The Food Challenge.

Finding yummy foods to feed my almost one year old boy has become QUITE a challenge in the past month. He has become so independent that it’s hard to find things he’s able to feed himself, or things he’ll let me feed him. He has ALSO grown very picky with textures. I feel like I could go through 7 options of food in one meal…plan baby oatmeal, yogurt, sweet potatoes, noodles, Gerber pasta stuff, pureed and whole fruit, etc., etc… the list goes on. As a result to my growing frustration with feeding times I went on to and searched for new ideas on foods he may enjoy eating or feeding himself. I gave three items a shot, one was a HIT, one is iffy, and the other he just spit out.

The first item I made was:

Sweet Potato Fries


6 medium to large sweet potatoes


Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F)
Scrub sweet potatoes, clean and/or peel them if baby cannot handle the skins
Cut the sweet potatoes into sizes that will suit your needs or, cut into strips that you may then cut down after baking

In a large bowl, add about 1/4 cup of olive oil.
To this you may add cinnamon, ginger, a pinch of brown sugar, etc.. (I add cinnamon and sometimes a bit of brown sugar).

Toss the cut up sweet potatoes into the bowl and stir so that the potatoes are drenched with the olive oil mix.

Dump mixture onto a baking sheet and drizzle the remaining olive oil in the bowl over the potatoes on the baking sheet. Stir and swirl the potatoes on the baking sheet before placing in oven. Bake for approx 30-45minutes or until tender.

The skins may become crispy but the actual potato “meat” will not. They will be a bit mushy like. These will not look or bake up like regular white potato French Fries so don’t be alarmed.

For us this was not a hit. He did not like the texture, and I can’t figure out why, but he would spit them out just as fast as they would be put in his mouth. Us as parents, on the other hand, thought they were SO yummy!!

The next thing I tried was:

Elaine’s Jasmine Rice:

You can add meats and veggies to this rice dish and serve as a meal for baby. It will also puree well. This recipe makes a traditional congee. It will be soupy so when you read that it calls for 12 cups of broth/stock, you have read correctly and there is no error in measurements.

12 cups Chicken or Vegetable broth
1 1/2 cup jasmine rice


1. Combine 12 cups of chicken or vegetable broth with 1 1/2 cups of jasmine rice in a large stockpot.
2. Add a couple of slices of fresh peeled ginger for extra flavor. (Ginger is a natural tummy soother)
3. Bring to a boil.
4. Turn heat down to a simmer and cook for about 1 1/2 hours or until rice turns very smooth and creamy. Stir occasionally.
5. The rice will break up to a porridge-like consistency.
6. Cool the mixture, remove the ginger slices and spoon rice into ice-cube trays and freeze overnight then break cubes into freezer bags and store in freezer for up to 2 months.

Elaine's Jasmine Rice

For us, this started off well and he was eating it… BUT he soon realized the texture of the rice was not to his liking and he would spit it out, once again, as quickly as I’d get it in. I AM NOT DONE WITH THIS YET…. I made a HUGE pot of it, and I am going to mash it up int he blender with potatoes or something to try to make it more interesting to him. We’ll see how that goes.

The last item I made was this:

Monkey Cookies (may turn out soft)


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup butter/margarine, softened
2 eggs
2 bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla


Preheat oven to 400F degrees
Combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Mix well.
Add butter or margarine. Mix well.
Add remaining ingredients. Mix well.

Drop by teaspoonfuls on cookie sheet. Bake around 12 minutes.

Makes about 3 dozen. These are very cake-like and you may wish to add more flour for a stiffer “cookie”.

Monkey Cookies

These were a hit for the whole family!! Isaiah loves them, and we love them! Isaiah’s Birthday Party is a monkey theme and I will TOTALLY be making these for the party! They were so easy to make, and so much cheaper than buying cookies at the store. I will continue to make these, bananas are a hit for Isaiah!

So readers… if you have ANY suggestions for me on ways to get food into my little man’s tummy that doesn’t involve me following him around the house with yogurt, let me know!! I NEED YOUR HELP!


About Tanya

Wife, mom, life of ministry and raising children.
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5 Responses to The Food Challenge.

  1. Jess P says:

    Have you tried avocado? I’ve found that’s always a hit either cut up in small chunks or larger slices they can munch on. Banana, blueberry, or apple bread is always a good way to get some extra fruit. Zucchini bread/muffins are good too! An egg type casserole with a little cheese and broccoli was a favorite. Mum-mum bars are another favorite… not much of anything, but they’re good snack on. The fruit net-pops are great with watermelon. I’ve also softened apple chunks and carrots in the microwave to make them easier to eat (small bowl with a bit of water, for about 30 seconds or until soft). Can add a bit of butter or other spices/sugars to add interest. Good luck! If I can think of any other tricks I’ve acquired from nannying I’ll pass them on.

    • Jess P says:

      The organic yogurt sticks – freeze them and the kids love to suck on them without being grossed out by the mushy texture!

  2. Lydia Sherrer says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE the cookbook from William Sonoma : Cooking for Baby. They also have Cooking for Toddler. It gives great, fresh, easy recipes and the book is categorized by age so it’s great for finding things that work well for each stage. Also I second the frozen yogurt tubes. All 3 of my kids are HUGE fans. 🙂

  3. Ashley says:

    Tanya I’m having the same issue! T is disinterested in all solid foods and only wants to nurse. I FINALLY got a little bit of greek yogurt in him this morning (mixed with cinnamon) but for the past two days he has had like 6 baby spoonfuls of avocado total. I don’t know what’s up but I’m having a hard time finding anything he will eat too!

  4. Tammy says:

    first off I will say that feeding him in the kitchen while you are preparing things is a pretty good way to get a boys to eat things. Our boy freaked out when seatbelted into a highchair or any chair and wouldn’t eat anything. He did however follow me everywhere in the kitchen when I was cooking and would eat anything!! We also just pulled a chair up to the table with a booster which worked. Second piece of advice. Try LOTS of different foods that you eat with him and just cut small. I mean seafood, salsa, really different and varied stuff. You’ll be surprised what they eat!! The kids would munch on red peppers and tomatoes while I shopped at the grocery store. (i know you’re supposed to pay first but I was so excited they were eating good stuff). Also don’t give him too many options for one meal. You don’t want to get into the habit of making a pile of different things until you find one he’ll eat. He’ll pick up on that and you’ll be cooking for him like that his whole life which spells trouble. If he’s interested in real food, let him give it a try!

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