Friday, 27 July 2012


This pic of some leftover taleggio polenta that I warmed for Z is a good example of how I am trying to simplify the 'baby stuff' stock pile that manages to build with time.

I have a series of small pots and non-stick mini frypans have proven to be perfect to reheat tiny portions for a tiny tummy. I can warm and mush to the right texture at the same time.
Particularly, this small non-stick pan I purchased years ago to cook crumpets and single serves of eggs, has had a bit of a workout recently for Z.

Leftover polenta, softened with breast milk 
I've used an egg to indicate the small size
Another way that I have been reheating food (I'm not a microwave fan and haven't had one for more than 10 years) is simply heating portions already stored in the ziplock bag like the pasta fagioli here. I toss the whole sealed and frozen bag in a pot of boiling water and then turn off the heat and wait a few minutes until its warm. This also saves on some washing up, a double win.

As you can no doubt tell, I'm not a fan of making things tricky unnecessarily and like that Z fits into our lives by eating simpler versions or components of our meals.
He has been tasting our meals from even just a few weeks old (not mouthfuls like now, just flavours on his tongue) and we are yet to find something that he doesn't eat greedily. On one occasion when I pureed some of our risotto it was too think and tacky and he started to refuse it after a few mouthfuls but once watered down with milk a little he was happy to eat the rest.
Last week I brought a sippy cup (more baby stuff!) thinking that he would learn to use it but he seems much more interested in sipping the occasional water out of an adult glass than his fancy gum protecting thing with handles. Before I know it he'll be asking for a his water in stemware!

So much food

I take my hat of to my devoted blogging friends, its a mix bag of emotions blogging again.
I love sharing and documenting this important stage in Little Z's life yet the guilt of going to bed at the end of another day with no blog post written is tough.
That being said, I really have such an easy baby that I shouldn't be thinking this is too hard writing a few words regularly as its mostly work that gets in the way, trying to steal a few nuggets of time to get that job finished or respond to the email instead of uploading the photo and getting whatever is swirling in my mind, onto this page.

We have been progressing so well with the solids, some definite favourites have been identified such as the blended pasta fagioli soup that I made a couple of weeks back. It looked hideous blended to take out the larger chunks but it still tasted (obviously) exactly the same and hence it was a huge hit.

Our Pasta Fagioli dinner blended for Z
An extra one for the freezer

One fun snack we had was some salmon roe, Z found the texture intriguing but I think he found masticating them too tricky and they just continued to pop out of his mouth again after a few seconds.
Simon ended up adding some to some mashed roast veggies and he ate them, but much to our surprise and (new parent) delight a few were visible still whole, unpopped (!!) when they came out the other end! Fun, but a big fail in regards to him getting the goodness actually inside him!

Brought for Z but most ended up on
scrambled eggs for my breakie 

If your curious as to why I want Z to eat salmon roe you can find some great info here and here about Weston A. Price but essentially were talking mega doses of brain building omega 3s.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Omega 3

Surprisingly already, I'm in the position were I'm needing to share my lunch with Z.
My unadon (Japanese eel on rice) was greedily demanded after each morsel was sucked and swallowed.
I'd pull off a small piece of the flesh rub it between my fingers checking for tiny bones and then pop it on his tongue. He absolutely loved it and then even a small amount of the rice coated in the sauce.

I was conscientious about having lots of omega 3 foods whilst pregnant and then breastfeeding for his growing brain, its exciting now that I can share it straight from my favourite source, oily fish.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Baby burps

We spent the weekend on the Gold coast, (Simon ran the Gold Coast marathon and we proudly cheered from the side lines) and I haven't posted Z's most exciting meals to date yet but a sweet little by product of Z's solids are the gorgeous little scented burbs.
My absolute favourite so far is taleggio, from some awesome polenta last week, today's scented burb was pear.

It takes you by surprise as you get use to the delicious milky burb smells and then suddenly there are food ones, the product of all my fussing to get the right things and get them into his tummy.

No doubt within a couple of years I'll be telling him not to burb like that but until then I'll just keep enjoying the little baby burb reminders of meals once all three of us.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012


It's interesting how Z's mood affects whether he will 'play the solids game' with us each day. Last night he happily scoffed down more salmon pâté, (and then an hour later threw it up all over his play rug, whilst having tummy time), yet this morning he wasn't the least interested in his avocado and egg yolk breakie. The thing is I don't think it's the food itself, it's his mood.

I'm finding his little personality is already dictating the meal; happily feeding, biting whilst feeding (his newest and most endearing skill) or opening his mouth for me to welcome more of his favourite coconut yoghurt.

I'm understanding that it's important to have some Z friendly solids in the fridge so it's easy to take advantage of an inquisitive mood, and the chance to get a couple of delicious bits into his tummy.
Some polenta & taleggio awaits him tomorrow morning.

Friday, 22 June 2012

A pre-dinner snack

Z had a little fishy snack tonight before his main course of a bottle (warmed whilst our baby brussel sprouts blanched).

A sweet start

The philosophy that I'm embracing for Z is the same way we eat. Food that's delicious and good for us.

The information about what should and shouldn't be first foods is so contradictory and confusing that I'm not surprised that so many people turn to the packets of factory made 'food' that they sell for babies. 

Z is used to tasting my diverse diet via breast milk so it seems a step backwards to offer bland mush now. 
The rule is if I wouldn't eat it, then he doesn't, and if I don't like the flavour then he probably will not as well. Luckily I eat everything.

Here's what's worked for us so far. 

Some good fats.
Mixed plate of flavours.
Mushed sweet potato and roast lamb shoulder
(aka dinner leftovers)
Z and the sweet potato and lamb, I think we got about 1 1/2 tablespoons in.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

16 weeks

It's 16 weeks today.

It is an exciting milestone, Z can start solids.

Just quietly, we have been dabbling with different tastes since he was born. Champagne (bad), mandarin (loved it), duck (sucked like crazy), gorgonzola (squinted then gestured for more), smoked prawn (great), avocado (more!) and of course lots of breast milk (but thats a long, long story for another time).

On the weekend Z had a couple of teaspoons of roast sweet potato, the first proper couple of bits that we allowed him to actually swallow, not just taste. He loved it. I knew he would, he has been watching us eat for weeks, like a salivating dog, fork to plate to mouth, repeat. The sweet potato was a gift that just kept on giving to Simon and I, as excited new parents we kept seeing the evidence of the sweet potato for days. Proof of our success.

Food, were do I start? Its perhaps too tricky to explain in sentences, perhaps easier for you to learn as we go, but I have a crazy, somewhat obsessive interest in it. That paired with the experience or lack there of, that comes with being a parent for the first time and the that huge responsibility to 'get it right'.

My nutrition, his nutrition.

I understand, its complicated. Very complicated.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

The dust off...

Firstly, welcome to the new Eating with Jack.

These pages recorded precisely as the name would suggest for about 3 years; what I ate, where I ate it and a fair share of rant and opinion at the same time. Food is my life, this was a way of expressing, recording and venting all in one.

A new business meant something had to give and Eating with Jack went into hiatus. It takes time and anyone who has set up a hospitality business knows, you don't have much of that. Spin forward two years, and a blessing by way of a son gave me the motivation to dust off the blog, start afresh and share a very special part of my life and an increasing personal interest with who ever cares to read.

Nutrition is important to me at any time. When I was pregnant though, I had a desire to read as much as I could about the relationship between what I consumed and baby's development. Ill elaborate on my reading list in a later post but there are some gems out there, many thoughtful and passionate writers whose research provided an invaluable resource for me.

I knew from the very beginning of this journey that a food education would be one of the most important lessons I could teach my child. A respect for food and the sense of occasion that comes from sharing a table, the amazing sensory experiences that food can provide and at its most basic, knowledge to look after yourself properly. (A fairly basic human premise you would think, unfortunately many struggle). So I started this process as soon as I could.

Zac was a leap year baby, born 4 months ago. The first 4 months is obviously a liquid diet, straight from the source as it were. Natures ultimate superfood. Not an easy process it needs to be said and one that requires dedication and commitment but luckily for Z Ive always been the stubborn type. 

We involved Z in our meals from the very beginning, he became a regular taster and sniffer; a little smear on the tongue to get the taste buds going, a wave of the wine glass under his nose waiting for a response. It was a resounding success almost everything was met with a positive reaction. Zs curiosity for food seemed obvious, then again, was it simply proud parent syndrome? In any case, I liked the way things were going.

And to now, where things get interesting solids. This was the moment I had been waiting for. Four months is generally regarded as the earliest you can start, so I was on a countdown. For all the mess and extra laundry it was about to create, Zac now had a whole world of flavours and textures to experience. This was going to be an adventure for both of us.

So I decided to dust of the old blog and chronicle Zs foray into solids. Im looking forward to documenting this for personal reasons as well as a sense that maybe I have something to offer other parents, a voice of trial in a sea of rights and wrongs. 
I also love the idea that in the future, Z will be able to see the dedication his parents put into this formative part of his food education. It will be a bumpy ride Im sure, no doubt others will get the chance to learn what worked for us and what ended in messy tears.

Its going to be fun and were at the four months mark, so lets get going.