I would like to preface this post by saying that when the incident I am about to write about occurred, I had NO intention of writing about it. However, in the few days since it occurred, in talking with other people, it occurred to me that this is anything but an isolated incident, so I think it's worth mentioning!
Last week a well-meaning acquaintance fed Canadoca some cake when she was being held by another friend. She is not quite 6 months old now, and hadn't previously been given anything other than breastmilk. Put it this way - according to the books I'm reading (and my pediatrician) there are a few foods recommended for babies this age, and cake is not one of them. Not to mention that I am a bit anal about these things (food) despite being a pretty relaxed mom about other things, like, you know, traveling. For example, the night before, my mom and I were analyzing what would be the best foods to first introduce to Canadoca based on what her blood type is. Silly us, cake is the obvious choice.
Suffice it to say I didn't anticipate her first food being CAKE, and I had kind of looked forward to being around when she first tried solids, to see her reaction, you know... I figure I've earned that you know with all the late night feedings, giving birth, gear schlepping and gazillion loads of laundry I've done. These first are the fun parts, the mommy rewards if you will. But no. I also have severe (anaphylactic) allergies to nuts and shellfish, so I will be very careful when introducing certain foods to Canadoca because of the family history, baking is something I have to be extremely careful with. Anyway, the person did not mean to cause her any harm of course, as she did not see any issue with giving a five month old cake. Apparently it was par for the course for her. Got it.
I thought I was the only one who could possibly have such a bizarre incident occur, until I read Eric & Emily's post on another well-meaning South American trying to give their daughter cake, saying it couldn't hurt. Then a friend told me about how every time she goes for coffee, the barristas stuff her 14 month old full of chocolate when she turns her back to pay. You often see babies with bottles of chocolate milk, or perhaps it's milk and coffee, as in the story in Emily's post.
I get that nutrition is about personal choices and opinions and that South Americans have a different view on it than North Americans in many cases (do you really need fries, rice and pasta with your beans and meat? Not to mention no vegetables besides the beans...sugar in EVERYTHING) but I am really not okay with people feeding things to my kid without asking me first, especially when it could be putting her at risk. I also get that this is something we will have to contend with back home with people wanting to give her treats, but I didn't expect this to start before she'd even started eating. For now, cake will be officially listed as her first solid food in the baby book, no long term effects, and heck she even seemed to enjoy it. But I'll be more careful next time...