20 January 2010

Zagat's For Babies

Noo! Ba. App. Atch. Ba.

They might not sound like it on their face, but these are all staples of my son's ever-growing diet. The above sounds that he emits represent noodles, apples, applesauce, cheese, and bananas.

No, really, they do. Or at least that's what my wife tells me.

Anyway, it's been pretty amazing to watch his tastes forming over time. As well as his capacity for consuming food. Seriously, the kid's like a trash compactor. Not sure where he puts it all. Though sometimes his belly does swell up to the point that he looks like the Buddha.

And in just over 10 months of solid foods, the kid has managed to eat (and enjoy) a wide range of food stuffs including calamari, chili, lobster, baguette, brie, and avocado. Once, in a restaurant, my wife and I ordered him a side of mac and cheese (because he so loves the noo), without noting that it was Southwestern mac and cheese or some such thing, loaded with spices, and packing quite a kick. Even for our more advanced taste buds. Our son took one bite and almost immediately made a surprised, sour, irritated expression. Then he swallowed. And a moment later, pointed at the bowl and said, "Muh, muh." ("More, more.") Such a weirdo.

He did the same thing once with a lime wedge. He saw it and insisted on trying it. And so we obliged. It was hilarious. Bite. Sour expression. Beat. Then . . . Bite. Sour Expression. Beat. You get the picture. This pattern repeated itself for several minutes, much to our amusement. Actually, it was just like this:

While he is currently fearless when it comes to food consumption (and his ever-expanding set of teeth allows him to actually bite and chew more and more), I still remember quite clearly when we first tried him with food. You start with something that's practically liquid (baby oatmeal or rice cereal) and gradually thicken it over time, before moving on to more substantive items. And it's amazing to witness. I mean, what happens in their little brain? How do they figure out what they're supposed to do? They just start chewing. It just sorta happens. Until they're biting into pieces of bread and chicken and you think, really, how do they know how to do that? How?

Some time back, we got our son a book called Foodie Babies Wear Bibs (from the same authors as the equally amusing and hipster-friendly Urban Babies Wear Black). We liked the book because it was short and funny, but the title has actually grown more and more apt over time. Our son, it seems, is indeed a foodie. Someday soon, he's bound to be eating something completely bizarre, like Anthony Bourdain routinely does in his TV travels, and loving every bite of it.

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