My General Rules of Thumb
So as we set out on our culinary adventure, I have come up with a few general rules of thumb that I will keep in mind while wrestling with my baby boy’s eating preferences.
1. If at first I don’t succeed, try, try again…and again…and again…and again.
He’s been living off of breast milk for the last four months, I can’t expect him to immediately take to everything he tries. So if he spits it out and gives me the “my God, woman, are you trying to poison me” look, I put it away and try it again the next night. Or the next night. If it still doesn’t take, I just wait a few weeks and try again. It has been working so far. He rejected sweet foods at first like apple and sweet potato (weirdo kid), but after a few weeks he’s been taking them more and more willingly.
2. Try one new item at a time. Then give it time!
I try a new food every 4 days or so in order to give that new food time to test itself in his system. The last thing I want is to give him three new things at the same time only to have him get bad gas or have an allergic reaction and for me to not know which food is the culprit. So far we haven’t encountered any problems, but we’re taking is slowly just in case.
3. I should never expect anything form him except to always be surprised!
Take a look at this list I have on the pantry door of those foods we have “cleared” with his system already. Which food on here stands out to you? Which one makes you look twice?
Yep. That’s right. My strange 5 month old son is a big fan of zucchini.
In fact, do not be deceived by its location on this list, which was compiled using the highly organized process of “pull each bag out of the freezer and write what’s on it down on the list” that I applied when I eventually decided keeping some written record would be a good idea. Zucchini is actually the first food that he accepted besides rice cereal. I laughed at the cookbook when it was suggested. I scoffed, I showed it to my husband and smirked, but happened to have some on hand so I cooked it up anyways. Much to my surprise, he at about 1/4 cup at his first sitting. I now have to make more, because we’re out.
I guess my point is that I can never expect him to like something or dislike something. Just make a variety of fruits and vegetables and serve them to him. He’ll suprise you. And that brings me to my next point…
4. I will never let him know that I am doubtful he will like something!
I don’t want to prejudice him against a certain food before he even tries it. If he uses his super baby sixth sense and sees that I am doubtful he will accept a food, I think he will be more likely to reject it. So I’m practicing my poker face for introducing new foods. The same face goes for yummy sweet potato as goes with the somewhat doubtful new food.
5. Bland is not best.
Spices and herbs are not our enemy! Once he hits six months and I have established a large number of accepted foods I am going to start introducing herbs and spices. Why not? They add flavor, texture, nutrition and help broaden his culinary horizons. I’ll introduce each one individually just like I do with everything else. Cinnamon in his oatmeal? Cumin in his meat? Mint in his peas? Rosemary in his potatoes? Yes please. This brown thumbed mommy has recently planted an herb garden. Now, if only i can keep them alive long enough for him to try them…..
6. Variety is important.
I’m not sticking to classic “baby foods” (note the zucchini above). I can’t wait for the summer when all the seasonal fruits and veggies are available. We’re going to try everything we can get our hands on!
And there is my strategy for getting the Munchkin to eat. Whether or not they are going to be successful, only time will tell. But I am determined to give it my best shot and document the process here on this site.