That’s my toddler!

Posted by Linda on Monday Dec 28, 2009 Under Cutlery, Freya, Weaning

Freya is growing up so fast now. She is no longer a baby. She hasn’t been for some time, but the most recent clutch of Christmas presents has really reinforced this. She now plays with her pirate ship, her caravan and her vet surgery. She doesn’t know the ins and outs of what a vet is but she likes the ‘house’ and the animals. She plays with the ‘car’ and the ‘man’. She also knows that pirates go ‘aaaaahhhh!’

Food has been quite strange lately. In the three weeks before Christmas we had a cold and her eating went down to almost nothing. I mean seriously, one meatball and a butter bean was her dinner one evening and I thought she didn’t eat much on a normal day! Luckily she is still breast fed and I could relax knowing that she still got plenty of nutrition from that.

After she recovered the eating went mad. I think maybe it was a growth spurt or making up for the week she was ill, but she seriously ate me out of house and home. Nothing was safe and quite suddenly her spoon and fork control also improved so she was eating a much larger quantity of food at dinner. Things she has previously rejected were suddenly greeted with enthusiasm.

Right now I think she’s found a middle ground. Unfortunately since it is Christmas she has also discovered chocolate or ‘uh, uh’ as she calls it. Since it is Christmas we are letting her have a little, but she seems to have realised that chocolate is actually very yummy and has been demanding it a little more than I’m comfortable with.

So what new words do we have now? Too many to really mention I think, but we’ll see what I can do – nose, mouth, eye, baby, feet, nap’ee (nappy), ap’aw (apple), tea, house, duck are the few that spring to mind but we have groups of words now too.

Numbers are un (one), tooo (two), free (three), four, fief (five), seeks (six), se’en (seven), ayt (eight), noin (nine) yeahn (ten).

Colours came suddenly the other day although we have been telling her colours from when she was very little. It was a bit of a shock to have her suddenly sit there and tell me them. Pup’el seems to be the favourite and green seems to give the most difficulty.

This month Freya really surprised me with how fast she is growing up and the nicest surprsie of all could be that she is now and again sleeping through the night – yes, that holy grail of parenting!

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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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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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Freya and the Magic Fork

Posted by Anthony on Monday Nov 24, 2008 Under Cutlery, Freya, Weaning

Nothing remarkably new this time, but a little trick that we have discovered…

Freya loves her curry, especially the meat, but would not eat the vegetables with the same gusto.  Even her rice was being demolished faster than the ordinarily-loved courgette.  So, I showed Linda how to cheat; I stabbed a chunk of courgette with her fork and then handed it to her.  She grabbed the courgette, ate it as though it were the finest sweet-meat, and looked at me for more.

It is not even like it was the fork, not really.  She was grabbing the food and pulling it off the tines, leaving the fork itself in my hands ready to be re-loaded.  Perhaps the only reason she eats rice, following this logic, is that she gets to eat it from a spoon.

It seem that, as a parent, I think I have come to the rather Zen conclusion that the ‘why’ is not so important as the ‘whether’.  If she eats vegetables and rice, I don’t care what prticular part of the trick works…

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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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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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Disappearing teeth?

Posted by Linda on Saturday Sep 27, 2008 Under Cutlery, Freya

Freya got her tooth through and then a canine, right? That’s odd, but I can live with it. Now I don’t know what is going on. The canine has gone again. How do teeth appear and then disappear? No-one told me about this. It’s now been missing for two days so I’ll assume it has changed its mind and doesn’t want to come through yet. Becoming a parent is full of mysteries.

As for food, we thought we’d go mad and let her have a tiny fairy cake all to herself. Oh, we know how to live dangerously in our house. It was holding together ok until she thrust it with both hands into her mouth and it exploded – over Tony, over the sofa, over the floor. As we’re really bright in this house we didn’t even have a bowl for it! It was amusing though and she played with the crumbs for a while, feeling the textures, clearly enjoying herself and that’s what it’s all about.

Dinner was cottage pie again. After the success of last time we tried this I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed that Freya fell asleep just before I served up. Ever the optimist, I put some aside for her and she did wake up just before it went completely cold. We tried the spoon again and I am still amazed at how quickly she has picked up which end goes where. She still doesn’t have the skills to load the spoon up herself, but once that’s done it goes straight in the mouth. She ate a fair amount of the meat and potato, but was happier just sucking on the spoon for the most part. I did have to turn the television off though as she would keep turning round in her bumbo to watch. I wouldn’t normally have it on at all, but I really like Strictly Come Dancing and so, it seems, does Freya.

See also:

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Another ‘meh’ meal

Posted by Linda on Thursday Sep 18, 2008 Under Cutlery, Freya, New Food, Weaning

The problem comes when we have pasta for dinner. Since it is cheap, this happens a lot. Freya can’t deal with pasta just yet although I have found advice on what shapes are easier on www.babyledweaning.com so next time I’m buying pasta I’ll be getting conchiglie or farfalle. Apparently these are easier for little hands to grasp. We had sausage pasta (left overs from yesterday) with red peppers and red pesto. I didn’t even know you could get red pesto and I have to say I wasn’t impressed. I will be sticking to the green in future.

Freya found the piece of red pepper the most easy thing to deal with as the other components were just a little too small. We did try sticking her baby fork into a piece of sausage and then some pasta, but this only really worked for one or two sucks before falling off. At the end she happily sucked on just a rice cake for a while. When all else fails the rice cakes are champion… even though they smell foul.

We signed up for Jo Jingles today. Maybe handling bells and shakers will help with her spoon skills. Time will tell.

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Does mashed potato still count?

Posted by Linda on Thursday Sep 18, 2008 Under Cutlery, Freya, New Food, Weaning

Last night’s meal for us adults was sausages, mash and carrots and so that was what Freya had. I wondered about trying her with a spoon as she always seems upset that we get cutlery and she doesn’t, so mashed potato seemed like the ideal starting point. To our amazement it worked. She worked out straight away what the spoon was for although she did keep trying to eat the end that we hadn’t loaded with mashed potato. She couldn’t of course actually get food onto the spoon but if we loaded it for her she could eventually get it into her mouth. She had a little sausage and a little suck on a carrot but the mash was what she loved best. Surprisingly it wasn’t as messy as I thought it would be. She did have an amusing potato moustache at one point but we didn’t get it on camera, sorry.

Yesterday we also had a pooey nappy of the most impressive kind. If ever you doubt about whether your child has eaten anything, just wait for the nappies. Although Tony has already reported on nappies, this one was the worst so far. Yes, the one before smelt, but this one had a completely new consistancy. A lot like mashed sweet potato actually… Why is it that I’m proud about this..?

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