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Blog: Adventures in feeding – Who doesn’t love ‘roni?

Feeding kids is an awesome adventure. As a dad it was pretty simple for me for the first 6 months or so. I literally did nothing. The odd bottle feed here or there (and our little girl took easily to the bottle luckily), but other than that, my involvement basically ended at handing her to mommy and then getting out of the way. When we started on purées things got a little more interesting. We wanted to make sure that she was getting the best nutrition, so we used the baby bullet and steamer to make our own baby food. Peaches, corn, peas, berries. She was pretty much a huge fan of everything. We tried green beans once, that didn’t go over too well…it pretty much got spat out as fast as we shoveled it in. Broccoli has never been a favorite either, but we can’t complain. She has loved yogurt since that time too, although now that she is talking it has become known as “sauce” for some reason. We have literally never called it that, but what are you going to do but model the correct word for her, which she repeats correctly, and then says, “more sauce”. She will get there eventually.

With solids, our paranoia at first was always choking. Starting by cutting up mushy foods into teeny tiny pieces, and still, even though she has essentially mastered solid foods, we cut up the grapes, because they are pretty much wind-pipe sized and I’m not taking that chance.

It has been amazing watching her develop some favorite foods. We’ve been really lucky that she is not a picky eater, and will eat pretty much whatever we put in front of her. But some foods, oh man, she goes crazy for. They are the kind that you need to hide until she has eaten the other components of the meal, because if she sees them, she becomes singularly focused. There are two big favorites, the first of which we discovered this summer; corn on the cob. We started by cutting the corn off the cob for her, and then one day thought we would see what she did with it on the cob. She had seen us do it, so we figured she might be able to figure it out. Oh man, did she figure to out. She cleaned that thing off better than me, and then asked for another one. From that point on, our summer meals were divided into two courses. The main course, and the corn on the cob course, because once she laid eyes on the corn, it was game over.

Her second favorite food, which is a more recent phenomenon, has been macaroni and cheese. A pretty typical favorite for a lot of kids I think. It’s inoffensive, anyone without a dairy allergy loves cheese, and it’s soft and easy to chew. We don’t have it too often, but every couple of weeks on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, it happens. The event. The ‘roni. As soon as the words come out of our mouths, there is a buzz in the air. To the point where we can’t say it too far in advance of meal time because, everything else just seems to become secondary. Although the, “if you want macaroni, we have to clean up AAAALLL your toys first” ploy has been an effective one thus far.

This is probably my favorite video of her mashing back food, it has everything. It starts off with her digging in with her hands, she talks about the macaroni, switches to a fork, let’s out a good unsolicited “mmmm”.

Maybe it’s just me, since it’s my kid, but I could watch that multiple times (and have).

There are lots of fun adventures to be had with food. Whether it’s ‘eggies’ and ‘nanas’ in the morning or ‘roni’ at lunch. It is awesome to watch your kids learn about food, what they like and what they don’t like. My daughter loves sour things too, which I know is out of the norm. We discovered it when we gave her a lemon slice to watch her reaction and she proceeded to just eat the whole thing without flinching. Now we can’t have lemon slices on the table. Dill pickles are the other one, but if you know her mom, that’s no surprise. She loves pickles to start with but when she was pregnant she fit the stereotype, going through a jar or more per week! Our little lady obviously inherited the taste as she has been known to pack back as many a three full size, full sour Strubbs dill pickles in one sitting!

     
So good luck to you, whether you have a picky eater, a child who will eat anything, or a child who eats even things that are not edible (we thought our daughter might have eaten a marble the other week). It is certainly fun, exhausting, and memorable!

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