Sorry about the internet silence for the past couple of weeks, you guys.
Between a week away from home for work, coming home to a feverish child, and then getting sick myself, there just hasn’t been a lot of time to get anything interesting on the dinner table. We’ve been focusing on Indian take out and sleep, mainly, and basically trying to survive these past couple of days until we all felt better. I think we’ve finally come out on the other side, and guess what: we officially have a one year old on our hands.
A silly, toddling one year old who decided over the last two months to become a picky eater. Out are the days of perfect meal prep and organized freezers. Those ended about a month and a half ago, which is why you may notice that I didn’t post a Month 11 update. I felt like I wasn’t really qualified to give baby food advice when my own child was spitting out everything he was given or better yet, when he was physically reaching into his mouth and clawing food out of it.
So let it be known, my perfect little eater has started a rebellion. He no longer tolerates plain vegetables or grains, but seems to have a taste for more sophisticated, composed meals. Problem is, he seems to want more things than his four-tooth-mouth can handle.
I’ve given up on trying to stock pile frozen food for him that we can grab at any time and now have resorted to cooking for him on the fly, a process that intimidates me not because it’s difficult, but because I have no idea if he’s going to accept or reject whatever I put in front of him. Babies are fickle beings, my friends. I bet that surprises no one.
Here’s the deal: it seems like he basically just wants whatever Jason and I are eating. This salmon, caper, and leek quiche? Big fan. Bagels with peanut butter? Most likely going to work. Omelets with veggies and cheese? It’s hit or miss. Sometimes it’s just a matter of what day of the week it is. We can go from loving blueberries and oatmeal with pumpkin and maple syrup to totally hating it.
I’ve also totally abandoned the “introduce a new food every 4 days rule.” If he shows interest, we’ll let him try it, and we’ve pretty much stuck to that unless the interest is shown towards espresso, wine bottles, or super spicy things. I’m also modifying the way I’m cooking. When making dinner for Jason and I, I’m trying to set aside part of it for the boy and omitting serious spices or other things I don’t think will go over well as I go. This black bean and lentil chili worked great. As I made up a large pot for the adults, I pulled out about a cup of vegetables and beans into a separate pot right before adding all the spices to the main one.
Other things I’ve made? A whole wheat pumpkin bread sweetened by maple syrup (still want to tweak that recipe, but that may be coming soon), lots of pasta with pork, peas, and marinara sauce, beef meatballs with a bunch of broccoli and cumin snuck into them, and non-american meatloaf (he ate the end pieces without the runny eggs—those were for us). Soups seem to make him pretty happy most of the time, as long as there aren’t any huge chunks in it. This morning we had blueberry pancakes and everyone was happy. When he likes something, he usually offers us some. (So sweet!)
What’s made all this food drama so much easier for us has been our unfairly amazing nanny, who took over all cooking for Theo’s lunch and dinner when he’s with her during the week. I no longer have to stress about packing him two meals for the day, which makes our crazy mornings run at least a 10% smoother. She’s making him things like pulled pork with spinach and potatoes with green onions, chicken and rice with peas, corn, and green beans, or bowls of beef and barley soup. And although she also sometimes gets the good old Theo rejection, he happily eats most of the things she makes for him. I’m so thankful for this woman (and can’t believe just how lucky we got).
One year. We’ve made it. Let’s go eat cake.