The first time my son had a taste of solid food was when he was four months old. We were in the kitchen and I sat him in his high chair while I pretended to be on a cooking show, “Jessica’s Family Kitchen” and made a vegetable platter. The vegetable platter had carrots, celery, bell peppers, and crackers (because I love carbs!). I made a simple dressing of balsamic vinaigrette with extra virgin olive oil, a touch of Himalayan pink salt and black pepper. My husband and I decided to introduce Rayden to solid foods either when he was closer to one year old or had more teeth. However, on this day, for some reason I just decided to put a carrot in Rayden’s face and see what he would do. He bit it, but didn’t eat it. I got excited because he was able to taste and feel what a carrot was like. Afterwards, he got to sample everything else.
This is how it was after that. I kept Rayden in the kitchen in his high chair when I cooked and pretended to be on a show. It was fun and entertaining for both of us. Months went by before Rayden actually ate solids. In fact, we skipped the whole putting rice flakes in milk to make him feel fuller in hopes he would sleep longer. Instead, I would gladly, and sometimes not so much, wake up for several night feedings.
At around 5-6 months Rayden’s teeth started to come in. That was our sign that he was going to be ready to try solids, but not yet. At around 10-11 months he had top and bottom teeth, so we gave him his first pureed solid meal. Since he was exposed to so many tastes, colors (mostly green), and textures months beforehand feeding him peas, mixed greens, green beans, and vegetables was very easy. I noticed that Rayden associated the color green as food before anything else.
During my husband’s deployment Rayden, Zelda (our dog), and I went back home in Arizona. I got to visit my best friend and have Rayden play with her son. She had mentioned she did the same thing and used cucumbers out of the fridge. We both agreed that having our sons bite down on cold vegetables also helped with their discomforts during teething! Also, at this time, my mom and Aunt thought cooking with Rayden was such a great idea. It led me to an idea not yet realized (Tree House Cooking).
Today, Rayden eats so much and is starting to get an opinion. Like everyone, he has his preferences and likes sweets, but what he really craves is flavor. Later, I’ll share more of those flavors that has gotten Rayden to eat asparagus, brussels sprouts, kale, certain kinds of fish, some meats, and plenty of good grains, seeds, nuts…what am I saying? He eats the food pyramid.
So, if you’re a new parent looking for an idea to introduce different flavors, colors, textures, and tastes perhaps cooking in the kitchen and putting on your own show for your kiddo will work for you, too. Eat Well!
Note: You bet we did the lemon taste-test. Turned out Rayden eats lemons just fine, but those limes. Ooooooh, limes are the worst – haha!
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