The Most Surprising Thing My Toddler Ate This Week

Best for Babies 8+ Months

Mason hasn’t exactly been an adventurous eater this week–until this morning, that is. He’s been playing it safe with oatmeal, brown rice, ground beef, pineapple, mac ‘n’ cheese–you get the picture. I tried to get a little fancy Wednesday night when I served him Tuscan beans with tomato sauce, Parmesan cheese, and grilled shrimp for dinner, but there was something about the texture of the beans that he didn’t like and after shoving them into his mouth by the handful, he chewed them up, and spit them all back out in my hand. Instead he opted for a disappointing meal of organic mac ‘n’ cheese with apple-cinnamon sticks.  (I offer him alternatives when he rejects a meal only because his weigh-in is in two weeks!) Feeling defeated, I texted my hubby. I want him to have an eclectic palette but he prefers diner food! Chris replied, “He’s 1, sweetheart.” I’m sure he was tempted to add “Get a grip!” but he kindly held back.

This morning Mason was playing in the cupboards while I was fixing his bottle and he unearthed a canister of organic kale, broccoli, and cheddar puffs that I had totally forgotten about. He had a blast playing with the canister. Why not give him a bite of what’s inside? I didn’t have high hopes, I was sure he would have a problem with both the texture and color of the puffs. But he put a puff in his mouth, chewed, swallowed, smiled, and reached for another puff and then another. I was shocked but thrilled that he was embracing these wonderful flavors. So I fixed him a bowl of puffs, which he enjoyed while watching the Today Show. The scene was so funny I had to capture it on my iPhone. Bug looked so serious while he watched TV, which he rarely pays attention to, and munched on his pre-breakfast snack! And luckily the snack didn’t ruin his breakfast. He had organic cheddar cheese, a brown-rice raisin bagel with reduced-fat cream cheese, and milk at home and was digging into organic strawberry oatmeal when I left him at school this morning. In his teacher’s words, “Mason can eat.”

Has your toddler eaten anything this week that’s surprised you?

Tuesday Timesaver: Chicken for a Week


Best for Babies 8+ Months Old

Mason adores rotisserie chicken. Adores it. We first discovered his passion for it while we were at a friend’s house. Chris was eating takeout roast chicken and he broke off a few pieces and gave them to Bug. Mason is not one to go out of his way to feed himself — the child still refuses to hold his own bottle and you know about our sippy cup woes — so I was amazed when he stuffed the chicken in his mouth as soon as it hit his tray. No coaxing required. And then he reached for more! Finally, a healthy finger food more substantial than puffs and easier to pick up than squishy bits of banana or avocado.

Inspired, I picked up an organic rotisserie chicken on the way home from work last night. At home, I cut up the whole chicken and removed the skin. Then I removed the meat from the bones, shredded it into thin, short strips and divided the chicken into two-ounce portions. One portion went in the fridge for Bug’s lunch today and the remaining six went in the freezer for later. Seven portions of a healthy protein for just over $1 per serving (in New York City) — and the entire process only took about 15 minutes!

I loved this chicken shortcut because it was healthy and it saved time. It was also so inexpensive! Of course, you can save even more money by roasting your own chicken at home, which I often do, but last night time was more important to me than saving a few bucks. (Mason’s affinity for roast chicken also means no more pureeing chicken, thank God). You can stretch this timesaver to cover your entire family too. If Chris weren’t out of town, I would have whipped up this Dijon-crusted variation with Brussels sprouts for us (it’s one of our fave chicken recipes), then frozen the leftovers for Mason. Dinner doesn’t get much easier than that!

What are your favorite dinnertime shortcuts?



*This post is the first in my new weekly series about saving time and money on eats for your babe. Hope you enjoyed it! If there’s a topic you’d love to hear about, please let me know.


Top photo: Evan Sung,

Baby's First Omelet: A Way to Fatten Him Up?

Best for Babies 8+ Months Old

Mason’s a little peanut, a string bean. He had his nine-month checkup on Friday and he’s still only in the third percentile for weight, although he’s in the 50th percentile for height.  I’ll admit it, I’m proud that he’s tall but sensitive about his lack of girth.  I worry that he’ll get picked on when he gets older if he stays this skinny. I was a tall, super skinny kid (sorry, Bug, you get it honestly) so I know what it’s like to be teased. Luckily the ribbing I got was more kind than cruel –ie. the boy who called me Chicken Legs all four years in gym class, thank you very much Evan You Know Who You Are –but not everyone is so lucky. Thank God Facebook and Twitter didn’t exist when I was in middle school.

To be skinny as a girl is much different than to be skinny as a boy. I feel so defensive when some mom exclaims, “My son/daughter was 16 pounds at five months!” I try to laugh it off with, “Yeah, gotta love Mason’s metabolism” but I always feel like it’s some pointed remark like,  “Why are you starving your kid?” (For the record, any mom in our playgroup will tell you that Mason eats more than any other baby around; sometimes I wonder if he has a hollow leg.) The worst was when one mom told me that her kid could “eat Mason” because her kid was so much bigger than Mason. Um, how am I supposed to react to that?

My defenses were up after I noticed that the scale only inched up two pounds over our last visit. To make matters worse, the doctor called Mason “perfect.” As a recovering perfectionist who has tried (and failed) to be perfect the last thing that I want is for someone to put that impossible-to-obtain label on my kid.  I let the offending remark go in favor of grilling her, “Are you sure everything’s OK?”  Yes it is, she said, because he’s growing steadily, however, some more fat couldn’t hurt. I’m to add olive oil to his veggies and feed him lots of eggs, pasta, and fresh mozzarella. She said he should also continue to eat avocado as often as possible too.

I took the doctor’s advice and made Mason’s first omelet Saturday morning. I started with a fresh egg yolk and made his mini omelet exactly like I would make my own, with a few exceptions. I was much more generous with the olive oil. (Must pack on the pounds.) And I used calorie- and fat-rich yolk, I only eat egg whites.  When I was finished cooking, his omelet resembled a mini version of the one Chris normally eats but without the side of bacon. I cut it up into tiny pieces and coaxed Mason to feed himself. At first he was a little awkward with the egg but after a few bites he gobbled it up, along with homemade applesauce.

Score! Now on to the next fattening thing…

Baby Omelet



1 egg yolk
Shredded cheddar cheese
Olive oil
Chopped veggies optional —
(peppers, spinach, broccoli,
onion, mushroom, tomato)


1. Pour a bit of olive oil into a skillet. Heat.
2. Separate the egg, and add egg yolk to the warm skillet.
3. Flip egg after a minute or so. Sprinkle in cheese. Fold over and serve.

Homemade Applesauce


Organic Gala apple


1. Wash, peel, and dice apple. Cook until tender (about 15 minutes).

2. Reserve some cooking liquid, then plunge cooked apple into ice water for about 3 minutes.
3. Puree cooled apple until smooth.

What about you? What do you love to serve your babe for breakfast?