Gareth has been on solids for a month now and we’re making good progress. Although we had a bit of a tenuous start, I’m glad to report that things have picked up quite nicely.
When starting babies on first foods, one of the general recommendations I’ve read is to start with vegetables first before moving on to fruits. The exception to the rule is when you have a breastfed baby. Because breast milk is naturally sweet, it was said that it might be easier to start with fruits because they’re sweet, too.
Ironically, when I first started Gavin on solids, he immediately took to the vegetables but he didn’t like any of the fruits I presented to him except mango and papaya (paw paw). That was also rather unusual because most babies usually prefer the milder flavoured fruits, like apples and pears rather than strong flavoured mangoes and papaya. Then again, Gavin has always been a child with unusual tastes – he loved durians and duck but hated bananas.
Gareth, on the other hand, is revealing a completely different set of taste preferences. None of the vegetables I have offered him seem to be doing very well, but he loves fruits. The all time favourite is undeniably prunes – something we could never get Gavin to go anywhere near. I wonder if that might be related to the gallons of prune juice I drank in the first few weeks post delivery since I was afraid of being constipated. Then again, I also ate plenty of prunes after delivering Gavin but you don’t see him going nuts over them…
After a month of solids, I have also discovered that Gareth doesn’t like tart flavours – looks like he takes after Mummy. He’s also rejected most of the vegetables that Gavin loved eating in those early months of solids. Recently, I tried offering Gareth butternut squash again, but it appears that he no longer likes it. He sounded like he was gagging after I fed him two mouthfuls of butternut squash. Prior to that he was happily lapping up my concoction of prune, apple, brown rice, plum, and sweet potato. I’ve found that the addition of prunes seems to help Gareth accept the less palatable foods.
I’m digressing… Since babies understand a lot more than they are able to say, I decided to ask Gareth if he liked what he was eating. He can’t sign yet, but I have been trying to sign to him the words that I remember. Unfortunately, I didn’t know the signs for butternut squash so I did something else instead. I placed the bowl of butternut squash close to his nose and said, “This is butternut squash. Do you like eating butternut squash?” Then I signed “yes” with my right hand and “no” with my left hand. I told Gareth to touch the hand with the right answer. He touched the hand that I used to sign “no” with. To make sure it wasn’t a random choice, I asked him the question again. This time, I signed “yes” with my left hand and “no” with my right hand. Gareth touched my right hand.
It looks like Gareth is displaying the same food fussiness as Gavin. He seems to be pretty clear on what he likes and doesn’t like. When I offer him prunes, he eager pulls the spoon to his mouth. He’ll even grab my hand to “help” me. When I offer him vegetables, he presses his lips together and turns his head. He won’t even reach out for the spoon or try to put it into his mouth.
Let’s see how his food preferences develop as we move on to more flavours…