The 5 Recipes You Need to Make Your Baby a Foodie for Life

I’m that guy with kids who eat *virtually* everything. Other parents hate me for it. Mwahahahaha.

At home, we have plenty of dinner drama over the introduction of new foods. But we don’t negotiate. “Kids, here’s dinner. Take it or leave it.”

A healthy dose of dessert bribery helps with at leasttrying the food. If they don’t want to eat it, fine. Don’t have dinner. No biggie. 

(And they usually come back hungry within an hour. But our rule is – you leave the table, you don’t get dessert.) And again: no drama.

We aren’t insane parents about electrolytes or organic everything. I mean, yes - we’d prefer everything to be locally-sourced and organic. But you can’t sacrifice the good for the perfect, right? Also? McDonald’s fries are the best. But we aren’t these folks:

Anyway, how have I cultivated good eaters?

With a diverse pallet from the beginning stages of eating purees and solids.

There are, of course, foods we avoid for the first year – honey, sometimes fish. (Did you know the French don’t give meat or chicken for the first year - and they also avoid salt instead of sugar…whereas I’m like, “don’t give my kids any sugar! It makes them tasmanian devils!!”)

But these five recipes helped me raise good eaters. 

Recipe 1: Greenies

Y’all – this is super easy. Just fill a steamer or sauce pan with leafy greens and some peas, steam, blend, freeze. Honestly- it’s whatever combination of greens you want. Also – it should taste good to you. Cuz let’s face it – you end up just eating your kids’ left-overs anyway, right? 

But for more visual inspiration:

Recipe 2: Chicken/Potatoes Mash 

Again - super easy. Let’s just poach a chicken. Need some guidance, there? Watch/read on…

 

Recipe 3 - Kale salad with toasted hazelnuts

I’d have this salad and my kid wanted to eat all the toasted hazelnuts. And I was a selfish SOB and didn’t want to share my hazelnuts. I felt like the greatest gastronomic sacrifice I needed to make as a father was to let my kid have the last bite of a donut. And I made that sacrifice happily. But seriously, dude – don’t eat all my nuts!

So in order for my kid to “earn” the hazelnuts, they had to have a bit of greens between each nut.

Pretty soon, my kids were eating the entire salad on their own. 

Bing, bang, boom.

INGREDIENTS

My kids gobble up salad. I’m convinced it’s all because of my nuts. 

Wait, what? Ew. You’re gross.

I make this salad: 

1 bunch lacinato kale – finely chopped. Use scissors and just go at it.

cup of toasted hazelnuts

drizzle of olive oil

½ c parmesan

lemon to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Toss and serve multiple times a week with varying degrees of effort.

Substitue almost any nut (pine nuts? Shaved almonds?) for the hazelnuts. Even top it with a poached egg! Vary it however you want.

 

Recipe 4 (and 4 1/2) - Dips

My kids never met a cracker they didn’t like. I can’t blame them. I’ve eaten half a box in the last fifteen minutes of typing. But I figure a cracker is a vessel to the mouth for some kind of dip. 

And dips bring flavor, texture, and gastronomic experience ot my kids. 

So every other cracker they eat has to have a dip.

And every few crackers require a carrot stick, cucumber spear or broccoli flower head. Do I count? Oh, yes. You know I do.

These three dips are easy and delicious and expose my kids to flavors we discuss:

Cannelini Bean Dip

Sun dried tomato and goat cheese

Buy one of those over-priced jars of sun dried tomatoes. I know – it’s insane how expensive they are, isn’t it? But listen – you’re going to get your use out of it with this recipe, not to mention they keep in the jar for *awhile* and you’ll remake this dip weekly…and never end up throwing out food.

And when you don’t toss food – you undermine the MAN. Because you just KNOW the MAN high-fives his minions of capitalist earth-haters every time we toss food.

And how easy is this? Take a 1/3 jar of drained sun dried tomatoes (vary the amount according to your taste), blend it with a log of goat cheese.

Done.

You’re welcome. 

Take that, the MAN.

Recipe 5 - FRUIT LEATHER

This is a game-changer, as well. But I no longer have a blender, and I figured you were tired of looking at my hand-mixer. (You’re seething with envy, aren't you?) Well, check out Momables super-duper bullet food processor.

Gavin Lodge