Can a Baby be Born into Loving Bland?Casey Mullins
“Is she eating black beans?”
“I don’t even think I could get my ten year old to try black beans.”
It wasn’t the first time a comment had been made about Vivi’s lunchtime selections. We feed her what we’re eating and she eats what we offer. Remember when you were pregnant and all the books told you that what you ate while pregnant and nursing would set your baby up for an adventurous lifetime of new flavors, textures and eating experiences? Well, what if you’re sick your entire pregnancy, rely wholly on carbs and water and then despite your best efforts you’re faced with a formula fed baby. Surely there’s no curry flavored formula on the market.
According to all those books you’d be setting your baby up for a lifetime of white bread and apple juice desires, which is exactly why I don’t read parenting books.
Vivi was fed numerous burritos and pasta while in utero. She’s never had a belly full of flavorful breastmilk and yet she loves things with flavor. Frankly, the more flavor the better when it comes to this baby. I’m certainly not saying that when you offer your baby grilled chicken and artichoke with Parmesan of course they’re going to eat it and love it because babies are finicky, but I am saying you never know what they’re going to like if you don’t let them try it.
I was out at sushi with friends when Addie was about two. I jokingly held up a chopstick full of seaweed salad and not only did she eat it, she devoured my entire bowl. Who knows what babies are going to like? I do know that my personal food discriminations haven’t passed onto Vivi at all. Frankly, I think squash is abhorrent and fresh tomatoes to be equally nasty. Vivi, on the other hand, thinks both of those things should be shoveled into her mouth at a rapid pace.
The foods currently on Vivi’s ‘DO NOT LIKE’ list include grapefruit and blueberries. Previous foods on the list that have since been moved to the ‘LIKE!’ list after constant, gentle and non-forceful introductions to them include red pepper, strawberries, whole wheat pasta and green beans.
As Addie’s gotten older, I’ve fallen into ruts as to what I’ll make and what she’ll eat. Her tastes are fairly broad yet she’s not as open to new foods as her baby sister. I’m also well aware that next week Vivi could decide that the only thing she wants to eat is ketchup sandwiches (oh I hope not) and that there’s no foolproof plan for making your kid an adventurous eater.
Just keep giving them new things, don’t force the things they don’t like and try, try again with everything no matter how big or little your kids are. (Hell, I still have to employ this theory on my 33 year old husband from time to time.)