Monday, July 9, 2012

Gathered Spinach Scramble and thoughts on feeding babies

Much to my mother's initial horror, I never spoon fed the kid rice cereal.  In fact I didn't spoon feed him at all.  Before he was born I decided that I would be allowing him to self feed.  When he was a little over 6 months old we put him in his high chair and gave him a piece of avocado...and he LOVED it.  

From there we experimented with steamed veggies, roasted sweet potatoes, peaches, pears, oatmeal balls, veggie pancakes...pretty much anything he could gum.  This method of feeding babies is called baby led weaning or baby led solids.  It's becoming increasingly popular for a variety of reasons.  One of those reasons is that you don't have to spend hours spoon feeding a baby and you can enjoy meals together as a family.  Another benefit is that children who are introduced to foods this way are less likely to choke as they get older because they learned to chew first, then swallow (while spoon feeding teaches swallowing first).  

Baby led weaning is not for everyone.  It changed the way I cook and think about food.  But it is something we have definitely enjoyed.  And I like to think he has as well.  

I like consistency.  Toddlers like consistency.  Perhaps that is why I serve the kid the same thing for lunch nearly everyday.  I sometimes feel a little guilty about it.  You see, he doesn't like meat or beans all that much and he's a little hesitant about anything green.  So, I concocted a recipe that he'll eat--because, let's be honest, it's delicious--that is high in protein, iron, leafy greens, and healthy fats.  So I've stuck with it.  

I used to try to feed him other lunches, but they usually ended up on the floor.  So, I thought, why fight it when I have a healthy option that I know he'll eat.  

This recipe is a healthy and delicious breakfast or lunch for adults as well.  I'll admit to stealing a bit or two five when the kid isn't looking and not complaining when he doesn't quite finish.

Gathered Spinach Scramble
a balancing the table original
serves 1

1 cup packed spinach, finely chopped
1 large egg*
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp italian seasoning
1/8 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste**
1 tsp olive oil

1. Heat a small frying pan over medium heat.
2. Combine all ingredients except the oil in a small bowl and whisk with a fork to combine.
3. Add oil to the hot pan.  Add egg mixture and stir mixture until starting to set but still moist.  Gather all the eggs into the center of the pan and flatten out into a flat circle, about 1/2-3/4 inch thick.  Allow to cook until the eggs are nearly set and the bottom just begins to brown.
4. Flip the egg and allow to cook on the other side until completely set.
5. Remove from pan and allow to cool slightly before serving.

*if feeding to a child younger than 12 months and concerned about egg allergies, substitute two egg yolks for the whole egg (I never did).
**if feeding to a child younger than 12 months, omit salt 

 What the husband think: He enjoys these eggs quite a bit when I make them for dinner.  It doesn't keep him from leaving the spinach out when he makes his own eggs, but, he's an adult.

What the kid ate: These eggs, nearly every day for 10 months.  When he was younger it was just these eggs.  As his appetite grew I added in a piece of toast, and later fruit.  Speaking of balance...protein, dairy, fruit, vegetable, grains and healthy fat.  Not bad!

He sometimes uses a fork these days.


  1. I love this idea. It sounds like a good thing to feed a kid and it's packed with nutrition. I might try this soon. I gave the kids bread to chew on today. They enjoyed it.

  2. More baby food ideas please! I love all the pictures you've been posting.

  3. I agree with Joy--more baby food ideas! I started Parker with spoon feeding (because it was what you're "supposed" to do) and I can't even tell you how many hours I've had to sit there spooning food into that kid. He's finally starting to self-feed, but he won't eat any green veggies unless they're spoon fed to him from a commercial jar (he won't even eat peas that I've pureed for him). I'll have to try this recipe, but I'm not too optimistic because he wouldn't eat scrambled eggs I made the other day. But it would be nice to get him to eat spinach! I'll let you know how it goes!

    1. Hey, at least he's eating greens. This is the only way I've had much luck other than hiding them in pancakes. I've got some other baby/toddler recipes in the works.

      Definitely let me know how Parker likes the eggs.