Mondays are one of my favourite days of the week. The weekends are busy. Even when we have nothing on, they are busy. There is swimming lessons and catch-up cleaning and park visits and mowing and markets and meal prep and baking and bike riding and games where we all play together, and sheet washing and sprinklers to run through and naps to be had. See, busy.On Mondays I drop the two big girls at day care and kindy and then race home to pop the bebe down for her rest. I then do a couple of jobs, set some goals for the week in my new journal and sit here and write a little something to pop up on the blog.
Bebe wakes from her morning slumber at around 10am, I give her a quick feed and we dash down the road to the library for baby rhyme and time. I have been going regularly on a Monday morning for four weeks now and I think I have worked out that I might be the only mum there who has other children.
I feel like a wise old chook among the first timers and sit and listen and smile warmly to myself remembering the angst of those first few months. Now this is where I remind you that my oldest is four and half and I literally still have no idea what I’m doing with her, and I have a two year old that is pushing me to my limits because she is two and that is the only reason I can come up with. So yeah, I’m NOT a parenting expert. But babies are something I feel somewhat experienced with now that my third is approaching eight months.
One of the topics of discussion last week that I over heard was solids and questions among each other about what they were starting on and how one mum didn’t use a microwave and then how did she defrost stuff and then what do you freeze things in. I find it interesting this cultural norm that once babies start solids mother must steam all the soft organic produce and blitz it and then store it in BPA-free teeny-tiny containers and then freeze loads of the gear.
I was never really interested in doing that so when my eldest was little and we were getting ready to embark on solids I wanted to do all that I could to ensure I’d have a toddler that would happily eat everything I liked, because food is LIFE. So I did my research and found this “revolutionary” way of feeding babies called “baby led weaning”. Read: give babies real food. Astounding (said the gruffalo – I can’t get away from it – sorry).
Anywho, so basically you give your baby what you eat, in a finger food sort of fashion or sometimes I blitz what we are having e.g. spag bol or coconut curry & rice and spoon feed it. I started solids with my girls once they could sit up in there high chairs confidently. In my head it means that the chance of choking is less. I don’t know if that’s true but makes sense to me.
Solids also gets easier once they can grab the food themselves and put it in their mouths, so about 6-7 months for my kids.
Now I don’t follow it to the letter and have always complemented my finger foods with some sort of mash, typically sweet potato (roasted whole and then you squeeze the goodness out), bananas, pears, avocado and natural yogurt. Your bebe might prefer pumpkin or something to that effect, mine was not keen on pumpkin.
So what might a day on a plate look like? The little blossom doesn’t have any teeth yet so it’s all very much in the soft category. Here it goes:
Wake-up – Milk feed (I use my boobs but you use what you use #fedisbest)
Breakfast (about an hour later and with the other girls) – weetbix (1/2) mashed with water, banana, natural yogurt and a sprinkle of cinnamon + water to drink + finger food (e.g. strawberry, pear, banana, watermelon, etc or toast with peanut paste or avo)
Milk feed before morning sleep.
Lunch – bread (same as what we are having, e.g. Dense multi-grain or Rye or Sourdough) with avo or hummus (sometimes homemade sometime bought) on it, plus sweet potato and avo or banana and avo mash, cold steamed broccoli or zucchini, fruit.
Bottle feed before sleep (I’m in the process of teaching the little love to have a bottle and self settle at this time to get ready for day care in a couple of months. The bottle feed is formula.)
Milk feed from me or water when she wakes up.
Afternoon tea – biscuit or loaf (I bake stuff for the girls to take to day care and kindy and it typically won’t have sugar-sugar in it, usually coconut sugar or rice malt syrup) and a formula bottle.
Dinner – what we are having. The other night we had soy and honey chicken skewers, salad and potato bake. Little love had the same (refer the lady bug plate) served so she can get her laughing gear around it as well.
Milk feed from me before bed.
I’ve done this with all my kids and while I’m no expert or dietician, I think it works. I have kids who eat well and eat often and eat variety. My eldest isn’t into tropical fruit but she slams bananas and apples, as well as smoked salmon and olives and loves a cheese platter. Middle child loves tropical fruit and salami but shuns cakes and other sweeties. They are all different but the outcomes has been the same, little people who are enthusiastic about food.
The only downfall is the mess. Babies don’t eat a lot of the food and much of it ends up on the floor (or drop cloth / plastic table cloth, which I use), themselves and in the high chair. I make life easy on myself by feeding baby just in her nappy, I use a cloth bib at each feed so I can rinse it and clean her up as well under the tap in the sink and use less wipes (because $ and the environment), I take the high chair and drop sheet outside and hose them off. The dog eats what falls on the grass. My high chair is a $30 special from IKEA and I kid you not if I had a shower downstairs I’d seriously put it and the baby in there each evening for her bath.
My mate Dawn wrote a post recently about some stuff she learnt about getting kids to eat as well. It’s worth a look it you need some help on that front – some good tips on setting the scene for success!
So that’s my wisdom for the day. It’s something I’ve largely taught myself, it made sense to me and continues to make sense to me.
With fondness and good eating vibes,