Friday, December 12, 2008
Adventures in Baby Feeding
D is now almost exclusively on finger foods (as opposed to purees, he still nurses frequently). At least when we're home, he almost always refuses any food I try to feed him, either with a spoon or by hand. If we're out somewhere else he's more tolerant, but for the most part he's got to be able to pick it up himself in order for him to get any significant quantities of the food. It's fun being able to feed him off my same plate now, but there's also many times I wish feeding him were as easy as opening up a jar of pureed sweet potatoes. Now that he's getting not only 3 meals a day but 2-3 snacks in, too, I'm having to be a bit more creative about what I present him with, which is tough-- how many foods are small and soft enough for him to be able to chew/not choke on, yet still big/sturdy enough to pick up with small and less-than-coordinated fingers? I figure I'm not the only mom struggling with this, so thought I'd share some things I've discovered recently that have been working for us. I'd love to hear other ideas, too.
Cheerios have been a pretty big staple, along with bread and pasta. I've been trying to figure out how to make sticky/slippery foods like banana easier to pick up. I've seen suggestions to grind up cheerios and use the powder to coat the pieces, but when I tried that it seemed I'd need to grind up a heckuva lot of cheerios to get enough powder. Then the other day it dawned on me that we have baby cereal that's fairly fine and that he never eats anymore anyway, so I poured a bit of that in a bowl and rolled banana pieces in it and D ate them all up. Woot! He loes apples but I never think ahead to steam pieces for him, but our pediatrician recommended using a cheese grater so I tried it. He ate at least half a small apple that way... though the cleanup was pretty messy (both him, and the grater I'd forgotten to rinse off...).
Frozen veggies, like peas and carrots, have been a hit, too. I squish the peas just enough to break the skin and then they're easy to mush. Same with blueberries, which he loves. Thankfully he's over the dairy allergy, so I've also started giving him pieces of mozzarella, which is brilliant b/c it's so soft. Today I gave him Keebler Club crackers and cheddar as a snack. The crackers are nice as they basically melt in your mouth (and are super yummy), though looking at the nutritional label they are a bit high in sodium and have high fructose corn syrup so not sure if I'll use those that often. Meat, for some reason, he still will accept when I give it to him by hand, and has seemed to really like chicken and turkey. And today he finally seemed to like avocado-- we've tried it 3-4 times before and he'd always refuse it after the first bite, but today he took 5-6 spoonfuls of it, which makes me super excited as it's such a good, high-fat food.
I'm starting a mental list of places that have good food options for D for lunch. Wahoo's is great-- their chicken is always super tender (so easy to chew), and D loves the rice and beans. We may be instituting a weekly Wahoo's lunch date. ; )
I'm trying to give him foods that are healthy, but also have decent fat and calorie counts. He's definitely active and seems happy enough so I know he's ok, but I still want to make sure he's getting all the calories he needs. It's funny, I think part of why D looks so much more like a "grown kid" to me than a baby, is that he's skinny and so doesn't have all that baby chub you usually see.