With Brad out of town during most weeks, my dinners are pathetic and involve something on wheat thins/triscuits more then I care to admit. And while probably futile, I'm *hoping* to avoid having a child who will only eat mac n' cheese and chicken nuggets and not touch fruits or veggies. If that's going to happen, I'm going to at least go down fighting.
Charlie is strangely picky about some things that eliminate them from being sent for lunch. Gerber Graduate pick-up pasta for instance. Actually any of their pre-packaged food. Can't say that I blame him. I try everything he eats and those things are bland and nasty. Plasticky texture. Reheated mac n' cheese is also a no-no for him - he won't eat it. He won't drink from a sippy cup but loves to drink from a straw - but you have to hold it for him and I don't know that they have time to do that for him at daycare.
I traded emails with my friend Suzie, whose son is just a little younger then Charlie. She had some great ideas I hadn't considered. For instance, Dole fruit cups - No Sugar Added mandarin oranges went over beautifully last night. I also wandered the aisles of Ukrops organic frozen section and found Seapoint Farms organic shelled edamame and he loved those too. Lightly steamed some carrots to go with them.
After I told Suzie I was hunting for some toddler cookbooks, she also sent me a few web sites with baby and toddler recipes on them:
Anyone know of any others?
I know myself, though, and I am much more likely to pick up a book and thumb through it for ideas then surf through a site. I don't have a printer at home so it's also a tad annoying to have my laptop in the kitchen as I cook. Overall I just like options.
So, I started looking for a book with recipes I can make, especially during the week, that are fast, nutritious and toddler friendly. On Amazon I've been able to find books that meet one or two of those criteria but not all. I may just try to go by the library and check out a few first to see if they're any good. If you know of any you'd recommend, please share.
As a side note, yes, I am sticking to mainly organic food for Charlie. I am also attempting to avoid most synthetic food dyes, especially Red 40 and Yellow 5. Sure, I may be buying into a fad and I realize the term 'organic' is used rather loosely these days in order to mark up the price of foods.
However, I've done enough research to determine that for us, the effort and additional cost outweigh the risks. I do not buy the argument that 'we all ate these foods growing up and we turned out fine'. The food industry has changed immensely in the last, um, 27 years since I was born....
I am actually surprised at myself for feeling so adamant about these things considering how hard I try to just be laid back and go with the flow where Charlie is concerned. Kind of funny - I can see myself in a few months, watching him play and saying oh dear, he just ate mud. Better go stop him. But then - OH MY GOSH, he just ate Red dye #40??? Stop him immediately! See if he'll spit it out! I don't want to be that extreme, but I wouldn't let him eat mud 6 times daily either - and those dyes are in EVERYTHING. Check your labels - you'll be shocked.
We also watched a very disturbing documentary, Food Inc., which is nominated for an Oscar this year. I highly recommend. That movie has me hunting for more local food sources as well. I actually cried during it when they were interviewing a mom whose 2 1/2 year old son died 12 days after eating a hamburger infested with e coli. I felt like crying when I saw how the animals are treated by the larger meat producers.
They interviewed a farmer who lives about an hour from here and he said someone holding a $2 soda will tell him his $5/dozen eggs are too expensive. The $2 soda is gone in 30 minutes, the eggs feed you all week. He has a point there. Maybe it's more about prioritization then spending more.
Enough about food - all this talk is making me hungry! Now what to make Charlie for his birthday lunch.....