I'm of the mindset that, if I'm not eating it and it's not beneficial in some way to Emma, why would I go buy it for her? I don't drink juice so Emma doesn't get juice. I don't eat rice cereal so why would I buy it for my daughter? I eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and proteins that are great for Emma to eat so why wouldn't I just give her what I'm eating (within reason, of course)?
Yes, I gave my baby a whole carrot! She didn't actually eat the whole carrot, she chewed on it (I think it felt good on her inflamed gums), sucked on it, and tossed it to one of the dogs. Yes, I gave Emma a kale leaf. She crunched on it for a while, sucked it till it was nice and wilty and handed it over to Harley (the dog) to polish off. This morning, I had blueberries with my poached eggs and Emma got to eat a couple. She sunk her teeth into one while I held it, breaking the skin, then slowly chewed the inside goodness out while I held it for her. The blueberries, she did not share with the dogs!
So Emmaline eats REAL FOOD. Is there a problem with that? I feel as though her varied, healthy diet will help her learn to try and love new foods later in life and who could ask for more from their child? Emma already enjoys bananas, avocados, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, peas, oatmeal and now carrots, kale, and blueberries. That's more than some parents can say about their toddlers so I'm feeling pretty good about it!
Emma still breastfeeds like crazy so I know her nutritional needs are being met, that's not why I want to feed her a variety to foods. I want her to experience and enjoy food like Ryan and I do! We love to eat and try new foods and I would love for her to go for some sushi in a few months, strawberries sooner than that, and some green beans would be great next week! Why not start her fun with food now?
So, the next person who tells me she needs to eat rice cereal better watch out. I'm carrying a whole carrot in my diaper bag and I'm not afraid to use it!