My babe is now 10 months. However, since he was around 8 months he has refused babyfood. He wants to eat only what I'm eating. And the spicier the better.
He eats yellow curries, morroccan stews, soy yogurt, vegan mac and cheese, garlic and basil marinara and pasta, hummus, etc...
My first question is: Should one slowly introduce foods to a baby to watch for immediate allergies or because he may become susceptible to allergies at a later date? For instance, should I avoid gluten now because he might have a reaction immediately or because it might make him sensitive later?
My second question is: Is there any reason why I can't feed him spices and flavorful food?
To your second question, No! There is no reason not to, and in fact it is during this time in which he develops his tastes for foods so by feeding him that sort of thing now, he'll want to eat that when he gets older.
My mother never fed me anything spicy or highly flavored and I've had to force myself to practice as an adult to get to the point where I can enjoy a lot of ethnic food.
Sounds like my son, except that he refused *all* food until 12 months and then moved straight to things like seafood chowder, spicy guacamole with tons of garlic, and, his favorite, broccoli! He eats Indian, Mexican, German, you name, it, and he's only 14 months now. I figure I'll be cooking for him for a good part of the next 17+ years so he should learn early to like what I make. It seems to be working.
I only did it this way because it is what worked with him and he refused baby food, however, with my second, I plan to go straight to giving him the same foods as myself. I did hold off on egg whites, milk, and nuts for a bit longer, and was careful to watch for reactions when I did introduce them, but given my family's lack of allergy history, I wasn't that nervous.