Thursday, June 27, 2013

From Jar to Kitchen

So I received this book from my baby registry (what seems like eons ago). Cooking for baby sounds like a great idea, but it also sounds a bit too Martha-y for my mommy style. Until recently. I have been doing some introspective analysis (fancy phrase...translation: thinking about me) and realized I need more creative outlets. Although lately I have been questioning the amount of projects I have agreed to this year, I realize most of them I accepted and volunteered for because of their appeal to my creativity. Babies are fun, but all this routine stuff can really be a downer for a girl who used to thrive on only one routine: lack of routine.

So even though I feel like I never have any time, I realize I made time every week to watch The Voice. Now that the show is over for awhile, I know I have at least two hours a week to do something else. Now...what to do??

I have really been struggling with Hayley's meals. She does great and eats everything but peas (who can blame her?). But, I feel the urge to begin giving her more balanced meals and introduce meats. I take issue in feeding her meat from a jar. Mostly because I force myself to sample all her foods, and I don't want to eat meat from a jar. Enter the stroke of genius to start using my baby cookbook. I love cooking. She loves food. I have two extra hours a week. What could go wrong?

Rather than napping or relaxing during the oh-so-cherished morning nap, I busied myself with planning, scheming, preparing, and cooking some actually delicious "real" baby food. Minced pear with pork, nutmeg, and sweet potatoes. Pureed Chicken Parmesan leftovers from last night (sans parmesan). Turkey with cinnamon apples and pumpkin. Yum. Even made the kitchen smell delicious. The hardest parts were waiting for lunchtime and deciding what to serve. I felt like a kid myself on Christmas morning. 11:30, she wakes. I am feeling like a total rockstar momma. Or Martha. Maybe a rockstar Martha.

Any experienced parent can probably guess where this is headed. Did you notice a word I used too much in this whole idea? I.

First up, pork with pear and sweet potato. I pureed it some, thinning with homemade baby stock (don't fret, it isn't made from a baby). Drumroll, please...

Not what you would call an overwhelming success. In fact, my child actually refused food.

Well maybe she wants a bit more flavor. Let's try the leftovers from grown-up dinner last night. Chicken Parm without the Parm:

No go. Though, to be fair, the face was less of disgust and more of uncertainty with this one.

Another stroke of desperation genius: Make fun shapes from the pureed food and let her self-feed. All food is better when eaten with fingers. So the chicken parm puree became tiny chicken parm meatballs. And...


It worked. Back to feeling like a rockstar. Turns out, she is my kid after all. She isn't picky about flavors. She is picky about texture. Like her momma. I have a long-sworn hatred of cottage cheese, steamed oysters, pulpy orange juice, and other such "foods".

Summary: I haven't given up. I think she is ready to start on more "real" food, especially at the biggie meals like lunch and dinner. Finger foods (even those not really meant for fingers) seem to do the best. The baby experiment continues...