Posts Tagged 'solids'

Grandparents are Allowed to do Anything

On our trip to Michigan back in August, I had a lot of parenting conversations with my mom.  After all, she has a lot of experience since she raised six of us!  At some point, my mom told me that she didn’t let me have any sweets until I was at least two years old, but that her mom (my Grandma) had given me ice cream behind her back!  We both agreed that that wasn’t ok.

Then, just a day later, my mom and I went out to the grocery store, and we stopped to have chocolate shakes as a treat together.  I went to the bathroom for a few minutes and my mom held Olivia for me.  When I came back, this is what I saw:

My mom pulling the chocolate shake away from Olivia

My mom pulling the chocolate shake away from Olivia

My mom said “She really wanted it, she grabbed it before I could do anything!”  Olivia had chocolate shake running down her chin…

Now, at this point, remember that she was only 6 months old, and hadn’t even started solids yet, let alone dairy, sugar or chocolate!!  A million things could have happened.  Fortunately everything was fine.  In fact, she didn’t even like the shake, probably since it was so cold – she spit it all out.  But she wanted the cup back – probably because of the straw.  Yes, Grandparents can get away with anything.  And I really couldn’t be mad since it was so funny.

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Orange Peels Taste Better than Oranges

For the past few weeks (has it already been a month…?) we’ve been letting Olivia share in almost all of our meals, giving her some of whatever we are eating, as long as there is very little salt or sugar.  We have given her tons of variety, but for the most part, she really didn’t eat much.  P1080975Not interestedUsually I would sit her in the high chair, and within a few minutes she would throw up her hands and lean back in the high chair with a bored look; “just what exactly do you think I am, anyways?  a TODDLER?  I eat milk, silly.”

The only thing she was interested in was her sippy-cup of water, or plates and spoons.  With any of these, she would occupy herself for hours.  But with food?  Well, she’d pick at it, but that was about it.

I swear to you, I really tried everything.  I tried home-made purees.  I tried some random finger foods, and I tried smearing purees on toast.  I tried cutting all the foods in nice easy-to-grab stick shapes.  I tried tons of different textures, colors and flavors.  Sometimes she would pick at them for a bit and maybe even put it in her mouth for a few seconds, but she never ate more than a crumb or two.  Most of the time she didn’t even get that far.  One day after refusing to even touch the food on her high chair tray, I let her back down on the floor, and within minutes she had scooted over to a giant ball of dust and popped that right into her mouth.  (!!!)

“I don’t get it!” I told her.  “You like dust more than hamburgers and noodles?! ”

I got the dust-ball out of her mouth, and she gave me a devious grin.  I’m telling you, this girl KNOWS that she is being difficult!

So then I went and got the food from her high chair, and put it on the floor in front of her.  She took one look, turned away, and scooted off into the next room.

I re-read Gill Rapely’s book on baby-led-weaning, and decided that maybe I was giving Olivia her meals at the wrong times, and that she might be too tired or hungry when I sat her down to eat.  I made a huge effort to sit us down to eat at that perfect sliver of time right after a nap and nursing, before she got too tired or hungry again.  It did help a little bit, but she still was not all that interested in anything.

green onion

Olivia eating a green onion (it’s on the tip of her finger)

Until one day when I made a beef and broccoli stir fry with green onions cut into little rings.  I put a little in front of her as I had been doing every day for weeks.  She eyeballed it and sat back in her high chair.  But then, after a few minutes of staring at the food, she suddenly perked up.  You could see that something had caught her eye.  The interest was mounting inside that little brain.  She leaned forward and extended one finger and slowly approached a green onion.

She chased that green onion all around the high chair, and it fit perfectly on her little finger.  Then she picked it up and put it in her mouth.  I figured she would just push it back out, but she didn’t.  In fact, she chewed on it with her little teeth and pushed it around with her tongue.  And then she picked up another, and another!  After she had eaten about five of the green onions, she looked at me and started grinning.  Through those clenched teeth I could see her mouth stuffed with a bunch of green onions.  It was such a hilarious sight!  I don’t think she ate more than a few tiny chunks off those onions, because most of it ended up “falling” back out onto the table.  It was obvious that she liked them, though, and that’s when it finally dawned on me that my “stick-shaped” foods were not what she wanted.  She was starting to master her pincer grasp, and she wasn’t at all interested in large chunks anymore.

So after that I started cutting things into tiny pieces for her, and suddenly her interested was piqued.  All of a sudden she started trying to pick up bits of everything, the more microscopic the better.  I also noticed that she prefers dark foods.  And yet, she very rarely actually swallowed anything.  So far my biggest successes have been green onions and spinach.  Odd choices, I know.  I really thought she would have liked apples, pears and bananas, but she doesn’t seem to like the textures of those because she has yet to actually get any of them into her mouth.  As soon as she picks up a chunk of banana, she starts waving her hand around as if she were being attacked by a snake.  And no matter how much I try to explain to her that her mouth would be a great way to get that banana off of her finger, she just doesn’t listen!  Imagine that.

Now that it is cold season and we have had three colds one directly after the other, I decided Olivia needed some more vitamin C.  I started peeling an orange and I was going to let her try to pick up the individual juice sacs.  But Olivia was so excited by the sight of me peeling the orange that she was practically leaping out of her high chair to get at it!  To keep her happy I gave her a large chunk of orange peel to chew on while I finished.  I figured she would taste it and immediately drop it since it’s quite bitter.  But lo and behold, she *liked* it!  She kept chewing on it and chewing on it, sucking off little bits here and there for more than fifteen minutes!  And although I put some actual pieces of orange on her tray, she was not a bit interested in those.

Imagine living in a world where babies were all the same….?  Where they all followed the state-recommended schedule of foods?  Ahhh but how boring would that be.

The Solids Saga – Part 3 – Cantaloupe

Yesterday I took Olivia to the mall with me, since I was desperately in need of clothes which actually fit.  Those last couple of pregnancy pounds just aren’t making their departure just yet.

We spent quite a long time, and I found tons of clothes, which is good for me since I really don’t like shopping for clothes, and usually don’t find anything I like.  So to celebrate, and to make sure my new clothes don’t get baggy, I decided to take Olivia to the ice-cream Cafè.

Normally I would’ve called up my best ice-cream friend, Lisa, but she’s in Berlin, so Olivia was the only excuse I had.  (Lisa, I miss you!!  When are you coming back?!)

We had the “Cantaloupe Cup”:

The cantaloupe cup - ice cream

The Cantaloupe Cup (minus one piece of cantaloupe, which Olivia has in her hand)

Olivia got to eat the cantaloupes, and I had the cup.

Cantaloupe really seemed to go over well – she chewed and chewed and chewed on it!  I don’t think she actually ate any, but that’s fine.  The good news is, she only gagged herself once, and even then it wasn’t very bad!  but I was keeping a very close eye on her, this being a restaurant and all.

I think the skin being on the cantaloupe helped a lot, and also I took bites out of it to give her a better shape to grip.

She liked it so much that I bought her one to take home!

Olivia with a Cantaloupe in the Stroller

I don’t want to start baby food…

Banana

Photo courtesy of stock.xchng

I know it should be a fun event…. filled with smiles and photographs.  Baby’s first “real food”.  But I’ll be honest, I really don’t want to start.  Olivia is almost six months old, and is making grabs at our plates and spoons… I know it’s time.  I can’t avoid it any longer.  but I’m just not there yet; I love breastfeeding too much.

Breastfeeding is so convenient.  If the baby is hungry you just have to find the nearest bench and sit down.  No preparation time, no warming up… you don’t have to bring anything with you, and there are no dishes to clean.  Breastfeeding really is a gift from God to us busy, overworked mothers.

I realize that when you first start with food, it is only a little bit, and really just once a day.  The rest of the time I still get to breastfeed.  But everything starts small… it’s only a matter of time until I will be fighting with a toddler who only wants to eat bananas with ketchup.  I’m not ready for that!  I’m really not!

We are going to be traveling a lot in the next few months, and I’m also really not excited about dragging baby food on the airplane… I’ve got to admit, it makes breastfeeding pretty darn attractive!

God, why can’t you just slow down the clock a little bit?  I’m not ready for this!  She was just born yesterday!  What is happening to my tiny pink bundle of joy?!  Am I going to wake up tomorrow only to find that she’s turned eighteen?  Oh, the agony.

Olivia at 5 days old

Olivia at 5 days old

Olivia chewing on a toy

Olivia at 5 1/2 months – she is HUNGRY!


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