I have spent these past few months a little worried about Becca's eating habits... or lack there of. Her introduction to food started off so well, but with the onset of teething came the slippery slope to picky eating habits. When Becca was about 4 months old I bought Annabel Karmel's book "Top 100 Baby Purees" and started reading up on how to introduce foods to my little one. I have always been a picky eater and really didn't want my daughter to pick up on that. I don't eat fruit, except mangoes, and very few vegetables. I guess it's safe to say I'm not very adventurous when it comes to food. So, I really wanted her to be exposed to as many different things as possible from early.
The book explains basic nutritional requirements for babies, what they can eat and what they shouldn't be eating. It starts off with the basic plain rice cereal, and the recipes evolve as baby grows to incorporate fruit, vegetables, and even meat. The recipes were great and I thoroughly enjoyed making up a batch of pureed veggies for my little one. It really made me feel good to know that I was making my own fresh baby food rather than store bought stuff that quite frankly didn't look nearly as good as mine. A friend of mine bought a couple organic ones for Becks to try out and she hated it! Annabel's book introduced me, and Becca, to a couple of fruits and veggies I had never considered before. She enjoyed it thoroughly and it gave me great joy to see her just loving mommy's home-made food.
But something funny happened... once she started teething (and she did start relatively late), she just wasn't interested anymore. We went though a LONG stretch of just being on breast milk (till about month 8) and then formula. I guess sucking on the nipple soothed her gums, but, the whole thing turned her off from food. She actually started smelling the food, and then turning up her nose at it. She just wasn't interested. And I know every child is different, but, come on, you know you have friends with children the same age and they're talking about how their kid just ate off an entire piece of chicken, meanwhile yours doesn't even want to eat a cookie. It's a little disconcerting.
We kept on trying though, at her own pace. The first thing she started to like was Gerber Puffs, which she initially couldn't stand. And then we got some cereal in her... and then the doctor said to start reducing her formula intake which would make her hungry enough to accept food. Eek. That didn't go over so well. She would throw a tantrum for the formula... and I can't starve my child. She turned 1 yr old and I decided to do away with the formula and start on cow's milk and Carnation Instant breakfast. That went over well initially... More on that here..
Becca's now 18 months, and the funniest thing has happened. In the space of about 2 weeks, she went from not wanting to eat anything, to wanting to eat everything. It's as if a light bulb just went off for her, and once she sees us sitting down to eat, she's all over it. She's even eating meat now (before she would chew and spit it out). I'm really elated that we are over that hump, she's eating from the table, loving fruit, and I'm sure her weight gain will get back on track . Upwards and onwards!