Top 10 Foods Only a Baby Could Love

Around here, we love top 10 lists.  I particularly enjoyed Jessica’s Top Ten Things I Ate in College That I’ll Never Eat Again.  It brought back some fond memories and the taste of stomach acid.  I might also add the Ramen sandwich and instant apple cider made with dorm room sink water.  But it’s been ten years since I entered that freshman dorm, and life as a parent has taken me to some new culinary lows.  So, here we go…the top 10 foods only a baby (or maybe a toddler) could love:

10. Single-Grain Cereal












As a child, my mom tried to sell me on the virtues of a strange paste called Cocoa Wheats, sometimes singing the jingle as she stirred the gluey concoction on the stove.   Even at the tender age of 8, I knew that stuff was nasty.  And yet, we are told to give it to babies as their first food because it’s “highly digestible”  and has a “smooth texture.” I think we’ve only succeeded this long because they can’t talk back.  Just a warning, parents, they get over it pretty quickly and you’ll be stuck with a box of the stuff for months or years to come.

9.  Pureed Vegetables












All the texture of rice cereal, plus the power to stain any and all surfaces they touch — liquified veggies are truly abhorrent.  Since we waited until Elijah was six months old to give him solid foods, the mushy green paste period was mercifully short.  We never tried the jarred meat, so I can only imagine the horror.  And the smell.

I have been to a few restaurants lately where super-smooth vegetable mush was passed off as “sauce.”  Nope.  I’m on to you.  Gerber has a stake in this somewhere.

8. Food Off the Floor

Now, before you go and call me a snob, know that I am not talking about the 5-second rule, or even the 30-second rule.  I am talking about days-old, dried up, stuck-to-the-floor old food.  My son was never big on putting foreign objects into his mouth, but if it is, or once was, food — look out.  On the upside, I will say that my sweeping standards are dramatically higher as a result.

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One-Man Food Fight

Let’s face it.

Feeding a baby is gross.

And by face it, I mean rub it all over our faces, put it anywhere but inside our mouths, and hope that some nutrition is absorbed through our pores.  At least, that’s seems to be my darling child’s interpretation of “face it.”  As in:

“Elijah, open your mouth so I can spoon some mush into it.”
“No, Mom, I’d rather face it.”

In the past few weeks we have progressed from total body coverage to mainly face/bib/hand/spoon, but it’s still a messy, messy business, this baby feeding.

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Feed Us Back: Comments of the Week

baby eating

debbie koenig says you’ve gotta play it cool if you want to make your baby a foodie:

As the food writer mom of a vexingly picky 4-yr-old: Try not to worry about it too much. Seriously, in my experience a lot of the food refusal is related to power struggles–the more clear it is to my son that I care about what he eats, the less likely he is to try something. Just keep serving–and eating in front of her–all the delicious, healthy stuff you normally eat.

Does this really work? So we should stop slipping truffle oil and sriracha into the baby’s bottle?

Tikabelle shares the most heartwarming soup story we’ve ever heard:

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Building a Better Eater


As you may know, we recently had a new addition to the TVFF household. She’s a bundle of joy and all that good stuff, but I have to admit that I haven’t been too impressed with her one-ingredient diet. It’s not quite the wide-ranging palate that I had hoped for from my offspring.

OK…I understand that we’re doing the best thing possible for her health by feeding her exclusively breast milk. To tide myself over, I’m already dreaming up combinations of pureed goodies that I’ll be making in lieu of buying those jars of baby food. But isn’t there anything that I can be doing now to turn my kid into a gourmand?

Apparently, according to What to Expect the First Year, there just may be…

Because what you eat affects the taste and smell of your breast milk, your breastfed baby is exposed to different flavors well before he or she is ready to sit down at the dinner table, which may help shape future eating habits.

It goes on to theorize that spicy foods like salsas and curries eaten by the mother may help young children be better able to handle those sorts of bold flavors once it’s time for him or her to move on to solid foods. Needless to say, that meant that the nightly dinner menu has been significantly revamped to include a wide variety of Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Thai, Indian, Malaysian and Polish items.

How effective will this be? Who knows. But I’d be interested if anyone out there has seen any kind of evidence — anecdotal or scientific — that supports the fact that I can be doing something now that will result in not having to find “chicken nuggets” on the menu every time I take my kid out with us for dinner.

More On Kids’ Eating:
Feeding Monsters
Why America Eats Shit
Kids Are People Too

(Photo: The Adventures of Kristin & Adam)

Top 10 ES Posts of 2010

Endless thanks to everyone who spent part of their year simmering with us. Before you pop the bubbly, relive 2010 with our top 10 most read posts of the year.

10. The Cutest Eater in the World Contest

cute kids eating

You would not believe how many times parents will return to a snarky food blog just to tell the world how much cuter their kid is than every other kid.

9. NYC Tour De Poutine


We recommend every eater completes this tour once, and only once.

8. Mudslide Cupcakes


You ESers are a sucker for anything with “chocolate” and “cocktail” in the same sentence.

7. 100 Ways to Cook a Sweet Potato

sweet potatoes

They’re not just for Thanksgiving anymore.

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Ten Worst (Foodie) Things About Being Knocked Up


(Actual TVFF Jr. ultrasound…the embellishments are artistic license)

No, I’m not pregnant. But Mrs. TVFF is, so I’ve become hyper-aware of dietary restrictions placed on women when they’re expecting. It’s amazing how much you can’t/shouldn’t eat. God forbid that something on the no-fly list make its way into your diet, and don’t even try to talk about it on those baby discussion boards, where you’ll be immediately branded an unfit mother if you so much as suggest that “sunny side up” is a valid option for your breakfast table.

So, since I’m at least somewhat responsible for Mrs. TVFF’s current condition, I thought it would be a good idea to solicit her thoughts on what she’s been missing the most during the first 36 weeks and share it with you. Obvious disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, so please don’t take this as medical advice.

10. Booze

Who doesn’t like a good stiff drink at the end of a hard day’s work? Well, let me tell you this: Nobody could use a double martini more than a woman who has been dragging around an extra 25 pounds all day. Later in the pregnancy, it’s apparently kosher for you to have a half glass of wine with dinner, but that’s cold comfort for someone who would benefit from a bender.

9. Undercooked eggs

This one should come as no surprise to ES-ers, but we like a nice runny egg once in a while in the TVFF household. And we both love spaghetti carbonara (even if it doesn’t turn out perfectly), so it’s a minor tragedy that this one has been off the menu since May.  Also, having to portion the scrambled eggs in the pan and scoop out my share invariably leads to a messy countertop and overcooked eggs in the end. Can’t wait until we can go back to playing salmonella roulette on a regular basis!

8. Sushi

This is the one area where I’ve decided to show some solidarity with the wife. I’ve gone 36 weeks without raw fish, and it’s starting to get really annoying. She knew better than to ask me to give up drinking for nine months.  I love her and all, but let’s be real. To tide us over, she opts for the California roll from the her usual NYC lunch spot and I’ve relegated myself to a somewhat palatable Trader Joe’s faux-sushi, but it only makes us want the real stuff that much more.

7. Rare Meat

Some women profess a craving for meat during pregnancy, though Mrs. TVFF was much more interested in fresh fruit. Regardless, the done-ness of the meat that we are eating has proven to be an issue. She has steered (no pun intended) away from overly rare steaks and burgers, but the big headache has been chicken. Look, I’m not suggesting you eat your chicken at anything less than “done,” but I don’t like that I’ve been turned into an obsessive food safety inspector due to my zeal to prevent any kind of infection.

6. Caffeine

This poor woman can hardly keep her eyes open past 10:00 p.m. and yet she’s forced to studiously consult Starbucks’ Web site to make sure she isn’t going a few milligrams above her daily allotment.

Next: Top 5 Worst (Foodie) Things About Being Knocked Up