When it comes to parenting, I think I am pretty laid back. I don’t hover over my 13-month-old, watching his every move and gasping at his every stumble. I don’t get freaked out when I find rocks in his mouth or when the dogs lick his face. I see his multiple scratches and bumps not as marks of my failure, but as signs I’m raising an active little boy. But there is one thing I am a little obsessive about, and that is monitoring what he eats.
Before I had a kid a friend told me that a child’s taste buds develop during the first couple years of life. Now I never verified that so it could have been a total lie, but that thought stuck with me.
Wiggles started eating solids like many babies do. I pureed fruits and vegetables, introducing a new one every few days. Then I got through the fruits and veggies and thought “now what?” I spent a bunch of time googling baby food recipes and tried a few of those. I would even put them in empty baby food jar when we were out and about…but I found this whole process highly inconvenient and annoying. So then I just started feeding him whatever we ate. If we were having tacos, I gave him some of the meat and avocado and beans. I cut up lasagna into little bitty pieces and gave him little fish flakes. I did this out of sheer laziness, but it has been working beautifully and could not be more convenient (Side note- by the time we worked through the fruits and veggies he was 7.5 months old. Probably shouldn’t do this with a younger baby).
There are some nights that we don’t eat with him so can’t feed him off our plate. Those nights, I just feed him what we have on hand. Some favorites are pasta with sauce and veggies, frozen fish filets with veggies, black bean/cheese/corn/salsa quesadilla on a whole wheat tortilla, or now that he’s old enough, a peanut butter/banana/finely chopped almond sandwich.
When his first birthday rolled around, our families thought we were awful and evil because I wouldn’t let him eat a normal cake. I made a cake and used greek yogurt as icing. I will be honest- this ‘cake’ was not delicious. I mean, it was good, but good like yummy banana bread, not like cake. But you know what? He didn’t know the difference.
Here’s the recipe:
Healthy Smash Cake
- 5 or 6 ripe bananas
- 3/4 cup applesauce (look at the ingredients to make sure it doesn’t have a bunch of junk in it)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
- 3 tsp vanilla
- large dash cinnamon
- dash nutmeg
1. Mash the bananas
2. Mix dry ingredients together
3. Add bananas, applesauce, and vanilla. Mix until well blended.
4. Pour into 2 or 3 round baking dishes
5. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes and check for doneness. Continue cooking in 5 minute increments until toothpick comes out clean.
For the frosting, just cover with greek yogurt. Spread it on thick!
He seemed to like it:
Some day he will know what he’s missing out on. He will start to ask for foods that aren’t good for him, and sometimes I will let him have them…because life is just better with some sweetness. But for now he doesn’t care, so I’m not going to shove junk down his throat. I really hope I can raise a healthy eater. So far, he loves to eat spinach, broccoli, and fish…but he also likes to eat toilet paper straight off the roll so I’m not getting too high on my horse just yet.