I told myself I would not feed little C something I would not also eat myself. So far I have been able to, for the most part, stick to that (just adding a little seasoning for me until she is old enough to have more for herself). Her vegetable soup gets some sea salt and a slick of olive oil and it is ready for mama. Her spinach and leek risotto get a shower of grated Manchego cheese for me. Her malunggay and rice ends up in my bowl with just a dash of fish sauce. I am hoping that this path will lead to her enjoy the same things we do --- ultimately to healthier eating habits and (also very important) me never having to make special “kid-friendly” dishes in addition to what is already on the table.
That term, “kid-friendly dishes”, confuses me. Most of the things I see touted as “kid-friendly” are not in fact very friendly, especially not if that is all they get served. Chicken nuggets, mini hotdogs (!!), and all kinds of sweetened and flavored snacks. Now, don’t get me wrong, I will eat all the aforementioned foods, but I am over 30 and have already grown to appreciate the world’s many wonderful (and healthier) flavors. I’m not in danger of being spoilt for the more delicate flavors like those of vegetables and fruits. I can eat a hotdog today and know that it’s not that good for me and I won’t be eating another one in a while. But for a child whose palate is just being formed, whose tastes are just beginning to take shape, wouldn’t it better, and truly more “kid-friendly”, to give them foods for which we hope they will develop an undying affection? Like broccoli? And yogurt?
Yogurt with Stewed Plums
(feeds baby and mum!)
- 1 plum
- 1 tablespoon water (approximate)
- 1/3 cup natural unflavored Greek yogurt
- Peel, de-seed, and slice the plum into eight wedges.
- Place plum wedges in a pan where they all fit snugly in one layer. Add about a tablespoon of water. You want the water to just barely cover the bottom of the pan, no more (there is liquid enough in the fruit).
- Place pan over low heat, cover, and cook until plums soften and start to collapse. Set aside to cool.
- Place yogurt in a bowl. Take about 1-2 tablespoons of yogurt out of that and into a smaller bowl for baby. Top baby’s portion with about a teaspoon and a half of stewed plums and place the rest on mum’s yogurt.
Fruits are a fantastic way to add a bit of sweetness to your baby's yogurt or cereal (I only did this though after she had tasted yogurt without any embellishment -- so she could first appreciate its natural flavor). I think if you start off this way you can try this for as long you can to avoid extra sugar. We will see :)
As a person at the beginning of her gastronomic journey, little C is like a blank slate, ready to be filled with every taste and flavor and aroma she can get in her toothy grin. As much as I am capable, I’d like those first tastes to be ones that are good for her, and ones that C and I enjoy as well.