One of the best tips I ever read about child rearing was to “start out as you mean to go on.” It was brilliant, and something I think about every day. For example, if I don’t want my child to jump on the bed, we never start the activity.
So, when it comes to feeding, I apply this tip, too. If I want my child to eat plenty of veggies, we introduce them from day one! Yes, I did give Scarlett her fair share of fruits, but I have also offered her sweet potatoes, smashed peas and even bits of meat. With Red, I learned from some mistakes, one of which was too many fruits and not enough vegetables!
Scarlett has been getting used to spinach and green beans lately, especially if I mix in some pears or offer a little bite at every meal. Beech Nut’s Guide to What Baby Eats Now reminds me that 10-15 is the magic number of tries before your little one may accept a new food! Can you imagine that? But I must be doing something right, because it’s working. She’s liking most veggies, eating new things each week, and is starting to full-body-scream at me so she can taste whatever I’m putting in my mouth. I’m happy to see that Scarlett is taking her own path. She’s eating the entire rainbow of colors, experimenting with chewy, grainy, and mushy textures, and continuing to taste new foods beyond the first try
But there are certain flavors she needs to warm up to. For instance, when we reviewed Beech-Nut’s new 2016 flavors, she couldn’t get enough of the Naturals™ just mango, but didn’t love the Organics™ corn & potato chowder. A few weeks into our chowder-trying, I was portioning the jar to avoid waste (thanks for that tip, page 11!) and Scarlett accepted a few more bites than usual before deciding that was enough for the day. Those green beans she wasn’t sure about? I roasted them for dinner as a family side dish, diced them up and placed them on her tray. She ate them! I stared at my husband Chase with golf-ball sized eyes, trying to will him to look at me and not the edible miracle to the side of the table.
I empathize with other parents who worry about what their babies are eating, but (at least right now), I feel really good about Scarlett’s veggie-filled diet with a smattering of fruits and carbs. Her protein intake is getting there, too. What Scarlett doesn’t eat in alternative protein sources (I just can’t bring myself to puree a meat); I’m giving her in tiny finger foods on her tray. I typically start her meal with a Beech-Nut Stage 2 puree and then offer some finger foods before finishing off with a drink. It gets her full, with a balanced diet and a few different textures in one sitting.
You can access Beech-Nut’s Guide to What Baby Eats Now and other useful materials on the Beech-Nut blog. I go back to it every so often to remind myself of great feeding tips like blending flavors together, offering non-traditional protein sources, and even including spices for a more adventurous palate.
I am very pleased to be working with Beech-Nut during 2016 as a sponsored ambassador, sharing Scarlett’s journey to solid foods and shedding some light on the #BabysFirstFoods process. Come and share a bite to eat!