Christmas Cheer

Posted by Linda on Tuesday Jan 6, 2009 Under About, Drinks, Eating Out, Freya, Weaning

Now although we follow a Pagan path in our household, we enjoy Christmas dinner as much as the next person, and presents, and lights, and decorations etc. So we were obviously excited about Freya’s first Christmas. We had bought her a few present, but didn’t go overboard as at 9 months I don’t think she was really aware of anything except that there were all these boxes that she wasn’t allowed to touch. Dinner was going to be a simple affair as we were having Christmas day alone and then seeing family on Boxing day. I got a large chicken breast joint thing from Sainsbury and did mashed potato, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower. Tony isn’t that keen on roast potato so I didn’t see the point and I don’t mind mashed potato. The idea was to have this at lunch time but we didn’t dressed until late so by the time I was ready to cook Freya was already begging for food so instead we put her out of her agony with some lunch and did it for the evening meal. It was almost perfect. The mashed potato was creamy and smooth and the chicken well cooked, but I couldn’t help thinking that there was something missing. It wasn’t until three days later, when we had come back from visiting relatives, I realised that in the oven lay some roast sweet potatoes now all cold and shrivelled. Never mind. Freya really enjoyed what we gave her anyway.

Boxing Day we went to my sister’s house for a party. I had to be more careful about what she ate there as it was mostly processed snacks and crisps. She was a little tired and overwhelmed to eat properly anyway, but I think she had a mini sausage, some bread and some pineapple and cheese on sticks. My sister in law was very impressed that she was drinking from a cup, but remained sceptical about baby led weaning even though Freya did demonstrate that it was perfectly safe. She even showed her a little gag and was very surprised to find herself being patted on the back. ;-)

That night we stayed with Freya’s great grandparents and she decided that this was so exciting that she couldn’t possibly go to sleep before 11.30pm and even then she tried to put up a fight when I realised she was getting grumpy. I had packed a small selection of foodstuff so that if she got hungry I had something for her. A banana, some plums and a rice cake. As she hadn’t eaten much at my sister’s, she ate the plum before bed and I think I gave her the banana in the morning. The poor old rice cake didn’t get a look in.

Although I’m glad I took the extra snacks, it was really liberating to have her just eat what was available and enjoy it. She really isn’t that fussy and will eat whatever is put in front of her with minimal fuss. We had taken the Bumbo with us so wherever we were we could sit on the floor with her. She certainly doesn’t mind sitting at the table but until I can get hold of one of those seats that you can strap to the dining chairs it’s the floor I’m afraid.

The only other thing to report is that Freya is now showing signs of preferring certain foods (pasta) over others and we are also getting to the stage of her eating things one day and then not touching them the next. I’m not worried. All I can do is offer it and, if she doesn’t want it, I eat it or it goes in the bin. It’s not like I’ve gone to any extra effort making food just for her. That’s the beauty of baby led weaning.

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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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A long shot, but it paid off

Posted by Anthony on Tuesday Sep 16, 2008 Under Drinks, Freya, New Food, Weaning

Tonight, we tried sweet and sour pork with noodles.  That was what we were having, so that was what Freya was having.  It was fairly simple, made with a packet of sauce (it is easier and easier is better when you have a baby), carrots and peppers.  She took to it quite well, which surprised us both.

She started on the pork very quickly, chewing and sucking on it quite happily.  She liked running her fingers through the noodles, but more ended up in her lap than her mouth.  Peppers are a fairly safe bet, since the first solid food I ever gave her was a chunk of pepper  (she was teething and it was cold from the fridge), and she gummed on that quite happily too.  Even the carrot was greeted with a certain amount of enthusiasm.

Perhaps most surprising was her interest in drinking from a cup.  She keeps fighting me if I drink tea with her in my lap, trying (and managing, once or twice) to sip from my mug.  (Mmm…  Refined sugar, caffeine, tannin… everything a growing baby needs!)  So, after dinner, we gave her a little plastic cup of water.  She held it, tipped it up and drank from it.  She spilt less than she swallowed and even seemed to be working out how not to soak her clothes, not bad for an open cup without any spouts or anti-spill mechanisms…

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