Yesterday, my 9-month-old daughter (!!!!) ate some of each of the above items. Not bad, huh?
There’s no wrong way to feed a baby. Scratch that. Don’t feed your wee one a diet of 100% Cheetos. (95%? Maybe.)
We have friends who fed their babies iron-fortified cereals and baby food. The kids turned out fine. Others adopted the Sprout Right method. Wonderful. We’re doing Baby Led Weaning. It’s been awesome so far.
Our family doctor — a gem of a find when I was 8 months pregnant — has the most encouraging approach to introducing solid foods:
Do whatever works for you. Or do what your mom did. Just don’t introduce too many foods at a time (at first), and make sure your babe is getting some iron. The end.
I can live with that.
Anywho. Back to Baby-Led Weaning.
It made sense for us. I get to eat WITH my child instead of just make her food, feed her the food, and then wonder why I’m so hungry all the time. AND I don’t have to make baby food. She’s eating real food. The kind of food that goes on my grocery list anyway.
We're eating meals as a family, 100% blender-free, and everyone’s happy.
(Warning: It can be messy. Like, M-E-S-S-Y. Especially on Let Your Kid Feed Herself Yogurt Day. Buy a few bibs and don’t dress your offspring in silk.)
The surprising benefit of this approach is that my lunches are healthier than they’ve ever been. If she’s eating eggs, avocado, cucumber, tomato and berries, so am I! I’m “eating the rainbow” as nutritionists everywhere advise.
It allays my fear that life with kids turns your diet into a revolving door of pasta-a-la-pasta, grilled cheese and pizza pockets. It doesn’t have to be that way. At all. I’ve got a baby who already loves roasted eggplant, beef brisket and kiwi. (Maybe all at the same time. Who am I to judge?) We're off to an encouraging start.
I look forward to cooking with her. To shopping at the market with her. Maybe even to gardening with her.
Today I’m thankful for a kid who makes me eat my veggies.
Happy 9 months, Ursula. I love sharing my (baked) sweet potato fries with you. (And I don’t usually share those.)
P.S. I still eat cookies during her nap sometimes. Because I'm not a robot or a Paltrow.
P.P.S. Not every food is an instant win. Two days ago, Ursula refused to eat broccoli. Fortunately, Pixar is always right. An airplane had to intervene.