A solid start

“Is this too hot?” Learner Dad asked, hovering a spoonful of pureed apple near my lips.
“I don’t know,” I said. “Try it.”
He screwed up his nose and let his top lip graze the food ever so slightly.
“It’ll be right,” he decided and went and popped some in Li’l Fatty’s mouth.
A full teaspoon of it in fact.
“Stop spitting it out li’l man,” he urged.
“It might be because you’re putting too much in,” I said, watching half of it dribble back down our baby’s chin.
“Just because you like to eat your dinner in four mouthfuls, doesn’t mean he does.”
Li’l Fatty began solids around the time he turned five months old.
The local nurse had recited “breast is best for the first six months” but we’d decided he was ready when he began reaching for our bowls and our spoons.
When his eyes started following us intently as we sipped drinks and munched on toast.
When he began trying to eat our ears and our noses.
For me, starting your baby on solids isn’t just about discovery for him.
It’s about rediscovery for you.
It’s a reminder of the wonders of fresh food.
Nature’s finest.
The colours, the smells, the tastes.
It’s not just about food in its pur-EED form.
It’s food in its pur-EST.
And it doesn’t matter what crosses paths with what in the bowl.
Pumpkin is suddenly good friends with apple.
Banana and avocado make acquaintance.
Blueberry hits it off with sweet potato.
There’s something about filling your baby up with raw fresh fruit and vegetables that makes you feel like you have real purpose.
That you’re the best mummy ever, giving your baby the best start possible.
But it’s a short-lived joy, over the moment their first ever Freddo Frog hits their lips.
I heard recently that, by 2025, almost three-quarters of our population will be obese.
As it stands, Master Seven can reel off more types of chocolate bars than types of fruit.
And forget fruit, Learner Dad would rather get his vitamins from supplements.
Then there’s me.
You won’t often catch me slurping on an orange or a wedge of watermelon.
But there’s one thing our family is good at: vegies.
Learner Dad loves nothing more than a roast or plate of mash, while Master Seven recently put corn and carrot on a ‘favourite ever dinner’ menu.
So, with Li’l monkey seeing and usually doing, Fatty should still get his nutrients.
But at a time when it’s cheaper to feed the family with chips and cheeseburgers, it’s up to us to invest time and money in our kids’ health.
To buy the good raw stuff.
To cook it.
To eat it.
To insist THEY eat it.
And not so they can have ‘afters’.
But because eating fresh food is simply what humans do.
That’s my rant.
Now I suppose I’d better exchange these Jaffas for a damn orange…


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