Harley is getting to that age where it’s time to start giving her solids. While I’ve loved breastfeeding – it was great for nourishing her as well as for us to bond – it’s time for her to lose the “e” in EBF (exclusively breastfed). She’s showing all the signs of being ready, but we’re still taking it slow. She has thrown up a few times as a result of eating her solids, so I want to make sure her digestive system is ready. I also have very specific ideas about what to feed her, and when, based on the research I’ve done on the topic.
That said, Harley surprised me and Dean the other night, and showed that she really is a unique girl. We were sitting outside after work, having a glass of wine and some crackers with tapenade. Harley kept staring at the food as I was eating, and it was clear that she was curious about it. So, I put about a half a teaspoon amount on my finger and offered it to her. She started with a small taste and made a funny face. As Dean and I were laughing about it, she then proceeded to lunge at my finger with her mouth wide open, eating the full amount.
First of all, I somehow feel the need to justify this food choice. You see, my goal is not to give Harley baby foods, but only real food. The amount of chemicals and bizarre ingredients that they put in baby food is just terrifying. Instead, I’d like her to pretty much eat what we eat, but presumably without the salt, sugar or additives. But then she seemed interested in the tapenade, which was basically just olives, capers and oregano – no unknown chemicals. I didn’t think she’d like the vinegar – it’s too sour for most babies and kids. Well, what a surprise, she is definitely our daughter; she already has a sophisticated palate.
I have no illusions about this, of course. I’m sure she will make a face and spit out tapenade again one day. But it’s just so nice to see her showing an interest in food – it makes me feel less like I’m doing some strange experiment on her by offering her food each day. We went to see the doctor yesterday who said that I can also start her on porridge of some kind – oats or pap. I’ve been wanting to wait on introducing starches until after she was used to veggies, so we’ll see how I end up timing it. But, maybe I should just start making myself some porridge in the mornings and see if she shows any interest. If she only eats off of my plate in the beginning, that’s fine by me – at least she will be eating wholesome food that has real nutrients in it, instead of just a collection of chemicals that are fortified with vitamins.
But maybe this is a sign of things to come. Maybe Harley and I will be able to go for sushi when she’s still little. Maybe she will already develop a taste for delicate flavors, nuanced culinary experiences. Perhaps we will happily snack on hummus together, or share camembert or brie. She might even like dim sum like I do.
I was okay with the idea of Harley pretty much eating bland veggies and rice cakes until she was older, but this revelation makes me so happy. If anyone will enjoy a baby who has fun with food, it’s me. Now to find out if there are any restaurants that serve children portions of mussels.