Listen, mamas. I know how it is.
It seems like every time you turn around, there’s more advice about how to feed your children. Puréed baby food, or baby led weaning? Organic veggies cut in animal shapes, or the goldfish crackers they found under the seat of the van?
With so much conflicting advice, what’s a mom to do?
Never fear! I’ve put together the definitive guide on the correct way to feed your child*, with the recipes you need so you’ll never have to wonder again.
*Disclaimer: This information is subject to change. Reasons for change may include changes in barometric pressure, the wind shifting one degree to the north, using the wrong colored cup yesterday, and it being Tuesday.
Let’s start with breakfast, shall we?
Waffle sticks: Waffle sticks are great for dipping in syrup and your child will love you for making these. This recipe works best if using frozen waffles, as homemade waffles are less processed and therefore less good.
This recipe seems easy at first, but you need to pay attention. The trickiest part of this recipe is remembering to present the waffle whole to your child first. If you skip this step, unfortunately it won’t turn out and there is no way salvage the recipe (or breakfast at all).
Now on to lunch.
PB&J: Peanut butter and jelly has been a perennial childhood favorite for eons. But regular PB&J sandwiches are so passé. Go for the deconstructed PB&J by mixing peanut butter and jelly in a bowl. It is to be eaten with a spoon with plain bread on the side.
Beware of sticky spoons being left in odd places around your house after serving this meal. Every time you find one of these spoons, you can take a deep breath and feel the peace of knowing your child is being fed the right way. Then go wash your hands.
Let’s talk vegetables. We know that generally, vegetables are not to be trusted. Luckily I do know of one recipe that is acceptable.
Peas: It’s a little-known secret that peas are meant to be eaten frozen. They should never, ever be heated at all or you’ll completely wreck them.
And finally, we have dinner time. The most peaceful, serene time of day for mamas and children alike. With the right recipes, you can enjoy peaceful* family meals together at the dinner table.
*Please note: the definition of “peaceful” for the purposes of this article has been expanded to include shrieking, crying, yelling, throwing food, and complaining about siblings. Thank you.
Chicken Fish Sticks: Chicken fish sticks are just like the regular fish sticks you get at the grocery store. But it is imperative that they be called chicken fish sticks. Regular fish sticks are terrible, icky things that must never, ever be consumed.
In fact, go ahead and put “chicken” in front of all types of meat if you want it to taste good.
And we have one last bonus recipe, specifically for when you have guests over.
Chicken nuggets: Chicken nuggets are a wonderful source of protein. Whether you go for the generic store brand, or spring for the organic, non-GMO chicken nuggets, just be sure to serve them cold.
To do this recipe right, start early. Cook your chicken nuggets as directed, allow to cool, and then refrigerate until fully chilled. This is the proper way to serve food to your guests, and they will sing your praises far and wide for being such a wonderful cook.
There you have it, mamas! The right way to feed your child. When you know better, you do better.
A big thank you to all the mamas on the writer’s team who submitted the weird things their children insist on eating. And thank you to my own mother who suffered through my insistence on eating peanut butter and cheese sandwiches for all of second grade.
Amber Krueger is a wife to her husband, Steve, and mom to her two children, Ethan and Stella. She grew up as a missionary kid in the Philippines and has a degree in literature from Bethel University. She writes about food and creative endeavors at By Amber’s Hands and Keto Cake Walk.