Thursday, December 2, 2010

my little omnivore

(9-month-old Elise, enjoying some grass-fed meat from this week's Beef Stew)

According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, "diet" has the following definition(s):

a : food and drink regularly provided or consumed
b : habitual nourishment
: the kind and amount of food prescribed for a person or animal for a special reason

: a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one's weight ;going on a diet;
: something provided or experienced repeatedly <a diet of Broadway shows and nightclubs — Frederick Wyatt

Can I just stop here for a minute, and say how much I love definition 1.b? So great! But we won't even mention 1.d...except to say that I don't believe in that sort of diet - not anymore. That's a whole other post. Now on to the topic at hand...

My little one's "diet" is coming along nicely, if I do say so myself. First of all, she adores vegetables. It's extremely unusual for her to turn up her nose at any kind of vegetable. She's not so keen on fruits, which is frankly just fine with me. Fruit is delicious, but from what I understand, it's a little overrated nutritionally. I'd much prefer that she eats a variety of vegetables.

Another great thing about Elise's culinary tastes is that she is very excited about meat! When I've given her pieces of roast, or fished out tender stew meat, it seems that she can't get enough of it. I am so pleased that she's falling in love with grass-fed meat at such an early age. I've found that I personally do better when there's more meat in my diet - both in terms of how I feel, as well as my weight, and I think a love of protein can only benefit my daughter. She's shown great interest in raw cheese, too - something our whole family adores.

Perhaps the most exciting development is that lately my baby has been very into lacto-fermented dill pickles! Fermented foods are something I've been slowly trying to incorporate more into our family's life, and I am just tickled pink that my wee little daughter has taken to them. I hope she continues to develop a love for foods that will truly enhance her health.

She does love the few grains I've given her so far - though I'm trying to keep those pretty limited, since grains are so difficult for babies to digest. All in all, she's simply keen on food.

We've been trying out the Child-Led Solids method when it comes to baby food this time around, and it is such a gift for this busy mama. Added bonuses are that it's kinder to our food budget (already a major priority every month), and it contributes to Elise's sense of herself as an individual in our family. For the first month or so, I (a formerly by-the-book mama) wasn't too certain, but I've grown to really love it.

And when I look at my daughter's budding love for real food, my heart fills almost to bursting. I'm so pleased with her open-minded approach to the human diet. What a little omnivore!

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