Side Dish: Baby food (May 3, 2010)

Luke Macfarlane as Scotty Wandell eating baby food

A Taco Bell drive-thru seems an unlikely place for a fight about parenting, but that was just the setting of my most recent melee with Kevin.

Let me just put this out there: I have no problem with fast food. Actually, I should rephrase that. I have no problem with fast food every once in a while. But lately fast food has almost made up Kevin’s entire diet. I knew it was a problem when I got into his once-spotless car and it smelled like…well…you know how those little green trees hanging from the rearview mirror make the car smell like pine? Well it wouldn’t have surprised me if he had a little cardboard Big Mac-stale french-fries-and-Chalupa tree hanging from his rearview mirror.

Now maybe 9 months before a baby is born is too early to talk about what we plan on feeding him/her. But I’m a chef, so I have food on the brain. And I saw my opening in that Taco Bell drive-thru: “Fast food is fine for us, but we won’t be those parents who serve it to our kids…will we?” I thought this was a leading question and Kevin would take the bait.

He didn’t.

He just looked at me like I had two heads. His face scrunched up. His lip quivered. “You don’t want to deny our child a HAPPY MEAL do you?” I stumbled and Kevin seized his opportunity: “Are you saying you don’t want our child to be HAPPY?” This was serious. I thought fast: “Of course I want him-slash-her to be happy. But I also want him-slash-her to be healthy. We can at least agree to make our own baby food, right?”

Luke Macfarlane as Scotty Wandell biting into a hamburger

Kevin thought that was a silly idea. “Baby food is baby food, right? Isn’t it all the same?” There can be only one way to settle this: later that night I conducted a baby food taste test.

For the test I went out and bought a bunch of jarred baby food along with some organic fruits and vegetables with which I could puree my own. Homemade baby food is remarkably easy to make for even the busiest parent. Kevin and I would taste them both and see which tasted better

I stared at a jar of baby food. One of the ingredients? Niacinamide. “Mmmm…just like grandma used to make.”

I tasted it, barely able to swallow. Kevin said I was being dramatic, but he too spit it out: “Pond Scum!”

I called the turkey rice dinner “interesting” while Kevin said: “what’s interesting is that it didn’t make you vomit.”

One after the other, Kevin hated what he tried. Then we tried my pureed prunes. “Delicious!” And my “Farmer’s Market” blend of vegetables? We licked the bowl clean.

So that’s the compromise: fresh healthy baby food and eventually the occasional Happy Meal. Because I have to admit, sure fast food isn’t always healthy, but it can definitely be tasty.

Just don’t tell Kevin I said that.