Gone are the days of baby food dinners. My son has decided he’s officially big. And like his big sister, he too must use silverware at every meal. I’ve seen many children transition from being fed baby food to eating with their hands. But this is simply not the case for my son. He demands his silverware. Which was cute. At first.
When a pea used to roll off his spoon, or pork tenderloin wouldn’t stay on the tines of his fork – he would respond with a sweet “uh-oh”, and wait for assistance. He’s moved past that, and now must do it all himself.
Should he be unable to transfer the food from his plate to his mouth using only his utensils (and without assistance), forks and spoons fly – and with the sweep of an angry arm, his dinner lands on the floor with only the dogs willing to finish the meal.
In order to ensure that our son goes to bed with a full belly, and without a breakdown, my wife has taken it upon herself to create foods that “stick” enough to his utensils and still provide some sort of nutrition. Gone (temporarily, I hope) are the days of steamed broccoli, roasted pork tenderloin and crisp green beans. Enter the world of refried beans mixed with ground sirloin, thick chili and my son’s new favorite, potatoes and ham.
I snapped a picture last night with my phone as my wife was preparing a batch of his new favorite dish. She cubes a few ham steaks, some baking potatoes, a few sweet potatoes and an onion. She throws in a bag of baby carrots, and then covers the meat and veggies with a cream sauce (a little butter, organic milk and flour) to help it all “stick” together. Then she adds a sprinkle of garlic salt and paprika and into the oven it goes. Is it my favorite meal? No. I usually pick out some of the ham and enjoy it with my broccoli. But the kids love it. And when the kids are happy, my wife is happy. And when my wife is happy, I’m happy. So we’ll keep cooking whatever those kids will eat, and I’ll keep pulling lunchmeat and veggies out of the fridge for my dinner.
Because food tastes better when you don’t have to dodge flying utensils being launched by an angry little toddler.