Forbidden Fruit...and Vegetables...and Nuts...and Dairy

I've been making Isabella's food for the last 3.5 months or so. I've used this book, and this one, this one, and this one (yes, compulsive, thy name is Kristi) as references for how much she should eat, which nutrients are the most important for growth, and to learn when I should absolutely NOT, under ANY circumstances give her certain foods or she will grow an 11th toe, and possibly start speaking in tongues.

My goal is to ensure that Isabella does not turn out with a palette like her mother's by introducing her to as many different foods as possible, as early as possible. Because while I think the world would be well-served by a mini-me running around proclaiming her love for Hillary, The Amazing Race, and Dunkin Donuts, I absolutely do not want my daughter having the issues with food that I do (namely that I eat somewhere in the neighborhood of five things. For reals).

So here's the list of the organic food I've introduced to Isabella, which, with the exception of zucchini (what kind of Italian girl is she?) are all currently on her "Will-Open-My-Mouth-For-and-Only-Spit-Every-Other-Spoonful-Back-At-You-List."

Rice and oatmeal baby cereal
White potatoes
Yellow squash
Cottage cheese
Ricotta cheese
Brown rice
Sweet potatoes
Acorn squash
Butternut squash
Green beans
Purely O's (Cascadian Farms' version of Cheerios)
Wheat bread
Cheddar cheese
Rice (eggless) pasta

The problem with all these books I'm reading, and the internet, which I'm also using in planning her meals, is that each seems to say something different about when it's safe to introduce certain foods in order to avoid the allergies that may develop from introducing them too early. For example, one book might say that egg yolks are fine for 9-month-olds, but not to introduce egg whites until your baby is over a year old. And another book might say it's fine to bring on the whole egg at 9 months. One book recommended avoiding citrus fruit until after a year old, and another said they're safe to introduce at six months.

And then there's the berry issue. And the wheat issue. And the nut issue.

(Seriously, where did this food allergy issue come from, because I swear I was eating French toast, bacon, and eggs at about eight weeks, back in the late 70s.)

So, being the neurotic food freako that I am, and wanting to make sure Isabella doesn't wake up one morning covered with fur and spiking a fever of 120 degrees because I fed her an egg the night before, I've decided to avoid any of the highly allergenic foods (other than wheat) until her nine-month checkup, which was on Monday. I decided to let her doctor have the final call, because sometimes? I let myself get too caught up in book-learnin', to the detriment of common sense.

Her doctor made it really simple for me, and afterward I felt like a bit of an idiot for expressing my fears that Oh My God, I Think She May Have Accidentally Ingested 0.000001 Grams Of Peanut Butter Because She Licked My Finger After I Finished My PB&J Sandwich:

No eggs (not even the yolk) until she's a year old; however, eggs in baked goods and pasta are fine.
No strawberries until she's a year. All other berries are fine.
No peanut butter, or any nuts, until she's two.
Citrus fruit is fine at 9 months.

So there you have it.

And now for her 9-month stats:

Weight: 17 lbs, 13oz
Percentile: 20%

Length: 28 1/4 inches
Percentile: 55%

Head Circumference: 45 1/2 inches
Percentile: 55%

In case you're curious, here's what a typical lunchtime meal looks like for her: avocado, sweet potatoes, and cottage cheese mixed with apples.

(In looking at this picture after uploading it, I realized that, holy shit, that is a serious heaping helping of cottage cheese. Good thing she hoovers food in as if I'm never going to feed her again. And clearly Miss 20th Percentile For Weight has neither her father's nor her mother's pokey metabolism. Lucky Little Shit.)

11 Responses to “Forbidden Fruit...and Vegetables...and Nuts...and Dairy”

  1. # Blogger MsPrufrock

    I wish more people would write blog posts about their babies' homemade food, as I would read each and every one, nerd that I am.

    I too hate how the list of bad foods cannot be agreed upon aside from honey and the other usual suspects.

    I give P a limited amount of strawberries and she's fine. Conversely, tomatoes make her break out in a rash.

    As far as introducing texture, have you tried couscous or quinoa? They are great for texture and are nutritious as well. My apologies if I've pushed couscous and quinoa on you before, I never shut up about them.  

  2. # Anonymous Anonymous

    When are we going to introduce Gin and Tonic with a little lime and Labatts Blue???


  3. # Blogger Ramona

    Wow!!! She's a good little eater! I think it is absolutely wonderful that you are making all her food, and that she LIKES it! And, as for food allergies? I think that they are much more common nowadays than they were when we were young. My friend Pez has 3 boys who are all allergic to different foods, and that has got to be a PIA. I think it's wize to follow your MD's advice.
    BTW: I LOVE the picture of Isabella you've chosen for your little gizmo pic. She is a beautiful girl!  

  4. # Blogger Andrew

    Do you realize that just smelling the peanut butter you keep in your house can send her into convulsions?

    You monster.  

  5. # Blogger Marie

    She's such a petite little princess!

    I'm afraid I wasn't as diligent as you with carefully introducing food at appropriate ages. I'm pretty sure I broke the PB rule... oops! Amazingly he's still alive. I do remember waiting on honey, however.

    That's an impressive list of foods she's tasted!

    Just wait til you introduce mac-n-cheese. And hot dogs. I swear, that's all little K asks for these days. Oh, and popsicles.  

  6. # Blogger M

    I'm glad you posted about this- as I struggle to feed Maddy. I just don't know what to feed/how much to feed/how many times a day to feed her solids. So-- she has cereal with fruit for breakfast +bottle, lunch is just a bottle, dinner is a veggie, a fruit, and a bottle.
    I gave up on making her baby food-- so I feed her the veggies and fruits that Gerber or Earth's best makes...and it sounds like you have much more of a variety than I do....sigh. I feel like a bad mommy  

  7. # Blogger kenju

    I think it is like a lot of other scientific research, it will change. If you wait long enough, the foods they say are bad now will be good later.....LOL  

  8. # Blogger Christine

    Man, other than honey (and I would have guessed peanuts) I totally did not know all that about allergens in homemade food. Is the theory really that an early exposure will make it more likely that she'll develop allergies? I'd be willing to bet that they just started feeding me whatever everyone else was eating as soon as I was interested in it.

    And lucky for her metabolism, indeed! I am jealous!  

  9. # Blogger sunShine

    I was a little crazy about when to give certain foods to my child too. He is 19 months and he still hasn't had peanut butter. I freaked out because hubby wanted to give him a cheese cracker with peanut butter!  

  10. # Blogger Kristi

    Ms Prufrock-Me too. While I'm possibly the pickiest eater on the planet, baby food excites me, which makes me a total nerd as well. And no, I haven't given Isabella couscous or quinoa. I'll try them. Thanks!

    Rich-I thought you already had?

    Ramona-Poor Pez. I can imagine how trying that has to be. Glad you like the picture!

    Andy-I know. And that visit from Child Protective Services did nothing to prevent me from feeding her honey from a jar last night.

    Marie-Other than the hot dogs, K and I seem to have a penchant for very similar foods. ;)

    M-It really is difficult to know how much to feed babies because everyone will tell you something different. Isabella eats fruit and cereal (and now, some toast pieces) for breakfast, yogurt or cottage cheese, and a veggie, and some cheese cubes for lunch, and a combination of either meat and a fruit, two veggies, mac and cheese, and always cereal again for dinner. Every baby eats differently, and likes different things.

    Christine-yes. The theory is if you introduce highly allergenic foods too early, your baby may develop an allergy to them.

    Sunshine-Mothers are so much more worried about things like this than dads are. :)  

  11. # Blogger Damselfly

    You are doing a great job. Quite extensive, actually. I'm sure she'll thank you for it someday!  

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