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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A minor tangent

Posted by Linda on Monday Mar 2, 2009 Under Linda, Weaning

I just found this from a site on Victorian children and weaning. It’s quote from a Victorian book. They do advocate mush as a first food but…

The practice of giving thickened food to infants at too tender an age is a source of endless trouble, as before observed. In one of Dr. Edward Smith’s admirable articles on dietary he remarks that the feeding of young infants on bread, flour, biscuits, and other substances than milk, is a “constant source of derangement of the liver, and a frequent cause of fits.” However considerable the quantity of such food passed into the stomach of a young infant may be, the body is not thereby nourished, but irritated. A babe, like an adult, is only nourished by what it has power to digest.
As a general rule a babe ought to be entirely nourished on milk until the first tooth appears. Even after that period milk should for a considerable time form the staple article of food. Larger quantities should then be given, and greater intervals between the meals observed. It is estimated that a babe three months of age will consume at least three pints of milk in twenty-four hours.
“Up to six or seven months of age,” Dr. Letheby says, “infants have not the power of digesting farinaceous or fibrinous substances.” After that age many descriptions of farinaceous food may be used, and are to be strongly recommended.

So even the good old Victorians knew that early weaning caused digestive problems!

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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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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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Two teeth

Posted by Linda on Tuesday Dec 23, 2008 Under About, Eating Out, Freya, Linda, Weaning

Freya has two teeth now. The second one is coming through a bit crooked, but then she is my daughter so it’s not entirely surprising. I had to have a brace for two years for all the good it did me. As soon as my wisdom teeth came through my entire bottom set just went back as crooked as they ever were. I really hope she gets better treatment than I had if she needs it.

Food has still been going very well. I read about other people have blips and bumps, but as yet we haven’t had any although every day I expect her to turn around and just not eat anything. Even when she has a cold she loves solid food. I guess it’s easy to eat than her usual breast milk in some ways.

She was weighed at 8 months and hadn’t put on very much weight at all. She had dropped below the 9th percentile, if you take much notice of those things, but I am only mildly concerned. I know that I have a healthy, happy and hugely energetic little girl. She looks so long and slim though just like Daddy!

We went out for Tony’s Christmas meal on the 13th and I was really torn about leaving Freya. A friend of ours looked after her and I knew that Freya would be perfectly safe, but I was worried that she would cry the whole time we were gone and the friend would never look after her again or even never want to see us again!

I packed Freya a lunch of pasta, creme fraiche, sausage, chicken, courgette and red pepper. I threw the courgette and red pepper in the water that I was cooking the pasta in and it worked really well. I think I used chives and paprika. I wasn’t expecting her to eat much to be honest. I thought she would miss Mummy and Daddy too much but I made much more than I thought she would eat just to be on the safe side. To be honest it tasted so good that I wondered if our Christmas dinner was going to be as nice!

How wrong can you be? Not only was she grinning happily when we arrived to pick her up, she had eaten most of her dinner (a few lonely pieces of pasta and courgette hadn’t made it and lay strewn across the floor – sorry Emma) and she had only had a little grizzle once in the four hours we were gone. I was proud, relieved and perhaps oddly a little hurt. There is the realisation that actually she doesn’t need me and Tony as much as we would like to believe.

Anyway, Freya eats three meals a day now, even if we have to wake her up for dinner. The day we didn’t she woke at 11pm, was really angry and would not go back to sleep! Banana still seems to be the best food for breakfasting in bed (although she makes us laugh when she eats it) although she has been trying to steal some of our toast again lately.

Lunch remains pita breads, normally with cheese, carrot and cumin, as they are so very easy and I know that Freya will eat them and enjoy them. Plum for afters.

Dinner is whatever we have although I did give her fish the other day instead of burgers. Since Tony hates the smell of fish I was very careful about washing up straight away and dealing with Freya eating it. It seemed to be successful and Freya liked it. I’m glad, as fish is supposed to be good for them. Much more is going in now than ever before. We pick her up afterwards expecting to see stuff all over her legs but with the exception of rice there is very little mess. The other day I noticed that when she dropped something, even if it was seemingly on purpose, she would reach down and pick it up and continue eating.

Just one last tip – When your baby is eating and you want to take a photo, don’t leave the knife you were using to cut the pita breads up in front of them… :-p

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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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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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Posted by Linda on Wednesday Nov 19, 2008 Under About, Freya, Linda, Weaning

Freya is teething. This time we’re sure of it. There are no teeth appearing yet, but she has had a rough few days. I think she may have a tummy bug too, but she just hasn’t been feeding from me. Last night she was picking up pasta and shoveling it in with the dexterity of a pro. I’m not sure if this is officially pincer grip but each individual piece is put into her mouth and chewed until it is no more. Hooray!

The ouch wasn’t for her necessarily though. With Freya not feeding very much yesterday, and not even having a milk feed last thing at night, my boobs are so engorged that it isn’t funny. We didn’t realise that it was teething though. This morning when she still wouldn’t latch on we tried a smear of Bonjella and about half an hour later she rooted for me and I was able to feed for a while before she fell asleep again. The scary thing is that was about 9.30am and she is still asleep now at 12.30pm. I have been checking on her and she is snoring gently but I can’t help worrying. Plus, one feed has done very little to alleviate my huge, solid, painful boobs!

Plums are the new favourite food by the way. Excellent for teething and juicy and sweet. Yummy!

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