I wish that I would have blogged consistently during Ruby’s first year. I’ve never even started a baby book for her (3rd child problems) but I figure this blog can serve as a sort of makeshift one since every week I document things we do and see. I’m going to write an update on Ruby soon but first I’m going to backtrack a little and recap Rubes’ first year and a half (almost) with food.
Ruby’s first food was breast milk. She was solely nursed for two weeks before we started supplementing with organic formula. It was a rocky road but I ended up nursing her for 6 months and I’m really proud of that. I’m not, nor was I ever, a crazy breast is best advocate (Parker was never breastfed and Theo was for one month) but the difference that I see between Ruby’s health and the boys’ health is undeniably the result of her early diet. Rubes is 16 months old now and has never taken an antibiotic. Actually, the only medicine she has taken at all is Motrin – twice for fevers, each of which lasted for one night. Despite only being eight weeks old when our entire house came down with a nasty stomach virus that lasted for two whole weeks, Ruby was the only family member who never got sick. She is constantly exposed to countless germs from living with gross big brothers who each were exposed to tons of germs at school last year and yet she has only had a mild cold once. Our boys are very healthy too but not like Rubes.
We waited until she was almost six months old to introduce table food to her and decided to go with the Baby Led Weaning method. Her first solid food was a banana and then we continued with soft foods like avocado, sweet potatoes and beans. We ended up giving her some pureed food, mostly that I made myself or the store bought organic pouches, but once she became acclimated to eating solids we just served her whatever we were eating. From our experience, I can not praise BLW enough. It is WAY easier than spoon feeding, it gave Ruby extra practice with hand eye coordination and it allowed her to get used to eating with the family. There were never any separate meals for the baby. Now, almost a year later Ruby is still eating like a champ.
I’m a big advocate for feeding your kids what you eat (and hopefully you eat a healthy variety of foods) because of the lessons that I learned from Parker. Until he was three, he basically only ate pizza, hot dogs, pasta and pb&j. This was 100% our fault because we made him separate meals. One day I had an epiphany and I realized that if I never made Parker try other foods he would never begin to like other foods. For an entire YEAR(!!!) after that, we struggled every night at the dinner table as we forced him to eat what we were eating. In the end it was worth it and I am so glad that we put in the work because now, at the age of 7, the kid eats anything. He’s an adventurous eater and will gleefully try anything once. Sometimes, if we’re eating something new, I’ll ask him if he likes it and he’ll reply with “not really” but he’ll continue eating it without complaining. Maybe he’s the next Andrew Zimmern 🙂
I’ve learned from Ruby that the idea of babies needing dull food is wrong. Because she eats what we eat, she has been exposed to lots of different spices and flavors that most babies typically aren’t. We eat cumin, chili powder and cayenne a lot in our house and Ruby seems to love it as much as we do. She also eats onions, garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, tahini, and mildly spicy salsa to name a few other strong flavors. Some of her favorite foods are shrimp, beans, any kind of berry, bananas (lately she’s been asking for a banana every day), salad greens, french fries and her absolute favorite – cheese of any kind (she’s her mother’s daughter). Josh and I can not think of even one food that she doesn’t like. She’s a big time eater and a major foodie baby and watching her grow into healthy eating habits is awesome.