Friday, April 22, 2011

Adventures in Eating

Shortly after Jordan turned six months we began him on solid foods. It's been about two weeks now and he is absolutely loving it. By now you've probably conjured up an image in your head of my baby strapped into his high chair while I shovel spoonfuls of pureed food into his mouth, wipe his chin after every bite and shovel it right back in. Something along the lines of this:

or this:

or this:

Okay, that last one was a bit dramatic :-) All the above pictures are of Jacob's first adventures with foods.

This time, however, we've decided to do things a little differently. That's what happens with a second child -- you are much more confident ignoring the advice of your pediatrician! It's a beautiful thing. Long before we were ever ready to begin solids with Jordan, I began researching what is known as baby-led weaning
{though, to be honest, I despise that name since I don't like to think of Jordan "weaning," per se, just yet}. To those unfamiliar with this, it basically means allowing your baby to decide WHEN they are ready to begin solids and WHAT they want to eat. It is about trusting your baby and allowing them to explore. It allows THEM to be in control over feedings, the way they are used to when they are breastfed, and the way it should be. After all, would YOU want someone not only telling you what you were going to eat but also force feeding it to you? And, would you want all of your foods to be the same exact texture and consistency? Yeah, I didn't think so! Baby-Led Weaning {or BLW for short} is about giving your baby real foods. It's about sharing family meals with them.

So, when I said above that we began feeding Jordan solid foods, what I meant was, we began offering him solid foods. On April 6th we offered him half a banana while we ate dinner. He took to it like a champ.

On April 8th, he was offered a carrot stick and apple slice. He enjoyed gnawing on the carrot but I should have steamed it slightly so it was a little easier for him to explore. The apple he didn't seem to care one way or the other about.

April 9th we had dinner out and Jordan shared some of my {unsweetened} sweet potato fries and some steamed broccoli. This is when the real fun began! The boy loved sweet potatoes. And despite the fact that most babies can't really move food to the back of their mouths and swallow it until around 9 months, I definitely found some sweet potato in his diaper the next day. He just could not get enough of it!

here he is munching on some steamed broccoli. you can see the remains of sweet potato on his hands and bib

On April 12th we offered him a strawberry. This was another hit. He played with it and played with it. When it appeared he was finished, I took one of the less mangled pieces from his tray and plopped it in my mouth. Oops. Jordan started crying!!

April 13th was another sweet potato day. This time, Jordan was no longer content to sit next to me in his high chair. He wanted in on the action. He sat on my lap and helped himself to the sweet potato straight from my plate. We both ended up covered in goo and had to head straight to the shower following dinner. But it was worth it. We both had a lot of fun in the process!

The following day, on April14th, we had spaghetti casserole for dinner. That may seem like an odd meal to feed a 6 month old but Jordan happily sampled spaghetti, followed by some cantaloupe for dessert.

as you can see from this picture, he has a lot of fun

On April 16th we had dinner at my parents' house with my my mom's side of the family joining us. Jordan was offered a strawberry, some hamburger, and tomato but he wasn't too interested in eating that night. And that was okay! That's the beauty of BLW- it's totally stress free. If he doesn't want to eat that day, no problem. After all, the ONLY thing babies need for the first year of life is breastmilk. The rest is just for fun and learning. And the following day we experienced just that. I knew that at some point Jordan would no longer be interested in eating along side of us and would want to eat with us. I knew that someday he would recognize the difference between what we were eating and what we were offering him. I just didn't know it would be so soon. {stinker!} Enter minestrone night. My husband made a delicious minestrone soup-- Olive Garden's recipe! Jordan watched us eating for a minute and then whined from his chair until I set a bowl down in front of him. The very same bowl that Jacob had just rejected saying "Me no like soup" I wanted to be hesitant because, after all, how can a baby eat soup? But I remembered to just trust him. To let him learn and explore and just have fun. He did exactly that! It was one of the most joyous moments of my life watching him devour that soup. What a mess he made!

digging right in ......................... even got a little creative

We've also allowed Jordan to try lots of other foods and I certainly don't need to write a paragraph about each of them. After two weeks of solids with Jacob, he had tried two or maybe three purees. But Jordan has had such a variety of textures, consistencies, and tastes in such a short time that I almost feel guilty with how much Jacob missed out on.

Jordan has now come to expect to share meals with us. He takes no interest in breakfast or lunch {yet!} but come dinnertime, he is no longer content to sit in his highchair next to the table and play with his toys while we eat. He wants to be a part of what we are doing. He wants to experience the same things we are. And he is definitely not shy about letting you know this. It's an amazing transition. I know BLW is not for everyone but I am completely content that we have decided to go this route this time around. And I know Jordan is, too.

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  1. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this!!! That's awesome that you are doing the BLW. I remember reading more about this after Grayson was already a year old. Makes me really wish I had of done this with him. I plan on following BLW when we have another child. I LOVED the pictures of Jordan & the soup. SO cute! Even Nathan got a chuckle out of it.

  2. Aww! I love these pictures. I have a load of pictures from James eating. I just love BLW! I wish I'd done it with Keira. It's just as messy, but it's so much more enjoyable. James doesn't like apples either - but he loves loves loves celery and tomatoes and mangoes. Oh, we had grilled pork and he chowed on that. I thought the same thing - most of the time it isn't digested at all, but I've found some in the diaper too! :]

    I don't like to think of them weaning. They're just too little still. ;]

  3. We did this with my second child, when she just refused baby foods. I didn't realize at the time that it has a name {BLW}, we just let her choose what she wanted to eat. And it was fabulous. My first child loved baby food until about 9 months when she revolted and would only eat table foods. With our baby due in November, we will totally do BWL when the time comes, because we loved it so much.

  4. I started doing it with Emersyn. It's funny to watch her. Thanks for the support. -Ashley

  5. I'm excited to see my little gal start solid foods, she wont take a bottle at all and is therefore with me all the time


Thanks for the love! I appreciate all feedback!


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