One of the many features that Q has been blessed with from her daddy is being a picky eater. When we switched from breastfeeding to formula, she took it like a champ. In fact, she was happier! So when her doctor gave us the green light at her 4 month checkup to start some solids, we were pretty stoked because breastmilk wasn’t keeping her full for longer than a couple of hours and I thought it would give me a chance to pump and stock up. That was a bust, because as I noted in a previous post, my boobs are assholes.
Anyway, we started with the usual rice cereal for a few days, then moved on to the one-vegetable-at-at-time thing. After a while we discovered that not only did she have a searing hate for utensils, her lack of love for pureed foods accompanied that. I was uncomfortable with this because I wasn’t sure I was mentally ready to start giving her actual solid food yet and expressed this feeling with her doctor, so he suggested starting on the rice puffs that dissolve in her mouth. Of course, being the paranoid new mom that I am, I thought even those were too big so I munched on the outer edges of them (they’re shaped like stars) to round them out before I gave them to her. She loves them (so do I) but its not meal-appropriate and she needed something more healthy and substantial.
Since then, we’ve slowly introduced an array of solid bite-sized food for her to munch on; bread with fresh strawberry jam, chicken (she’s obsessed), bananas, scrambled eggs, french toast, etc. But veggies are still a challenge for me because I have a hard time cooking them to a point where they’re still a solid for her to like, but mushy enough so she can swallow it easily.
This is where pancakes come into play. She LOVES them. Im convinced that if she were placed on a deserted island with a lifetime supply of pancakes, she’d be happy as a little clam. The other day I made pancakes and some oatmeal for her lunch. Every few bites of pancake, I fed her a spoonful of oatmeal. She caught on quickly after a few minutes and only wanted the pancakes after that. Little bugger.
So I had to find a way to incorporate veggies into her favorite foods. Like pancakes.
This isn’t by any means something that I feed her 24-7. Im aware of the sugar content in the mix, even though it only calls for a tablespoon, so I stick to making them once or twice a week and freezing the extras that she doesn’t eat.
Its pretty simple, really. Take your favorite pancake mix (would work with waffles or crepes too!), a pureed vegetable, and combine the two. Thats it! Last week I tried blueberries. This week I was a little more adventurous and did carrots.
1 1/2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup of flour
3/4 cups of almond milk
1 tbs of sugar
2 tbs of vegetable oil (coconut oil works too)
2 tsp of vanilla extract
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp of salt
Cook vegetable until soft. Any method will do. Next puree it in a blender or food processor and set aside. We have the Beaba Cook Pro food processor (here) and love it because it steams, defrosts and purees the food. I could have easily used my own food processor or blender but I tend to use a lot of garlic in my cooking and the smell is permanently stuck; something I don’t want bleeding unnecessarily into Quinn’s food.
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg until light and frothy. Add milk, vegetable oil and vanilla. Place a sieve over the bowl and sift flour, sugar, salt and baking powder into the mix and whisk until smooth. Lastly, add pureed vegetable (or fruit!).
Lightly butter a hot griddle and pancake away!
When the pancakes were slightly cooled, I broke one up into tiny little bite sized pieces and fed them one by one to Q. She’s still not able to pick up food from her tray and feed herself, and the food that she does pick up usually just gets mushed between her fingers and thrown behind her. I have to get on my hands and knees to find what she’s disposed of because it blends so easily into the Belgian oriental rug in our dining room, ha! Its amazing that she’ll put everything under the sun in her mouth, except food.
I have to say, as weird as carrot pancakes sound, they were actually pretty delicious! Jason thought it was a bit unusual, but I’ll do anything to get her to eat her veggies, even if that involves a little trickery.