This time last year, the toddler was six months old, and would not, at any cost, accept spoon feeding of any pureed food. So we fell into the baby led weaning approach (which is quite common in the UK and lets the baby feed herself at her own time and abilities, instead of force-spooning purees). Except that she wasn’t particularly keen on putting much in her mouth, and I was getting incredibly frustrated in my attempts to feed her, until slowly she started eating more, an olive here, a tomato there, and then (gasp!) some prosciutto (all the too-salty, allergy-prone unacceptable items which would have sent the paediatrician in tilt, but of course, we lied to him that she eats baby puree instead!). And then the final breakthrough, eating properly after seeing the other babies in nursery do so (the nursery is worth all the money I pay them!)…
Feeding toddler can be hard job unless you are one of these very lucky parents whose children gobble up what they are supposed to. I have now resigned myself to offer whatever she likes which makes life slightly easier, and then I hope that the nutritionalist-approved menu in the nursery will balance it all out. I used to drive myself crazy to get everyone to eat the same meal – but, let’s face, had to give up this impossible task of reconciling all the demands of the daddy and the toddler. So I now feed the toddler her favourite things: tomato pasta, ravioli, plain boiled rice with grated parmesan, beans, boiled eggs, omelette or a pot of hummus on week nights, and whatever she likes from our dinner.
Feeding the daddy can be very difficult too, so I waited for him to go on a business trip to cook one of my favourite soups, kale, potatoes and beans. The daddy has very strong anti-kale opinions, and so did the toddler last night – she did throw a hissy fit upon seeing this very green soup on her high chair. Luckily, I anticipated this reaction and had left some cannellini beans out of the soup, so she scoffed those, and shared some (or most) of my toast with cheddar which goes brilliantly with the kale soup. And most importantly, I had all the soup to myself, yum!
(source: VegBox recipes)
- 1 onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 500 g potatoes
- 200-300 g curly kale (or cavolo nero), chopped, stems removed
- 1 L vegetable stock
- Olive oil or butter
- 200 g cooked cannelloni / butter beans (optional)
- Fresh herbs – thyme, parsley (optional)
1) Peel the onion and chop it roughly. Peel the garlic and crush it.
2) Heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the onion and garlic for 5 minutes.
3) Wash the potatoes and chop into 1 cm chunks. Add to the pan and sauté for 5 minutes.
4) Add the herbs and stock. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
5) Add the cabbage to the soup and cover. Simmer for 10 minutes.
6) Liquidise the soup, if you prefer. Wash the beans if they come from a can, add them to the soup. Heat through.