Spicing Things Up
LeaAnn wonders how you have dealt with introducing spice to your kid's diet. She queries:
My husband and I are long-time lovers (times infinity) of hot, spicy foods; a lot of my home cooking runs in the Indian or Thai vein. I was fortunate enough to have avoided heartburn during my pregnancy, i.e., I continued to enjoy the spicy stuff during that time. So my daughter got frequent doses of it in utero. And once she was here, I was again fortunate: As a nurser, she's seemingly had no adverse reaction to what I've been "inputting," so I've never really had to alter my diet.
I've gotten conflicting advice about when to introduce her directly to the spicy stuff. All the books - yes, those darn books again - say bland is best for some time. On the other hand, I have Thai relatives (by marriage) who, during their visit here last fall, when my daughter wasn't quite a year old, couldn't believe that I was dumbing the food down for her. They were insistent that I let her eat my spicy portions, right now, because that's how their own families did it. (I have to admit that when I've been to Thailand, pre-baby, I never paid any attention to what the little ones were eating, but I've no reason to disbelieve my relatives ) Anyway, for better or worse I pretty much chickened out & decided to keep on w/ the bland stuff. Flash-forward: Now my daughter is 14 months old and, quite appropriately, wants everything I'm eating, and (unlike previously) won't take "no" or a distraction for an answer. I finally gave her some very mildly chile-flavored stuff the other night, w/ predictable results: After a second or two, it burned her little tongue or her little throat, she became, er, fiercely dismayed (can't quite describe her reaction); I had the milk handy, which helped. Next day, same food (leftovers), same demand, same capitulation, same reaction.
I was just wondering if at this point there is any way to gently ease her down the cayenne-lined path, or if I should just stop making spicy meals at home & hide the hot sauce, or what have you. Wondering also how other heat lovers introduced their kids to spicy food. And please don't call CPS on me for this!