Saturday, April 16, 2011

Baby Food for Thought

You’ll have to trust me on this one, but in order for me to write about today’s meal, I need to tell you a little bit about baby food, the other major category of food in my life. 

I’m pleased to report that I make most of my baby’s food, thanks to an incredible little baby food processor on loan to me by my incredible friend Mary Kate.  I should mention that this appliance can both steam and process the food, making cleanup a breeze. 

I get an incredible satisfaction out of making baby food because it makes me feel like I am making conscious, healthy choices about what is going into his body.  Additionally, I can begin to introduce him to flavors that he is going to eat during the coming years when I make his big boy meals for him.  And as an additional benefit for myself, making baby food has forced me to learn a little bit about the nutritional value of the food I presently consume (and make into baby food...). 

I am not a hater of pre-made baby food.  I have a stash in my cupboard for when I run out of homemade baby food (which, coincidentally, is almost never because of the amazing little phenomenon of freezing ice cube-sized portions of homemade baby food and then thawing them out as needed…but I digress).  But two things do bug me about pre-made baby food:  1) the texture is sort of unreal, not representing any likeness to the texture of the grown-up version of the same food, and 2) in most varieties, the flavor of the pre-made baby food is much blander than the real thing. 

So why all the jabber about baby food?

Smart Ones Lemon Herb Chicken Piccata

Today’s meal is the Smart Ones® Lemon Herb Chicken Piccata. The front of the box describes it as “grilled white meat chicken in a tangy lemon sauce with rice & spring vegetables.”  Really?  Well, the sauce was definitely not tangy and only marginally lemony.  And do green beans really count as spring vegetables?

I think I am just about done with Smart Ones® frozen meals.  Why?  Well, I think I could pop one into the baby food processor and turn them into the equivalent of pre-made baby food with ease.  Texture?  Blah.  Taste?  Double blah. 

The one redeeming quality of this meal is that it has a remarkably low number of calories and fat grams.  But with no notable positive nutritional content to speak of, and a long list of other frozen meal options out there, I believe I’m going to pass on these Smart Ones® from now on. 

Calories:  230
Fat:  1.5 g
Sodium:  540 mg
Notable good nutritional content:   :(
Notes on cooking:   2 ½ minutes, stir, 1 minute
Notes on packaging:  black tray, recyclable 

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