Guest Blogger Spotlight: Discovering Foods With Your Little One by Busy Working Mama
During the first year of my daughter’s life, I constantly marveled at how quickly Lily grew, learned and developed. It seemed like just when I got the hang of a certain stage, it was time to move forward and try something new. Part of the fun of that first year was introducing Lily to new foods. Since our family enjoys a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, I was excited to see how Lily would enjoy the various food I loved to cook.
While I am by no means an expert, here are some things I learned along the way.
Don’t rule out making your own baby food. It is easier than you might think, and often less expensive in the long run. There are many free resources for recipe ideas available online.
Don’t be afraid to get messy. Children have a great time exploring different textures and colors. Even if your baby doesn’t have a lot of teeth, you can still try a variety of foods they can easily munch on with their gums. Some of Lily’s favorites were blueberries, strawberries and tofu cubes.
Don’t discriminate. Just because you might not like the flavor of squash or broccoli doesn’t mean your child won’t. Let your child explore all sorts of fruit and vegetables. I had never personally enjoyed squash, but when I saw how much Lily liked pureed squash as a baby, I was motivated to find some recipes that incorporated squash. Now, acorn or butternut squash soups are a favorite around our house.
Don’t give up. It may take several attempts with a certain food for your baby to accept it. As my daughter grew, I found that introducing the food in a fun way was helpful. Arrange your fruits or veggies in cute containers or into a fun shape. Teach your child the name of the food as you serve it. Lily loved learning the new words that went along with the food. If I told her she was getting “asparagus” she was immediately interested by the strange new word and curious to try it for herself.
I have been very lucky to have a three year old child that likes to eat just about anything – from fresh cucumbers and tomatoes to sushi and stuffed cabbage. Now that she is older, Lily likes to help with food preparation and assist in the kitchen. Lily’s first recipe – sliced radishes with cream cheese and pine nuts. I think I have a budding chef!
Guest blogger Aleksandra is a working mother of a 3-year old daughter. In addition to sharing a love of cooking with her daughter, she enjoys gardening, running, traveling, and shopping online to help with her busy schedule. You can learn more about her at her blog, Busy Working Mama.