Posts Tagged ‘
Finger Foods ’
Thursday, September 8th, 2011
His smile was cute but Mason’s behavior was not at dinner on Tuesday. He rejected most of his meal, played with his sippy cup instead of drinking from it, and put his feet up on his high chair tray (gross!).
I’m thrilled that my 12-month-old has such an eclectic palate, but that doesn’t mean mealtime is always easy for us. In fact we’ve had several finicky and frustrating mealtimes at our house lately (see exhibit A above). Take Tuesday. I picked Bug up from daycare and his teacher told me had been a champion eater all day — oatmeal, various fresh fruits, lasagna, whole-grain muffin. I was psyched, I get so excited when he eats well. Then we got home and I offered him six different finger foods he’s loved in the past, in the spirit of Dr. Sears’ advice, and he spit every option out. He even rejected yogurt with fresh peach puree, one of his faves. What did he finally eat? Plain macaroni noodles by the fistful. So. Annoying. All of this is normal, according to Sears, since kids tend to get picky once they turn a year old. But it’s still frustrating.
When things get tough – like dinnertime every night so far this week — I can take comfort in all the times that he’s eaten things we swore he’d never like. Here are the foods that I’m amazed he enjoys so much. What about you? Is there anything that your babe likes that you can’t believe he/she enjoys so much?
1. Lobster Ravioli. This one made me nervous (What if he has a shellfish allergy?!), but Chris gave Bug his first taste of shellfish with winning results.
2. Gazpacho. We let him try this bold summer soup because he kept sticking his fingers in Chris’ bowl. Mason has enjoyed it ever since, including at his birthday dinner.
3. Garam Masala. My friend Jeanne convinced me that my then-nine-month-old would probably like her curried lentils, which feature a tiny pinch of this strong Indian spice. She was right.
4. Broccoli. My first experience with babies and broccoli was traumatic, but fortunately my kid likes his “trees.”
5. Vanilla milkshake. Only a dad would dare give a shake to a one-year-old, but Bug tried a few drops of this rich and creamy treat at a Washington, DC, diner and loved it.
6. Green beans. Mix this healthy veggie with Greek yogurt and fresh pear puree and you have Bug at the first spoonful.
7. Feta cheese. It was love at first bite and now Mason enjoys this tangy cheese tossed with orzo and spinach.
8. Edamame. I didn’t even know what it was until I was until college, but Bug eats the protein-rich bean several times a week.
9. Kalamata olives. Tangy and delish, Bug can’t get enough of the stuff.
10. Peas. Green veggies are usually a tougher sell than yellow ones — they’re not as sweet — but if you mix peas with Greek yogurt and curry powder, Mason can’t resist them.
11. Pesto. It looks years for me to acquire a taste for this pungent sauce but Bug loved it when he tried it on chicken and pasta at daycare last week.
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Sunday, September 4th, 2011
Mason and Zann, at Cranky’s in Long Island City, NY, playing with toys and spoons while they wait for their lunch.
Mason and I had a pool and lunch date today with my friend Diane and her 15-month-old son Zann. The pool was gorgeous — it’s situated outdoors, on the ninth floor of Diane’s apartment building, and it offers a panoramic view of the Manhattan skyline. Most of our neighbors are out of town for the holiday weekend so the place was virtually empty. Mason usually cries when I take him into the pool but today there were no tears. He loved being in the water and he giggled his way through “Humpty Dumpty Sat on a Wall” (baby sits on the wall, we sing, and then baby “falls” into mommy’s arms in the waters). Today was Zann’s first time in the pool and he seemed to enjoy it, too, once he got used to the water. Before long, the boys were sitting in the shallow end together, splashing each other and us. After an hour or so we dried them off and headed out for lunch.
At Cranky’s, a cozy local coffee shop, we situated the boys next to each other in high chairs and gave them each their own disposable place mat (best invention ever). They snacked on organic apple puffs while we looked at the menu. Diane was part of the email chain last week, in which a group of local moms and I discussed our 1-year-olds’ annoying eating habits, so we decided to try out Dr. Sear’s advice and create a well-rounded buffet of finger foods for them. They drank whole milk and split an omelet filled with tomatoes, spinach, turkey sausage, and cheddar cheese with a side of whole wheat toast. They also shared a bowl of sliced fresh bananas, oranges, red grapes, blueberries, and cantaloupe. When the food arrived, we cut everything up into small pieces, gave them each a little bit of everything, and then let them pick and choose what they wanted to eat.
Mason, drying off at the pool. His skull-and-crossbones rash guard kept him from getting a sunburn on his tummy.
Turns out, serving 1-year-olds an assortment of finger foods (rather than two or three at a time) really works. Mason binged on the toast a bit, which Dr. Sears says is normal, but overall the boys ate well and were well-occupied. Both Diane and I felt good knowing they were getting such a nutritious lunch. We also enjoyed our meals and we had a blast watching the boys enjoy all the different flavors and textures (we got so caught up in how cute they were that I forgot to take a photo of their buffet to share with you! Apologies, next time for sure….) This finger food strategy worked so well for us that it’s going to be a model for how Mason eats in the months to come. Stay tuned as we report back on the combos of finger foods that work for us — and please share your babe’s faves with us!
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Wednesday, June 29th, 2011
Best for Babies 10+ Months Old
When Mason’s pediatrician told me earlier this month that I needed to incorporate more finger foods into his diet because he’s such a peanut (not to mention nearly a year old), I sort of panicked. The kid may be 10 months old but he still doesn’t have any teeth, despite months of brutal teething symptoms. How could he possibly handle finger foods more substantial than those melt-in-the-mouth puffs without some horrible choking incident, I wondered?
Of course, I’ve since learned that those mighty little jaws can make quick work of lots of stuff, even cupcakes. So I’ve been focused on coming up with combos of finger foods that taste great together, the same concept that I use when I’m dreaming up new purees for Mason. I dice everything and cook all the veggies and fruits well so they’re super soft and easy for Mason to gum up. Here are my fave ideas — what are yours?
1. Sweet potato and apple
2. Banana and avocado
3. Roast chicken and apple
4. Cheese omelet and turkey-apple sausage
5. Elbow pasta with marinara sauce and foccacia
6. Cheese toast and sweet potato fries
7. Swiss cheese and apricots
8. Mac ‘n’ cheese and beets
9. Green beans and pears
10. Butternut squash and peaches
11. Peas and plums
12. Carrots and apple
13. Banana and cherries
14. Fresh mozzarella and tomato
15. Cheddar cheese and figs
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