Last night I brought home a Chipotle barbacoa bowl and gave some to my nearly-13-month-old. She loved it, and tried to reach into my bowl for more. That’s how I know a food’s a “hit”.
I’d say the slow introduction method is not common knowledge, no. We started off with very lightly cooked egg yolks (from a farmer I know on a first-name basis) as her first food, with (literally) a few grains of salt on top. After a while, we proceeded to either pureed, steamed fruits and veggies seasoned with spices (cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg) or the Plum “Just X” varieties (peas, squash, mangos, prunes). Also bone marrow, whole fat yogurt, and pate. Yes, my hipster daughter eats pate (and loves it)! That’s probably the most ingredient-heavy thing she was given regularly back when we started feeding her.
Sweet potatoes (with coconut oil or ghee) were also a huge part of her diet, the first six months she was eating solids. And she gets an egg every day (we started adding the egg white on her first birthday).
I lightly, lightly, lightly salt everything. I’m not dropping a salt lick on her, but I also don’t not salt things. The food she eats off my plate is salted, after all.
I would love to do the “eat what we eat” thing, but it’s a huge mess to constantly puree dinner, and as a working mom, I don’t have the time. So I have allowed some packaged foods: all organics, no wheat and no pear/applesauce fillers if I can help it.
And this is all to say: in 13 months of living, my child has never eaten or needed rice cereal. I season her foods very, very lightly with salt and I don’t shy from non-spicy spices. Hell, if the barbacoa is any indication, she could probably do spicy at this point, too.
She seems to be a happy, healthy baby; you can’t tell she was 3-4 weeks early. I keep my eyes peeled for outbreaks or health hits every time we start something new (for instance: we recently switched to milk from formula, and I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled), but I’m a geek about these things. I wouldn’t say that my sisters would do the same. So far the only food I’ve noticed a definite poor response from was the bite of chocolate pie we gave her one night. Not saying sugar’s the devil, but I’m sure suspicious of it after our normally easy-to-bed baby girl threw a screaming fit and refused to go down for her bedtime.