Thursday, June 12, 2008

Solid Foods

Roughly, up until today, the baby's been eating the following: apples, pears, green bell peppers, chicken, turkey, potato, rice, rice cake, rice noodles, tofu, spinach, broccoli (his favorite) and apple juice. He's eaten rice cereal and oatmeal, as well; I don't feed him those foods, because I don't want to clean it up.

Basically, starting at six months, we've given him the food on his high chair tray and let him have some fun. We don't feed him; we let him feed himself. We're operating on the theory that a baby's primary form of nutrition for the first year is going to be mother's milk (my wife will, hopefully, post the link to the study in the comments, and I'll link it when I get it). A baby's body doesn't easily process solid food this early, and therefore he isn't going to get much nutrition for it. What we're trying to do is to establish healthy social habits of sitting down to dinner as a family, as well as starting the habit of him feeding himself as early as possible.

We have fed him a little bit; if he's going to eat oatmeal or rice cereal, then I'm going to feed him. Scraping gently used oatmeal off of the highchair, the table, the walls and the hardwood floor is not my idea of a great post-breakfast activity. The Boy doesn't like it much, so I don't do it much. Usually, we'll work through a tablespoon of oatmeal before he fends it off; but, he's not a breakfast guy yet.

We've been extremely cautious about introducing allergens to his diet, because my wife's family has a history of food allergies, and I've discovered - recently - that I'm sensitive or allergic to wheat and dairy. Tofu (soy) was a big step for us; he didn't care much for the taste, but he definitely enjoyed the texture. (He also liked the taste of vanilla soy yogurt I gave him, but that's likely because of the sugar.) Yesterday, I gave him some rice noodles from a new package I opened; it turned out that the noodles contained tomato in the ingredients, which we hadn't planned on introducing yet. Since he didn't have a reaction, we gave him noodles with tomato sauce for dinner last night. He loved the sauce - sucked it off of the noodle, then threw the noodle to the side. No body reaction, which is good; I bought some baby tomatoes, which I'll feed him tomorrow.

The doctor said that we can start to give him what we eat, with the exception of highly allergic stuff like tree nuts and shellfish (not a problem, because we have a kosher home). He said dairy (not whole milk), crackers, cookies are okay - whatever we eat. That's kind of cool.

Granted, for the most part, he IS eating what we eat. Because we're avoiding wheat and dairy in the house, we have a lot of poultry and rice products - things he's already been given. Potato is something we've all shared. We don't use butter (the dairy thing), so that's not a realistic addition.

We're going to try eggs in a day or two, once we're certain that tomatoes are causing a reaction. The doctor said to hard-boil an egg and given him the yolk only for a day or two before giving him the whites (the more allergenic part). That's kind of cool; I can very easily see my wife making Saturday morning breakfast for all three of us, eggs with lactose-free cheese and some gluten-free pancakes.

We have a hippie baby. Sigh.


the mol said...

here are the links:

You pretty much can't go wrong with our own Centers for Disease Control.

Musical Daddy said...

I don't know about that - didn't you see "Virus" or that other Michael Crichton book movie?

the mol said...

well sure...I just meant that it was better to leave a link to a national organization (and an international organization) than to a hippie website, lest anyone think that because I'm apparently a raging hippie, I'll believe anything they say. And I say this in the best of humor.