We love cultured vegetables in our home. We enjoy making them and look forward to the day when Ruby can assist. I’ve taught many classes on making sauerkraut and kids love to help–crushing the cabbage with their bare hands, releasing the juices. Then the “science experiment” portion where you get to “grow bacteria on your counter.” I look forward to that day. For now, we enjoyed our first experience of feeding our 10 month old sauerkraut for the first time! She loved it! Not even a “sour face” from the strong sour flavor. In fact, she wasn’t phased at all–just loved it! So much so she was licking the plate.
I feel we need to give kids “the benefit of the doubt.” We may be surprised what they eat and enjoy! As a nutritionist and mom, I want her to get that good bacteria in cultured vegetables that helps populate the gut in a natural way, supporting digestion and years of healthy flora. Also, I want to expose her to many flavors early. It is known that babies can taste sweet, sour, and bitter even before they are born. While the dominant flavor they encounter in their first months is sweet because of the flavor of breast milk, when I began to add solid foods I wanted her to experience other flavors so she may have a more expanded palate. My husband was an extremely picky eater as a child and I was just the opposite, eating spinach, sardines and crackers, crab, you name it. I, like most parents, want my child to eat a wide range of foods, flavors, and nutrients. While toddlers go through their “picky” phases, it seems that the experience of most mothers is that feeding baby a wide variety of flavors early supports a “varied palate.” One of my friends from Indonesia said that in her culture they put a bit of chili paste in the baby’s plate to get them used to spicy food (so parents don’t need to make two meals). I look forward to sharing how my baby’s tastes and preferences grow and change over time. What’s your experience feeding your baby as they get older?