Final Notes about Spinach and Potatoes

Hey everyone!

This is my final blog! I can’t believe how fast this summer has gone by. It seems as if it was just yesterday that I was being trained on how to conduct this study! Over the course of the summer I have learned so much about how the research process works and about infants’ eating behavior and temperament. Furthermore, working with the moms and babies has been a truly enjoyable and engaging experience.

Before I say good bye for the summer, here is a brief summary about how my final day twos went! The first mother shared some very intriguing observations with me from the eight day home exposure period. She told me that the amount that her infant ate really varied by day. She noticed that on days the baby was distracted, such as when relatives visited, she ate way more of the spinach and potatoes! I wondered why this was. Maybe having a lot of people around made the baby in a more cheerful mood, and thus more willing to accept the food? That is just my guess though! Even though the mother also said the infant did not seem to enjoy the food, she also ate more than she did on day 1. But this does not necessarily mean that the infant enjoyed the food more; she could also have been hungrier (even though we do the study at the same time of day both days) or in a more willing mood. She was strongly affected by the temperament procedures, which either could be due to the fact that she has high intensity of reaction or something else such as a cold or still being hungry was bothering her. Whatever it was, she reacted to the tasks differently than the rest of the infants, which will be interesting to look at later.

The last infant to come in was the youngest one, which I had talked about last week. Even though she was probably the tiniest infant I have had come into the lab she ate over a jar of food! Also, I found it interesting how her three rejections of the food were much more clearer this time. I wonder if this is a function of learning and experience? She was a very easygoing and happy baby. She remained quite content throughout the temperament tasks and became interested more in playing with her high chair straps during one of them! It was a nice way to end the summer. I have enjoyed sharing my experiences with all of you! I wish you all luck with your research as it comes to a close!