My youngest son, Sam, has reached the age where it’s time to start introducing solid foods. Having had nothing but formula for the first six months of life, I had though this would be a welcome change for the little guy.
I was wrong.
Baby formula is gross — yes, I’ve tried it. I guess I had the idea that it would taste like milk, but it doesn’t. Actually, I’m not even sure what to compare it too, it just tastes bad. Kinda sour, with a weird tangy aftertaste (but not in a tasty buttermilk kind of way.)
Sam, however, loves it. Now in his defense, he literally has nothing to compare it to.
Thinking that he would be more apt to accept the spoon if I started out with something sweet as opposed to green beans or something, we went with bananas.
I strapped him in his little seat, Velcro-ed on a bib and poked a bit into his mouth.
At first, he didn’t respond much. He didn’t choke or gag, which I took as a good sign. Then, all at once, the flavor hit him.
Sam shuddered like he was cold and blinked in shock a few times. He made a weird gurgling sound and glared at me with a look of betrayal. He smacked his lips and raised an eyebrow in confusion.
I gave him another spoonful.
If his initial reaction was amusing, that second bite really made me laugh. Sam began waving his clenched fists in the air while making bizarre expressions with his face.
But because he didn’t mentally connect what was being fed to him with the new flavors that were happening in his mouth, he kept opening his mouth for more — even though he clearly didn’t like it.
He ate about a half a jar, which I deemed a success.
The following day we tried sweet potatoes, which produced similar results. A phone call to my mother informed me that it’s customary to begin with a rice cereal, mixed with his usual formula. Maybe that’s where I went wrong.
My older son, Ben, never cared for rice cereal so that may be why I just forgot about it this time around. I remember my aunts lecturing me about the dangers of starting out with sweet foods and that he was now sure never to eat his vegetables. But Ben was always a good little eater — especially with vegetables.
Sam meanwhile is slowly working his way through the (very limited) culinary options for a person of his age. Besides the bananas and sweet potatoes we’ve tried peas, carrots and prunes — each with limited success. The one he seems to like most of all is the pureed chicken in broth — which out of all of them that I’ve tried absolutely has the worst flavor.
Eventually his taste buds will catch up and he’ll learn the difference. Until then, what can I say? My son has bad taste.
It’s probably my fault, I’m a picky eater myself. I don’t like mushrooms, celery or fish, am suspicious of red cabbage in my salad and always pick the pepperoni off my pizza. Olives make me gag and I can’t stand coleslaw.
On the other hand, I am intrigued by new foods and flavors and am always game to experiment. So maybe I just haven’t gotten creative enough with little Sam’s diet.
How old do you have to be to try jambalaya?
Kasie Strickland is a staff writer for The Easley Progress, The Pickens Sentinel and Powdersville Post and can be reached at email@example.com. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.