The Finicky Toddler – Mac n’ Cheese
Jennifer Wilkinson, blogger, lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two sons, 3 yrs and 13 months. In her new monthly series “The Finicky Toddler”, Jennifer will share creative ways to boost kids’ meals using NurturMe baby food. ‘Cause while it’s the most nurtritious baby food around, really, it’s not just for babies.
I started with sweet potatoes when my son was 6 months old. He loved sweet potatoes, and I was proud. Each week, I introduced a new vegetable followed by the fruits. “Bugman” (now 3 years old) ate fruits and vegetables at every meal and I bragged to my pediatrician at one of our many doctor’s visits within those first two years. My seasoned pediatrician retorted “Well that’s great, but somewhere within that second year, he won’t touch the stuff”. I didn’t believe him. And then, it happened: Bugman didn’t eat his veggies. And then slowly, the finicky toddler emerged, content to survive on macaroni & cheese, animal crackers, and milk. Desperate, I turned to hiding fruits and veggies in foods that my son would eat. The process of steaming, pureeing and then cooking the dish to hide the vegetables in became quite laborious, but it certainly was worth it to me to know that as he feasted on his beloved mac & cheese, he was also eating squash or cauliflower or sweet potato or whatever it was that I was steaming/pureeing in large quantities every few days.
Enter baby #2, “Pickleman” (now 13 months).
With two boys, 24 months apart, my labor of love (the steaming/pureeing/cooking/hiding) started to resemble a French farce: the house smelling of steamed vegetables; my husband returning from work to said smelly house; me covered in a pureed mess, sweating and shouting hello to him with ears ringing from the roar of the food processor; the two boys sweaty, teary and frightened from having to endure that roar. Honestly, too much. I found myself opting to steam/puree/freeze in the evenings after they had gone to bed, which made my time for wine and adult conversation with my husband a sweet distant memory.
Pickleman turned 1 in June. My sister sent him an adorable wooden build-your-own-pizza kit and a few NuturMe pouches. When I got the pouches, I thought, oh good, I’ll pass them onto a girlfriend with a baby in the pureed stage. Then, I had an ah-ha moment: These pouches will give me back my evenings of wine and adult conversation with my husband. NurturMe was organic, smelled and tasted amazing, and would mix effortlessly into various dishes that my (now) two finicky toddlers would eat!
For those of you with a Bugman or a Pickleman or *both* (bless you), I present the first meal of many to follow and I hope that you enjoy your wine and your newfound time with your partner this evening.
ORGANIC SHELLS & WHITE CHEDDAR MAC ‘N CHEESE WITH NURTURME SCRUMPTIOUS SQUASH
Prepare macaroni & cheese per the instruction on the box
Add a bit more milk and stir in one (or two) packets of NurturMe Scrumptious Squash
Note: The squash adds a little color and an amazing sweet taste and lovely aroma. Pickleman actually ended up eating more than he normally does and I have to think that it is because of that sweet scrumptious squash!
Photo courtesy: Sarita Relis Photography