The other day, B, M, hubby and I went to Le Pain Quotidien, a great organic restaurant in NYC, for lunch. We watched the Mom and Dad next to us feed their 2 1/2 year old baby mush out of a jar and plastic bag, while our 13 month olds ate quiche lorraine and croissant.
I would have been that mom if my own mother hadn’t set me straight three months ago. At ten months, they were still eating mushy foods, most of it went through the food processor before ending up on their plate.
“You should give them an entire apple, a whole chicken leg, whole dumplings. Give them big pieces of food, don’t cut it up, let them bite into it!” were my mom’s instructions. So starting at 11 months, that’s what I did. Here’s what the result looks like:
It takes a different level of willpower and “teeth-power” to eat a whole apple
Brooke sat on the sofa and worked on that apple for half an hour – that is a lot of apple for a 13 month old!
Long udon noodles are delicious and so much fun to eat
Chicken and corn dumplings – gimme two of those for dinner!
Chicken wings – delicious!
Biting into a whole apple or sinking your teeth into chicken wings gives food an entirely different feel than tiny chopped-up pieces. Give your child a different experience – one that is true to how we adults experience food. Children want to learn what the real world is like, give them a taste! If you have a picky eater, try giving them big pieces of food that they can eat by themselves. Kids always like something better when they can do it by themselves!