We are currently working on shaping my 7 month old’s tastes. Well now, this actually has been going on since he was conceived, as research seems to suggest that fetuses can taste what Mom eats in the amniotic fluid (which caused my husband to request I consume spicy food while pregnant to create a child that likes spicy food!) and then after birth, taste it in her breast milk. But now, we are more actively working to shape his food preferences. This is something we mostly did with my two older children, but after reading Feeding Baby Green, I’m much more motivated to make sure that the “baby food” my son eats is flavorful and consistent with the foods our family enjoys. So there is no bland rice cereal in our house and no perfectly smooth purees. We are feeding him the foods we eat, spices and textures and all, as much as possible. If the consistency isn’t safe, we blend it with a little water and feed it to him.
Interestingly, he actually prefers the potent flavors. I made a curry squash soup the other day and before adding the curry and coconut milk, I gave him the somewhat bland puree. He did not like it. The next day, I was eating the soup with all the flavors and gave him a taste. He loved it! He fussed until the next bite was in his mouth. Today, he ate a curry lentil soup and loved it too.
And it doesn’t hurt that this makes my life easier. :)