Picky Eaters Made Not Born

Bye-bye baby food!

Last night babygirl ate pesto pizza and broccoli for dinner. The night before that she ate a Spanish stew of chickpeas garbanzo beans, spinach and chorizo. Why did I give her such bizarre meals? Because that’s what we were eating and babygirl doesn’t do baby food. She turns her one-year-old nose up at pureed food in a jar and begs for whatever the grown folks are consuming at the table. She sits with us at meal times, so she eats with us too. Mama meltingpot doesn’t do baby food either. Really, I have neither the time nor the energy to make separate organic baby food for my daughter. But I still want her to eat well. And since I make healthy organic meals for my family, I figure she might as well just eat the same thing. It’s a win-win situation. I don’t have to make two meals and babygirl grows up as an adventurous eater, just like her brothers.

It occurred to me though, that some people (Hi, Mom) might find it odd that I feed a one-year-old, food that is heavily spiced with smoked paprika and cumin, and liberally flavored with garlic and onions. But I always rationalize my baby food choices with the knowledge that these spices and flavors are utilized all over the world where bland, jarred baby food doesn’t even exist. In fact, some American journalist just became famous for ‘discovering’ that the French don’t make separate kids’ meals and their children are better/more versatile eaters than their American counterparts. And it goes without saying that the parents are happier too.

Well, I’m not French but I am a happy parent when it comes to meal times. I’m happy that I can take all three of my kids to any restaurant (or country ) and not be worried that if chicken fingers and fries or mac & cheese aren’t on the menu, that they’ll go hungry. Or worse, that they’ll throw tantrums.

At the end of the day, I think picky eaters are made not born. My kids are all very versatile eaters, because I’ve been a lazy parent since day one. I’ve never made separate meals, so they never got the idea that the grown-up food wasn’t meant for them. In fact, the concept of grown-up food is a  completely foreign concept in our house. And I’ve never, ever bought into the idea of hiding complex flavors into kid-friendly food ( I’m talking to you, Jessica Seinfeld). What is the point of sneaking spinach into brownies? Then your kid never learns how to appreciate vegetables. Babygirl has been eating collard greens since she was nine months old. She didn’t seem to mind the slightly bitter taste. She gobbled them right up. I didn’t do anything special. I just gave them to her. (And yes they were stir-fried with garlic and olive oil). She has no idea that American babies are only supposed to eat green beans and peas.

So, what about you dear readers? Are your kids versatile eaters?  What goes down at your house during mealtime? Do you hide vegetables in the brownies? Are picky eaters born or made? What do you think?

I’m listening.


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7 Thoughts to “Picky Eaters Made Not Born”

  1. Ola aka 2ra

    Can you share your recipe for Spanish stew of chickpeas garbanzo beans, spinach and chorizo? please and thank you!

    1. Ms. Meltingpot

      I’m not one for recipes. I usually cook by chasing the flavors of my memories. But the garbanzos and spinach is pretty easy. I saute onions, garlic and about half cup of canned tomatoes. Season all that with smoked paprika, salt and pepper. throw in about half cup (or more to your taste) of chopped Spanish chorizo, when that’s all cooked down, throw in two cans of chick peas and about two cups of chicken broth. When all that’s boiling turn it down and let it simmer for about 10 minutes or until all of the flavors have had time to meld, then bring it back to a boil, and throw in the spinach. I like fresh baby spinach but any spinach will do. When the spinach is done cooking, season to your taste. Eat that with a big hunk of bread, a tomato salad and some manchego cheese. yum!

  2. I want return to Morocco..

  3. Soy yo

    I think he was rejecting everything about food, lol. He is now almost 15 and still pretty picky, but not as bad.

    1. Ms. Meltingpot

      Ha! Well, I do know some people just don’t find food as fabulous as others. I had a friend who had to break up with her boyfriend because his idea of good food were things that had bright artificial colors like blue slurpees and fruit loops. (sigh). To each his own thought. That’s what keeps life interesting.

  4. Soy yo

    My son was picky from day one, would not open his mouth to eat solids, would spit out anything that made it in. He WOULD go hungry before letting most foods pass his little lips

    1. Ms. Meltingpot

      Soy yo,
      Okay. Maybe some are born? But just wondering, was it texture or taste he was rejecting? Because if it was texture, technically I don’t know if he’s officially ‘picky.” 🙂 Thanks for joining us on the new Meltingpot!

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