We didn’t eat many meals together as a family when our children were just learning to eat solid foods. This was because DH was working long hours and was rarely home to see – let alone eat with – the children and because I’d convinced myself that I couldn’t make food that satisfied their needs and tastes as well as my own (now is not the time or the place to have the conversation about how dieting WRECKS LIVES, though).
I wish I’d had Nikki Duffy’s book back then. Nikki (who happens to be a former colleague) has written a fantastic book (under the aegis of River Cottage) all about feeding babies and toddlers and it’s crammed with useful, reassuring, practical and pragmatic advice, as well as some really, really terrific recipes. I plan to write in more detail about the book in a future post BUT suffice it to say that the most iron-clad advice that she gives and that anybody could give anybody about feeding young children is MAKE THEM EAT WHAT YOU EAT FROM AN EARLY AGE.
So I – clearly – feel like I’ve already failed in this regard, even if the two of us dining together regularly (telly off, candle on table, good bottle of wine) has felt like a sanity-saver on occasion. But I think what I mean to say here is that if I was eating regularly with a young child, this – as well as the amazing recipes in Nikki’s book - is what I would be making.