I'll admit I was a little disappointed that Munchkin didn't take to the baby snacks, but my wallet was relieved. The puffs were $12 for a small bottle of snacks that, once Munchkin did start snacking, went very quickly. The Mum-mums--individually wrapped environmental threats--run $20 a pop. One month later, as I toted the snacks around, I didn't know if I should feel proud showing off the snacks and Munchkins new hand-to-mouth coordination or feel like a sucker who just got taken by Gerber and Happy Baby. What happened to parents' love affair with Cheerios and their imitators? I know that a highly-marketed big yellow box is not the key to happiness, but at least it's only $5.
I'll admit some of these baby-friendly foods are tasty, but have you tasted some of the Graduates toddler food Gerber offers? I bought one box thinking I could use it in a moment of desperation, but Monkey was not a fan and, after I tasted it, I was not either. It wasn't just bland and mushy, it was entirely unappetizing, and I'm not a picky eater! I don't want to train my kids to eat, nay love, such bland, uninteresting food. Or, in the case of some of the other treats targeted to toddlers, train them to love overly salted and sugary food.
I know that it's hard to find portable food in those early months of eating solids, but instead of offering fruit flavored puffs or fruity granola bars, how about offering them actual fruit? I found freezing chopped steamed apples and yams in an ice cube tray to be really handy. Munchkin chows down bananas and both she and Monkey have formed a new addiction to apples. Don't ask me how she does it, but Munchkin can eat an entire apple with just five teeth. Don't get me started on that "healthy" yogurt we're all supposed to buy into either.
I know I'm getting all worked up but I hate feeling like a sucker over-paying for food that isn't as-good-as-they-say-it-is for my kids. I also realize that I get a certain satisfaction from making the kids' food that makes the whole process more enjoyable than picking it up from a supermarket. That satisfaction also outweighs the convenience factor for me. I get a little thrill when I've filled up cups of cheerios and regular yogurt for school. (Cue the music: I'm Geeky and I Know It.)
I'm sure the universe will laugh at me for writing this post the day my kids come home begging for something "all the other kids" are snacking on. Until then, they'll be eating lots of Coco Pop Cakes and I'll be hoping that the kiddie-targeted-marketing-machine never finds out about them and doubles the price.