During Dieter’s 4 month check-up the pediatrician asked us what our plans were for introducing Dieter to solid food. Pam and I both approach parenthood with substantial humility, so we mentioned we had heard 6 months was a good time but asked for his opinion. He told us to follow Dieter’s cues. “Have you ever seen a dog at the dinner table” he said, “just eyeing the food longingly? He will let you know when he wants to try the stuff you are eating. You’ll know when it’s time.” He also told us there was more folk-lore and tradition behind the wait-till-6 months recommendation than science. So we left the appointment prepared to observe Dieter at meal times. I will admit, I was a bit skeptical that I would really know when it was time to give Dieter solid food (1).
Last weekend we took a stroll to Pismo Beach. Dieter got his milk lunch on the boardwalk, looking out at the Pacific Ocean. After he ate, we began our walk home. Pam and I decided to stop at Fay’s Fusion for a late lunch. We ordered, got our food, and began to eat (I was holding Dieter).
Soon after I began eating I noticed Pam was laughing. And Fay was laughing as she worked the counter nearby. They were seeing this:
Dieter was watching my food like a hawk. He was excited, riveted, and certain he needed some of my crispy lemon chicken.
Just look at that expression:
And the next day Dieter got to try some bland rice cereal. It was time. He managed to sneak solid food in just before he hit 5 months.
In the past week Dieter has sampled avocado and carrot, with peas coming up soon. It’s a big, scrumptious world out there–I look forward to introducing him to it.
(1) I do not believe as a parent I am naturally all-knowing about taking care of my kid. As a scientist I do my best to make good decisions, and I am blessed to have a fellow scientist (Pam) to collaborate with on this journey. We read books and articles, we ask questions of experts and family/friends, and we try to make good decisions. When someone tells me I’ll just know something, I am wary. . .