When my daughter was born I made everything from scratch… I made her vegetables and her applesauce…her soups…you name it, I did it. Finally I was so tired and bent out of shape grouchy from waking up at all hours of the night, cleaning the house, picking up after my husband, and making food from scratch, I went cold turkey and bought everything. I know…I know…why did I have to scrap it all? Well I am just that kind of person. All or nothing. Anyhow, I went to Whole Foods constantly and spent $1.50 a jar on these little 3 oz jars of peas, carrots, apples, bananas, oatmeal…I bought it in bulk. I filled up and used it all and went back for more. It was a never ending cycle and I was too tired to really think about it.
One day, after 4 hours of sleep, I felt refreshed and started to think about what was happening. I looked at my receipts and realized just how much money I was spending on all this so called “natural” foods for my child. Holy Crap I spent about $6-$9 a day on jars of bits of food for my kid and it was not even that good for her.
At the same time, I was also starting to gain weight again…after I stopped breastfeeding and just buying her food from the market…it all started to happen at once…I will talk about that next time…it was a cycle, I got lazy and my body started to show it.
So I started to research what to do…I found all these books from Seinfeld’s wife’s book to a few other gourmet versions. Seinfeld’s wife wanted me to hide mashed sweet potatoes in whole wheat batter and make donuts out of them to give to my kid…not good training I thought…and the gourmands wanting me to make Beef Wellington and grind it up in the cuisinart and store it in little ice cube trays and give it to my kid…
I finally found something in between…a book on how to make healthy foods “look” interesting so that your child will eat the food because it looks fun but not altering any of the natural ingredients. I started to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that looked like butterflies, and white fish with veggies in a fish shape with breadcrumbs on top. My then 1 year old lapped it all up and happily ate more. Instead of wasting jars, I started buying food containers that I could use to store the food and then re use.
I was ecstatic and started to introduce more interesting foods such as caterpiller meatballs which are meatballs strung together with sauce on top laying on a bed of spaghetti with clovers as eyes. Meal times became fun for mom and child and I did not spend all my time running back and forth to the market to buy jars of food and recycling too many glass jars.
I felt better as a mother because I was able to do this for my child with very little time and effort. What I realized was the effort I could put in with just some simple ingredients and creativity made amazing food for my daughter and it was actually more convenient than a jar of food. I could not believe it, the satisfaction of creating something good for my family was actually rewarding to me as a person and everything else started falling into place again…the confusion of being a new mother and growing into a person who now had a child was no longer this whirlwind…I was starting to enjoy my time with her.