Building a Better Eater


As you may know, we recently had a new addition to the TVFF household. She’s a bundle of joy and all that good stuff, but I have to admit that I haven’t been too impressed with her one-ingredient diet. It’s not quite the wide-ranging palate that I had hoped for from my offspring.

OK…I understand that we’re doing the best thing possible for her health by feeding her exclusively breast milk. To tide myself over, I’m already dreaming up combinations of pureed goodies that I’ll be making in lieu of buying those jars of baby food. But isn’t there anything that I can be doing now to turn my kid into a gourmand?

Apparently, according to What to Expect the First Year, there just may be…

Because what you eat affects the taste and smell of your breast milk, your breastfed baby is exposed to different flavors well before he or she is ready to sit down at the dinner table, which may help shape future eating habits.

It goes on to theorize that spicy foods like salsas and curries eaten by the mother may help young children be better able to handle those sorts of bold flavors once it’s time for him or her to move on to solid foods. Needless to say, that meant that the nightly dinner menu has been significantly revamped to include a wide variety of Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Thai, Indian, Malaysian and Polish items.

How effective will this be? Who knows. But I’d be interested if anyone out there has seen any kind of evidence — anecdotal or scientific — that supports the fact that I can be doing something now that will result in not having to find “chicken nuggets” on the menu every time I take my kid out with us for dinner.

More On Kids’ Eating:
Feeding Monsters
Why America Eats Shit
Kids Are People Too

(Photo: The Adventures of Kristin & Adam)

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  • dad gansie January 5, 2011  

    She’s a real cuittie . I’m sure she will develope her own tastes. Good or bad
    My wife’s a very plain eater and gansie kids love all spiced up foods
    Good luck and enjoy these times they grow up or at least get older way to quick

  • debbie koenig January 5, 2011  

    First, mazel tov! She’s adorable. And second, as the food writer mom of a vexingly picky 4-yr-old: Try not to worry about it too much. Seriously, in my experience a lot of the food refusal is related to power struggles–the more clear it is to my son that I care about what he eats, the less likely he is to try something. Just keep serving–and eating in front of her–all the delicious, healthy stuff you normally eat. Not sure if it’s cool to link to this here, but I wrote about it for recently:–picky-kid/

    Good luck! And here’s a book recommendation on the subject: Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense, by Ellyn Satter.

  • BS January 5, 2011  

    I really could care less if my kids turn out smart, athletic, cool, well-adjusted…but they had damn well better be good eaters.

  • ML January 5, 2011  

    I was given formula as a baby and now I’m a spicy food fanatic. Maybe my mother put chili powder in my formula…

  • erica January 5, 2011  

    i have heard this; that mothers who eat a wide variety of vegis while breastfeeding have kids much more vegetable friendly.

  • Don January 5, 2011  

    You and your brother overcame the formula and baby food experience to become adventurous eaters – with no benefit of cheating via “spiked” breast milk.

    Your bambino will successfully follow the path that millions of others have throughout history and will find her palate in due time – with Mommy and Daddy’s guidance, of course.

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  • Kristin and Adam January 25, 2011  

    Thanks for the photo credit.

  • Kristin and Adam November 2, 2011  

    Thanks for the credit.

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