I don’t know what is wrong with me. I love to eat. I also love to feed. I’ve been excited since I found out I was pregnant about feeding the baby when she was ready. I pictured happy moments pureeing interesting flavors like fennel, baby Aili banging a pot with a wooden spoon at my feet as the food processor whirred.
I never thought I’d be a nervous mommy and for the most part I’m not but for some reason a little devil has popped up in my head as I try her on new foods. I obsess and obsess about what is going into her. Food allergies never even made it into my vocabulary a few months ago, now the G O O G L E keys on my keyboard are worn down. I cross reference everything before giving her anything. I’m anxious. This isn’t like me. My mother keeps telling me to lighten up. I wish I would quit it already.
I am the co-author, along with Deirdre Dolan, of The Complete Organic Pregnancy and so every solid I’ve given Aili, now seven months, since she started eating at month six has been completely organic and home made. Store bought jars that have food older than she is just don’t feel right. I have been quasi following Ruth Yaron’s home made baby food bible, Super Baby Food. (I say quasi because there are too many rules to actually comprehend let alone follow.)
I recently gave Aili soy yogurt. This was against my better taste judgement. The thinking behind it was as follows: Super Baby Food says the first meal of the day should be based on a whole grain porridge of sorts (Aili likes ground organic oats much better than ground brown rice, we have yet to branch out to millet et al, and she has so far sucked oats down with anything from pears to green beans to sweet potatoes). The second meal of the day is supposed to be based on yogurt. The author says yogurt is fine as early as six months. My pediatrician and my Googling don’t agree. I’m not ready to try her on cow’s milk yet. But I am eager to start giving her more than one meal a day and who wants oat glop twice?
Which brings me back to that soy yogurt. Soy is less allergenic than cow’s milk. I had to go to three healthfood stores just to find it (in New York City!). It comes in an enormous vat. I’m not a picky eater but my one pet peeve is that I hate things that are white and creamy. I was hoping her dad would feed it to her. But it fell to me. I opened the vat. I stirred and tasted. I gagged. It was sour and yogurt-y and plain, but also redolent of something akin to cardboard. Disgusting. I fork-mashed her some banana to cut the sour and fed it to her anyway. Mean!
She made the funniest face I have ever seen. First she grimaced. Then her eyes watered. Then she gagged. She didn’t spit it out. She even agreed to eat a little more. I sensed she was trying to figure out what it was that was so dreadful. I’m so happy to know she already has a little palate growing. I also feel it was her way of telling me to quit the obsessive worrywart Googling and get on with the good stuff.
No more organic soy yogurt. I promise.