“I can’t believe she is eating sauerkraut! I’ve never seen a baby who liked sauerkraut!” my father-in-law exclaimed as our baby shoveled the pickled cabbage into her mouth one night while we were dining out at our favorite German restaurant.
Our daughter, Avery, was barely 9 months old at the time, and was still as toothless as the day she was born. But her lack of pearly whites didn’t stop our little experimenter from eating sauerkraut, strudel, or the German potatoes that night. Avery loves food. She is tiny for her age (only in the tenth percentile for her weight), but she will eat anything we put in front of her.
Many of my friends with babies of a similar age also think my daughter’s mature palate is somewhat strange. I’ve had friends tell me their babies won’t even touch vegetables, and refuse to eat anything but bland oatmeal, cheerios and white bread.
Maybe we lucked out and just happen to have a baby who isn’t a picky eater. But I have my own theory.
You see, I love experimenting with new foods, as well, and love all things spicy, rich, flavorful and bold. While I was pregnant with Avery, I ate a variety of foods from different cultures, either while traveling (You’ll have to read about our babymoon in Scotland when I ate haggies, neeps and tatties), or while at home in Oklahoma, we frequently went to ethnic restaurants. In fact, my very first pregnancy craving was for the Vietnamese dish, Pho. In a way, Avery was tasting everything that I was since the taste of food transfers through the amniotic fluid. (Pregnancy is fascinating, right?)
I also breastfed Avery for 9 months, so she was still getting a small taste of what I was eating as the flavor was then transferred through the breastmilk.
When we finally did start her on solids, we were feeding her the same types of foods we were eating, minus any extra spice or salt, and of course pureed. We eat a variety of mainly healthy foods, so it isn’t like we are eating chocolate cake and Big Macs and feeding our daughter sauerkraut. She sees us eating the same foods that we are offering to her.
Could all of this have had an impact on the foods our little adventurous eater likes today? Who knows, but that’s my theory. I hope she always keeps an open mind when it comes to new and different foods. She’ll need one… because we aren’t the type of people who hit up a Burger King on a trip across the pond.