Why do people care what my baby’s eating?

Katie finds herself discussing Soph’s diet way too much — everyone has an opinion.

Katie Dupuis 0

Photo by monkeybusinessimages/iStockphoto

I had oatmeal for breakfast. Good, old-fashioned oatmeal. I added cinnamon and raisins, and I had a cup of tea with it. That’s probably the most boring sentence I’ve ever written in my life, but there it is. And you don’t care, right? Right. I hardly care, and it was my breakfast. So why is it that people care so much about what Sophie had for breakfast?

Over the past couple of months, since Soph started on solids, I’ve found myself in too many conversations about what my kid is eating. It’s a weird phenomenon, this obsession with what you’re feeding your baby, and I find myself more and more confused all the time. I love introducing Soph to new foods, and, yes, we’ve made some choices on what she can and can’t have, but I just don’t know how it happened that I’m discussing puréed broccoli almost daily. I also don’t know how it happened that I’m always explaining why we’re delaying wheat and dairy and why she doesn’t need juice right now. It’s just our choice. If your little one is all over the cheese cubes and Cheerios, that’s completely up to you and it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. It’s not an argument, it’s just what works for you and your baby.

Here’s what I do want to know, though, and I figure I can use this forum to my advantage: Veteran mamas out there, how is it that my girl is going to go from eating mushy carrots to a full meal with her family someday? She doesn’t pick things up from her tray yet, so it’s hard for me to see how she’ll one day be able to feed herself. We give her the opportunity to try by putting tiny pieces of food in front of her, but, most of the time, she just pushes stuff on the floor. She’ll feed herself a Mum Mum and she’ll chew on her spoon forever, but she hasn’t figured out the context yet, and I can’t figure out how to show her. Is it something that just kicks in all of a sudden?

I wish I could have these sort of conversations — helpful, productive conversations — about all things baby, instead of conversations of comparison. Soph is happy and healthy, and she likes pretty much everything with the exception of chicken (but honestly, who would like chicken blended to the consistency of pudding?). I just want to know what comes next, and how it’s going to happen, rather than debating the evils of sweet potato. Especially since it’s my kid’s favourite food.

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