This is the eighth and final installment in my Introduction to Solids series. I am journaling about our experience with baby feeding since we have the unique opportunity to share this with our students and readers as we start the process of weaning our youngest child. This is not medical advice, nor is it a schedule to be followed. It is simply our choice for our baby and the first time we have done what is gaining popularity as “baby-led weaning”.
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This past week we introduced our first “official” protein – pinto beans. We started out by giving the baby the broth from the cooked beans. She gobbled it up! The very first day I gave her one bean to see how she would eat it – it went straight into the mouth and she ate it without choking.
The next day, I tried to give her some broth and baby shook her head with an emphatic no! I gave her some beans from my plate and that is exactly what she wanted. Now we have another pinto bean fan in the house! We are going to stick with pinto beans for another week, and then we will introduce black beans.
Another new food: I gave the baby lightly toasted bread. Up to now, I would give her the hard crust on Italian bread or a hard dinner roll to gnaw on. Since she has done so well with eating and not choking, I decided to experiment with a piece of toast. After toasting, I sliced it up into finger-width slices. All four pieces got eaten – rice bread was a yes this week!
I also had another baking day. I used farmer’s market zucchini and replaced the eggs in the recipe with flax seed. Baby continues to devour this bread! Interestingly, she doesn’t like the crust on this and sucks out the soft center. She spits out the crust when she has eaten out the center.
We also confirmed that baby likes riper bananas. If the skin is still yellow, she will suck on the pieces and then spit them out. When the skin is starting to get brown spots on it, she will actually consume (read: devour) the banana. There are no pieces left on the tray or on the chair when the banana is ripe.
One adjustment we made was feeding her slices or pieces of fruit again, instead of whole fruit. She seemed to lose interest in eating a half an apple, or the whole peaches and plums she was eating with supervision. Since I couldn’t imagine that she lost her sweet tooth, I started cutting the fruit up into small pieces again – that did the trick! She enjoyed the fruit again. I wish we could understand what was going on in their little minds that affect their preferences!
Our surprise this week was that the baby grabbed a piece of chicken off of one of our other kiddo’s plate. We took it away, and she reached for it again! I let her keep it to see what she would do with it. I don’t know that she ate it, because there were lots of little chicken pieces to pick up. Her interest seemed to be ripping the food apart with her two little teeth!
I will close out this series of posts with the following thoughts:
Lastly, sometimes a child will reject foods that they used to like. This can be normal. Consider a look at these factors to decide if your baby needs to be seen by their care provider: Are they running a fever? How is their energy level? How are they sleeping? Are there any other signs that they are “off”? If you decide that something is amiss, then maybe that warrants a little more exploration.
In our experience, we found that the foods our son Bruss was rejecting were the foods that he ended up being allergic to. I was so grateful for trusting my instincts that he was eating other things so he was okay and we did not need to “force feed” him. I continue to trust his instincts about what he can and cannot eat, and he continues to grow and thrive so he is definitely eating the foods that are right for him. This does not mean that we are permissive - we have healthy food choices available for them to pick from. Treats are a separate issue and they know they can have them after they have eaten a good meal.
I will be continuing our food journal for my own records since we have a history of interesting food allergies in our family. We will keep introducing other fruits and vegetables until October since I like to keep our children vegetarian until they are a year old. After that, we will start introducing some fish and meats, as well as eggs and dairy. If you are curious about when other foods are introduced, we can correspond via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, July 10
Snack: Apple slices
Lunch: Plum, sweet potato, yams
Dinner: Patty Pan (squash)
Wednesday, July 11
Breakfast: ½ Banana, 1 strawberry
Snack: Veggie straws
Lunch: Patty Pan (squash), Pinto Bean broth
Dinner: Plum, peas
Thursday, July 12
Snack: Veggie straws
Lunch: Steamed carrots, ½ plum
Dinner: Peas, bread crust
Friday, July 13
Breakfast: Peach & plum pieces
Lunch: Peas, patty pan slices
Dinner: Zucchini bread
Saturday, July 14
Breakfast: Banana, Peach pieces
Dinner: nursed only
Sunday, July 15
Breakfast: Pancake, Banana, 3 bites of oatmeal
Lunch: Zucchini bread
Dinner: nursed only
Monday, July 16
Breakfast: Banana, Rice bread
Lunch: Veggie straws, waffle potato fries, 1 grilled chicken nugget(!!)
Appetite regulation: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3170240/
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