The introduction of first foods is looming, and as you can imagine it has been very much at the forefront of my mind. A love of good food and drink is a big part of what brought Mike and I together, and it’s still a huge part of our lives – it’s only natural that we’d be very excited about sharing this whole new world with our son. But like any new stage in parenting, we’ve got a lot to think about, and decisions to make. There are so many opinions about how to feed your baby, so many ways to transition from breast or bottle to solids – it seems I’m spending all my free time reading about it, and I’ll likely post a lot about it here in the coming weeks.
Julian has inherited my brown eyes and his daddy’s adorable dimpled smile, but we’ve also passed along something rather less appealing – our strong family histories of type-2 diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension. Mike has been working hard to get his own health issues under control; I’ve been lucky so far that none of the issues I’m genetically predisposed to have reared their ugly heads. Knowing what we do about our family history, I think we both feel that one of the best things we can do for Julian is to start him off on wholesome, real food, and model for him the sort of good cooking and eating habits that will hopefully minimize his risk in the future.
I hope that our boy will be a good eater, that he’ll enjoy a wide range of flavors and textures in his diet, or at least be willing to try things, but I assume nothing. I didn’t always eat the way I do now, nor did Mike, and to this day there are foods that are far from our favorite (sweet potatoes, anyone?), but that we’ll want to expose Julian to while he’s young.
That said, I don’t want to let the perfect get in the way of the good. I’ll admit that I enjoy a crisp, hot, gooey jalapeno popper just as much as I enjoy a heaping helping of kale sauteed with olive oil, garlic, chile flakes, and a hit of sherry vinegar. These days I have the latter far more frequently than I do the former, but I want Julian to learn that there’s a time and a place for all sorts of foods in his diet. Trying to banish junk food or sweets entirely just seems like a recipe for failure – I want him to know that just about anything is fine in moderation, and to learn to listen to his body’s cues about what to eat, when, and how much.
But let’s start at the beginning, with the transition to first foods. I’m currently giving another read to Nina Planck‘s Real Food for Mother and Baby, which I found indispensible during my pregnancy, but I’d love to hear about any other resources you might recommend. When introducing solids, what worked for you? Any advice for the newbies?