Today was Kaia’s second day having mustard greens. I blanched the mustard greens I got from Brooklyn Chinatown with a little oil, and I separated the leaves from the stems, as the leaves can be a choking hazard unless finely minced for babies. I gave her three stalks yesterday afternoon, and she happily grabbed and gnawed on them, sucking their juices out. I was very pleased with her first exposure. Then today, the nanny reported back to me that she gnawed and chewed away at another set of three stalks to the point there was barely any vegetable left. The membranes were all broken down with little left.
I hope my baby grows up to love all green vegetables, but to especially embrace Asian greens. They are her mommy’s favorites, and I hope she knows just how special and delicious they are. Mustard greens are particularly good because it’s her first exposure to something that is slightly bitter. “Bitter” is a good flavor for babies to develop a taste of early on, so I hope this is a good sign. Who knows – I may introduce bitter melon to her next!