Evidently there is some diet still hanging around — that I'm guessing probably got its start in the back pages of Seventeen magazine — where you only eat jars of baby food. That sounds kind of gross. Have you eaten jarred baby food? Some of it is not so great.
Storebought baby food has gotten better than when I was eating cold, slimy, tiny sausages (evidently I liked them), but it's still not what I would call delicious, and it seems to degrade as you advance to larger jars and chunkier slop. Gelatinous spaghetti with rubbery, spongy chicken? No, thanks. Since The Kid has such a voracioius appetite we supplement the food we make him with storebought stuff and by necessity, we've found some good options (the organics are definitely better), but they pale in comparison to what we make him.
Yes, I eat my son's baby food.
Ever since he started screaming even harder after we gave him the no-sugar, dye-free, oh-my-god-this-tastes-like-nail-polish-and-feet infant Tylenol, I taste everything before I give it to him. And you know what I've discovered? Besides the fact that The Kid still hates avocados (blasphemy!), fruits and vegetables are pretty delicious.
I know, shocker. I actually like fruits and vegetables. I could not eat enough citrus while I was pregnant, I snack on bananas and apples at work, and wilted spinach is really good in pretty much anything But when you start looking at food as something new to be discovered and consumed one type at a time (we use the three-day waiting period) you realize just how good it is ... and how much better some things are pureed.
Seriously. Have you ever tried pureed peas? They are suprisingly sweet. Steamed pears? Shut your mouth (well, open it to shove more in), it's sweeter than candy. How about baked summer squash? It becomes some complex sauce that pairs well with chicken.
And while we eat The Kid's leftovers (you cannot waste pureed pears), he has also started making us eat more like adults. Our diet isn't horrible, but we've realized we need to make sure we have a vegetable at every meal that isn't just tomato sauce. We also tend to eat more than our share of chocolate (preferably in the form of brownies and frozen yogurt, not necessarily together). But thanks to The Kid we have a much wider variety of fresh foods in our house, which means we eat them too. Strawberries can satisfy our sweet tooth (most days) and pears are still pretty great whole.
Now that The Kid is old enough to eat more complex foods, we've started making baby-friendly meals. We never ate a ton of processed foods or things doused in salt, but we are much more aware of what we buy since The Kid is gonna want a bite. And now that we are introducing herbs and spices, we get to rediscover those, too.
We've also slowed down. Instead of sitting down on the couch to watch a Netflix like we did pre-baby, we all sit at the table together. Cutting up the meal to make it manageable for The Kid, or feeding him purees in between our own bites, slows us down. We actually recognize what we are eating and when we are full. Besides, now that his favorite pastime is feeding himself one pea at a time (they are still pretty darn sweet), we'll be there for a while, so we might as well relax and enjoy it.