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Croft

I feed my daughter much the same way. After I introduced the initial foods (which I made/pureed myself) she started eating what we ate, at first with less salt, but now I basically give her it as we eat it (lots of herbs and garlic galore). She has not yet mastered the spoon (15 months), and loves to feed herself so most of the food is made "finger ready" for her to shovel into her mouth. And like your girls she eats everything! My MIL who has a bland pallet thinks it is silly that my daughter loves hummus, tofu and anything with garlic. She finds this "strange" food for a baby.

Only problem we have is that I would love to have family dinners, but since she has a 7pm bedtime and my husband usually does not get home till then or sometimes later, she eats on her own. How do you handle this or is it not an issue in your home?

Kateri

I had my niece and nephew pretty much exclusively when they were babies and toddlers. My niece is particularly picky...I work around that by allowing her to help me in the kitchen whenever they come over for dinner. She will eat (or at least try) anything that she has a hand in preparing. And, I have to admit, I am a lot like her as well...I could never eat seafood until I started making it myself!

I also think that kid-friendly plates and utencils help make mealtime more exciting.

CityMama

Croft, most weeknights it's just me and the girls. J. gets home later than when they eat dinner. I don't particularly like eating my own dinner at 5.30 when they are hungry, but I do it to spend the time with them.

On weekends we make up for lost time and eat all our meals together (as much as possible).

liz

Not that it's a particularly sophisticated choice, but my son started scarfing down nachos when he was 7 months old, onions, salsa, pointy chips, spicy meat, sour cream and guacamole, he loved it all. It's still his favorite order at a restaurant at age 14. His favorite snack is chips and salsa and he makes his own guac.

My other son has always liked unusual stuff like calamari, raw oysters, buffalo, ostrich, alligator, but he won't touch anything with a sauce on it. He doesn't like anything that his grandma makes because to her, it's not dinner unless it has a can of Campbell's cream of mushroom in it. Unfortunately, now that they are teenagers, fast food is their mainstay because they have open campus at lunch. I hope they return to their food roots when they get older.

Melanie

My daughter (now 9.5) liked most things as a 1-2yr old, then went through a "bland" phase (even when we lived in Italy!) of wanting only things like pasta with butter/olive oil or mac & cheese (though she did branch out a bit to prosciutto and rabbit ravioli). I was afraid she would never enjoy the things her dad & I regularly eat, but over the past 3 years she has consistently expanded her horizons & now eats exactly what we eat (ouch! says the pocketbook).

My son (now 6) has always eaten what we eat--never went through that "bland-it-down" phase(and the pocketbook says double ouch!)

When they went to bed earlier, we didn't have a family dinner time, but we do now.

Jules

This post is perfect. I went through so much anguish with Bubby over what he would eat because he's always been so skinny (even as a baby). That anxiousness to get him to eat turned him into a less-than-adventurous eater. He DOES eat much better than lots of pre-schoolers we know, but he still refuses to try certain things.

However, since Des started eating solids, he eats everything and his big brother has added a few more things I thought he'd never eat.

Also however, I almost never cook something separate for my kids. We usually make it through with what's on the table. There is no way I'm cooking a different meal for everyone in this house every night.

Hopefully we're on the right track.

PS - love the look of FamilyFood right now~

The Aitch

OMG! I have the same exact rule that Lits cannot walk around with food. Even a graham cracker she has to sit down and eat it.

I wish her pallet was more expanded than it is but I have made it a rule that she eats what we eat and yes she has to try it. I do not make her "special" meals just so she will not go hungry. Thankfully my ped told me early on that she isn;t going to starve herself so I am not manic about making sure she eats. I know she will.

She doesn't have to eat it all of what's infront of her but she has to eat least have a bite. We do have dessert and for her it is always fruit. She loves mandarin oranges and peaches.

Now if I could only get her to eat veggies!

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Cooking Gear To Spice Things Up

  • All-Clad cookware
    I use the stainless line. I love it because you can put it in the dishwasher. If you like to cook it is sooo worth it to have quality pots and pans. I recommend buying a set on sale and then filling in extras as you need them. (Watch for sales and specials.)
  • Cast Iron Skillet
    Please get rid of all your teflon-coated non-stick plans and get a cast iron skillet. I use mine for searing meat, poultry, and fish and then finishing off in the oven. In fact, get two cast iron skillets—one large enough to hold two ribeyes and a smaller, fried-egg-sized one for making...well...eggs.
  • Food Processor
    Quickly slice/shred veggies and cheese, make hummus or other spreads in a snap, and make pie crust without making a mess.
  • Global Knives
    I am partial to the 18 incher. Yep, I like big knives and I cannot lie. If you like to cook (or even if you don't) you deserve to have good knives. At least one.
  • Instant Hot Water Dispenser
    If you can't afford to have one built-in, this is a great alternative. It's nice to have boiling water at the push of a button to make tea, instant miso soup, or morning oatmeal for the kidlets.
  • Microplane Grater/Zester
    Use this to grate citrus zest, nutmeg, and cheese. You could get a coarser one, but you don't need to. I have one and I use it for everything.
  • Penzey's Spices
    A great resource for all your herb and spice needs.
  • Rice Cooker
    Every family should have one.
  • Silpat
    Silpat is a silicone mat used for baking. They come in various sizes. Items will not stick to it. It is a must for any home baker.
  • Stick or Immersion Blender
    It doesn't have to be fancy, but try and get the highest HP you can afford. I use my stick blender (+ attachments) for making salad dressing (weekly), pureeing soups, making babyfood, and whipping cream.

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