Sunday, 27 January 2013

A is for Apple

Rose has eaten a whole alphabet of foods!

She is so adventurous! I've even been making her a dahl for some all important lentils with plenty of cumin in and she laps it up! They do say that babies taste while they're still in your tummy, and also that flavours get into your breastmilk, so I shouldn't be suprised that she's taking it all in her stride. She's been eating roughly the same things since we started, but seems to vary from day to day with which go down best. Sweet potato has climbed to the top spot of most reliable / sure to go down a treat.

One recent addition to the dinner table is quinoa. Which I have only just learnt to pronounce. "keen-waa". Or something like that. Its lovely and sort of similar to couscous but also perfect for swapping with rice in risotto-type dishes - which we cook a lot. Rose has been eating it just with some cooked garlic and onion, and bits of roast parsnip or squash, and a splash of lemon juice and olive oil, in. She loves it - of course. Its quite tricky to eat so I've mostly been passing her a spoon with it already piled on, although she is good at picking at all the leftover bits on her highchair-table at the end of the meal. Its perfect because if I make a big batch I can then add other veg to our portion, things like mushrooms or tomatoes and feta, things which are unsuitable for her, and we all eat together.

I've learn't loads in these few weeks, and I've really enjoyed being blown away by her development. A lot of things I assumed would be eaten everyday aren't, like toast which she probably has about once a week. The assumption that not much would actually be eaten early on was so wrong, she eats loadssss! Which is great, hopefully she'll be dropping a few milk feeds soon - although I have become rather attached to breastfeeding and might have a little cry when I'm no longer her special milk bar.

We haven't resorted to any processed foods or baby jars, although its really hard work preparing her food every day as well as all the other million mum jobs and I do totally understand that some people just wouldn't have the time to do baby led weaning. I think it helps if you like cooking; I still enjoy cooking an evening meal for me and Dan after shes gone to bed, so there's no getting me out of the kitchen. I like thinking of creative ways for us to eat the same ingredients to save time/wastage - mostly I just eat bits of what shes having for lunch but for tea I might make bread dough to make her breadsticks and us pizza, or she might have a bit of aubergine and I'll bung the rest in a stir-fry for us. Its fun. Mum skills.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

food glorious food!

And the weaning continues. She's been attempting solids for over a week now and we've managed not to skip any meals. WOW it's time consuming! I really like cooking, and cooking for Rose appeals to my mothering instinct on a whole new level! I've always loved cooking for Dan, fattening him up you might say, and have instantly become addicted to doing the same for Rose. FEEDER. But I was not prepared for the tediousness of the clean-up operation 3 times a day. It's boring enough cleaning bottles, but the highchair, area around highchair, plates, baby cutlery, and Rose herself are all in need of a hose-down after every meal. I'm going to turn into one of these mental mums who obsess about cleaning. And I don't even care about cleaning. Stop talking about cleaning!

Back to food. She's doing SO well. And she's had so many delicious meals! She's taken to every flavour I've thrown at her, even some hummous I made with far too much garlic in. Her favourites so far are cucumber, avocado, rice cakes, hummous (and a fake hummous I made with butter beans) and melon. But she really does have a good go with everything. We've even given her millet porridge (babies aren't supposed to have oat porridge for some reason, gluten maybe) a few mornings and given her the spoon to feed herself (CUTE/MESSY). I'm so proud of her.

Things I've learnt so far...although we don't want to "give up" and spoonfeed Rose purees, there's no harm in mushing up food on rice cakes/pita/dipped sticks of food, because she'll swallow much more of this mushed up stuff and at the same time be learning to self feed. So we've given her mushed up avocado, aubergine (this worked really well), carrots, yoghurt, hummous and a homemade tomato sauce. I even made breadsticks, which worked well for smearing in avocado. She loves gnawing on sticks of cucumber and fruit, and we left the skins on stuff like apples and melon because I read that it'd help her to grip the food, but we started to worry about her choking on the skin (she's managing to break them apart in her mouth) so think we'll skin them from now on. A lot of the food isn't being swallowed, but much more than I'd expected is. Hurrah! Her poo has changed (sorry!). Well, pictures tell the story best (none of poo, don't worry, but lots of food smeared all over a baby's face)...

I can't wait for the next stage when we can all eat the same things together and I can feed my little family up! xxx


Baby led weaning begins here!

Day one of baby led weaning. We decided to go down the baby led weaning route. I'm probably not the best source of information on what baby led weaning is, there are books and websites on the subject if you're interested. But it basically means that you skip the long puree stage and instead let your baby choose what and when to eat. The first few months focus on learning about tastes and how to eat, accepting that she might just play with food for a few weeks, rather than worrying about shovelling as much as you can into your baby. She'll be okay, her milk feeds will provide all she needs, so it's allowed to be a long, slow process. You're supposed to provide different foods that she can pick up and chew with her gums, a few options at every meal. I like that there's a huge emphasis on family meals together, and because she's not eating mush Rose will be having the same meals as us from really early on. I also love that food will be seen as something to learn about and share - Rose will know what carrots, broccolli etc is from day one rather than all food being a bright orange bowl of mush. So, Day one...

Breakfast of champions: banana, toast (thought I'd keep the options to a minimum for the first go!)

The first solid meal of Rose's life was SO MUCH FUN! She made me laugh the whole time. She is teething at the moment, so is desperate to chew on anything and everything, which meant that the food VERY quickly made it's way to her mouth. She was so suprised when some toast broke off in her mouth, but she seemed to really enjoy having a good suck...although she made some very funny bleugh faces when she felt crumbs left in her mouth! But it was the banana which was the biggest laugh. I already call her our little monkey, and she looked like an excellent little ape chasing a lump of banana round the highchair-surface...

I was so proud when she managed to first get it in her tiny fists and into her mouth. This face sums up the suprise at how it tasted/felt in her mouth...

For lunch Rose had a rice cake, which was another great success and excellent for sucking, some steamed carrots and some cheese. The cheese was HILARIOUS. In retrospect I maybe should have planned ahead and bought her some mild cheese especially. The carrots were a bit small for her to pick up and eat, so I'll have to make longer ones next time.

Here's her cheese face...

Teatime wasn't such a success, she's generally a bit cranky in the evenings, and showed little interest in her platter of broccoli and sweet potato.

Today, Day Two, we had fairly similar meals. Breakfast was lots of fruit; banana, apple and pear. She took it slowly, but had a go at them all, and again it was just really nice time spent together while I drank some coffee and ate the other half of each of her fruits. Lunch was another go at sweet potato and broccoli, with some toast because I knew she'd be good at holding that from watching her the previous day. She wasn't mad about sweet potato or broccoli, the sweet potato caused her problems holding and she kept squishing it into her hand and them throwing it away. And I don't think she liked the taste of broccoli so we'll have to keep trying that one! For tea I gave her avocado, cucumber and a rice cake. She was great with them all! Like her breakfast she took her time, but it was great watching all her effort picking stuff up and then getting it to her mouth. It's hard to put into words just how smeared in avocado she was by the end. And the mushy mess all tucked into her lap was pretty funny at the end.