Thursday, October 2, 2008

What to Feed a Baby?

On the heels of my August 26 post, there was an article in this week’s Dining section of The New York Times that discussed a similar issue: the feeding of babies.

I give cooking lessons to many parents who are frustrated by their children’s diet and how it is often limited to bland foods devoid of significant nutrition. In the hope of countering this problem, the author’s wife started early, feeding their 7-month-old daughter a sophisticated diet (albeit in puréed form).

Instead of relying on over processed baby foods, the writer and his wife put whatever they were cooking and eating into a food mill, thereby introducing their baby to flavors and tastes she otherwise would not have been privy to.

According to one doctor interviewed by the author, this is a great way to establish a toddler’s palate, hopefully leading to an omnivorous teenager and adult:

“This is how you teach your baby to develop likes similar to yours . . . Otherwise, how would an Indian child eat curry or a Mexican child consume salsa?”

It seems like common sense that a baby whose first foods are bland and laden with salt and sugar is going to be predisposed to similar tasting foods in the future.

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