Baby’s favorite foods
Food can be a very emotional subject, especially when you talk about food and children.
If only I had a cent for everytime someone asked me with a worried face: “But your baby will eat normal food, right?”
I know that some kids refuse to eat almost all fruits and veggies and will only eat white pasta with melted butter, toast with jam or sausages with tomato ketchup. Foods highly processed and with almost no nutritional value . But people aren’t normally concerned about these kids because they grow up in the “normal” meat-eating family.
All we parents have our children’s best interests at heart and it can be tough to get food into a defiant toddler so that you will do anything to make him eat, even if that means offering this processed stuff.
So, as I know this, for me the first two years of my child’s life are even more important when it comes to food preferences and taste and I believe the more “normal” healthy foods are for baby, the better the chance he will appreciate and like these foods later on. And luckily in these two years, before kindergarden etc., I can choose what my baby eats.
So, for now, baby has never had any meat or dairy, no grains that contain gluten, no white flour or sugar. He hardly had any processed foods, besides a rice cracker once or twice.
I can hear people saying: “The poor kid. One cookie or one ice cream won’t hurt him.” And they are right, of course.
But as one of my favorite blogger couples, Luise and David from Green Kitchen Stories, wrote in their wonderful article: if someone wants to give our baby a cookie, it is not because baby wants it, but the person wants to give it to him.
And if baby gets older and wants to eat the cookie, the ice cream or even the hamburger? Then he is free to try it. I don’t want to force my will onto my child. And I will be totally honest with all of you if this day comes.
So, after explaining all this, what does our baby actually eat?
First of all, baby still gets about 50 percent of his nutrients through my breast milk. A big responsibility for me to keep myself healthy of course. I already wrote about this topic in one of my last posts. I especially watch my Vitamin B12 intake for baby gets it totally through breast feeding at the moment.
He was never really into store bought baby food, so he eats a lot of stuff that we eat, everything that is appropriate for his age and that he cannot choke on, of course.
Baby’s first food ever: Avocado
He loves avocado, like his Mum, and all kinds of fruits, like bananas, apples, peaches and nectarines, berries, mangos, melons and dates.
When it comes to veggies he likes broccoli, zucchini, cucumber, sweet potatoes and pumpkins, even sprouts.
We also puree white beans, garbanzo beans or peas and mix in some herbs like basil, parsley or cilantro.
For other good sources of protein we mix hemp seeds or chia seeds into his food (also great sources of Omega 3), add some tahini or nut butter or serve quinoa, which contains all essential amino acids.
Millet is great for getting iron into his diet, amaranth is a wonderful calcium source and I discovered a seed at the health food store called kaniwa, which is also high in protein, iron and calcium and tastes great in his porridge. *
So you see, baby eats a great variety of foods already, which we are very happy about. He is thriving and until now he is super healthy and never even had a cold. (knock on wood!) **
Now it is time for the big question: Will I raise my baby 100% vegan or vegetarian?
First of all, I am not a fan of labels, just a fan of good food. And as I am not 100% vegan, I won’t pressure myself or my family to raise my kid like this. We will incorporate organic eggs, organic goat yoghurt and goat cheese in the next months (primarily for Vitamin B12). Baby’s Dad eats fish now and then, so maybe he will try fish one day, let’s wait and see. My husband and I will talk about it when it’s time and let our gut decide. And of course we will ALWAYS do what we think is in the interest of our child and what keeps him happy and thriving.
For now we are enjoying our little one and sharing our love for food with him.
So, how do you handle the topic food at home? What do your children love to eat or what did you find difficult? Is there a certain age that you find especially challenging? Leave a comment below.
Sincerely yours, Anu.
* You should never give your baby nuts because they can choke on them. And never give your baby honey. It can harbor spores of Clostridium botulinum, which can grow in a baby’s intestine and produce life-threatening toxins. Here is a good article on food unsafe for babies: http://www.babycenter.com/0_foods-that-can-be-unsafe-for-your-baby_9195.bc
** I am not a doctor and this article is based on my personal experiences. If you have any questions concerning your baby’s or child’s diet and nutrition you should talk to your doctor or pediatrician.