Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A personal chef for baby

One of the things that has surprised me most about motherhood is how experimentation in food and cooking is required. Here I was thinking that I would have some sort of advantage working in food and knowing what to do with it to make it tasty and appealing...most of the time. 
But within a month Wolf has gone from a good eater opening his mouth for everything I might offer, to a super fussy one displaying a sudden penchant for toasted ham and cheese sandwiches and little else other than a lot of fruit. What did I do wrong? I made him the tastiest beef casserole and he spat out every mouthful. He won't even eat avocado, his first proper solid food and (used-to-be) hands down favourite. We're pretty over spoon-fed meals, as he spits them out or pretends to take the spoon to bring it to his mouth then throws it on the floor. Then when you bends down to clean it up, he reaches down and pulls your hair with his sticky hands. Argh.
I was almost tempted to buy a baby food recipe book to see where I'm going wrong, but that feels like cheating! If I can come up with grown up solutions for meals, why not a baby? 
Then yesterday I re-read the passage on finger foods in What to Expect in the First Year, and actually took the advice given. Not great and taking advice. Not great at listening. Must work on that. 
I'm surprised the feeding solution has been about presentation and not taste. Small cubes of food, no more than five at a time on his high chair table. Yesterday we tried cubes of boiled carrot and whole grain macaroni. He snapped up each piece at it was placed on his table and gobbled them up like sweets! Couldn't believe it. Maybe that says something about me as a cook. I like it when things look sort of rustic and edible in an accessible way, rather than neatly and carefully presented. Why I would fail as a proper chef and why I was definitely not destined to finish my pastry chef apprenticeship. Wonky eclairs. 
Now I just have to work out how to get some red meat into his system without him spitting it out. Will it be cubes of jellified beef consomme or little meatballs poached in broth? I have to remind myself no salt, not too much oil, not too much flavour generally. But it's so hard!
Other amazing thing. Beetroot comes out looking much the same as it went in. But it sure gives you a heart attack when you open that nappy!


  1. Chicken meatballs poached in a soup are a great way to get them to eat meat. My two year old lived of them! I remember my first beetroot nappy, I nearly fainted. My son is 4 months old now and getting ready to start solids in another month. I'm both excited about discovering all these new tastes with him and dreading all the anxiety that comes with it.
    Good Luck

  2. I am totally trying chicken meatballs tomorrow! Thanks Estelle.
    Good luck to you too. Catch those last good avocados!



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