After she acted as if we were water boarding her the first few times we introduced pureed food to her, we found ourselves essentially following along with the "baby led" feeding method. This was done entirely by accident, but it seemed to work and she devoured most of what we gave her.
Fast foreward to lazy parenting, odd schedules, early bedtimes, and I'm sure I could come up with more excuses, we fell off the wagon of exploring new foods. Peanut butter toast was fast, cheap, and I knew she would eat it, what can I say?
Thus, I created a picky eater. Once my infant gnawing on chunks of bell pepper, now my toddler who actively avoids most chunks of any vegetable. I'm sure there's a bit of the "it's her age" that could be blamed, but I'm going to pony up and admit that most of it has been my fault. Again, lazy parenting.
The truth is, to say I love cooking is an understatement. I LOVE cooking. But one of the joys of cooking is cooking for the people you love, and cooking for Ryan is one of my favorite ways to end the day. So, with Ada going to bed, for the longest time, at 6/6:30pm, I'd slop whatever I could find together for her, and THEN start cooking when she went to bed. A terrible, terrible, mistake in hindsight, but what's done is done.
A lot of things transpired in the past month. The terrible twos came rolling in, in full force, basically with her birthday. I was at a loss of how to handle tantrums, loosing precious time to theses outbursts, and never fully escaping them. And so, after a total meltdown (on my part), I opted for a change. Gone were the days of my even acknowledging her out bursts, or turning on the tv, or acting as her personal jester. I headed to the kitchen, and she was welcome to join.
Surprisingly, she followed suit. I pulled the chair up to the counter, she leaned on her little elbow's and our conversation began as such:
A: What's that?
Me: You know what this is. It's a carrot.
Me: It's a carrot because that's what it is. It's here because I'm cutting it up for dinner. Want to try it?
A: I try.
Me: Here you go.
And so it began. Every night (and sometimes in the mornings too), this is our routine. Some days she helps, other days she colors. Either way, she is observing the process, she is smelling different food, sometimes even tasting. She likes to touch it, and observe. At dinner, she gets exactly what we are eating. Somedays she eats it, other days she doesn't. I don't make a big deal of it wither way, and I have yet to have her complain of being hungry.
Bonus: She's really into cleaning up, so she also sweeps every night. This typically leads to more work on my end, but I'm hoping my investment pays off and in a few years her cleaning skills are impeccable. A mom can dream.
Being that I am a photographer, my natural instinct is to document this new journey we are on together. You can follow along as I launch this new series: Cooking with Ada.