I've thought about writing this post for a while and resisted for a few reasons. First, I'm not a Mommy blogger. This blog is my space; my hobby. But obviously Josie is a big part of my life, and these days she takes up a lot of my culinary attention. So I'm giving in by writing an occasional post about what she's eating.
Secondly, I find that while I love reading Mommy blogs, especially ones that share what they feed their children (I need ideas, people!), some of them come across as judge-y. For example, a few lines from Mommy blogs that have made me flinch, "Not breast feeding is similar to feeding your kid McDonald's." (I didn't breastfeed for various personal reasons). "I would never feed my kids chicken fingers." (I feed Josie chicken fingers regularly. I tell myself it's ok because they are the fancy "no junk" kind from Whole Foods or ones that I make myself. Lucky for me, I'm privileged enough to buy them, cause they ain't cheap. I wouldn't judge a tired mother for feeding her kid chicken fingers from the drive thru. There are worse things.) Another favorite line, "My kid is a good eater because I make everything from scratch." (Some kids are just picky. Doing river dance while feeding them baked kale leaves isn't going to change that).
With that said, generally, I would categorize Josie as a good eater. So far. I'm sure things will change. Maybe someday (or next week) she will go on a white food only diet and only eat pasta, chicken, butter, bread, and cheese, all washed down with a diet coke and cigarettes, as her Mama did during her college years. I hope not.
I used to eat asparagus from a can. It took years for me to try kale (I was 36 to be exact). I missed years of tasty eating in exchange for Celeste pizzas and Taco Bell. Basically, I used to eat a lot of crap food.
That's a long way to say: I will not judge you. My job is to help Josie discover kale and provide her a variety of healthy foods to choose from so that she develops a taste for whole foods. Along the way, I would like to share some of what I cook for her (maybe you can share some ideas too because if you have a child, I'm sure you will agree that feeding them isn't easy).
So, as my first official Cooking for Josie post, here's what she eats on a regular basis. She's 16 months old. She drinks about 16 ounces of whole milk. We are still trying to cut her nightly bottle and she isn't having it (she will only drink water from a sippy cup, not milk, because, duh!, milk comes from a bottle, not a cup), so if you have any ideas on that one, or have meals that you make regularly for your little one, please share!
- Kashi waffles and butter
- Whole wheat toast and butter
- Whole wheat toast and avocado
- Whole wheat pancakes (w/fruit) and maple syrup
- Scrambled eggs
- Bacon (at the diner on Saturday mornings)
- Sausage (at the diner on Saturday mornings)
- Greek yogurt
(After reading this list, I realize I should re-introduce oatmeal, which she ate a lot of when she was starting solids!)
- Peanut butter toast with banana and yogurt
- Hummus with toast or pita and fruit
- Baba ghanoush with pita and fruit
- Grilled cheddar cheese with pickles stuffed inside
(Azra, her daycare provider, feeds her lunch most days, which usually consists of rice, vegetables, lamb or chicken and yogurt. Some times they eat mac and cheese with apple sauce on the side.)
- Sweet potato quesadillas with cheddar and scallions
- Black bean and cheese quesadillas with cheddar
- Spinach and cheese frittata
- Lamb Meatballs with mint chutney for dipping
- Grilled chicken and rice with broccoli
- Mashed sweet potatoes (w/string cheese, yogurt, grapes)
- Gazpacho with pumpernickel bread (a summer favorite)
- Meatballs and tomato sauce with toast and cheese
- Sweet and sour meatballs with pineapple and rice
- Turkey meatloaf with corn and carrots
- Salmon with potatoes and yogurt
- Grits and braised kale
- Carrot soup with toast
- Lentil soup with kale and parmesan
- Rice with chicken kabobs and yogurt
- Quinoa, cheese, and broccoli pie
- Chicken fingers with honey mustard dipping sauce (w/veggie, fruit, yogurt)
- Pizza toasts (cheese, tomato sauce)
Josie's Food Preferences
Loves (smiles when they are coming her way)
- String cheese (or any other type of cheese)
- Frozen blueberries, raspberries, strawberries
Vegetable Love (eats regularly)
- Sweet potatoes
Tolerated Vegetables (a few bites, sometimes more, sometimes less, but she doesn't fling them at me)
- Lima beans
Jury is still out (makes a face, opens mouth, lets food dribble out)
- Josie usually starts dinner with a cracker. This keeps her busy, while I finish cooking. Mum-Mums or sesame seed flatbreads are her favorite.
- We pace her meals, giving her one food at a time in the beginning and let her eat a few bites of each thing before dumping everything on her tray. It goes something like this: cracker, cheese, vegetable, meat, fruit, yogurt. She doesn't necessarily finish each item before the other is introduced, but at least she tries some if it first. This helps her from getting overwhelmed by a lot of food on her tray or just eating all the grapes first.
- We try to eat similar meals or give her some variation on our meal. She's a copycat. If we are enjoying salmon, she wants to try it. This isn't always possible, of course, but we try.
- If I'm introducing a new food, I always take a bite and then make a ridiculous deal about how yummy it is. MMMMMmmmmmm. Does this work? I'm not sure, but it makes her (and my husband) smile.
- Early on, I gave her an adult fork. Despite it being big and difficult to maneuver, it's easier for her to use because the tongs actually stab into food and pick it up, unlike the plastic baby versions, which are too dull. Sometimes I offer her a little help by strategically placing bites so it's easier for her to pick them up with the fork (or I stab the food and give her the fork back to put the food in her mouth).