New Beginnings

December 08,2008
Sweet Pea Chef
Jessica Efird( )

Jessica, aka the Sweet Pea Chef, is a former U.S. Senate staffer/weekend gourmet turned full-time mom/family gourmet. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two sons.

When I was pregnant with my first son, I read just about anything and everything people recommended to me about pregnancy and preparing for life with a newborn. But one anecdotal story particularly piqued my interest. Someone (and for the life of me, I cannot remember who…I blame the subsequent sleep loss and constant state of distraction that stem from parenting) told me that she had heard of a study of pregnant women and carrots.

Why were pregnant women and carrots of such interest to me? Well, the study went something like this: Take two groups of pregnant women. Give Group A copious amounts of carrots throughout the day, but give Group B no direction on their eating habits. The result? The babies born to Group A moms were much more inclined to favor carrots during their early eating forays than the babies of Group B.

Convinced I had breakthrough information on creating babies that would not turn up their nose at carrots, I took the practice one step further: I tried to eat as wide and varied a diet as possible. Eating Indian, Vietnamese, and Moroccan foods, along with my usual Mexican, Italian, and other Asian foods, was sure to give my unborn child a love affair with all sorts of foods and all tastes, right? Well, not exactly.

In hindsight I laugh at my resolve to take steps to make sure my child (and now, children) eat more than just the typical kiddie foods. I now know that eating certain foods while your child is in utero does not guarantee a love affair with said food once they are old enough to make their own food choices. However, this hasn’t stopped me from using many different tools, approaches and theories to help my two boys, ages 4 and 22 months, love foods of all types.

Are my two boys perfect eaters? Far from it! In fact, I don’t think we have gotten my older son R to eat a carrot in months... so much for the carrot study and its genius. However, in my quest to get my boys to eat healthful, natural and interesting foods, and my determination to make only *one* meal, not separate ones for them, I have found some winner recipes, tips and tricks to help me on my way. You can find a lot of them on my blog, Sweet Peas and Pumpkins.

I am excited about joining Familyeducation.com to further share my journey of motherhood through the lens of my kitchen.

SPC