There was a study by Monell Chemical Senses Center that I saw on ABC World News, August 9, 2011, finding that what a woman eats during her pregnancy shapes the baby's food preferences later in life. While I think there is some truth to this and knowing how important a good diet in pregnancy is, it doesn't always come naturally and easily (in my baby's case anyway). I had an extremely healthy, strict, vegetarian diet during my entire pregnancy, and never thought it would be challenging to get my baby to eat fruits and vegetables. He likes many different fruits and vegetables now, but it took some time and experimenting to get him to eat them. I was exclusively breastfeeding and I didn't want to rush the solid foods. I skipped over the "recommended" rice cereal at 4 months and waited to introduce any foods until he was 6 months old. The first food I gave to him was avocado and banana. He made some funny faces and then of course spit it out. I kept trying, introducing and re-introducing foods. I had fun making all of his baby food: applesauce, carrots, peas, sweet potatoes, and much more, trying all the typical baby food combinations. Overall, my son was never a big fan of solid food in the first year and a half. He was more interested in playing with his food, throwing it on the floor, getting it in his hair and all over the place! As messy as it was, it was still good for him to experience different foods. I enjoyed learning and studying about children's nutrition along the way. He still only wanted to nurse and I knew that in time he would be ready for solid foods. He was growing and healthy and that's all that mattered.
My son was always very curious when I was in the kitchen. I would always let him play with my bowls, pots and pans and utensils. I would set him in his high chair next to me in the kitchen, and let him "help" me. He loved to add ingredients, mix, stir and just get nice and messy! We bought him his own little play kitchen and he has always loved playing with it, pretending to be a chef and playing restaurant. I love to cook and bake and am always in the kitchen. I love that he had an interest to learn. Our cooking and baking experiences had begun.
So whether or not the study is true about shaping healthy habits in pregnancy, we can shape those tastes early on by teaching and experimenting in the kitchen together with our children and always trying new and healthy foods.
How it all Started
“More Broccoli, Please” was inspired by a small moment I will always remember. My son was two years old at the time when I heard him say these words at dinner after he finished his first helping of broccoli. These words were music to my ears! I get so excited when he eats his vegetables and other healthy foods. I let him know how happy I am and proud of him for having healthy eating habits.