When Eliza was 6 months old I started her on solid food. For several months I spent my weekends cooking and pureeing all sorts of vegetables and fruits, and then freezing them into cute, 1-inch cubes for her breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For awhile, she pretty much ate anything I gave her, including broccoli. I thought I had hit the food lover’s jackpot – a child that ate like an adult! Ha, ha, ha – I was wrong.

When Eliza turned one she started to exert her strong will, and let us know with a vigorous shake of her head that she would no longer try anything new. Pretty quickly my veggie-loving baby only ate bread, pasta and some fruit. It could have been heartbreaking for me, but I kept in mind that I too was a difficult eater from childhood through my early 20’s. I knew she would most likely turn around at some point, and it wasn’t worth the hassle to argue with a mini Neanderthal.

Fortunately, as Eliza has grown into a toddler she has become more interested in food. Not so much eating it, but she does pay close attention to me when I am cooking, and has become an enthusiastic helper in the kitchen. Sometimes she will even try something because we made it together – progress. Our latest adventures in baking involved three of her favorite foods – applesauce, walnuts, and muffins – so, unsurprisingly it was a hit! Now, if only I could hide some veggies in those muffins…

Applesauce Spice Muffins
I am not a huge lover of muffins, but this recipe from Gourmet is so good I kept sneaking bites of them when Eliza wasn’t looking.
(Note: I didn’t have allspice, so I used ¼ ts. of ground cloves, and added another ¼ ts. each of the cinnamon and nutmeg)

One of her favorite snacks. She kept eating them while we were making the muffins.

She’s a natural – such care and precision.

Guess I spoke too soon….

Eliza loves to stir.

I think her favorite part was sprinkling the cinnamon sugar on the muffins before they went into the oven.

Hot out of the oven! These smelled great. Perfect for the entire family.