Children are known to be picky eaters.
Particularly babies, who tend to be hesitant about eating solid food when first presented to them.
This leads parents to look for inventive ways to get their infants to at least get food in their mouths, often to no avail, and frequently resulting in the food ending up on their faces and clothes.
Redditor SpicyAndCinnamon and his wife were facing just such a problem with their infant son, who seemed completely disinterested in solid food.
Until the original poster (OP) found a quick and easy solution.
A solution which his wife was furious he did not consult with her about first.
Worried that he stepped out of line, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for feeding our baby spices?”
The OP shared how he found a way for his baby son to happily eat solid food, which made his wife anything but happy.
“Since our baby hit six months, we have been trying to introduce him to food.”
“He pretty much turned his nose up at the vast majority.”
“Our pediatrician said that babies like to eat what their parents eat, so I started sharing food with him.”
“The thing is, the plain mashed sweet potatoes and carrots are gross.”
“So I put cinnamon in the sweet potato and some garlic powder and pepper in the carrots, just a little to make it palatable.”
“I looked up if these are safe for babies, and they are (although honey definitely isn’t, and that was one of my original ideas, so I’m glad I looked it up).”
“For the past week he has been eating with me, and it has been awesome, and he sleeps better too.”
“However, my wife was furious when she saw me put cinnamon in the sweet potatoes.”
“She said it wasn’t safe for the baby and I should never have done that without consulting her.”
“I explained that I did research, but she said that didn’t matter, because mother’s instincts are more important.”
“I asked what about my instincts, and she said I didn’t have any.”
“She said moms instinctually know what is good for their babies.”
“This whole thing has me bummed out because I was enjoying sharing dinner with my little guy.”
“Was I an a**hole for not asking permission to season my baby’s dinner?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for adding spices to their baby’s food.
Everyone agreed that the OP did nothing wrong, particularly as he had done his research to make sure it was safe, even if many could sympathize with his wife, as worrying about children is a natural fear.
“NTA, and if she’s going to claim mother’s instincts every time you guys disagree it’s going to be a long 18 years.”
“You did nothing dangerous, and she needs to chill out.”
“Signed, a mom.”- Human-Response-8166
“It would be nice if you two were on the same page, but you don’t need ‘permission’ to feed your child seasoned food.”
“Look up baby-led weaning.”
“We did it with our children, and they’re both fantastic little foodies now who really enjoy trying new food and flavors.”
“Reading about it may help your wife get more comfortable with the idea.”- magstar222
“As a racially mixed person who’s been surrounded by spices I can’t even pronounce half the time, NTA.”
“Also that dig about you not having instincts ’cause you’re a man is just insulting to your position as a father. Moms do not automatically know what’s good or better, and the ability to pick up subtle clues when a child is in danger takes time.”- your-yogurt
“NTA at all.”
“No one would be scolding a woman who didn’t check with her husband first about what she fed her baby, in fact, they’d call him controlling if he was upset.”- Chortney
“NTA and your wife is full of sh*t.”
“Maternal instinct is largely a myth, she cannot possibly instinctually know what foods are and are not safe for a baby.”
“You should probably have a conversation about what to feed your baby and your role as a father.”-Little-Martha31204
“You are supposed to add minimal salt to babies’ food under 1, but other spices are fine except for spicy ones (lol).”
“That said, if we were at a restaurant, I would share my food with my baby and not worry about it.”
“When she turned 1, she ate whatever we ate.” – worldwinds22
“Sounds like maybe mom is jealous you got baby to eat!”
“I think it’s awesome, we all have different tastes, bland is not for everyone!”
“NTA, but wife is.”- SnooRadishes8848
“NTA many cultures feed their babies spiced (and spicy!) foods.”
“Ask the billion people in India if their babies all died of excess seasoning.”
“look up the book Little Foodie.”
“It’s a cookbook for baby food that has seasoning in it.”
“Maybe your wife can read the intro and learn some things about baby food.”-ThisTooWillEnd
“NTA you sound adorable for caring what your baby’s food tastes like.”
“Good job doing your research.”- ninjatortoise
“I’m currently doing baby-led weaning for my 8-month-old too, and his favorite meal so far has been tacos, which are full of spices.”
“Our doctor has okayed this, we just monitor sodium intake, and he can’t have honey of course.”-GabbyIsBaking
“Depriving your children of food with flavor is how you get chicken nuggets and mac and cheese kids.”
“My 2-year-old has a higher tolerance for spicy food than I do!”
“You need to introduce them early.”- vampiricdagger1
“She’s shutting you out.”
“She wants to be the gatekeeper, and for some sexist reason, she thinks the mother gets more control than the father.”
“You did research and she ‘didn’t care’.”
“She’s not being rational, she just wants to make all the decisions.”
“YOU are the father, she should listen to you and what you’ve discovered.”
“You are half of this team.”
“Talk to her about getting on the same page, and making these discoveries together.”
“I salute you for introducing more complex food to the baby.”
“He’ll likely not be a picky eater.”
“As long as you research it, I don’t see why you shouldn’t introduce more interesting foods to your baby.”- wordsmythy
“You are raising a well-adjusted eater with hopefully a varied palate.”
“My sister did the same as you, and by the time her daughter was 3, she was asking for calamari and mussels.”
“Compared to my buddy’s kid who only eat pizza, chicken nuggets, fries/oven potatoes, and very little else.”
“Cooking 2 meals each night, 1 for the parents and another for picky children.”
“Your wife is laughable and insulting that you wouldn’t have your child’s best interests in mind and only she is the one who can have instincts.”- BeeYehWoo
“I gave my baby curried(not spicy) carrots at 6 months.”
“Perfectly safe AND recommended to introduce babies to spices.”- No_Calligrapher2640
“Mother instincts are not as knowledgeable as Google.”
“She needs to get over herself.”
“Both of you are capable parents.”
“Not just her.”- Right-Analysis6274
“Moms know better?”
“Lol no, they don’t.”
“My mom was abusive as hell, and that left me with stuff I’ve been dealing with for decades and still am dealing with until now.”
“Moms do not know better than anyone else.”
“People who put the time and effort and research like you might know a bit better.”
“Nta but your wife is.”- ta42789
“First off, ‘womens instincts’ are kind of BS the way she’s using it.”
“If it’s a ‘lets check on the baby I have a bad feeling’ kind of thing, then yes, sure, go check.”
“But food safety is a factual thing you can test.”
“It’s not just ‘I feel weird about it’.”
“Is she having a difficult time giving up breastfeeding?”
“Or otherwise has anxiety about foods?”
“Secondly, what the mother eats flavors their milk.”
“If your wife eats a lot of highly seasoned foods, unseasoned baby food probably tastes weird to your baby as it does to you, while the spices/garlic reminds the baby of mom and comfort and familiarity.”
“Third, and I know this isn’t a strong argument because people used to do all sorts of bad things and most babies survived, but I put garlic and cinnamon specifically in a lot of my kiddo’s baby food, and he loved it, and grew up fine and healthy.”- mitsuhachi
It’s a mother’s job to worry about anything that their child might put in their mouth.
However, it’s a father’s job to do that as well, and the OP made sure that what they were doing was safe.
Hopefully, after a deep breath and some reflection, the OP’s wife will realize he was genuinely only thinking of their child’s well-being.
And if this does improve their baby’s eating habits, hopefully, she will also see how his efforts paid off.