Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Degree in Food

On January 20th, when Owen was about five and a half months old, we started feeding him some solids.  Here is Owen with his first mouthful of sweet potato:

Hee hee.  Despite what that picture might lead you to believe, Owen more or less liked the sweet potatoes.  He spent his first week eating banana flavored oat cereal.  Then he moved on to sweet potatoes, and gradually added pears, apples, carrots, peas, and prunes to that.

Owen is actually a pretty good eater.  He has liked (not loved) most of the foods we have given him so far, except for the apples and the prunes.  He ate several helpings of prunes as long as we only tried to give them to him every other mouthful.  The apples he gagged on and vomited up, but I do have plans to try again.

So we are lucky in that regard, as I have heard of babies rejecting food completely.  And from what I am told, the first two months of food are just about practicing eating and not about nutrients, which he is still getting in full from the breast milk.

Can I just state for the record though that baby food is confusing!  There are all sorts of "rules" now that didn't exist when we were children.  First there is the whole debate about whether or not to start with rice cereal because of arsenic, because it is usually made from nutrient-free white rice, and because it tastes bland.  Whole foods ended that argument for me because my branch did not sell rice cereal (because of the arsenic issue).  

Then there is the whole rigamarole about how one is only supposed to introduce one new food to the baby every four days, so that if he has an allergic reaction to a food, it is clear what food is the culprit.  But this is where things got confusing for me, because I couldn't quite figure out if I was to just give him one food for four days, or if he could have the "older" foods plus the new food?  And then did he have to eat the new food for four days in a row, or just not any other new foods in that time?

I finally decided I was over-thinking the whole issue and to just feed the baby his stupid foods and forget about it.

And so he gets a breakfast and a dinner in addition to all his usual breast milk.  We cut out lunch on the nurse's orders once Owen stopped pooping.  I won't go into it much here (yet), but suffice it to say that in the last three weeks, upon starting his solids, Owen has pooped only three times.  Thus we introduced prunes into his diet, but pretty much to no avail.

Owen seems very interested in holding the spoon himself, and so I think he will enjoy finger foods when he can have them.  But I am not sure when that is?  Which brings me back to the title of this blog and how confusing baby foods are.  When can he have dairy?  When can he have cheerios?  I have no idea.  There is also the "baby-led weaning" method, which if I understand it correctly, is feeding the baby the food you are eating chopped up into tiny pieces, and foregoing the purees.  I had plans to puree some food myself and freeze it in ice cube trays, but I have yet to attempt it, due to a lack of time and a bit of inertia.

Dorothy thinking, she should try the bulldogge method -- 
kibble in a bowl!  It worked well for me.

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