I am not the kind of mom who makes homemade baby food. I like to imagine that I am and I have the Beaba baby cooker in my cabinet to prove it, but the reality is that it is just not me. There are plenty of mommy bloggers out there who are amazing at this, so if you are looking for a recipe, go visit them.
Even though I wasn’t making homemade gourmet baby food, my son still ate healthy foods and some of his favorites were avocado, broccoli, and watermelon. He had a great appetite. I judged all of the other moms who used sweets to bribe their children and thought that I had it all figured out. Then, things suddenly changed and mealtimes became a struggle with utensils flying, broccoli spitting, and tears pouring and so I started to understand the need for bribery.
It is infuriating and frustrating though to see good food wasted and watch your child on a hunger strike. As I’ve mentioned before, breastfeeding my son felt like one of my largest contributions to his early months when I was at work and that feeling of nurturing through food continues now. When I have worked all day, I want dinner time to be a positive experience together and not a battleground. Scraping our home-cooked food off the floor on my hands and knees is not how I want to spend my evenings either.
There are moments of victory, when for no apparent reason he devours a meal and I remember the advice I have given many parents in my office, that when he’s hungry enough he will eat. I try to remember to keep offering healthy options knowing he will eventually eat some of it and wanting to maximize the benefits he gets from his food when I can. My own satisfaction with our dinner is often tied to how much of it he eats. Then, there are other times when I let go of all my practical pediatrics knowledge and give him a giant piece of Challah French toast, because after all, mommy wants to eat it too!