Giacomo Loves Food

My Jack is a big boy. Unlike his super short mom, Jack is in the 99th percentile for height, and thus in the 78th for weight. I still nurse him, but the boy has one big appetite. He always seemed hungry, so we got the OK from his pediatrician to start on solids at 4 months.

Jack Eating at 4 Months

Jack Eating at 4 Months

I started making some of  Jack’s baby food as soon as I started feeding him solids. I want to do my best to make sure that Jack isn’t a picky eater, although I’m not sure how much of that I can control.

I was a picky eater as a kid, but I was the good kind of picky. I was a food snob.  My grandmother raised me homemade food and vegetables straight from our garden. I turned my nose up at canned tomato sauce and ready-made meals and openly called foods gross (which is an interesting trait, considering my line of work now). It got to a point where I was embarrassing my mother when she took me to non-family members houses who didn’t cook up to my standards. Then I became a novelty to her friends. I must have been between 4 and 5, but I clearly remember a few different occasions when I’d be at one of my mom’s friends’ house with a plate of pasta before me and a group of adults standing around waiting for the tiny critic’s review. If I liked the food, I’d keep eating and the host would wear a proud smile, sighing of relief. If I didn’t like the food, I’d scrunch up my nose, grunt a little, and say I wasn’t hungry. Mom would then smile and say “told you” to her friend. She told me she’d only let me eat at someone’s whose food she already tasted and thought I’d like, and the times I didn’t eat the food were times when people didn’t believe her that a kid could really know the difference between homemade and jarred sauce. They basically put me in blind taste test with homemade sauces vs jarred sauces, and I could always tell the difference. I’m sure sauces are a million times better now than they were when I was a kid, but I haven’t tried any to be sure.

Mama's Homemade Cavatelli and Sauce

Mama’s Homemade Cavatelli and Sauce

I’ll never be the chefs my grandmother and mother are. My garden outside is not nearly as abundant as Mama’s (whose is though. You should see the stuff she grows!), and I do take advantage of frozen vegetables, especially when it’s not the season for fresh veggies. Even still, I think I fair pretty well in the kitchen. I know that if I expose Jack to different things now, he’ll have a wider palate and enjoy more foods. That’s really important to me because, hey, I AM Italian, and to us food is love. If I can nourish him and make him healthy and strong with what I feed him, it’s just another way of showing him how much I love him.

That’s part of why I’m so glad I’ve been able to nurse as long as I have. My goal was 6 months, and I made it! Jack is a healthy 6 month old baby! Now everything else is a bonus. I try to eat as healthily as I can and a wide variety of foods. Some flavors do transfer to breast milk, so I’m hoping that Jack will develop a taste for lots of foods.

What a wonderful 6 months it has been!

What a wonderful 6 months it has been!

Jack loves his oatmeal and fruits (especially bananas), but he’s not too keen on green vegetables. I have to mix his peas with carrots or his green beans with sweet potatoes or fruit for him to eat it without a fuss, but he’s getting there.

Now that I know he’s not allergic to a lot of foods, I’m making his meals more interesting. I started playing around with spicing up his food choices this weekend.. Yesterday I added garlic to his green beans and guess what? He liked it! I didn’t have to mix any sweet fruits or veggies in with them. So my persistence paid off! Today, he had some oatmeal mixed with sweet potatoes, apples, and cinnamon. Yum!

He's becoming a much neater eater!

He’s becoming a much neater eater!

I don’t solely use homemade baby food. I just don’t have time for that, but I do make foods in bulk and freeze it. Along with the green beans and garlic and sweet potatoes with apples and cinnamon, I also made carrots with peas amd butternut squash with peaches, bananas, and ginger. So far he likes them all! My freezer is now filled with baby food and breast milk. My how life has changed.

Lots of baby food!

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