I found that Josie became pickier as she grew closer to two, but I stuck with serving her a variety of foods, usually what we were eating, and now that she is three, I can see her slowly becoming less picky, I think.
So what helps? What's the secret? Talking to other Moms (and Dads). That's it.
Hearing about how they struggle too. About what dishes have been a hit and what dishes totally bombed. Knowing that some Moms feed their kids eggs for dinner too. Figuring out different ways to cook broccoli because it's one of the only green vegetables your kid will eat.
I want to tell you about a little side project I've been working on with some Moms in my neighborhood. It's a website called Just One Bite. The website is a growing collection of about 80 recipes (you can submit your own here) made with seasonal ingredients from local farms. There are also helpful tips for feeding kids healthy, whole foods.
These recipes have helped me figure out how to make dishes that include tomatoes, broccoli, and bok choy among other vegetables, that we all like as a family.
The other day someone referred to me as a southern gal. I almost spit my diet coke out across the room. What? No slight against southerners intended, but I just had never thought of myself in that way.
I'm a New Englander.
I'm not one of those Northern elitists, either. I count myself as a New Englander not because I think I'm better than southerners, but because I like my ocean the same way I like my beer: cold. When it comes to shellfish, lobster reigns supreme. I like to transition to sweaters at night in the summer. Fall is my favorite season; apple picking my favorite pastime. I have a soft spot for Ben Affleck. I am an Italian-Irish American! I am nostalgic about snowstorms, and, during the winter, I am constantly rooting for more. AND I can ice skate.
A trip to Dupont Farmers Market will tell you that it's high season for tomatoes (and a lot of other gorgeous produce). These tomatoes taste so good, there's no need for fancy recipes. Eat them whole, unadorned, with a dash of salt or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Make your favorite pesto and top them on pasta. Bake them with thyme and bread crumbs. Slice them to use as a topping on pizza. Marry them with a sharp, nutty cheese and serve with pasta.
Yum. What's your favorite way to celebrate in season tomatoes?
After visiting a friend for breakfast on the Hill this weekend, I decided to check out the H Street Farmers Market. I filled my bags with heirloom tomatoes, peaches, kalamata olive bread, feta cheese, and a big slab of blueberry pie. Oh my.
Today the farmers market in Falls Church was packed. Waiting to pick out peaches was reminiscent of standing in the second row of the 9:30 club: it was crowded, people were acting crazy, and at times I didn't feel safe. I suppose that's the price you have to pay for this lovely weather.
"I blame the hooch," said my friend, Dave, who slept until 4:00 pm the day after my wedding. The hooch he was talking about was a special concoction I learned from my sister: infusing vodka with strawberries and rhubarb. It goes down fast and smooth (either shaken with ice or with a splash of club soda over ice), making it the perfect signature cocktail for our wedding. It's also seasonal.
Making hooch is not a task for the instant gratification crowd (i.e., me). It takes a minimum of two weeks, feeding the vodka oodles of strawberries and rhubarb, but it's worth it: you end up with a sweet, pink drink that tastes more like strawberry juice than strawberry vodka. That's an endorsement as much as a warning. Remember that this sweet nectar is actually vodka, so don't drink it all at once, or else you'll end up like my friend Dave: sleeping the day away.
Last Sunday, a handful of food bloggers traveled about ten miles outside of DC to volunteer at Eco Farms. Eco Farms is a small family owned operation that provides fresh herbs and vegetables to some of DC's best restaurants, including Vidalia, Citronelle, Bistro Bis, Cafe Atlantico, and many more.