Just as our grown-up taste buds are programmed to enjoy glorious, nourishing foods from Mother Nature, so are our babies’! Babies have a hardwired fondness for sweet tastes from the moment they enter the world. Their first sweet stop? Mother’s milk. From there, usually sometime after six months, babies begin to eat “solids,” which gives us parents an opportunity to guide their taste buds in a way that will allow them to explore and experiment with a broad range of flavors. The goal? By showing them what true, natural flavor really is, babies have a chance to fall in love – on their own – with foods that love them back!
I will admit to feeling a certain smug pride at the supermarket when I compare my shopping cart, filled with fresh produce and healthy options, to the next one in line, which, in urban Atlanta, inevitably contains bags of Doritos, frozen pizzas and, if there are any vegetables, they’re canned (sodium and preservatives–gasp!). Looking from my plump, healthy baby, protected from nasty germs in her shopping cart seat insert, to the skinny kid in the next cart, I think how lucky my daughter is. I just hope she realizes it when she grows up and gets to make her own choices about the foods she eats. Will she appreciate that the first vegetable she tasted was an organic yam, lovingly roasted and milled into a silky puree by her mother? Or will she sneak off to get the Happy Meals that we’ve deprived her of?