Monday, April 5, 2010

Introducing............ Food!

Nothing describes the excitement of feeding your baby for the first time. I will never forget the boys first spoonful of rice cereal in front of my entire family, captured on video while at the same time the flash going off in his face from the camera…. A very relaxing first meal!

I am a firm believer of following the doctor’s guidelines on when and how to introduce new food. I, along with every mother I’ve met with 1 child or 5, have their own opinion on food introduction. Some parents will go against the doctor’s recommendations and start solids at 4 months because they say their kids were “starving”. Many parents will give their kids nuts, strawberries, fish, milk and eggs all before one, and these kids will have no allergies. Other parents follow their doctor’s recommendations and the kids will still have allergies. I have found this topic to be a huge bone of contention among many mothers, especially first time parents. Mother’s are comparing notes, and it can even cause tension among some friendships when there are strong differences of opinion on how and when to introduce certain foods. In the past few months I have learned that every parent must do what works for them, and what they feel comfortable with for their little eaters.

Introducing food has been a great experience for the boy and I. He is lucky I like to cook, so everything is homemade. I try to add as much variety into his diet as possible, and I have been creative in the process. The best part of introducing food has been watching the progress he’s made from gobbling down purees to real food. I know I am lucky that he has been an easy subject in this task, as I have heard countless stories of babies who don’t like to eat. Likely because I am so fearful that the boy may develop an allergy, every time I introduce a new food I worry and watch him intently to ensure he does not show any signs of a reaction. Every scratch or red spot, my husband and I examine to ensure it’s nothing more. So far, so good. In a few weeks he will be starting cow’s milk which will certainly be nerve racking.

Obviously if he does develop an allergy to something we will deal with it, but how? Will I be better at managing it because I have an allergy and can relate, or will I cocoon him in a bubble? Knowing me, I will use the cocooning approach until he’s old enough to fend for himself! Seriously though, I hope none of you ever have to deal with an allergic child, but free to add your comments on how you would deal with it if you had to.



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