What Baby Eats

Diptic

We did our first food during the holidays, so the family could “witness” eating. Strange to think watching somebody eat is an event worth documenting, watching, and even researching.

I did too much research. I settled on avocado as the first food and added sea salt for the magnesium content. He ate it, but the kids eats paper too you know?

I am in a privileged position in this way: I have the time + energy to make baby food. In another privilege: I am able to afford healthy foods to cook him + I have tools to research best foods and health of food content. I don’t take those privileges lightly, and I recognize them as luxuries. They are luxuries that weren’t afforded to my mother who fed us egg and goat’s milk yogurt because that’s what the doctor said to do and you did whatever the doctor said was best. The goal was to be like everyone else and to do “what worked” instead of to develop an understanding of food. I have to wonder, is it totally naive to think I am developing any understanding, of anything?

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At eight months, Avery eats a limited diet. He’s not “into” food. Apples, carrots, avocados, sweet potatoes, plums, bone broth, oatmeal, and a few other tidbits of “tried” food. We’ve tried eggs twice and I’ve given him little bits of things he’s watched me eat like humus, carrot bread, and even a bit of mustard. I let him suck on carrots and broccoli stalks. He really likes water. He loves bone broth. He hates sweet potato.

I’ve been wanting to read French Kids Eat Everything to see recipes and suggestions, and I’ve been wanting to learn more about baby led weaning. I’m into the ideas, which are conflicting, that the baby should not be ultimately responsible for what he eats/likes/accepts and that the baby has some notion about what foods he’s ready for and eager to try. I’m a bit nervous about reading another book about how rockin’ French kids are after reading Bringing Up Bebe when I was pregnant and feeling downright bad about the image on the cover (let alone some of the content): a slim, fashionable mother who looks as relaxed as her baby. She’s even carrying a regular sized purse—not a diaper baby—she has remembered and somehow found time to do her hair and to bring a toy for her baby. It’s a mommy standard I can’t live up to and, to be frank, I don’t want to (but that’s for another post).

I’m researching a lot less and resorting to a bit of self trust: I will know if something is “good” or “bad” based on my own knowledge (not necessarily intuition, but actual knowledge) and Avery’s response. I get a bit of anxiety when people ask me about food and eating because it seems like they want to compare notes, make sure they are doing it right, and I bet I’m not the best person to compare with for “rightness.” I just don’t know. I think he’s probably too little to care. As long as he’s not eating loads of fructose, I think we’re good.

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My point is, I started out incorrectly: I can’t build his relationship to food yet. Avery’s not going to understand wild caught salmon versus farm raised salmon. He doesn’t know about dyes, crop rotation problems, soy patents, and much else. Sure, I tell him about it and I think introducing him to foods that follow my ethics matter because they taste better, will encourage him to later learn about why I hold those ethics, but he’s a little guy. He wants to put his hand in pureed carrots and lick his fingers.

That’s cool too.

 

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