Lettuce Eat Local: Raise an avocado toast to the baby

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Amanda Miller
Columnist
Lettuce Eat Local

 

From where I’m sitting, I can see the avocado cross-stitch I made up on a shelf, the dinner table festooned with the avocado tablecloth a friend just gave me, and the knitted avocado stuffie on the floor where someone was playing with it. I have not one but two avocado-themed t-shirts, various avocado stickers here and there, and a Throw Throw Avocado party game. I’ve been given avocado-y greeting cards, recipe suggestions, and at least one kids’ book. And of course, there are almost always avocados in the fridge.

Some might say I have an avocado problem…but I like to think of it as an avocado solution. 

So it might not surprise you to hear that before she was even born, it was established that Kiah’s first food would be avocado. Many, if not the majority, of our parenting decisions and standards get modified, overhauled, or completely thrown out during the actual process of parenting; I will not even begin to assess how different a mom I was before I actually became one. 

It’s fairly clear that Kiah is not my first child — she’s my fourth kid/third baby, counting our long-term foster girls, and we started off pretty lax, so whatever few structures or rules we might have had have loosened up. 

But I did put my foot down on one thing, somewhat arbitrarily: I wanted to wait to give Kiah food until she reached six months old. That had been my goal with Benson, yet he was so desperately grabbing for food that I caved at five and a half months. Rosie did not care at all about or for food until she was older, so it didn’t matter so much for her. 

Kiah did care, especially these last few weeks, and it turned into even more into an interesting amalgamation of gymnastics + ninja skills + basic survival techniques for me to get a bite to my mouth when she was on my lap during a meal. Should I have started just giving her tastes of things? Maybe, especially since Brian was all for feeding the poor kid. Am I sad I held her off? Absolutely not. I have let go of most of my strictly rule-following younger self, but it didn’t hurt anyone for me to get to keep one rule. 

And we made it! Kiah turned six months old on May 13, and it was a big day on the calendar for us. Kiah’s First Food Day! It took all of two minutes for her to taste and be done with her ready-and-waiting avocado, but it was a fun and momentous celebration nonetheless. Yay for phone cameras to capture all the expressions as she realized the thing she crammed in her mouth this time was actually something. 

Okay for the sake of transparency, someone did sneak her whipped cream over a month ago already…but not with my approval and I’m the mom so I can say it doesn’t count. 

I think Kiah liked the avocado? Again, I’m the mom, so I’ll say she did. It was Benson’s first food too (again, with a caveat — he himself snuck chocolate before that), although with him I did the “proper” thing and waited three days in between introducing other new foods. 

With Kiah, I waited a day before giving her sweet potato…and then at least another three minutes before letting her try mango. Since then she’s gnawed on a bone-broth chicken bone, sucked on watermelon, pounded some pears, and today I’ll give her egg yolk. I feel like I opened the floodgates on feeding the baby. 

But of course, through it all we’ll keep on feeding Kiah avocado. And not just because Benson and I always selflessly help her polish off the rest of it. 

 

SPACE Salad

I couldn’t figure out what to call this, but fortunately Sweet Potato Avocado Chicken Egg makes a nice acronym. I had all these things prepared in the fridge for Kiah, but since she’ll eat approximately ½ teaspoon total of each, it seemed both appropriate and handy to create something for the rest of us. All the flavors and textures sounded like they’d be good together, and once I tried it, I agreed with myself. And yes, I went ahead and fed Kiah egg yolk since it was out. 

Prep tips: you don’t want to make a whole lot extra of this at a time, since the avocado will brown, but the acid of the dijon and creaminess of the mayo will delay that somewhat. My eggs were “hand-torn” since Benson was helping, but actually I do like the craggy shapes tearing eggs makes anyway. 

1 large baked sweet potato, in small cubes

2 hard-boiled eggs, diced or “torn”

½ cup cooked, shredded chicken

1 avocado

1 tablespoon dijon

1-2 tablespoons mayo

1 teaspoon maple syrup

salt and pepper to taste

Add potato, eggs, and chicken to a bowl. Dice half the avocado, and add to bowl; smash the other half with the mustard, mayo, and maple, then stir well into the other stuff. Season to taste. If you don’t have a baby eating her dress because you’re not feeding her more avocado, feel free to be cute and serve in the avocado peel halves. 

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