Like so many writers, parents and food people before me, I spend a lot of time thinking about what my kid eats. It changes on a daily basis, with a few stalwarts. It's evolved over the so far 15 months during which she's enjoyed solid food. And she's gotten pretty savvy at throwing unwanted ingredients to the ever hopeful dachshund. But here are the things the kid eats:
Eggs. Scrambled, often; fried lately; and a whole deviled egg in one go at a Burns' Night party. Dipping things in egg yolk (toast, fake bacon, fingers) is a novelty. I used to make her tiny omelets when she was just starting out because the strips they could be cut into were good for gripping.
Beans. She calls them "hotbeans". Chickpeas, black beans and shell beans are the hits so far. She will eat a bowl of black beans for a snack or for three meals a day.
Any noodle. Italian or Asian, doesn't matter. Give her a carb in a shape and it's all good. Chow foon, pad thai, ravioli, spaghetti, macaroni, whatever. My favorite busy night meal for her is a few "small vegetarian noodle" nests (the yellow kind) boiled then tossed with sesame oil and soy sauce and a few chopped up vegetables and tofu cubes sauteed in sesame oil first.
Kiwi. Most fruit actually but kiwi was my number one pregnancy craving and interestingly enough, she's obsessed with them too.
Cheese. Every cheese, all the cheese.
Soup. It kind of doesn't matter what the soup is as long as she gets to show off her spoon skills.
Oatmeal. Can't get enough. Will steal mine. Likes it with blueberries, milk and maple syrup, or chopped apples and cinnamon.
So far she doesn't like avocado, sweet potato or squash, which are supposed to be prime baby and kid foods. But there's time.
We went gung ho on the Baby Led Weaning and it worked out extremely well for us. P distinguished herself this winter out at an upscale Chinese restaurant with my Tawianese step-grandmother by eating literally everything - silken tofu, broccoli, chow foon, fried rice, spicy eggplant. She's sometimes a little pickier at home, and snacks a lot before dinner, but she does pretty well. Few battles.
Here's a recipe for hotbeans like her abuela makes them:
1 cup dried black beans
water to cover really deeply
salt and olive oil for later
Put the beans, water, halved and peeled onion and peeled garlic (amount is up to you) in a heavy bottomed pot. Put it on the stove to boil, then simmer. Or if you have a woodstove, like we do, pop it on there. Keep an eye on the pot and add water if necessary. Keep simmering until the beans are nice and soft. If there's liquid left drain the beans (or save and drink the liquid hot - full of iron and saved me during postpartum anemia). Heat some olive oil in a big pan with a little more onion and garilc, chopped up, if you want. Add the beans and stir and mash them roughly. Add salt to taste. Serve with everything - eggs, tortillas, toast, avocado, hot sauce, cheese, you name it.