Toddler Adventures :: Surprise Food Likes

toddler food - Boston Moms

If you are what you eat, I don’t know what I am. I love to cook and I love to eat.

I remember going through a brief “picky” eating phase in high school but have no clue why. Living in New Orleans, aka, a mecca for delicious foods, I tried foods I never expected to enjoy, including mussels, crawfish, and alligator cheesecake. 

As an adult, I’ve witnessed picky eaters in varying degrees, from kids who choose Kraft mac and cheese over homemade to kids who have to have food brought to restaurants for them. My step-kids are recovering picky eaters, and I don’t at all miss the days of hiding veggies in sauces or saying, “I don’t know” when asked what was in something. Thankfully, they are now both excellent eaters and are at the age where they communicate likes and dislikes for better meal planning. 

When I found out I was pregnant, my biggest fear and most Googled subject was about food. I prayed and pep talked my son in utero about not being a picky eater. I kept a pretty balanced diet while pregnant, too, with my most specific cravings being apples, broccoli, and Honey Nut Cheerios (shout out to my husband for always coming home with what I wanted). 

Jackson followed the normal food timeline, from (short-lived) breastfeeding to formula, to rice cereal, to baby food, and then as soon as he was cleared by his pediatrician, I had him try “real” food. I had heard through the experts online and a couple of friends that if you start babies on savory foods first they’ll be less likely to be sweet fanatics. I took this to heart and only bought veggie-forward baby food. 

So far, Jackson likes… food. He likes spinach, broccoli, eggs, nuts, steak, sausage, etc. But some of the foods he’s taken to, I have to say, I’m surprised. I 100% know he’s going to try to consume snacks and foods that aren’t always going to be healthy for him (ahem, grandparents who keep cookies in their cabinets), but as long as he continues to enjoy healthy foods, I’m on board with the balance. That’s what life’s about, right? 

In honor of this eating his best life/everything in moderation diet that my son enjoys, here are some surprising foods I didn’t expect him to enjoy:

  • Chickpea puffs 
  • Kale chips (Trader Joe’s kale chips with cashew cheese)
  • Pistachios (we knew he wasn’t allergic to nuts but hadn’t given them to him; I received a text one day from my father-in-law that just said, “Jackson loves pistachios!”)
  • Blueberries (I believe I am personally contributing to the continued success of in- and off-season blueberry sales
  • Tempeh 
  • Salad (any time we’ve eaten a meal with salad, he asks for some)
  • Cooked spinach/broccoli (I don’t know if it has anything to do with the fact that I ate a lot of both when I was pregnant, but I’ll take it)

What are some foods you didn’t expect your child to eat?


Courtney was raised a Navy brat growing up in Washington, South Carolina, and Virginia before her family put their roots down in Florida. She studied at Loyola University New Orleans earning her degree in Communications PR with a minor in English and earned her Masters in Marketing from SNHU. She moved to the Boston area in 2008, where she met and married her partner-in-crime, John. Mother of a 16 month old, stepmom to two 12 year olds (boy and girl) and dog mom to Abita and Riley, this family’s being raised with a love of the outdoors, scary movies and lots of laughs. Courtney works in marketing/PR and events and lives on the South Shore and has a passion for cooking and traveling. She volunteers her time as a Gold Award advisor for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts and serves on the Friends board to her local library. She loves days that start with coffee and end with champagne.