Because a Superbowl weekend post deserves a Superbowl Shark image.
I think I will forever be in awe of Dahlia’s eating habits.
Last week in the time it took Dean to eat 1 chicken nugget (approximately 30 minutes with much nagging on my part) she ate 2 nuggets on her own, her entire baby puree dinner, and a crap ton of crackers. I actually need to start being careful, because after she’s done dinner I tend to throw her random snacks to keep her entertained while I take another 45 minutes to get Dean to finish eating.
With Dean, since I never progressed beyond making homemade baby purees, I never learned the art of making toddler/kid’s food. I make the odd thing like zucchini bread but not your transitional finger foods. Not only was I renting a ghetto house with zero kitchen space, plus I was burnt out from making purees for way longer than most people should, but it was just such a waste…hours of prepping/cooking only to have him cry and reject it. He was doing so much therapy and i needed to have food available for that, so it became much more economical and practical to just keep things like pre-packaged meatballs or pizza bites in the therapy place.
Additionally, I’ve pretty much given up on cooking for my husband and I. I’m SO OVER Lean Cuisine. That damn kitchen in that ghetto house, ugh. I had enough prep space to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And since moving to our current house, all of my efforts have gone into trying to get Dean to eat that I end up scrambling to make myself toast for dinner (my husband isn’t home for dinner M-F).
Time to change now that Dahlia’s eating like a real person. This weekend I made french toast for breakfast. She inhaled it. I think I’ve made french toast once in the past 5 years, which was probably in an attempt to get Dean to eat it (which most likely failed, then I just stopped making it).
This weekend I went balls-in making a bunch of toddler recipes, thanks to Pinterest.
Iron-Rich Toddler Meatballs: these were so-so. Dahlia ate them, but they were pretty bland.
Sweet Coconut Butternut Squash Soup: holy crap, this was amazing. SO good. Not really a “toddler food” since it’s soup, I would have introduced this months ago if I had found it sooner. I doubled the cumin and skipped the shaved coconut. Oh and I just dumped all the ingredients in, instead of following the instructions that divided everything up (and it worked fine). Last time I made butternut squash soup I vowed never to make it again because cutting butternut squash is a bitch, but it was worth it. And really, I should have used my head and just bought frozen pre-cut squash anyway.
Sweet Potato and Kale Balls: Ugh, no. Just no. The kale was dry and the whole thing was just meh. Dahlia spit them out. And i don’t blame her.
More veggie-filled meatballs: this was a total win. I substituted spinach for the kale i had leftover from the above recipe. I processed the kale and the green pepper beforehand to make them teenie for biting later. Very very flavorful. Dahlia hasn’t tried them yet but worst case, my husband will eat them. I didn’t make the marinara sauce since I just wanted them to be stuff for her to try to eat on her own.
Sweet potato chickpea patties: I really, really was excited for these but they turned out to be a fail. I think mostly on my part though. In my former cooking years, I generally cooked things that were low-fat, so I’m not an expert on frying things. They just fell apart. Eventually I was like “f*ck this” and just popped it all in a casserole dish, figuring it would be like an Indian potato casserole. It definitely needed the fat though and the dipping sauce. Dahlia wasn’t keen on it until I randomly mashed it up with some creamy cottage cheese. So…if you’re a pro at frying,this would be great.
In a weird way I get kind of emotional cooking for Dahlia. As a mother you’re taught that your job is to feed and nourish your child, right from the moment they’re born and they smush their faces into your boobs. Because I stopped cooking food from scratch for Dean, I stopped taking it personally if he rejected anything I made. Now that I’m making things fresh for Dahlia, I try not to have any expectations of her liking them. There’s definitely a wave of happiness that goes over me to see her actually open her mouth for more servings of something that I made.
I’m probably boring any readers to tears over my gushing about how easy it is to feed a child without Sensory Processing Disorder (also Selective Eating Disorder). Last night I got lazy and opened a can of lower-sodium turkey chili, microwaved, she ate some.