One of my greatest joys in motherhood is participating in my son’s relationship with food. He loves to eat, and eats with a gusto that occasionally makes me envious. I wish I still had the ability to feel that sort of raw enthusiasm for pancakes!
As both a recipe developer and a preschool teacher I have a lot of opinions on kids eating, and I have to say that we have worked hard to encourage Everett to be a good eater. Yada yada yada boundaries and consistency and regular introduction of foods, etc. You know? You know.
Sharing my favorite foods with Everett is a joy that shifts and evolves as he ages through each season. His gusto for beets last winter was matched by his unbridled love of lentils this winter. I can’t wait to take him strawberry picking for the first time, to watch him eat his first hot donut from Brit’s, to teach him all the ways that we can make magic in the kitchen together. I very much look forward to the day when he makes me dinner for the first time, though of course as recompense for what we’re currently experiencing I will lay on the floor and yell “NINNER PLEASE” repeatedly until he is done.
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One of my big rules surrounding my toddler and food is the avoidance of sugar near bedtime. This is, of course, strictly selfish as I am trying to close the door on parenting at no later than 7:30 PM each night. Sugar anytime after 5:00 PM complicates my plan and I’m just not in the business of making things harder on myself (if I know how to avoid it).
Because I’m not a totally mean mom, I am a big supporter of breakfast or lunchtime desserts, and find brunch to be the ideal time to offer my kid a dose of something wonderful (and crazy making). Everett devoured this strawberry cake with enthusiasm, smiling and laughing and occasionally shouting "STRAWBERRY CAKE" while he licked his fingers. It made me smile too. Crisp in all the places it touched the skillet, sweet because of the berries and just the right mount of spongey. This cake was lovely, the perfect treat for a spring brunch.
Click here for the recipe for Strawberry Skillet Cake
Elena Rosemond-Hoerr is a Southern food writer, photographer, and cookbook author based in Wilmington, North Carolina.