Sunday, March 17, 2019

My Second Baby is Not a Picky Eater: Here’s What I Did

ampalaya bitter gourd for baby

Since my eldest son is an extremely picky eater, I researched what to do with my youngest daughter before she had her first solid food. I knew I couldn’t find real answers on the internet, so I asked a lot of grandparents and doctors what to do.

Many of the grandparents I asked said I should start introducing solid foods as early as four months, while many doctors said that being a picky-eater is in the genes. While I agree with the latter, I knew there must be a trick to prevent or lessen the chances of my youngest being picky with food, just like her brother.

During my daughter’s 3rd-month routine check-up, her pediatrician shared something I never thought would work. She advised me to give mashed potato with ampalaya juice/extract as my baby’s first solid food in her 6th month. According to her, the baby won’t like the taste, and 3 to 5 teaspoonfuls per meal will be enough. The goal is not to satisfy her tummy but to trigger the “bitterness sensation” on her taste buds.

It made sense. With my son, I gave him carrot purée as his first solid food. Of course, carrots are slightly sweet, which may explain his ultimate love for sweets. Hey, this is just my hunch.

A chart online says that we can only give mashed potatoes to older babies. I ignored it and followed the doctor’s advice. After all, she’s a pediatrician!

So the big day came. My daughter was already six months and a half. I bought the best potatoes and ampalaya (bitter gourd) from the grocery. When I got home, I cleaned it and removed the seeds. I boiled it with Absolute Distilled Water for 20 minutes. After straining and cooling down the ampalaya/bitter gourd, I squeezed it and mixed the extract with the mashed potato.

My baby didn’t like the taste, but I managed to give her at least five teaspoonfuls of it. After all, babies at this age get all their nutrition from milk (whether it’s breastmilk or formula milk). I’m an exclusive breastfeeding mom, so I never worried about it.

I fed her this food for three straight days. After that, I already her avocados, bananas, carrots, apples, squash, etc. She loved all of them! At 11 months, she already preferred our homecooked dishes mixed with rice.

She’s now 18 months, and it’s safe to say that we’re still not having any problems feeding her.

I’m not claiming that this will work for everyone. But this worked for my baby, so I wanted to share this.

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