One of the craziest times of day in our house is bedtime. To combat the craziness, I have gotten pretty militant about our schedule. In the 4:00 hour I cook dinner (when I can), in the 5:00 hour, everyone eats (or just the kids if I was not able to make dinner), in the 6:00 hour the kids all take baths and the 7:00 hour is bedtime. Generally everyone is in bed asleep by 7:30 and D and I have some time to ourselves. Before we collapse around 8:30.
On the weekends, with the security that comes with having D at home, I like to get creative with dinner. Weekdays are for quick meals only! Tonight I made one of our favorites and I am sharing it because of a question I recently got over email. The person asked if I was doing anything special to make the babies good eaters like Emily. The quick answer is no.
When they are in the mood to eat – as in not starving, the babies are great eaters. They have eaten and loved sweet potatoes, acorn squash, butternut squash, apples, pumpkin, zucchini, and pears. I made kale. They refused it. Flat out refused. And to combat the evilness of me making and serving kale, Sidney learned to blow raspberries while eating. We’ll try kale again later on.
I was in the kitchen cooking all day Sunday. I made acorn squash and carrots (a new food!) baby food. Soon I need to make a giant batch of fruit. We finished the acorn squash and one batch of apples this weekend. They eat and like butternut squash, but their absolute favorite is acorn squash mixed with braeburn apples. What am I doing to get them to eat different foods? Nothing really. I did nothing with Emily when it came to purees. I am not even cooking the food in an interesting way. I appreciate that people like that Emily is such a good eater, but really, I don’t have or know the secret. Emily’s philosophy with food is to try (almost) everything. Lately that means trying baby food. She was not a huge fan of zucchini, but she did try it twice. She loves their apples and pears though!
But Emily being such a good eater actually has me a bit worried. She has very refined tastes. I mean, the kid is addicted to goat cheese. She loves salmon. She is into fairly expensive foods. Lately I have been serving fish once a week. Growing up, my parents bough fish from the frozen section of the grocery store and I always did the same. Until Emily. Because D was (is?) not the biggest fish fan on the planet, I would buy smaller pieces of fish directly from the fish counter. Our fish guy is the best! He is always giving me tips/techniques/recipes… And his fish is SO much better than the fish in the frozen section! I love fish night!! BUT, it is more expensive. Of course. The fish from tonight’s dinner was just over $7 and served the three of us. To be honest, I could have eaten much more of that fish. and Emily had 3 helpings! What on earth will happen to our grocery bill when we are feeding real food to 5 people? And if all 3 kids are good eaters? Goat cheese and salmon is expensive! I want my kids to have the foods they love. And let’s be honest, it is not like they like crap. Maybe I need a fishing rod?
Tonight’s salmon was our favorite!
This is a weird pictures because of the glass dish (check out those gorgeous counter tops!), but here is my recipe for preschooler friendly salmon.
The piece on the right is Emily’s favorite! I chop cashews and press the fish into the pile on both sides. (see? expensive tastes, cashews… sigh… also pistachios.) The piece on the left is just as stellar. It is a thick herb coating. Squeeze lemon juice and lemon zest over both pieces and bake. Thanks to the advise of my fish guy, I use high heat and cook the fish fast. They both come out amazing!
And after such a great dinner (the twins feasted on zucchini and apples), and after bath time, the end result is this:
But, it should be noted that 2 little piggy babies means a lot more food making. Right now 1 batch of blueberries and 3 batches of pears are “chilling out” in the freezer. One more batch of pears is waiting for a free tray, and 3 roasted acorn squashes are waiting their turn to be pureed and frozen. Next up – over a dozen apples are hanging out – but I think they need to wait until Friday for their turn…