One does tend to become a tad bit over protective, but with this base instinct of keeping your kid safe, we forget the most plain and simple fact of all – babies are sooo much smarter than what we think they are!
It is absolutely amazing that from the very beginning, they give you cues of being hungry, angry, uncomfortable, irritable or just plain bored of being treated like a baby.
And they literally grow in the blink of an eye!
The most common questions / discussions that I have had about the kids with my friends or family are - When to let them sip, slurp, munch and crunch.
I can't feel and say it enough that I have been really really lucky when it comes to Ariana’s eating habits.
Ever since she started on a liquid diet, (as soon as she completed 4 months), to semi-solids (at 6 months) and then proper meals (by 9 months), she has been more than willing to try out anything new. And the best part is that, she would always be more curious about what's on our plates, and would never hesitate to taste our food (including the salt and spice levels).
In spite of that I have always tried to keep her daily diet with a variety of foods, textures, flavors and consistencies.
She would love to feast on yogurt, buttermilk and ice creams too, until she developed a mild case of Cow Milk Protein Intolerance (CMPI) at around 11 months of age. The consumption of all her dairy products had to be stopped immediately, which was a tough one for a few days as she would miserably miss eating them. Now she is 15 months old, and fortunately her system is matured enough to handle a few milk products (ice creams, yogurts and buttermilk which has lower lactose levels compared to cow's milk). Hopefully, soon enough, she should be able to transit back to drinking cow's milk.
At times she still does drive me crazy by hardly eating anything all day, but that’s her way of saying that something’s not right with her, be it her tummy, teeth or anything else possible. But it sure is amazing how much these little kids already know and understand their bodies, and I have gradually learnt not to freak out about such things but let her decide what, when and how much does she want to eat.
Here is a table listing the foods she was introduced to and when and how -
So that she would get used to the taste of chicken, from the very beginning, I would always make all the soups and rice porridges in chicken stock, then gradually started adding chicken chunks to them.
There are some veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, peas that she absolutely refused and still refuses to eat, that is when I cook them with the rice and mash them and then she wouldn't mind eating them at all.
OR Make a puree out of those veggies and knead her paratha dough in them.
OR Make patties out of those veggies with more of her favorite veggies, and that too she wouldn't mind.
Surprisingly, she loves to just munch on a few roasted flax seeds every now and then.
When I Googleed for more precise information on toddler nutrition, I found some interesting and informative pictures, and I had to post them here -