Prepping [a] Baby Food[ie]

This is my blog about family meals from scratch. As my babies ["LL""Baby Boy-yer"] are now 4 and 2 years old, it has become less about "baby food." Lately, we've been trying to focus more on having family dinners where everyone eats the same thing, with no exceptions for the little ones. But just search the posts because we have plenty of baby food recipes from the last few years. We're always looking for ideas on what to make to keep this family healthy and trying new things. Join me, and submit recipes and tips of your own!

Worried as I was about what LL was eating at school, it turns out (as usual) her teacher and conventional wisdom were right. It seems that the kids have started trying most of what they’re given and eating what’s put in front of them. The peer pressure and community/family atmosphere at school is causing even my little rugged individualist to toe the line! I just needed to have a little faith. I would bet my international and British friends are not surprised by this, because the culture here (in my experience) promotes healthy, varied eating so much more than in the States. [I still love you best, America :-) ]

If you read this blog regularly, you know we’ve struggled with fish in the past, but LL has even joined in the school-wide rejoicing on “fish and chip Fridays.” (Yes, chips, i.e., fries, aren’t healthy, but she’s eating the fish and the other vegetables, so I’ll be glad about it). LL came home from school a few times saying that she didn’t eat the cake they were serving for pudding and instead took an apple! Making a healthy choice of her own volition is the real goal and I can be very proud of that.

When I pick up the little guy at nursery school, I have to bring him lunch, otherwise he falls asleep on the ride home and doesn’t have lunch until 3:30pm (and doesn’t eat dinner properly… Etc). Here was a nice and easy vegetarian lunch: hummus and broccoli sandwich, sliced apples and goat milk.

Just a boy and his broccoli.

The salmon that LL liked

If you’re a regular reader, you know that there is no love lost between my older daughter and fish. She loved it as a baby and then changed her mind for a while. But the tide seems to be turning! Tonight I made an easy broiled Alaskan salmon for dinner and she liked it! And ate half of it willingly… Progress! I’m glad for making her always try things even if she’s said before she doesn’t like them. The French believe you have to try a food 15 times before you know that you don’t like it. I have to think it’s been more than 15 times but she’s been slowly coming around.

4 portions Alaskan wild salmon

A heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
Two heaping tablespoons Italian spice mix (frozen from waitrose, red onion, parsley, basil, oregano, garlic)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Juice of 1/2 lemon
A big glug of olive oil
Whisk to mix

Spoon 1/4 of the mixture over each salmon filet and put under a medium high pre-heated broiler until cooked through. Salt to taste and serve.

Always on hand in the freezer making dinner time easier … Also, frozen chopped onions. Life savers!

Ratatouille and let me complain for a moment

I made some ratatouille the other night and the kids both liked it, but Boy-yer wouldn’t eat the eggplant and LL wouldn’t eat the zucchini. Still I was quite happy with that. Julia Child’s recipe is so time consuming, so I made it her way until the part where she cooked everything separately and I just combined it all. It was really tasty anyway.

But lest anyone think I’ve won the battle against picky eating with my kids (well, with LL anyway), let me share the most recent frustration—school lunch.

Thankfully I don’t have the complaints that many Americans have about the lunch in US schools—ketchup is not a vegetable in the UK and LL’s school serves “real food.” However, as quasi-food adventurous as she is at home, she is that much the opposite at school. Today was the fourth day of school and her lunch was plain rice. She wouldn’t eat anything else. (She said.) Being that dessert was fruit, and you have to finish your lunch to get dessert, she didn’t have any of that either.

Right now, this is needling me. Soon if things don’t get better, it will drive me nuts. An all simple carb lunch just screams diabetes risk to me. I’m kind of stumped at the moment. You aren’t allowed to pack a lunch at her school, so what to do?

Bummer. I bought some really nice looking Kofte kebabs at the butcher (first time I’ve bought anything pre-made at a butcher) and was about to cook them tonight when I saw the ingredient list… Preservative E621. I really wanted to be able to ignore it and make them anyway, but I couldn’t make myself do it. I googled it and learned that E621 is MSG. Surprised that the fancy butcher would use this. Am now having yogurt for dinner. A lesson for next time—ask for the ingredient list beforehand!

Italian Pot Roast with Organic Brown Rice

Getting used to our new induction cooktop (love it) and tested out the pressure cooker. I got this recipe from ‘Pressure Cooking for Everyone’ by rick Ward, et al.

Yummy recipe & great cookbook for those who’d never used a pressure cooker before.

Pasta with pesto peas and steamed broccolini

Tried a Theresa Giudice recipe tonight and guess what? It really was #fabulicious. Kids eating the peppers out of sausage and peppers.