Spring has sprung and I have been eagerly awaiting the season for two reasons: the return of farmers markets and the arrival of my first child. When I first found out I was pregnant, I was given a list of what I couldn’t eat – seafood, deli counter lunch meat, unpasteurized cheeses – and waved goodbye to my wine collection.
As my pregnancy has progressed, I began thinking about what it means to raise a child and feed a picky eater, something that I know I won’t have the patience for. As a soon-to-be-first-time-mom, the trickiest has got to be getting kids to eat their vegetables. While I will sneak healthy options into family favorites, like putting black beans in taco meat, I didn’t want that to be the only way my child receives added nutrition.
In planning for feeding solid foods, and preparing my pro-vegetable arguments now, I started thinking about baby food and how unappealing it looks – no wonder kids don’t want to eat their veggies! My first idea, and the one that I am going for, was to make my own. How hard can it be?
I asked for a large food processor, read a few articles, and let my imagination go. My goal is to use fresh, local ingredients – hence my excitement for the farmers markets – and freeze individual portions either in ice cube trays or specially made containers found at baby stores. Studies have shown that babies and children have just as much, if not more, taste buds than adults, so the bland, jarred food is only making parenthood harder.
So far I have come up with a few ideas paring one fruit or vegetable with a limited number of spices: salt, pepper, and one other. My favorites so far are:
• Carrots with dill
• Potatoes with tarragon
• Broccoli with garlic
• Sweet Potatoes with nutmeg
• Zucchini with cumin or cilantro
• Bananas with vanilla or maybe coconut
• Apples with cinnamon
Hopefully starting early will help limit dinner time tantrums.
Anna Reorda is a Guest Contributor on Foodista.com. She is expecting her first child in May.
Photo by: Sonia Gupta