Thursday, April 2, 2009

For the Love of Peas

Meal times with Hadley have in a word been frustrating lately. And I mean FRUSTRATING, as in I want to pull my hair out by the time the meal is over. I'm sure it is normal for babies to like certain foods and dislike others as they are testing and experimenting with solid foods for the first time. But, seriously, this kid is killing me. We have been introducing solid foods for the last three months and have really found only a handful of things Hadley will eat. Green beans and green peas have been the biggest offenders, eliciting such delightful responses as gagging and shuddering. Lovely. And just recently, Hadley developed this adorable new diva behavior of refusing to open her mouth to eat until she has "tested" what is being offered. She expects you to smear a little on her lips for her to taste before she will begin the meal. Then, if the food passes muster, we can proceed. If it doesn't, forget about her opening her mouth for more. Hadley sits in utter silence with her lips pressed together as if defying you to try to feed her. I admit that I have resorted to trickery on occasion to get her to eat. And, sometimes, I feel the slightest bit guilty about this. Others, I'm just happy that I got something in her stomach besides fruit and sweet potatoes.

That's my diva. Where Hadley genetically got her pickiness, I have my suspicions, but it definitely was not from me or my hubby. We're both willing to eat anything and as children, we were equally open-minded about food. But, we may have solved our problems-- with food, that is. There are still more problems out there, believe me.

When we started solid foods, I naturally gravitated to the Gerber brand (we buy the organic offerings) since that is the overwhelmingly-stocked brand at most stores. Plus, I was just more familiar with it than with any other baby food. And, overall, it has been very kind to us. But for some reason, Hadley just doesn't dig the vegetables made by Gerber. So, in a fit of desperation, I picked up some Earth's Best veggies one day. And lo and behold, she ate them. We have tried three flavors so far and each one has been met with overwhelming "mmmmm's" and "ahhhh's." A success! Her favorites so far are Corn and Butternut Squash, Winter Squash, and Summer Vegetable Dinner. The Summer Vegetable Dinner is a true winner since it contains most of the veggies Hadley previously refused to eat, including carrots, green beans, and even zucchini and garbonzo beans. I could not be happier to finally get some veggies into that diva's tummy! And, there are a ton of other "gourmet meals," dinners, vegetables, and seasonal favorites we can try. I'm sold.

If you are struggling with diva behavior of your own, let me know what you did to get your little one to eat. I'll take all the tips I can get.


becoming-mom said...

Jasper is thankfully not too finicky. He hasn't outright refused anything we've given him. But he does sometimes get REALLY excited about food. One thing he loves is homemade butternut squash, the other is the carrots and peas made by a brand called "happy baby". Its frozen and comes in cube form and can only be found at whole foods I think. So I don't know if you have one near you, but I thought I'd throw that out there!

There's something about the texture of these that he just eats up - literally!

Keri said...

Thanks for the tips, Ariana! We do have a Whole Foods near us, and I'll definitely try the "happy baby" food next time we go. I haven't yet made any homemade baby foods, but maybe that's what I need to try next.

Hazel May said...

Well, we never really fed my daughter those canned foods. We actually processed whatever we were eating, or I'd chew it up in my mouth, and give it to her. Hazel is about 14 mos now, and eats EVERYTHING. I never separate what shes eating. For instance, if I make spaghetti, I make sure everything is mixed in, including the vegetables so he can't discriminate. Thats what I do with all of her food.. I blend in vegetables, and make sure its all mixed up and cut up well enough for her to eat. No complaints yet. She doesnt like eggs though..

Good luck, lots of babies are picky! Just do whatever is best for you and baby. She'll be eating everything in no time!

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