There’s a saying that having a baby is like throwing a grenade into your marriage. I’ll let the other bloggers here take that one on, but I do know that having a baby can be like throwing a grenade into your culinary life. If you also happen to be simultaneously trying to make a living so you can keep a foothold wherever you live takeout starts looking more and more attractive. But you don’t have to throw in the kitchen towel, says Debbie Koenig, a writer in Williamsburg. She teaches a cooking class for new parents called Parents Need to Eat Too and is currently writing acookbook by the same title.
The idea is simple and brilliant: simple, healthy meals for parents that can also be easily adapted for babies. I’ll let Debbie explain:
The idea behind Parents Need to Eat Too is that as parents–especially new parents–we’re insanely pressed for time. Everything in the cookbook plays off that in some way. So if it’s possible to make food for your baby at the same time as you’re making your own, that can only be good. Think about it: Before the baby food industry took hold, infants ate the same food as their families. When my son was a baby, we were advised to introduce one food at a time, unseasoned, and wait three to five days before introducing another–all in the name of allergy-prevention. Which, as it turns out, was a load of hooey. Now, the American Academy of Pediatrics only advises such caution if there are food allergies in your immediate family. And as far as seasoning goes, this obsession with blandness seems to be largely a Western thing. In countries where food is heavily spiced, babies are often fed a milder version of the same food. Why not here?
I know my own son rejected the pablum we tried to introduce when he was a baby. We ended up mashing up whatever was already on our plates with a little milk and feeding him that, which is why I love Debbie’s approach. My hunch is that she’s putting her boy on the road to being a more adventurous eater.
If you’re curious about this approach–or if you’ve been feeling uninspired in the kitchen lately you’re in luck. Debbie is looking for recipe testers! Contact her at debbie_koenig [at] hotmail.com. Meanwhile, here are a few of her favorite stand-by recipes.
My favorite, favorite thing to make once the summer produce hits is this Quick Saute of Corn, Tomato & Zucchini, which to me is summer in a bowl.
When it’s hot outside I like to cook things overnight or in the slow cooker–it keeps the kitchen from heating up, and it makes life a whole lot easier.
Two more favorites: