I am so excited to present our (okay- my) very first GUEST BLOGGER! Welcome Jessica Davis! I hope you all enjoy, I know I did 🙂
Toddlers are fickle creatures.
“Wait,” you may be thinking, “this is a food blog, not a mom blog! What are you trying to pull?” I know, I know. I’m getting there.
As I was saying, toddlers are fickle! Even a typically reliable eater can become capricious and resistant at the drop of a sippy cup (Did you see what I did there?). Their resistance can come from multiple directions. If you try to introduce new, interesting foods, they may become suspicious and obstinate. If you serve up the same easy, reliable meals over and over, they may become bored and cranky. It’s a vicious cycle.
“This sounds like a case of weak parenting,” you might be thinking. “Your child’s refusal to cheerfully eat her food is a sign that you’re letting her get away with too much!” Goodness, that’s rather forward of you!
Really though, in our house we generally cook one meal at a time. Unless we’re each making selections on leftovers night, everybody eats the same food, and the toddler doesn’t get by with demanding chicken nuggets when the adults are eating pork chops. Generally, she’s a good eater, but sometimes she’s resistant to whatever is on her plate, even when she’s knows that’s the only thing that is going to be on her plate. I’m a firm believer in enforcing healthy eating habits, but I still don’t want her to fuss! I want her to enjoy her food so we can all enjoy our dinner time together.
Enter Special Spice.
“Oh good,” you’re thinking, “we’ve made it to the cooking part.” See, I told you we’d get there!
Special Spice strikes just the right balance between reliable and adventurous. The first time I let my daughter try it, she took one small taste and then asked for a spoonful of it plain (I’m not kidding). This is a seasoning that she knows she likes. When a dubious casserole or a pungent vegetable crosses the plate, her suspicion is eased when she sees the Special Spice come out. That’s a good taste. That’s a dependable anchor amidst the storm of unusual flavors. And, when I serve up eggs (a favorite food that she has eaten for lunch almost every day since she was less than a year old) and she suddenly declares that there is no more odious food than scrambled eggs, Special Spice comes to the rescue again. These aren’t just normal eggs. These are special eggs! These eggs have pizzazz. We can all smile with satisfaction as the zesty eggs disappear.
“I’m glad to hear that worked out,” you may be thinking, “but I thought I was going to get a recipe!” I was afraid that might come up.
A recipe? Well, that’s tricky. When I’m serving up fast but tasty meals to my family, I don’t always have a handy step-by-step process. Make food. Add Special Spice. That is the recipe! No? All right, how about this?
We like to make Ham-lets at my house (that’s an omelet with ham in it because I really like ham and I really like Shakespeare). They are great because they are delicious and toddler-proof. The ingredients get all mixed together in advance so the child can’t dump the nutritious toppings out the side and skip them.
- Eggs (obviously)
- Diced ham
- Green onions
- Grated cheese
- Special Spice
Chop up your toppings into nice, edible bites. Crack your eggs into a bowl and whisk them up with a fork. Stir in all of your ingredients, including the Special Spice. If you add the seasoning in the bowl, the salt will react with the eggs and make them less likely to weep liquid afterward and lose their fluffiness (there’s a pro-tip for you). Pour into a heated, lightly-greased skillet. Stir them gently, scraping the bottom of the skillet to keep from getting an overcooked crust. Serve. Devour.
“Hey,” you’re thinking, “that’s just a recipe for loaded scrambled eggs!” Yes, yes, it is. But Ham-let sounds so much more regal, doesn’t it? Enjoy.