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I have been wrestling with the best way to get ET to eat solids. We are doing kind of a combo between traditional purees and baby led weaning. I’ve found that he eats best when we eat as a family, but our normal schedule is to put him to bed at 7:30/8pm and then finish making dinner and eat.
We changed it up this weekend and I started making dinner at 6pm, and he ate with us. It made a huge difference. We also went out to brunch and he ate everything we gave him: grits, pancakes, eggs, andouille sausage, chicken.
Things we have tried that he has hated:
1. Alphabet pasta with marinara sauce. Sucked all the marinara sauce and then spit out the pasta.
2. Cold mashed potatoes and skirt steak. Even I wouldn’t want to eat that.
3. Lentils, not mashed or pureed. Also, I only cooked these in water and added lemon.
I inadvertently made him an all orange meal last night, which he destroyed:
1. Mashed carrots: Boil water and lightly salt. Add peeled carrots and boil for about 15 minutes, until they are tender. Add vegetable stock and puree. I did a rough puree with an immersion blender so he still had something to “chew” on somewhat.
2. Lentil “hummus” (for lack of a better word): Saute minced onions (I used spring red) in olive oil until translucent. Add vegetable stock and bring to a simmer, then add red lentils. Simmer until softened. Add white wine vinegar or lemon juice, salt, and whatever other spices you’d like. I tried Mexican tarragon because I had it. When lentils are fully cooked, puree. You can add water or more stock to adjust the consistency.
I used all non-animal products because that shit congeals. Our nanny has him out all day and this is a good way for him to have real food + protein. When he’s a little bigger, the lentils would be a good dipper for carrots and other veggies.
For dessert, he had some really juicy, sweet nectarines.
Here’s some other fancy shit he ate this weekend, pickled green tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. I ate it off his high chair, which also doubles as my desk. Cry.
And today, Ryan brought me lunch and baby and we ate under the arches. I usually get the falafel special sandwich from Heights Falafel, which has baba and hummus in it. Enzo ate that shit up.
I haven’t really been checking out a lot of baby cookbooks but I did pick up Bebe Gourmet, which is written by Jenny Carenco. She is the creator of Les Menus Bebe, a French brand of all-natural baby food. The photos are simple and fun, and she takes you from first purees through first meals at the dinner table. She suggests combinations with different sides/purees, and also explains how to make it into a meal for adults. In the back of the book, she explains the different nutritional values of each ingredient. A really well-rounded, simple book to follow. I borrowed it from the library, but am going to purchase my own copy.
We just got back from a trip to visit Ryan’s family. I’m not sure what happened, but ET seems to have grown up quite a bit in those four days. We surprised Pop Pop (ET’s great grandpa, who he was named after) for his 90th birthday. I didn’t know he was so active on social media, but when he saw the kid he exclaimed, Oh my, it’s the stomachmonster!!
He’s pulling himself up and really trying to walk and can crawl properly now (ET not Pop Pop), though he still prefers the soldier crawl as it’s faster. AND he’s eating. Finally! I think being around an older cousin was good for him. He will now those horrid snack puffs and freeze-dried yogurt bites. I could only find Gerber brand at the store we went to but was able to find some sweetened only with fruit juice (Happy Tots).
Also, we learned he is not allergic to nuts! There’s no time like vacation time to see if your baby is allergic to anything. They were baked into Great-Grandma’s pumpkin bread. Oopsy!
He loves Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt Tam. Also shredded white cheddar, which I was making pimento cheese spread with. This is my kid.
And, like most airborne Americans, lil ET loves bloody mary mix. Spicy. I let him taste it off my finger, then used a cocktail straw to give him some more. He loves that stuff. So I’m going to make him some tomato soup tonight, made from better ingredients. Recipe below.
1 Can coconut milk
Pasta (I have alphabet pasta from Raffetto’s but any small shape will work – orzo, stars, ditalini, etc.)
1. Heat oil in a saucepan and add garlic, minced.
2. Add tomato paste and saute until fragrant.
3. Add diced fresh tomatoes, then canned tomatoes.
4. Add coconut milk.
5. Puree with immersion blender when cooked through.
I am going to add alphabet pasta to this, so I will overcook a small batch of it for the kid so it’s easier to eat. This will freeze nicely for future eating. I realize it’s getting too warm now for soup, but he doesn’t eat his food hot anyway. So there.
Last weekend, we went back to Blue Hill for a spring lunch. We left the kid at home with the nanny and felt guilty the entire time, especially after seeing all the families touring the farm. Next time we will come for the lambs and not the food.
We had a stellar meal, and even got to eat a few courses in the kitchen. My favorites were the mussels, barely poached to creaminess and the coppa served atop the first maple tap of the season.
As for the more substantial dishes, I loved the smoked scallop and fried pig ear tacos with rutabega tortillas and the venison three ways.
As you’ve read, I’ve been trying to make Enzo food but with little luck. I’ve finally realized that he still can’t really deal with textures, and that I need to puree and then strain his food before feeding it to him.
It’s now spring, but the offerings at our farmers market are still root veggies and cellar fruits. So I’ve had to supplement with frozen fruits and vegetables. Trader Joe’s has an okay selection, and I bought some blueberries and spinach. I’ve been trying to go once a week to stock up on nanny snacks and other groceries since it is close to our butcher.
Here’s a quart container with frozen blueberries (about a cup), 5 apples that I skinned, cored, cubed, and made into apple sauce from cameo & pink lady market apples, and frozen spinach (about half a cup). I added Bob’s Red Mill 10-grain cereal and split it between two containers, then used the immersion blender to puree the shit out of it.
THEN I strained it so any errant pieces of spinach stalk, apple skin, and chunky cereal bits didn’t make it into the emperor’s food.
And guess what – Mikey likes it!
Score 1 for mommy. Put it in the freezer, I’m done.
I also bought some purple and yellow carrots from the market that I skinned, quartered, and steamed. He’ll have those tomorrow. I try to do the finger food thing at least once a week.
I didn’t get to pickle the green tomatoes I bought. It’s a bit early for any kind of tomato, but I got excited. They’re good on BLTs and also with buratta.
I hate WordPress’s auto image editing. But I’ve been super lazy about uploading to Flickr.
His name is Enzo, he’s 7 months old, and we are just starting him on solids.
So that’s where I’ve been the past year and a half.
We started him on Ella’s Kitchen & Plum Organics fruit pouches and it took about a week for him to figure out how to swallow those. I’ve been slowly making him pureed foods and will let him taste things as I eat.
Here’s what has worked and what hasn’t:
Avocados: no dice
Sweet potatoes: he’s not sure of this yet, it was too thick in the beginning and most recently we tried it with some butter and very finely minced pioppini mushrooms from the green market. He ate about 3-4 spoons.
Broccoli: I just got word today that he barfed it up all over himself. We will try again.
Butternut squash + lacinato kale: HELLLLL NO.
I’ve basically just started giving him tastes of whatever I’m eating at the time. Congee and dan tat at dim sum, a tiny piece of beef from a Shack Burger, an orange slice, a castelvetrano olive. He really likes the olives. He’ll also gnaw on a raw apple.
With solid food of course comes solid poop. We had our first this weekend. We were playing on the yoga mat (he is almost crawling) and all of a sudden he went quiet and put his head down. I thought he was passing out so I went to pick him up and smelled something foul as hell. Turns out he was just squeezing a log out. Baby boy!
Now that I’m starting to try to emerge from my babby k-hole I’m going to try blogging here again so stay tuned.