Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Raising a Foodie

E at 12 months eating an artichoke leaf
I like to think that I'm raising a foodie. E makes me proud with her love of health food. She has always loved fruits and veggies, kefir smoothies, and meats. If given a food that has kale mixed in, she always picks out the kale to eat first. Love it! She drinks homemade stock regularly and loves strongly flavored foods like raw onions and garlic, sauerkraut, curry, and chili. She happily devoured a [pathetic, tasteless, clearly not local or in season but we couldn't resist] dragon fruit we got at market the other week. E absolutely loves trying new foods.

E wasn't really interested in food at all until around 10 months when we started some hybrid of baby led weaning (BLW) and traditional solids. I wasn't in a rush to start foods and she wasn't in a rush to do much more than taste anything at all, so we found holding off a few extra months worked really well for us. [I wasn't in a rush knowing that breastmilk is a complete food for the first year of life. This isn't the case with formula, though.] When we did finally introduce foods, we started with fruit and introduced one food at a time, but we let her feed herself with everything soft, small, and easy for her to grasp. She loved peas, melon, and well cooked carrot sticks. Using this method and letting her try pretty much anything she wanted while not forcing any foods, we encouraged an incredibly adventurous eater who now will gladly eat pretty much anything. She's never had "kid foods" like hot dogs, chicken nuggets, or PB&J, and we're hoping to keep it that way. I like to think that maybe we did something right, although I realize there's still plenty of time for her to turn into a picky eater.

We used cold apple slices as natural teethers, and when E's teeth came in around 10 months, she started to be able  get really tiny pieces to eat.

I've been pretty confident in our feeding methods so far. And then I got a nice dose of humility the other morning when E ate a bar of soap. Not only did she take a nice big bite, but she went back for more. Suddenly I'm doubting my methods. Maybe she doesn't love Brussels sprouts, maybe she just doesn't have any taste buds. Maybe she needs all the terrible sugar and refined crap foods to give her a taste for sweetness, and realize not all foods are bitter (a completely irrational thought considering her love of all fresh fruit). Okay, not really, but seriously, who eats and enjoys soap? We know what discipline methods won't work when E says dirty words. 

We obviously won't be ditching our (mostly) healthy diet anytime soon, and I plan on making sure E gets the best nutrition possible to counter her toddler soap, dirt, and dog food eating adventures. And I guess it's time to break down and finally buy some all natural soap.

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