Thursday, April 19, 2007

Dessert: Baby Food for Big Bird

How does one select a new and delicious snack for a parrot? It has to be safe and nutritious, while tasting good enough to be a treat. What are the odds a sales clerk in the pet food store truly knows what tastes good to your parrot? Also, are parrots taste buds like humans? I only know that our bird likes most of the same foods we like, good or bad as that may be. Too bad choosing from the boxes, bags, and trays of bird treats from the pet food store is not as easy (or as much fun) as choosing from the cookie aisle grocery store. We can usually imagine pretty well how a super chunk chocolate nut cookie will taste. But as for the dry and grainy looking bird treats...who knows!

I know Mr. Spock, our gastronomic adventurous bird, will try just about anything in the world. He often surprises us with the choices he favors. I like our bird's treats to be a vacation from the ordinary. So when I select a new treat from the bird store, I wonder if Mr. Spock will think "wow...this new treat is sooooo deeeeelicious," or will he simply eat it because it adequate. That is why I rarely buy any new treats for Mr. Spock from the pet store. We have taken to creating our own recipes for him.

Treats became easier when our wonderful avian vet, Dr. Sam Backos, was found to be feeding Mr. Spock human baby food. Our bird loves it as a treat. It's easy to find, economical, comes in many varieties, and doesn't make a mess. "Graduates Finger Foods" by Gerber comes in yummy flavors: banana, cherry, strawberry, sweet potato, apple, and sweet corn. They are crunchy little star-shaped puffs of different colors. We like to mix and match them for variety. I have to confess that sometimes I find myself munching on them too. (I wonder if I can serve them to guests....hmmmm.)

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