The Things We Say We Will Not Do: On Feeding Sweet Potatoes to Milo

The Things We Swear We Will Not Do: On Feeding Milo Sweet Potatoes

This week, we began a new adventure – vegetables for a five-month-old. He did not love cereal, and he clearly has no issues with digestion (the thighs on this kid). So we thought we’d just go all in.

For the record, Milo is not a fan.

But I am determined that this kid will give foods a hearty try because I want him to eat healthily and not pick up some of the bad habits (sugar addition anyone) that his dad and I have.  So we persevere.

The parenting experts I’ve most connected with over the past few months are Magda Gerber and her protege Janet Lansbury. They’re teaching about respecting babies as full people has been very helpful to me, especially since at first I was telling Milo things like “people wear pants” as if he wasn’t a person. (Those biases and beliefs we don’t know we hold slip out in language often.)  So I’ve found their advice very helpful and resonant with who I am and how I want to care for our son.

So when they said that we didn’t need to do airplane sounds or play games to get Milo to eat – that we needed to respect his wishes about food – I was totally on board. I had visions of calmly spooning food into Milo’s mouth or even letting him pick up only what he wanted with this chubby fingers. It was beautiful.

But this boy doesn’t want to eat anything but formula, and I will not be feeding him from a bottle when he is four.  Thus, out came the funny faces and the weird noises (he’s particularly fond of a noise I make that reminds me of how a cartoon would portray a giant’s footsteps), and lo and behold, that baby eats sweet potatoes. (He also dribbles a good portion down his chin.)

If parenting is teaching me one thing, it’s this – the things I swear I will never do or always do are forced to the wayside. Idealism bows to larger goals – like peace of mind and health and the calmness of spirit both Milo and I need to make it through the day.  

For an idealist and quasi-perfectionist about my dreams, this change is healthy. Healing even. More and more, I’m learning to revel in the mess. To leave the edges wild. To demand less of each moment so that I can embrace the more that is always there.

Tomorrow, we are tackling some new pureed vegetable. (Recommendations welcome in the comments below.) I look forward to it.

Giant footfalls and baby steps, friends. It’s all glorious and wild.


We are so looking forward to our Holiday Craft Fair on December 1. Dad has made some gorgeous, live-edge coffee tables, and friends of ours are planning to bring home-brewed meade for all of us to sample. They’ll be hot cider and a fire in the woodstove. Plus, lots of shopping to do.  Come on by – 9am-4pm in the barn. 

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4 thoughts on “The Things We Swear We Will Not Do: On Feeding Milo Sweet Potatoes

  1. Also, “the things I never thought I’d say to my kid.” 🙂 Tim and I wrote a few good ones down. Ha! If parenting has taught me nothing else, it’s that I will make mistakes and that I have less control than I thought I would. We do (and you are doing) the best we can with what we know…..do what you need to do for your sanity and Milo’s enjoyment! Airplane noises are fun, and I promise they’re not forever! 😁 When I felt desperate, I’d remind myself that (fill in the blank) would not still be happening when that child was in college. 😂😂. I love hearing about your thoughts on parenting. I love hearing how you wrestle with your desires and how open you are. Thank you!

  2. Both my boys were picky eaters, still are. What complicated matters is that my eldest was born with massive food allergies. So, I had to prepare everything for him from scratch. There were a couple of organic Gerber baby food I was able to get that he liked, such as pureed bananas, pear, applesauce. He definitely liked their sweet potatoes, and I would make baby oatmeal. They both did not like green beans, or peas. But some babies do, so it will be a matter of trial and error. You can try pureed carrots, too. Perhaps, butternut squash and carrot pureed soup? I still make that sometimes. Hope this helps somewhat. LOL. 🙂

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