Raising kids in Sonoma has tons of benefits, beautiful weather, picturesque pastures and amazing local produce. The food part of this joyous trinity seemed to disappear when I started feeding my 6 month old premade babyfood.
Have you ever tasted store bought babyfood? The other day, I opened a jar of garden veggie dinner of the organic variety. I gave some to CJ, my 6 month old. He spit it out! So, I had to wonder why his protest? I tasted it. It was absolutely dreadful. I spit it out too! It made me wonder about the long term effect of serving my child bland disgusting mush. So, in a very dramatic style, I tossed the jar in the trash and threw some of my dinner into a blender (the magic bullet – best 20$ investment ever). Shallot and lavender chicken, sautéed Romano beans and panko crusted mac n’cheese. Interestingly enough, CJ gobbled down the blended mush.
It turns out that folks have written all about this phenomena – check out Hungry Monkey by Matthew Amster-Burton and Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman.
It has turned into a bit of an experiment for me. As I fed my first son completely differently than how I am feeding CJ. With Bobby, I followed the traditional approach. First he had rice cereal. Then I slowly introduced each food individually for about a 5 day period looking for allergies. For awhile Bobby had very plain tastes that have taken awhile to undo. That’s not to say I disagree with the idea of slowly introducing foods as to look for allergies. But as a mom with a child with food allergies, I can tell you that in my experience the reaction a child may have to food can be really pronounced (rash, wheezing, swelling, vomit).
It is quite possible that I stunted Bobby’s culinary tastes by feeding him such plain food for so long. Having come to this realization, I have completely changed what and how I feed CJ. Now for breakfast, he gets whatever we’re having. Today it was bits of sweet potato banana scones (see recipe in my blog post). For lunch, he gets blended fruits and veggies. He snacks on fresh produce from the farmers market. He loves cucumbers, peaches and plums all fed through a mesh feeder. For dinner, he gets a mashed version of whatever we’re having. Over the weekend, he tasted and loved ribeye steak, basa fillets, and lavender chicken. All were hits as he didn’t spit it out and wanted more.
Don’t get me wrong – sometimes he gets jarred food too as it is so convenient. It is the rare instance that I don’t add some sort of flavoring to it.
So, if you want to start feeding your baby Sonoma foodie style – pick up a small blender like the Magic Bullet and a few mesh feeders. Get creative and you won’t be disappointed.