Baking With My Baby

Earlier this year we enrolled Evvie into a preschool program a couple of days a week for two year olds, just like we did with Jack, Zoe and Beau. It was a good time to start socializing, but mostly it was intended as an independent place for each child to be where they could have their own time away from their siblings. Me and Justin would often get to spend time with each child during drop off, pick up and other special events at the school, and it was a nice way to carve out that special time for them. Evvie had to wait for about a month after school began before she could attend as her birthday falls in September, and by the time her first day was in sight a panic had set into me. She was still a baby, still my baby, and still my little pal in the mornings when everyone else was at school. She may be old enough but she certainly doesn’t need the socialization and frankly, I wasn’t ready to let her go.

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We ate the deposit and decided to keep her home for one more year. With her little brother or sister’s due date rolling into view quickly, I am more grateful every day that we made the decision to keep her home. We get to go to music class, the library, and run otherwise mundane errands together, but our favorite thing to do is bake in the mornings. It’s always a really messy and slightly chaotic experience, but there are tons of giggles from both of us, and in the end the house smells wonderful and there’s a special treat waiting for the big kids when they get home from school. A few of our favorites lately have been blueberry muffins and pumpkin bread, but our weekly staple is homemade blueberry pancakes. We always have frozen blueberries on hand for snacking (they are addicting!), smoothies and baking especially.

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Of all the breakfasts and snacks, my kids love our blueberry pancakes the most. I adapted one of my favorite recipes to include wheat flour, flax seed meal and of course, frozen blueberries (most of which end up in tummies before they ever hit the batter). Evvie is particularly fond of dumping them all into the batter at once, not my normal strategy but it’s so fun to watch her get creative with the different steps and textures. Blueberries happen to be one fruit that my midwife recommends I eat over most others lately because of their plentiful health benefits, so I’ve happily obliged by incorporating them into my smoothies and everyday snacking routine. It turns out, my snacking routine is very similar to Evvie’s so together we end up just eating most of the day.

There are some key moments that I remember from my childhood and growing up with my sister and my mom, and one of these is baking with them in the kitchen. It’s such a peaceful and special bonding experience and one that I am deliberate to incorporate into my days with all of my kids. Part of this ritual is making sure there is some discussion about how good foods fuel us and help us stay healthy, so incorporating good vegetables and fruits like frozen blueberries is essential.

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Not to mention, they are 10 times more likely to try new foods and eat what we make together if they’re a part of the process. The younger the better, so I’m so happy I have my Evangeline home with me to spend this special time together.

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