So we were here about a week ago:
We’re here now:
After a few false starts, Michael has figured out that food is meant to be eaten and enjoyed, rather than gagged on / spat out. Yay! For now, we only feed him soft chunks of food or dry mush with our fingers, about half an hour before his usual milk feeding. Texture and timing have proven to be key. No watery purees, no spoons. He’s done so well that we’ve replaced two of his milk feedings with two solid meals a day.
I gave up on Baby Led Weaning pretty quickly, because it annoys my Type A personality too much. It’s like watching a starving panda attempt to feed itself bamboo shoots with chopsticks. Cute, but it makes me twitch. Michael’s pincer grip hasn’t developed yet, so he can only desperately paw at big sticks of food which invariably get slippery with drool and food juices after a while. Nothing goes where it should, and everybody gets frustrated. Not to mention, I can’t deal with the waste. I mean, I would have to cook a ten-yolk omelette in the shape of a stick (??) in order for him to ingest the equivalent of his usual single-yolk one.
Speaking of baby omelettes…
It’s the best thing.
For one thing, it looks so darn cute. I did this in a mini pan, classic french style, with the egg delicately scrambled and folded upon itself a la Julia Child. No, that would have been ridiculous. But it’s cute anyway, and it turns out that making mini meals for Michael gives me unexpected pleasure, like I’m playing with dolls and making doll-sized food.
Also, Michael will eat anything if it’s hidden in an omelette (observe: broccoli). And it’s a great binding medium for minced protein like chicken and beef. The other day, I made tiny fritter things by mixing the yolk with some leftover corn chowder which we had for dinner. Like so:
Sweetcorn fritters for the win!
They were little coins of delicious cuteness, and notice how I stacked them all pretty like. I had to resist putting a sprig of parsley on top. I am sorely tempted to start a series called “What My Baby Ate Today” wherein I post photos of ridiculously over-styled baby food on cute little plates, which would be so adorable and also so irritating.
In actual fact, this is What My Baby Ate Today:
A mess, on an ugly plate. It’s baby food after all! But I do need to get prettier plates.
By the way, another easy protein is tofu – it is the perfect consistency and super fast to prepare, and Michael loves it.
I try to flavour his food like I would flavour mine, but without the salt. So I steam his tofu with minced garlic and pepper. His pumpkin usually gets some cumin or sage thrown in. His sweet potato sometimes gets a bit of coconut oil. His pears always have a bit of cinnamon dusted over.
So far, weaning has been incredibly fun and gratifying. Michael seems to be developing into a good eater, which I really appreciate, and I hope it continues. One thing I did get from Baby Led Weaning is the importance of fostering a relaxed atmosphere during meal times. I don’t cajole (he doesn’t need it anyway), and I don’t praise him for eating. I try to be matter of fact about the proceedings. I just smile at him and perform exaggerated chewing demonstrations. So far so good, and I am just really pleased that he is enjoying food as much as the rest of us!