Chef Boyardee and the Justice League: No meatballs for girls

What do my kids eat these days? Buttered noodlesEggo waffles. The occasional Wonder Woman sandwich. Mac & cheese. Quesadillas. McGriddles (yeah, we got back together with McDonald’s).

It’s a limited menu, and I’m always looking for ways to mix it up. Lucky for us, the Justice League of America has joined forces with Chef Boyardee to bring us Super Hero Shapes pasta!

And it’s not just Batman, Superman and the Flash. Joining the fight against boring pasta shapes are Supergirl, Batgirl and Wonder Woman (cue that awesome theme music from Batman v Superman). Good luck finding a female superhero on a Marvel food product.

We snapped up several cans when we first saw these at the grocery store, mostly the ones featuring Batman but also Supergirl and Wonder Woman. That’s when I noticed the weird difference between the “boy” and “girl” cans. Continue reading Chef Boyardee and the Justice League: No meatballs for girls

No sleep till chow mein: A tweet of the Dad

As a parent, you feel like you’ve worried about everything. You haven’t. You never even thought to worry that your kindergartner would steal your car. I may have to rethink my endorsement of napping.

This could happen anywhere, but I had to throw in #PureMichigan because I never had the good sense to joke about Pure Michigan when I was covering the news in Michigan.

The string cheese incident

An open letter to the dad. From the Champ.

File photo; string cheese not pictured.

Dear Dad,

I am writing to express my EXTREME DISSATISFACTION in your handling of the organic string cheese we purchased recently from Trader Joe’s.

I’m just a toddler. “String” is not part of my vocabulary. I vaguely grasp the concept of “cheese.” And yet even I can understand the purpose of this “string cheese.” It is a toy that is crinkly on the outside and rubbery on the inside — perfect for waving around, banging on things and even chewing. Continue reading The string cheese incident

DHA Omega-3 milk vs. the dad

I’m scowling at the milk in the Whole Foods dairy case. Mom’s not pumping at work anymore, so 1-year-old Champ gets cow’s milk, and I fill a boy up with premium. The whole point of this grocery run is to score a half-gallon of organic DHA Omega-3 whole milk.

Horizon Organic DHA Omega-3 whole milk

Yes, becoming a parent turned me into a hippie. I grew big and strong on bovine hormones, antibiotics and genetically modified sugars. It’s too late for me. But over time I began developing vague notions like “we use too many pesticides” and “God intended cows to eat grass.”

I don’t often pay the premium for organic produce, but I started buying organic baby foods because they came in cooler packages. The logical next step, I guess, is to feed a boy organic milk.

Adding DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is a no-brainer because it’s the trendiest nutrient in infant brain development. If Mom can choke down DHA-supercharged prenatal vitamins every night for nearly two years, Dad can pony up a couple extra bucks of Mom’s hard-earned cash to keep the brain train rolling.

That brings us to Whole Foods. Continue reading DHA Omega-3 milk vs. the dad

Champ’s first food

The Champ is six months old now, and until today he hadn’t eaten anything but breast milk. That’s thanks to an incredible amount of effort, planning and patience on Mom’s part. But there comes a time when every boy must take his first step toward eating like a man.

I’m proud to say that Champ ate his first solid food today (if pureed into a fine mush counts as “solid”), and he handled it like, well, a champ. Here’s a video of this milestone, with some tips on how to make your own puree:

Continue reading Champ’s first food

Hawaiian sloppy joes recipe

Attack of the Dad Tomato-Free Meal

As a stay-at-home dad, I’m all about cooking meals that have high flavor-to-effort ratios. My biggest hurdle: Champ’s mommy¹ can’t eat tomatoes.²

That takes a lot of easy ones off the table: Chili, spaghetti, pizza, BLTs, grilled cheese with tomato soup, mozzarella caprese, junk,³ tomatoes Rockefeller and — easiest of all — sloppy joes.

What the heck can a guy from St. Louis sub for the tomato-based BBQ sauce that gives a joe its signature sloppiness? I found an answer, appropriately, at Trader Joe’s. Here’s what I made:

Continue reading Hawaiian sloppy joes recipe

Baby bottles: You’re doing it wrong

A word of advice for new dads: NEVER blog about how well your babyperson is sleeping. It’s the oldest and harshest jinx. Last week, the Champ got a surly cold, and not even the formidable Nap Nanny® Chill™ could keep him asleep more than a few hours.

Today’s post is about bottles. I long considered myself an expert on the subject because I’m a master of the adult ones. If a container has booze in it, I will get us to the booze.

My 4½-month-old son, despite his fascination with grown-up drinks, isn’t quite old enough to hold his own bottle. Here’s one of his best efforts so far:

Continue reading Baby bottles: You’re doing it wrong