When I put in my baby order, my request was for a sleeper, non-cryer, eater. The first two didn’t come with the Infant package,
but we are now three for three with that order. Arya always knew the good stuff when it came to eating. She never messed with formula or a bottle for that matter. This was not always fun for me when it came to leaving her with others, but at least I knew my babe was getting the good stuff. Stage two, jarred can food, was like “yeah right mommy”. Arya wanted what was on my plate, so I would mash it up (spices and all) and give it to her. Garlic, onions, curry – bring it on! Now, Arya eats pretty much everything and definitely eats well. [Please don’t think, however, that you are going to get her to eat something she is not feeling at that given moment. She will battle to the death and you can ask my Aunty Giselle about that one! Lol.]
Before we even get to wake up kisses and songs, she bolts up and belts out the order of the day, which usually includes “oatmeal” “yogurt” “crackers” “pawberries”. Arya has priorities you see. It is a good thing that I like to cook because my baby loves to eat a home cooked meal. When we get home from our day we routinely make dinner together. Arya demands that I pick her up so that she can watch as I stir and sprinkle. I talk her through it and she repeats all the words, shoving in an “eat mommy” “eat” every few. I respond in kind with a “wait” “cooking”. When it comes time to throw down, my baby knows just what to do. I feel very fortunate for this because in my babysitting past life I have known kids that won’t eat, or won’t eat anything that is good for them. Children can not exist on pasta and cheese alone, but most parents are at a complete loss of what to do when their kid just refuses to eat their vegetables so they just cave. Don’t get me wrong, it’s easy to do this as a first time parent because we are already so paranoid about our kids getting enough, god forbid we force them to eat some squash and they refuse – they might starve!!!
It gets that dramatic sometimes, but it doesn’t have to. It really is about exposure. The more your kid is exposed to different foods the more apt they are to learn to love some of them. They might not dig them all and some of this might actually be an early sign of allergy; the body has an amazing way of saying “this doesn’t work for me”, so watch close to see if our kid has any physical reactions or if they are just being a pill. It doesn’t hurt to have a helping hand on the food front as well, namely your kid’s day care or school. It is important to make sure that they share similar food values since they will be feeding your child twice a day. Otherwise, your kid will be having McDonald’s every Friday during chef’s day off (some schools do this – the horror). It’s one thing to make your own choices about junk food, it is another to have it routinely programmed into your kids eating schedule.
We got super lucky with this. Arya goes to the most wonderful Montessori in our neighborhood called Sage Garden. One of her teachers, Miss Iman, is a Le Cordon Bleu trained chef, so she makes the kids home cooked meals which are mostly vegetarian. They even have a little organic garden in the back that the kids tend to and use to learn about growing their own food. My mom also has a mega organic garden in her yard too, which replaces our trips to the farmers market when her crops are in season (free food!!!). Between my kitchen and the one at Sage Garden, Arya has been exposed to pretty much every vegetable and is learning to make good food choices daily through hands-on and real-time tummy experiences. What is it that they say – you are what you eat? Please people… we can’t let one more kid turn into a macaroni.