...from baby food to toddler food to family food!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Yuck Face

Today William gave his first true "yuck face" while eating. He's done it before, when mouthing a fuzzy stuffed animal or rogue paper towel, but never before as a reaction to food! He has looked quite serious when contemplating a new food on his palate (spinach, asparagus, peas and broccoli), but never shown such a look of disgust.

Shockingly, this reaction was to one of my favorite foods, mashed potatoes. OK, it was mashed potato with whole milk plain yogurt, broccoli, dill and sea salt.....I found it to be delicious, but somehow the combination didn't work for my little guy.  So, you ask, what did I do about it?  Here are the steps I took:

1. Validate his reaction: "Oh, you're not sure about that? That's OK."
2. Offer him another spoonful and see if he takes it. (He turned his head away, clear communication that he did not want any more in his mouth at the moment!)
3. Let him explore it in another way. (I placed a blob of the potatoes on his high chair tray for him to explore however he wished. He wished to pick it up and drop it over the edge of his chair onto his splat mat. Satisfying *plop* sound achieved.).
4. Later in the meal offer it again. (He had two spoonfuls and was done).
5. Put it away and offer it again at the next meal (He finished the serving.), or the next day, the next......

This is a great way to help any baby become more comfortable with a food, be it new or old.  Exploring a food's texture and other qualities with the senses of sight, smell and touch first make it easier for sensitive little palates to adjust.  Don't give up on a food if your baby rejects it at first; it can take many, many exposures before a baby is comfortable eating something new! Imagine if someone told you "Close your eyes and hold your breath. I'm going to put something you've never tasted before in your mouth." Now, get your mind out of the gutter and feel some empathy for that novice palate!

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