Something happened to my mini foodie when she turned 11 months old. All of a sudden, she hated solid foods. You would think I was forcing her to eat dirt. Actually, I’m pretty sure she preferred to eat things off the floor than the homemade goodies I was making her. I mean…you should have seen some of the faces she would make. I could not figure it out. She used to devour ground chicken mixed with sweet potatoes, butternut squash with a touch of butter and couldn’t get enough of Babybel cheese for a midday snack. For weeks the dog was getting most of my home cooked baby food that Marielle would simply toss on the floor or push off her plate. This pregnant mama’s patience was wearing out quickly. I was starting to worry about her quickly approaching 1st birthday when formula was no longer going to be her main source of nutrition, and feared that she wasn’t going to get what she needed if she kept this up.
It wasn’t until today, when my mom came over to help with Marielle that I came to the realization that my little foodie was in fact, a foodie, and I was boring her with my cooking! My mom brought over some homemade chicken noodle soup. Not just any chicken noodle soup…this soup had a kick. Full of herbs, spices and lots of pepper. Marielle crawled up to the table begging for a little bite. We gave her one thinking she would hate it…but in fact, she couldn’t get enough of it. For the first time in weeks, she ate an entire bowl of solid food. I was always cautious with herbs and spices, thinking she wouldn’t like them. As it turns out, she loves them, and was protesting the fact that I was depriving her from such wonderful flavors! I guess the lesson here is don’t be afraid to spice up your baby’s mealtime options. While we assume they have pretty basic taste buds, your little one may surprise you and be quite adventurous in the culinary world.
Here is a chicken recipe that I’ve been using, and she’s been rejecting, until I made it a little more interesting for her by adding in some herbs and spices.
Creamy Chicken & Cheesy Potatoes
- 1 tsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 2 ounces mashed yukon gold potatoes (make a bunch and freeze them in small containers)
- 2 ounces baked chicken breast, ground or coarsely chopped depending on baby’s age. (I keep little 2 ounce containers of cooked, chopped chicken in the freezer for convenience)
- 2 tbsp shredded cheddar
- Dash of pepper
- A couple dashes of chopped thyme, ground rosemary or basil for a savory dish, or add a little cinnamon or nutmeg for a sweeter treat.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the milk and whisk together. Add in the mashed potatoes until a thick puree is created.
- Mix in the chicken, pepper and herbs. Stir until heated through.
- Remove from heat, and stir in the cheddar cheese until melted. Let the mixture cool to a comfortable temperature for baby.
And enjoy your baby’s expression go from this…(not so merry and bright…)