Should My Baby Eat Dinner With Me?

April Peveteaux
16

baby food
Photo by mamichan
My 1-year-old just started going to a new daycare where they make him lunch. My first reaction was, "Hooray, no more packing lunches!"

It gets even better, as I didn't realize how palate-expanding this new mode of operation would turn out to be.

When I picked up my baby yesterday, the woman who runs the daycare told me that he loves red beans. My husband and I were both dumbfounded when we realized we had never given him something so simple and nutritious as beans. Especially since we make and eat foods that have beans at least once a week.

A few days before she told me, she got him to eat cooked carrots in soup. We've tried cooked and raw carrots to no avail. Never thought about the soup option.

Of course, we feed my son and my daughter around 6 p.m. every night, so they're not eating what we're eating. I know we should encourage family dinners, but we have breakfast together and lunches on the weekends.

We tried eating dinner together when my daughter was a toddler, but she usually refuses to eat what we decided was a fantastic meal. (We still have one or two family dinners per week as an attempt at getting her to eat something other than pasta.) Frankly, nobody was happy at the dinner table when it consisted of my husband and I begging her to eat and never getting a chance to actually talk to each other or be conscious of what we were eating since we were so focused on her.

Now we feed the kids their favorites and sit around the table together, talking to them, but not eating with them. Then it's bath time, books, and bedtime, and the hubs and I enjoy a nice adult dinner and conversation. It's just so civilized to sit down for an entire meal instead of jumping up and down for more milk, or to try to eat with one hand while the other spoons dinner into the baby's mouth.

I'm loathe to give up that adult time, but I do wonder what else he might like if we ate dinner together every night? Maybe we could even win him over to dishes with onions before he starts spitting them out, like his older sister does, with such gusto.

Does your baby eat dinner with you?

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