My daughter’s first food is basil. That’s right. Basil. And she’s four months old.
You might be asking, “Why?” but what you should really be asking is, “How?” You see, in the morning, while I’m making breakfast, I set Phoebe on the counter in her little chair so that she can watch me at work, mixing biscuit dough or cracking open eggs. This particular morning I was making bacon at the stove, and I turn around to see this:
This would be my four month old daughter chowing down on basil leaves. As you can see, the basil plant is in the window right behind her.
Phoebe is exploring her hands these days. She loves to hold and grab anything within reach. When she’s on the counter, I often place a little yellow tin beside her with items to explore. But, of course, she found something more interesting. I guess I should’ve seen this coming.
She. Was. In. Love. With the basil plant. She kept reaching back and plucking new sprigs off it. She stuffed them into her mouth and chowed down, the flavorful experience entirely new and exhilarating.
I know. I know. Basil is not a very typical “first food.” In fact, you might not even count it as a food, since it is technically an “herb.” But, basil’s made for eating, and Phoebe was definitely tasting, chewing and chowing down on it. I don’t think any made it into her tummy, but I don’t really care about that. Food is about more than eating. For Phoebe to be able to explore a food’s aroma, flavor and texture so completely and tangibly, I say that’s a terrific first food experience!
And the greatest thing about this initiation is that it was entirely baby led. All I did was set her on the counter. She’s the one that stretched backwards to get at the aromatic greens in the window. Can you get any more baby led?
What would I have given her as a first food otherwise? When would I have introduced a first food? Meh. I didn’t have a plan. I figured 6 months sounded like a good time to start, but just because that’s when other people talk about starting. I always figured I’d wait until she was interested in what I was eating, then just give her some of what she reached for. But, if I had to be intentional, I suppose I might have given her bacon. Really good bacon. Because, as anyone will readily admit: bacon is delicious!