My now 10 year old daughter begged me to buy her snails yesterday for lunch…”Please mom, look, 12 big “escargots” all ready to be cooked!” I could hardly hide my distaste for these snails (despite the fact they are covered in tons of butter, parsley and garlic) and yet was very proud that my daughter has such an open palate for unique french “pleasures.” So, I bought the snails…cooked them…and she enjoyed eating them -by herself!
You may think..so, what does all this have to do with breastfeeding?
Actually, studies have shown that breastfed infants have more acceptance of new foods during solid food introduction (around 4-6 months) than formula fed infants. (1) Acceptance of new foods at this early stage can help translate into acceptance of new foods during childhood.
I breastfed my 4 kids and introduced solid foods at 6 months while continuing to breastfeed. All of my babies, luckily, were great eaters and accepted this solid food stage very well. Each of them now still enjoy a wide circle of tastes, worldly cuisine and spices…but of course…who knows if it was the breastfeeding?..I can only hope that all those efforts did lead to my children’s currently quite open minds on discovering and accepting a wide gamut of tastes.
Yes, I am a big pusher for breastfeeding…however, saying that, I completely respect and support formula feedings too. Being a new parent is difficult itself, never mind if we start to feel guilty on choosing not to breastfeed. With the new infant formulas available, a baby can thrive and also grow very well on bottle feedings. However, for those women/couples who are on the fence, who are unsure of what method to choose to feed their babies, (breast or formula), here is the one main reason to choose breastfeeding…
IT IS THE PERFECT FOOD because it HAS THE PERFECT NUTRITIONAL NEEDS FOR YOUR BABY!
Maybe breastfeeding is not the reason my 10 year old loves snails (and raw oysters too I must add) but I tell everyone it certainly helped! Any of you parents have unique food stories to share about your kids? Leave me a comment…I’m sure you all have some other stories of YOUR gourmet eaters.
In the meantime, if you are contemplating breastfeeding or have questions on the subject, post them in the comment section below or email me. There is also a great book that I read cover to cover on the subject. See the link here.
(1) (Sullivan S. A., Birch L. L. Infantdietary experience and acceptance of solid foods. Pediatrics 1994; 9:884-885).