to give him a good variety of food, and not give him the same thing too many days in a row.  I always make sure to get him a balance of fruit, carbs, and fats for breakfast.  Here are some typical foods I choose from each morning:

  • whole banana or pear, sliced into discs or wedges
  • scrambled egg
  • piece of toast with almond butter or sunbutter (cut into strips)
  • several baby banana pancakes
  • sippy cup of fruit and veggie smoothie
  • Coconut milk yogurt (I get the plain, Greek variety)
  • homemade applesauce or diced kiwi

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Obviously he doesn’t get all of this every day.  I usually give him three things.  Here are some sample combos:

  • scrambled egg, toast with nutbutter, applesauce
  • coconut milk yogurt, banana pancakes, whole pear

When Casey packs up and gets ready for the day, he makes a full blender of smoothie for all of us to share.  He takes a bottle to work, and leaves the rest for me and Cullen in the fridge.  They are usually a blend of frozen berries, bananas, carrots, spinach, flax oil, and almond milk.  If Cullen is having smoothie, we leave out things like protein powder and stevia that we typically add to our “adult” smoothies. 

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He generally eats a BIG breakfast.  If he still seems hungry, I will keep feeding him.   He’s going into his busiest, more energetic time of the day, so I know he needs lots of fuel. 


Ahhhh the milk question.  So many of you have asked what we ended up deciding on this!  After much research and talking to our pediatrician, Casey and I decided we felt confident that we could meet Cullen’s nutritional needs without cow’s milk.

We are paying careful attention to the amount of fat he’s getting each day (as fat is the primary nutritional concern at this age).  We’re opting to give him unsweetened hemp milk as an alternative. 

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I usually offer a sippy cup of hemp milk several times a day – usually with meals or snacks.  On average, he probably has anywhere from 5-12 ounces a day, depending on his appetite.  I don’t want to overly rely on milk, so I try to get a good amount of fat into his diet in other ways.  He is also still breastfeeding twice a day (as of this week!).

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The only drawback to the hemp milk so far?  It’s expensive!  It comes in the unrefrigerated boxes, so I’ve been stocking up whenever there is a sale.  One thing is for sure – Cullen is definitely making his presence known in the grocery budget!

Edited to add:  Thanks to all of your comments and questions!  I KNEW there was more I wanted to say on this, so I’m popping back to answer a few questions about the milk.  We chose hemp milk because it is the most nutritionally complete, and similar to cow’s milk, of the non-dairy milks.  Yes, it totally makes us sound like hippies.  We’re okay with it. 

We aren’t making our own because the boxed milk is fortified with things like Vitamin D, calcium, and B12 – all things Cullen needs, particularly as a vegetarian.  Can’t have too much of that good stuff!  Ultimately, we hope to get most of his nutrition met through food, so we don’t have to rely heavily on any type of milk.   


Lunch is usually the smallest meal of the day (for both of us!).  Due to his nap schedule, the middle of the day is generally when we’re out and about.  Whether it’s a playdate, mom’s group, or the one day a week Cullen plays at a friend’s house, I usually pack lunch on the go. 

Lunch is often a half an avocado, along with something like roasted sweet potatoes or Field Roast veggie dog.  Or sometimes I will make a sunbutter & jelly sandwich and cut it into cubes.  He is often too busy playing to eat much for lunch!  I have a few different sippy cups and packable plates that I take everywhere.  (I’ll write a separate post about feeding/eating supplies soon!)

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Cullen is not a big snacker.  I know there are babies that snack all day long, but he seems to like more formal meals.  We don’t usually do a morning snack unless we are at home (which is rare), so snacks are typically saved for the afternoon, after the nap and before dinner. 

Here are some of Cullen’s favorite snacks:

  • grapes (sliced in half)
  • roasted carrot sticks with hummus
  • clementines
  • more fruit/veggie smoothie
  • apple or pear slices
  • sharing a whole apple with mom

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Dinner is another big meal –for all of us!  I usually survey the fridge and pantry around 5pm and start to think about what I’m going to feed Cullen that night.  Most nights, we don’t do a family dinner and all eat at the same time, simply because Casey gets home during Cullen’s dinner time, and I can’t get our meal prepped and cooked while I’m home alone.

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When I cook dinner for me and Casey, I usually cook in massive quantities.  I always set a few portions aside for Cullen to have the next day, so I already have something cooked and ready to go.  I also make a few big batches of things during the week – quinoa, lentils, applesauce, roasted veggies – so they are on hand for lunches and dinners. 

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Here are a few of Cullen’s favorite dinner combinations:

  • Roasted squash, green peas, and avocado cubes
  • Quinoa and lentils, roasted sweet potatoes, and cheesy kale
  • Whole roasted carrots, mixed frozen vegetables, and black beans
  • Tortilla with hummus, edamame, and veggie burger bites
  • Penne pasta, miso sauce, butter beans, and kiwi

Those are just a few samples.  I usually plan his meals based on what he ate during other meals that day.  If he had an avocado at lunch, I’ll find another good fat source for dinner.  Or if he had toast for breakfast, I won’t give him a sandwich for lunch.  I strive for balance, but I also try not to over-think it. 

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Some days he is hungry and easy going, and eats anything I put in front of him.  Others, he waves his hands all over the high chair and tosses all his food onto the ground.  But judging by his massive belly, I’m not too worried about him starving just yet.

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Throughout the course of the day, he eats a LOT of food.  I’m always amazed at how much he can pack into such a tiny body.  But now that we’re down to only two nursing sessions each day, I try to offer as much as it seems he wants.  If he’s not hungry, he won’t eat, so I don’t really worry about offering too much at this point.

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It’s funny to think back now about when Cullen could only grasp food in his fist, and he’d struggle to open his hand wide enough to get anything in to his mouth.  Most of his first foods were fruits, and meal times were much more about experimentation and new flavors than they were about nutrition or fuel. 

These days, he can walk around the room while eating a whole apple (skinned).  He shows distinct preferences to tastes and textures, and claps wildly when he wants more.  For each meal, I sit on a stool across from him and either eat my own meal or just talk to him and help with his spoon.  Meals are some of my favorite parts of our day.

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I feel like there is a lot more on this topic that I wanted to say, but I don’t want to get too long winded.  I’m planning to do a few more posts soon on meal prep, supplies, and bulk cooking for the week.  I’d love to hear and tips or favorite foods from other parent in the comments too!

And finally, Cullen showing off his new favorite snack – stealing an apple from mom!

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113 Comments so far
Leave a comment

MPD     at 12:37 pm

Do you have a concern that by imposing your own vegetarian beliefs you might be robbing your child of needed nutrients? He seems a little young to be subjected to a hard core dietary. Give that kid some meat. He needs it for brain development.


Emily Malone Reply:

Nope, I don’t. Many, many children thrive on a vegetarian diet. His brain seems to be developing quite well so far!


Amy     at 1:38 pm

Oh please…really, MPD?!?! Loved this post, Emily.


MPD Reply:



Emily Malone Reply:

If anything, I think this article reinforces my point, not yours…

“successfully raising a vegetarian child to ensure that all nutritional needs are adequately met and growth is on target takes some education and effort on the part of the family meal planner (also known as Mom or Dad).”

“parents need to inform themselves on the special nutritional needs of their vegetarian children.”

I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I’ve done a LOT of research on this, and I feel very confident we can meet Cullen’s needs through a variety of food. This article actually describes all the ways that a vegetarian diet IS possible for children.


Kat     at 4:55 pm

I was eagerly waiting for this post. My daughter is 11 months old now and she has multiple food allergies which she was diagnosed with while breast fed.
I’ve been reading your foodie baby posts to get some inspiration, but we’re still behind with introductions. She started drinking coconut milk in addition to her hypoallergenic formula but I’d love to try hemp milk-hopefully she won’t be allergic to hemp, yikes…Please keep posting your foodie baby category, I really like it!


Kat     at 4:56 pm

Btw, Cullen is so adorable!!


Mamawass     at 9:06 am

Emily, this is such a helpful post! I have an almost 3 month old, so we are a ways away from introducing foods, but I’m glad to have you paving the way. Do you have any specific resources you’d recommend when introducing solids and meal planning for children?
Also, where is your diaper bag from? I love it! It appears not to be leather, I have a tough time finding cute vegan bags.


Emily Malone Reply:

It’s from Lands End and I am OBSESSED with it! It’s called the Little Tripper Bag, and cost $13. Go get one! I’d check out Wholesome Baby Food – great website with food lists for different ages. Very helpful!


Pam     at 10:41 am

Love these posts, and would love to hear more on meal prep, the specific recipes you use for his breakfasts, dinners, smoothies, etc.! My little one is a pretty good eater but I feel like I need to change up her meals more often and have been wanting to offer some vegetarian options. Keep up the great work with your little guy, he’s adorable! :)


Claire     at 11:41 am

So impressed to read that you are still breast feeding, Emily. It’s so under-rated nowadays, even though some women cannot, my nurse says it’s so good if you are able to. Beautiful photos, Cullen looks so happy and healthy. x


elizabeth     at 1:27 pm

Is stevia bad for kids? I had couple stevia plants in my garden last summer that I used, along with fresh mint, to make tea.


Shelly     at 6:46 pm

Hi Emily — Would you mind sharing why you decided to go with hemp over goat milk? (I know you mentioned in an earlier post that goat milk was an option you were seriously considering.) My son is almost 9 months, so I’m starting to think about what he will transition to at 1. So far he’s done MUCH better with goat milk yogurt than cow milk yogurt, so I’m thinking seriously about goat milk at least at the beginning. Was it just an effort to avoid animal products as much as possible?


Brenda     at 8:03 pm

My little guy (Cullen’s birthday twin) is also a great, healthy eater (knock on wood). He chows down on a lot of the same foods Cullen eats. One trick I have found to get him to eat food he doesn’t like is to put coconut oil on it. As a bonus. it’s full of healthy fat. What are your thoughts on coconut oil and babies? Admittedly, I have done very little research on it.

Also, we have that same chair from the Land of Nod. After seeing it on Writing Chapter Three, I immediately went on the website and ordered it!


Christina     at 8:59 pm

That belly! Oh it gets me every time so cute. This goes up there as one of my absolute favorite posts.

I just found out they sell Field Roast products at my local Whole Foods. I am excited beyond words to try them. They also sell Upton’s brand seitan.


Marie     at 7:18 am

Wow, you are such an amazing mom! I definitely would have tried making my twins’ food earlier if I had resources like this before. They are five now and I started after they started eating real food but didn’t do Purées. The videos are so adorable!!! Love your blog; especially seeing you as a mom and Cullen, of course!


Emily     at 8:00 am

Hi Emily, thanks for these great ideas!! Just wondering – how do you and Cullen like the zo-li cup? Is it durable? Are there many leaks? I have twins and am on a sippy cup search :)


Sarah @ Kids Heart Real Food     at 7:41 pm

Great post Emily, as always. That video of him eating the apple is so so cute.
I like that you have such an easy-going attitude around his eating habits. You are doing a great job of balancing his nutritional requirements, yet following his lead.

Do you notice that Cullen likes something one day and then doesn’t like it the next? Tyson is just starting to get a bit pickier with what I feed him, and I’m hoping it’s just a phase. It’s hard not to get stressed out when he spits out the vegetables that he used to devour (how can he not like beets? Is he crazy? Lol) but I know that it takes consistent exposure to things before they learn to really like them so I’m not giving up!

Thanks for the info on the milk as well – this is something that I’m starting to think about too.


jessica     at 7:56 am

Hi Emily,
Would you mind posting which books / websites you read to get up to speed on nutrition requirements for vegan / vegetarian nutrition for cullen?

We’re starting down this journey and I’m struggling to find books to educate myself! thank you!


Sena     at 1:15 pm

This is such a helpful post, thank you so much for sharing! We are not a vegetarian family but are dabbling/exploring this avenue. We often eat meat-free anyway, but I try to make the most of the times when we do (organic, lean). Our daughter is just a little older than Cullen and is not a fan of meat so I definitely don’t push it, and she currently eats whole milk yogurt and flax milk as part of her staples. These ideas are so great because I feel like I’m in a rut with preparing her meals, making it nutritious, balanced, and still using the time for learning/exploring new tastes and textures! I also think the “foodie baby” section would be great, and don’t underestimate your “expertise” in this area, because your blogs about Cullen’s meals are super-helpful and inspiring! :)


Daily Garnish » Blog Archive » Foodie Baby: Gear & Goods     at 2:41 pm

[…] Foodie Baby: One Year […]

Daily Garnish » Blog Archive » Foodie Baby: The Toddler Years.     at 3:35 pm

[…] Foodie Baby: One Year […]

tofu gerichte     at 10:32 pm

Did you ever wonder why there’s so few mentions of omega 6 fatty acids.
When on a p – H miracle diet, you should stay away from foods that
you just eat regularly. It facilitates internal cleansing of all of the tissues and
organs of the body.


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