- In This Feature
- Fact or Fiction
- Myth #1: Baby's First Food Must be Rice Cereal
- Myth #2: Babies are at High Risk for Food Allergies
- Myth #3: If a Baby Refuses Food He Doesn't Like It
- Myth #4: Babies Know Exactly What They Need to Eat
- Myth #5: Commercial Baby Food is Preferable to Table Food
- Myth #6: Parents Should Only Offer a Small Variety of Bland Foods
- Myth #7: If I Feed My Baby Well, It Doesn't Matter What I Eat
Myth #6: Parents Should Only Offer a Small Variety of Bland Foods
This advice is simply false. Dr. Kleinman suggests that one of the best ways to nourish your child is by introducing a variety of foods over the second half of the first year. There is no reason to avoid flavorful dishes. If mom enjoyed ethnic foods when she was pregnant and breastfeeding, her eating habits might have turned baby's tastebuds on to similar flavors.
Many in the medical community point out that American parents have long limited what flavors and textures their babies can enjoy, while infants in other countries eat various other first foods. It's great if your family loves strong flavors like curry, cumin, or garlic. The bland American infant diet is a "projection of adult perceptions on babies and is really incorrect. Babies learn flavor preferences from the adult feeding the baby," says Dr. Shubin, who is also Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Maryland and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins.