My harshest critic

Nate telling us what he thinks of his dinner


This picture was taken a couple of weeks ago when we introduced Nate to carrots, which if you couldn’t tell by his face, he really didn’t care for.  He’s been eating solids for several months now in the form of rice and whole grain cereals, but was just introduced to ‘real’ food on Thanksgiving when he had a butternut squash puree.

The butternut squash puree went really well.  I tasted it (in part because if I won’t eat it then I won’t feed it to my child) and found it to be delicious, as did he.  The process was simple – peel and large dice butternut squash, steam until soft then puree with some water.  It’s great in that I don’t have to worry about seasoning, just flavor and texture.

After 5 days – the pediatrician recommended introducing single item foods every 5 days so that if he had an allergic reaction we know precisely what caused it – we introduced carrots.  Same process, totally different results.  I have to admit that the carrots weren’t as tasty as the squash, but still something I’d eat.  Nate shared didn’t really share the same feelings towards the carrots as I, and that’s fair.  I don’t expect him to like everything.  We will give him carrots again in the future, but I’ll search for baby carrots with the tops still on which will have a sweetness that will appeal more to his infant taste buds. 

Next up were peas, which naturally come frozen this time of year (I cannot wait for spring to provide him with fresh peas in Spring).  The peas were undoubtedly a big hit but were by far the messiest food yet.  For the peas I blanched them in unsalted water for a minute or two then placed in an ice bath, strained then pureed with enough water to thin out.  We had to add some rice cereal to get the texture thick enough as Nate prefers a thicker puree over a thin one, as he attempts to ‘chew’ or rather gum his food.

Tonight we introduced apples which after some careful consideration were a big hit.  I peeled some baking apples, diced then placed them in a pan with about a quarter to half inch of water, cooked for 8-10 minutes, let stand for a while then put in a blender.  Again we had to add some rice cereal to thicken, but the apples were absolutely delicious and I was jealous that I wasn’t having them for myself.

Next up are pears, acorn squash, sweet potato and parsnip, in no particular order.

Each time it’s interesting to watch him actually contemplate what he’s eating, whether it’s the texture or flavor or both.  He takes several spoonfulls before declaring a verdict, and all the while we have to remind ourselves that all of these things are completely new to him.  As it stands right now, the largest change week to week in his life are the flavors and textures of the foods that he’s being introduced to, as everything else largely remains the same.

As for myself, cooking food for Nate is as rewarding as I’d hoped it would be.  We don’t have to worry about the chemicals he’s eating – none – and we get the satisfaction of providing for him in every way.  Not only is it cheaper, he’s learning from a ridiculously young age what his food looks like (not that he’s piecing it all together right now, but some day he will) and what natural and whole ingredients taste like. 

Lastly, preparing his food is so easy.  I’ll boast here a bit – my stovetop has 2 burners (you read that right) and I can still get his food cooked while ours is working.  You can’t really overcook this stuff (ok, so maybe the green stuff you can) though you can undercook it.  So just cook the hell out of all of it (except the green stuff).  You don’t have to worry about a ton of ingredients.  And the rewards are so great, because you know exactly where the food came from and you’re providing in the truest sense of the word, even if they don’t like it.


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