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Grilled cheese with blueberries!

Grilled cheese with blueberries!

I mom-ed so hard this weekend, you guys.

I always thought the greatest pleasure or sense of satisfaction I would ever experience re: food would be a direct result of eating it. Then I started cooking a lot in my mid-20s and revised that notion: creating and THEN eating something spectacular is the best.

Then I had Jax. 

Toddlers are odd little creatures. Sometimes they eat whatever you put in front of them. Sometimes they play with it first. Sometimes they flat-out refuse to eat anything, even something they loved yesterday. Sometimes they chew and chew and chew and won’t swallow (seriously, what’s up with that. If you don’t like it, spit it out. Why go through all the trouble of chewing the molecules out of your food if you like the taste well enough NOT to spit it out, but then refuse to swallow? I don’t…I can’t…UGH.)

I’ve previously documented my struggles with making healthy food Jax will deign to imbibe. The plight continues. He’s like a judge on Top Chef; from his high chair, with a little amuse-bouche of rice Chex and mango juice while he waits, he watches me put the finishing touches on his meal. Mouth half open, craning his neck to see me maneuver around the island, stirring sauce, plating a stir fry, or cuttting a breaded fish filet into toddler bites, he waits.

He knows when I’m making something he’s never tried before.

For lunch on Saturday, I made my sometimes-picky punkin a breakfast grilled cheese. Blueberries and cream cheese. Easy but different. You try cutting a grilled cheese sandwich that has blueberries in it into easy, non-messy bites. I did it, though. And Jax ate it.

I’m skipping ahead.

He nudged it, pushed it around the high chair tray making little surprised hmm and huh noises. For ten minutes. FINALLY, he picked one bite up and licked it (I swear), did an over-exaggerated “MMMMMMmmmm,” like on TV, and crammed two big bites into his mouth.

The tendency here would be to assume success, but that would be premature. I never declare success until Jax has eaten 3/4’s of supper, and a little bit of everything I put in front of him. Which happens…periodically.

But it happened this time. He ate the blueberry grilled cheese. Boom.

Supper was a bigger experiment, and this is what I mean when I say I mom-ed so hard. I wasn’t even done yet! I wanted my son to fall asleep that night dreaming of what deliciousness mama would put before him the next day! I wanted to impress this little food critic who daily shreds my kitchen prowess into pathetic pleas to stop throwing broccoli on the floor.

Parmesan. breaded. cauliflower. bites.

I'm not even a big fan of cauliflower, but these breaded bites were tasty. Toddler tested, mom approved.

I’m not even a big fan of cauliflower, but these breaded bites were tasty. Toddler tested, mom approved.

Cutting up a head of cauliflower was the hardest thing about making these bite-sized bits of nutrition that sort of look like breaded chicken fingers (so, he’s interested) but are oven baked, not fried, and therefore super healthy. After you have your chunks, you just dip them in beaten egg and then toss them in a bowl of panko breads crumbs + Parm cheese, spread them on a baking sheet, and bake them 20 minutes at 400 degrees. They are very crispy, very healthy, and very tasty.

Watching Jax pick up a bite of crispy cauliflower and put it directly into his mouth, no hesitation, and then do it again, and again, is the best food-related feeling I think I’ve ever had.

I’ve impressed my foodie son. What did YOU do this weekend?