Monday, February 23, 2009

The Art of Feeding a Baby

Before Sadie started solids, I read a lot of things about the importance of order when trying out new foods.  While some things actually were important (i.e. try one new food every three to five days so you can tell if the baby is allergic to anything and pinpoint what the allergy is immediately) most of it really didn't seem to apply to Sadie.  

One bit of advice that I kept reading again and again said to feed your baby every vegetable you could find before you let them try fruit.  This is because fruit is sweet and the assumption is that once a baby has fruit they won't want to eat anything that isn't sweet.  

With Sadie it seems like the exact opposite is true.  She gobbles up carrots.  She loves peas.  She's a huge fan of sweet potatoes.  But fruit didn't automatically go to the top of her list of favorite things.  When she tried apples, she puckered up her face and ate (unenthusiastically).  Pears met with a similar reaction.  It's not all bad though.  Peaches ranked with sweet potatoes and bananas are her absolute favorite, but overall veggies seem to be more reliable (unless they're cold).  

That brings me to another tidbit that the books gave that hasn't quite matched our real life experience.  I remember reading that babies don't know yet to have a preference when it comes to whether food is cold, warm or hot.  Well, Sadie has opinions about pretty much everything, and that includes food.  Warm is the only temperature she's really been happy with so far (we haven't tried hot).  If she thinks something is too cold, she makes a little face and then proceeds to gag after every single bite that she takes.  

Meats are also not high on Sadie's list of "likes."  I have to admit that I was the same way when I was little.  I was a vegetarian for a little over ten years (from about 10-20) and really didn't appreciate steak until I was in college.  Then again, after watching Sadie's dramatic facial expressions, I tried a tiny taste of one of the Gerber meats and they are pretty disgusting.  I guess it's the no-salt, no-seasonings-of-any-kind thing.  Yuck.  Not a great introduction to a food.  But we've gotten through turkey, chicken, beef and ham and at least we know that she's not allergic to any of them.  

Next we're on to finger foods.  We're not quite ready for them yet, but I'm eagerly awaiting the day when I can distract her with cheerios.  

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