Since starting Griffin on solids, I knew I didn’t want him having the typical first foods that most babies get. I had already decided against giving him grains, which meant I had to be creative with the fruits and veggies he would be trying.
I’m also a lover of food – I adore everything about it! I like trying new things, experimenting with spices and textures, and sampling foods and cooking techniques from different cultures. In fact, when we’re at my all time favorite US destination – Disney – I mainly go for the 100s of restaurants!
So it was with all this in mind that I sought out a few baby food cookbooks. Most of them were way too basic and pretty much made me feel I was getting directions on how to boil water. Come on, Pureed Carrots = steam and puree carrots? I could have figured that out without purchasing an expensive hardcover book.
But then, hidden amongst all the clutter of bland meals, was Bébé Gourmet. Surprise, surprise, the French do it right once again in terms of food, even for the youngest members of society. One thing I love about this beautifully done book is that there’s really no guess work. The recipes are categorized according to different age groups, so I know I’m safe trying out various meats, shallots or garlic, and other spices depending on how old he is.
I also love that the book really isn’t afraid of being adventurous. In fact, that’s spelled out in the subtitle – Recipes for Raising an Adventurous Eater. There are certain things I may be a bit lax about as a parent. I’m not concerned with many of the milestones that so many parents freak out over. Griffin will crawl when he wants to, and we are providing him every opportunity and freedom to do so. But when it comes to food, I’m gung ho about making sure he has a varied palette! I can’t wait to cook family meals and allow him to have portions of what everyone else is eating.
There will be no short-order cooking in this household. Griffin will have tried so many different flavors and textures that hopefully there will be no unpleasant surprises.
This philosophy is discussed in Bringing up Bebe, which I’ve previously mentioned loving. But it’s also echoed, perhaps even louder, in French Kids Eat Everything. Both books have become part of my parenting philosophy, but French Kids Eat Everything really focuses on the food, and provides some great takeaway.
It’s actually really tough finding information on feeding babies this way, at least in the US. Even recipes for toddlers center around just a handful of ingredients. That’s why one blog I’ve been loving is French Foodie Baby. She is a French mom raising her child in the United States, so she understands the hardships that can come from trying to find good, quality ingredients – and also supporters to this type of eating.
Jeremy thinks I’m a bit nerdy when it comes to this. And it’s true, I get really excited about small things, like putting curry in his lamb and zucchini. But he has loved everything we’ve tried so far, so why not experiment and have fun with it?
Maybe next year, when he’s toddling around and wanting to help momma with everything, we’ll plant a little garden and learn even more about the food we eat. We can bring the farmer’s market to our back yard, and Griffin will eat what he grows.