Greek Yoghurt

Posted by Anthony on Thursday Feb 19, 2009 Under Freya, New Food, Weaning

greekyoghurtWe had heard of the idea of Greek Yoghurt somewhere, but it seemed to us to be too close to mush.  Freya likes lumps, but we must constantly show that we are unafraid of mess.  As such, we added banana one day and later pineapple and papaya to this plain white substance, then prepared to see what happens.

What happens, it appears, is that it took two spoons to keep up with her.  I would not recognise a papaya to see one, but Freya loved it.  She took some chunks that we had thought too big from the spoon, grabbing spoons as fast as we could load them.  In the end, she was taking fruit from the bowl.  Banana on the first day of the trial, papaya and pineapple in the following days.

It made a mess, as expected, but deft intervention with a warm damp flannel and a trip straight to the bath helped.  We only knew that there was a mouth inside the white mess because it kept opening to accept more food…

All in all, a resounding success.  A messy success, but all of the best ones are…

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Trying new recipes

Posted by Linda on Tuesday Jan 20, 2009 Under About, Cutlery, Freya, New Food, Weaning

As money is tight I’ve been trying new recipes instead of relying on old favourites that may cost more, but one I had wanted to try for a while was risotto. It’s fairly labour intensive or rather it is kitchen intensive so it had to wait for a time when Tony was home and could stop Freya wrecking the place. It turned out really well. We had to use the loaded spoon technique, but she could pick out the chicken bits herself and I cooked some veg to go with it. It wasn’t actually any cheaper to make than some of the other things we have but it was so nice that we may have it again.

On the cooking front I have also been making soups. I haven’t tried the bread soaked in soup for weaning yet and there’s no way Freya is steady enough for loaded spoons of it so she had the chunks of meat and veg with a rice cake which went down very well. It was Thai chicken noodle soup so I dread to think how much salt ended up in it, but I didn’t add any extra salt (even though the recipe said to) and since she didn’t drink the soup itself I think it was ok. Besides, when you look at it over the course of the week, or even the day, I think it all evens out.

We are having a little trouble with our carpets. I have been sitting Freya on the floor for lunch as she has been pretty good at not making much mess, but unfortunately all those little bits of mess have added up and now our carpet is in a terrible state. Blame the lazy woman who can only wash up once a day and so the Bumbo is never clean for the lunch times. The worst culprit by far has been plum. It’s not helped by the fact that Freya often drops it and then skilfully sits in it. Really, her bum shifting accuracy scares me sometimes.

On the teething front we have two bottom front teeth and definitely something going on at the top. At the weekend we were woken up by screaming at 3am on both Friday and Saturday nights and it took much rocking, feeding and finally firmness to get her to go back to sleep. I know we are really lucky in that Freya has always slept through from an early age and so I never feel too bad about it. I know there are many unlucky parents out there with very wakeful babies.

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Bite the meatball…

Posted by Anthony on Saturday Dec 6, 2008 Under Eating Out, Freya, New Food, Weaning

We took Freya to Ikea for dinner and, knowing how much of our food we normally have to give her, gave her a plate of her own.  Five meatballs and two big boiled potatoes sat staring up at her next to her own dollop of lingonberry sauce.

The first thing she did was to take a large handful of sauce and eat it.  Even I would be hesitant to eat that sauce on its own, but that is what she did.  As expected, it was a little much for her and she did not like it.  She tried a meatball, but could not find the pruchase to open it.  I cut one open, she tried to swallow it whole.  She chewed half-balls quite well, but ended up spitting them out quite soon.

By now, the floor was looking like a meatball battleground; chip-spears (stolen from our plates) lay discarded by the gravely-wounded meatballs, who lay dying in little pools of lingonberry blood.  Some were barely wounded, others were torn asunder.  One or two had almost made it away from the carnage, only to lie inert in the path beside which this awful tragedy had taken place.

Freya herself looked like she had been in an accident of some kind; her face, hands and sleeves were red with sauce and red fingerprints decorated every pale surface within range.

She was brought home, bathed and put to bed eventually.

This morning, we discovered evidence of the event that we had been awaiting so eagerly.  This morning, we saw the first tooth to break free of its gummy captivity.  This morning, we brushed the sharp implement of destruction and nipple-mutilation.  And it is sharp.  I was not sure what I expected, but it hurt to run my finger along it, like a knife or prepared flint.  This thing, this incisor, could easily break skin and excise flesh.

My daughter is now armed, a warrior in the fight against the edible invaders…  She will find them in the dining room, she will eat them in the bedroom and she will nibble them in her buggy.  Never have so many foodstuffs had so much to fear from one small child…

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So here it is!

Posted by Linda on Friday Nov 28, 2008 Under About, Cutlery, Freya, New Food, Weaning

Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce The Pincer Grip!

I couldn’t be more proud as Freya picked up peas with her finger and thumb and popped them in last night as part of the vegetable curry I made. Sadly, she has decided that she wants to use this technique to eat rice instead of the spoon. Dinner time seems much longer than normal…

She also had a chocolate chip fairy cake and a tiny bit of chocolate chip cookie. It doesn’t hurt to let them enjoy the same things as you once in a while. It would hardly be fair for us to sit there pigging out on naughties and not let her have a little taste. To be honest she wasn’t that impressed. She preferred her melon slice even if it was covered in curry sauce.

Lunch time saw the usual pita bread with cheese and ham and one with cheese, cumin and carrot. I tend to cut them into strips and give her the ones which look like they will stay together better. She was a very hungry little girl today and nommed on four big strips, demolishing two completely and having a good go at the other two. Of course this meant that mummy only had less than one and a half pita breads for lunch and has had to eat more cakes to make up for it…

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Daddy! Yeah!

Posted by Linda on Saturday Nov 15, 2008 Under About, Freya, New Food, Weaning

I hoped to get some seasonal fruit for us all to eat, as in these times of soaring food prices, I suspected that they may be cheaper. When I looked at what was in season there seemed an awful lot of vegetables and not a lot of fruit. There are apples obviously but I’m still not sure about giving Freya apples yet. Plums and blackberries appeared to be in season but these are two fruits I haven’t really tried except in jams or sauces so thanks to Freya I now have. Freya loves them both. Really the blackberries were for Tony as I thought Freya would have trouble with them, but she actually loves them. The mess, well, you can imagine! Bananas are still going down well although I did buy the lunch box sized ones. They looked much riper and nicer.

We tried cucumber which didn’t go down very well and we also tried one of Aitch’s recipes from the babyledweaning website of pita bread with melted cheese and carrot. It’s a good way to get babies to eat vegetables apparently and Freya really thought they were yummy.

Of course the most exciting news of the week has nothing to do with baby led weaning. Freya said ‘Daddy! Yeah!’ on Monday. It was in response to Tony saying ‘Who’s a silly sausage?’ so it’s even more amusing. She hasn’t said it quite so clearly since, preferring the classic ‘dadadada’. She is also pushing herself to her feet while in the bath. When she managed it she was so happy. It was great! She is also moving around the floor very fast now. It’s not a crawl as such, but it’s very effective.

One problem that we have noticed with baby led weaning (if you can call it a problem) is that whatever we eat and whatever we drink Freya wants some too. That’s fine with most things but it gets a little surreal when you’re trying to drink a nice cup of tea and this tiny hand appears up from your lap and pulls your mug down to her lips. She really is too adorable, but even we stop her sometimes!

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New achievements

Posted by Linda on Wednesday Nov 5, 2008 Under About, Cutlery, Drinks, Freya, New Food, Weaning

There have been some changes in the weaning experience lately. The first one has been the poo as was mentioned. It may be a strange thing to focus on, but the poo really shows how much Freya has come on. Now everything is really digested. This is real poo. Before Freya was swallowing things almost as an accidental side affect of playing with food, but now she is chewing and eating and digesting and all this can be seen in the consistency and texture of her poo.

But it got me thinking. If a baby is fed mush, how do people know when their babies have reached this stage. I assume that mush fed baby’s poo is just, well, mush and just smells bad. Considering research has proved that babies younger than six months can’t actually process much of the stuff that they are fed it seems pointless to me to make it so you have to deal with smelly poos before you really must!

The other thing that it made me think, is just how fast Freya is growing up. She is seven and a half months already, but I still remember this little pink thing who didn’t even fit into the cloth nappies we bought for her.

The other big exciting change that I am so proud of is that Freya has discovered, that if she has something too small to hold on to, she can put the whole piece in her mouth and chew it. Wooh! It’s exciting, I promise it is. It’s not pincer grip excitement, but it has really changed Freya’s eating habits. She can now, if she wants, get at the bit of food in her hand, ie. the handle of the stick of food. She positions the food near her mouth, opens her fist and pushes it into her mouth. Sometimes she leaves her fingers in her mouth to stop it falling out. It now means that I can give Freya smaller chewable pieces rather than leave everything as massive chunks or sticks. We’re not at a stage where she can pick peas up yet, but that will be the next big thing.

She is also having water with the evening meal every time now. She loves it. Unfortunately she will now dive for anything remotely cup shaped and try to drink from it, regardless of contents. We bought a Diody cup which is supposed to make sipping from a cup easier. She tries to hold the handles, but hasn’t quite grasped the fact that, if she jerks the cup around, water goes everywhere.

Food that has gone down well recently includes a cheesey pasta bake with courgettes, sausage and sweetcorn. As it was a bake it was much easier for Freya to pick the pasta up and she ate more than I have seen her eat in a long time. It was during this meal that she started to open up her hand and leave the food in her mouth to chew. She does love courgettes. The pasta was served up cold as lunch the next day and was eaten with equal relish.

Another stir fry also went down well at first. I used tinned baby sweetcorn which were soft so Freya could bite pieces off and chew them. She really enjoyed it and had finished one and started on the yellow pepper when she suddenly burst into tears. We never did work out what was wrong. We took her upstairs and checked her nappy, gave her some water, gave her hugs, but couldn’t see the source of the problem. Eventually, after she calmed down, we put her back in the Bumbo and she carried on eating perfectly fine. Ah, the mysteries of babies…

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Three meals a day!

Posted by Linda on Friday Oct 24, 2008 Under About, Cutlery, Drinks, Eating Out, Freya, New Food, Weaning

Suddenly we think Freya has got it. No longer is this about play. Freya now eats and eats and takes a good long time over it too.

Tony cooked for the first time that we have been weaning Freya on Sunday and we had sausage pasta. We have given up just now with the pasta so Freya gets a slice of toast instead with the sauce, but this was the first time she didn’t seem to want to get out of her Bumbo. She carried on exploring and eating long past us finishing our dinners. It was especially amusing to see her examining the toast towards the end. It looked as if she was considering the quality and vintage – turning it over and over, having a little nibble, feeling it. It was great fun to watch.

I have been a little more adventurous with what I take out with me now. On Wednesday I took melon, chicken and rice cake. I think bringing breakfast into the equation has led to a decline in lunch so she just has a nibble now.

Breakfasts… Well, she has always enjoyed toast and bagels so that stays on the menu but we do get a bit fed up of the crumbs and sharing our breakfast so I bought some fruit and custard pots from Heinz I think they were. I do like the idea of her eating more fruit and since she finds it easier to spoon feed herself rather than pick up slimy fruit I thought we could give it a go even though it may count as goop. They are just fruit and milk, nothing extra, no added sugar or anything. We tried a little for breakfast Wednesday morning and she seemed to like it although we decanted half a pot and she had maybe half of that. However, that was the morning come the evening…

Tuesday evening was very unusual. I was planning cottage pie but in the end did jacket potato with a mince topping. Freya had scooped out potato mixed with the mince and baked bean mix. Since we hadn’t had too much luck with mince so far I didn’t expect her to eat much. We loaded the spoon and wondered what would happen and whether I would be going back to the toaster for our reliable back up. No need. She loved it. Spoon after spoon went in. She still hasn’t grasped the idea of filling the spoon herself but after it’s loaded and handed to her it goes straight in. She ate more that night than I had ever seen her eat.

Wednesday the same thing happened (even though i can’t remember what it was we had). This time she still seemed hungry after having nommed on everything we had given her. I ran to the fridge and cut some melon, but she’s actually not too fussed about melon. Then I remembered the half a pot of fruit custard. She finished it completely. Admittedly there was quite a lot on the bib afterwards but again I was amazed at the quantity that she managed. She was still looking round for more food after so back to the kitchen again for some rice cake. After a brief feed on the rice cake she was finally done and went for a much needed bath.

Last night we had the evil burger and chips. I had bought some veggie burgers as I thought they might be lower in salt as the veggie sausages were. How wrong can you be? The veggie burger had twice the amount of salt that the beef burger had! I cut just a sliver of each off for Freya and gave her some chips which have practically no salt at all unless you cover them in it yourself. Ugh! She loved it all although we didn’t share our burger bun this time. She was again hungry after so I got a whole pot of fruit custard for her and some melon. She had a quick suck on the melon before going back to the discarded chips, but the fruit pot… She ate the whole thing and I suspect could have managed another one if we’d let her.

Damn you Heinz! Making it so easy for me to give my child fruit in the form of mush. Still, since she feeds herself I think it can still count…

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The two Bs of baby led weaning

Posted by Linda on Thursday Oct 16, 2008 Under Eating Out, Freya, New Food, Weaning

There are two items which seems to be considered ‘must try’ food for baby led weaning and I confess that, up to now, we hadn’t.  These are broccoli and bananas. Well we have now.

The broccoli I wanted to try as it is supposed to be very healthy and easy for babies to grasp. Freya didn’t seem to mind it and, considering it takes moments in the microwave, it will probably be something I will do now and again. She wouldn’t use the handles on the trees though. She did it her own way.

Today at lunch time the bananas I bought a week ago finally looked ripe. I don’t know where I got this tip but it worked wonders. Cut the banana in half or thirds and gently separate into sticks. Bananas naturally divide into three. You get three really nice fingers that stay together really well when grabbed by little fingers, but are soft enough to be gummed. No slippy mess. As we hadn’t tried banana before I gave her it first and I had pita bread on standby in case it wasn’t liked. With baby led weaning it really doesn’t matter so much about savoury/sweet. She ate most of the banana but then wanted her tray taken away. She still seemed to be interested in food though so I then gave her the pita which she ate without the Bumbo tray. There was very little mess. A few blobs of banana and that was about it. I made sure that there wasn’t a huge amount of hummus in the pita so it would squish out.

Yesterday dinner was a disaster for us adults so I won’t even bother to mention it, but at lunch time we were out and I took rice cakes with us. I tried them with hummus this time and although I didn’t think the hummus travelled well, very dry, Freya ate practically a whole cake. The most I’ve seen until now was half. I need to think of other things to take out with us though. I don’t want to bore her.

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Like a bat out of Hell…

Posted by Anthony on Tuesday Oct 14, 2008 Under Cutlery, Freya, New Food, Weaning

I am posting from work, so I will have to be brief.

Last night, we tried another new food.  It seems that Freya likes meatloaf (the food, not the aging singer) and so we might be getting a little more of it in future.  I think the consistency is good for her; it falls apart without needing to be bitten through, but it holds together well enough to rip and tear without crumbling.  Also, it is meat.  She seems to like meat more than vegetables, like her daddy, and that can be no bad thing…

Earlier in the week, we tried cous-cous.  I am not sure what we were expecting, but it worked. We loaded it onto her spoon and watched her stuff her face with it, to the exclusion of even the chicken she was given. She must get on well with the texture and the lack of chewing.

Finally; breakfast today. I have no idea what it was; it looked like porridge, smelt a bit like it, but Linda would know what it was. In her infinite wisdom, Linda handed a bowl of sludge to Freya while she was in my lap in bed. She painted her hands, face and neck, but somehow managed to miss me or the sheets luckily. It is amazing to see how good her coordination is; she sometimes misses her mouth, but rarely by much, and it is useless even trying to spoon-feed her because she will just take the spoon off you and do it herself.

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Munch, munch, munch.

Posted by Linda on Sunday Oct 5, 2008 Under New Food, Weaning

This blogging lark is falling behind a little. I think like most people our weekends are busy with both of us home.

Freya has been munching her way through pita, salad, peppers, hummus, noodles, carrots, vegetarian sausages, chips, pasta, spinach, courgettes, biscuit, bread and we confess we let her try a tiny slice of pizza, although we probably shouldn’t have. As we had visitors on Friday and Saturday she joined us for lunch both times. It was salad both times so it was easy enough to give her some bread, lettuce and peppers to make her feel like she was joining in. She did miss dinner again on Saturday night as she’d had an exciting day, but since she had eaten at lunch time I didn’t feel so bad. Also, as I have to remind myself, her main food is still milk and will be for sometime to come.

We tried the vegetarian sausage as an experiment. We are both meat eaters and Freya seems to be very keen on meat too. Given a choice she will spend ages on a piece of chicken. I looked at the salt content of most of the sausages online and realised that they had frightening amounts but the vegetarian ones had only a fraction of the amount. Since I do worry about my health as well as Freya’s we thought we’d try them. Ugh! I have had vegetarian sausages before and quite enjoyed them, but these were awful. Tesco’s own meat free. They smelt great, but really did taste like flavoured card board. I think we’ll go back to the meat ones. I know the amount she digests means it isn’t worth worrying about at this time. I think when she is starting to eat proper main meals, like a whole sausage with mash etc, we’ll re-evaluate then.

One of my main concerns that I can see looming in the distance is Freya falling asleep before Tony comes home for dinner. The whole reason for baby led weaning is so that I don’t have to prepare different meals for different people, but do I feed her early or do we wake her up? It’s a tricky one and I wonder how other people cope. Of course it may be that she will carry on falling asleep for the night at 9.30pm for a long time yet… except for the three nights in the last week. Hmm… I’ll have to see how this pans out, me thinks.

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