Dumplings, carrots and the power of peer pressure / by Susie Lubell

My daughter has started eating and it is the best. At first I just gave her a little rice cereal which she sort of moved around on her tongue and spit out and played with. I wasn't sure if she liked it but our caregiver said she wolfed down a whole bowl so I thought maybe it was me and the way I was feeding her. I tried mushed pears and she kind of smirked - too sour maybe. Or just too new. I was hesitant to give her table food since she has no teeth and wasn't great at swallowing. Or so I thought. And I worry about allergies and introducing too many new foods.

But then we spent a week in New York for my husband's family reunion. And the two other baby girl cousins who are four months and six months older than mine were eating mostly table food. I continued to feed her mushy stuff which seemed to be going better but then her great uncle gave her a pancake. In tiny little pancake pieces. And she ate them all. Two pancakes in fact. And then she ate a banana straight out of the peel. And she had a lick of my ice-cream and then dove her whole head into my cone. And then she had rice and vegetable soup and mashed potatoes and yogurt. She was an eating machine. And she loved everything. Savory, sweet, tart, fruity, green and leafy. Everything. What a treat! My son only eats from the brown category - cous cous, quesodilla, cheese, yogurt, apple sauce, chicken - so this was a welcomed change.

So yesterday I made myself some steamed chicken dumplings with soy sauce and the baby was grabbing for them so I gave her one in little bitty pieces and she loved it. And I made such a big hoo-ha about it my son decided he wanted dumplings too. So I made him four and he ate them! Something new to add to the brown category! And then today I gave the baby strained carrots which she inhaled. And I went on and on about what a good girl she is. So guess who wanted to eat carrots!?!? This is awesome. New category for orange! If all goes as planned my son will be eating spinach by Sunday.