It has been about 4-5 months since I started feeding my little one solid foods. I have to say as much as it is such an obvious process in life, for animals, for humans, it has been one of the most formidable mind-boggling phases that has left me feeling overwhelmingly apprehensive. Albeit imaginary, I am continually badgered by nutritional guru that persistently appears (in my head) each and every time I see food, nagging my brains, dissecting the nutrient quality. Gone are my days of an elegant trimmed meal, a glass of wine, a dim lit dinner – ah, those blissful moments when my burst of exhale are more than just a sigh of “ah this feels goooood”.Nop! not anymore.
At present, I am surrounded by (not in sequence) mess, puke, spills and a repeat of this about 4-5 times a day. My classical minimalistic symphonies are replaced by a pounding vibe of my little one crying because he simply prefers to hate food.
Seriously little one “Why? why do you decide to hate food?” what could be the genetic explanation for this tantrum/behavior in my precious scallywag ….why all the fuss for something that is going to more than just a routine, a survival necessity? But ! Alas, I havent given up … I havent given up on you!
I cannot camouflage the truth, it has been painstaking, frustration, confusing, tiresome, and by far one of the messy experiences so far. Definitely, I would like to be those moms that brag about how their little ones simply loving greens, that grab on to the so called finger foods and put them right into their mouth, but I am not, I am one of those moms whose little ones squash their food in the palm of their hands to demolish it and throws it aside, on the floor and on the wall. I am one of those moms that collect finger food all around the house and every so often, in a bluemoon collect the residuals under the couch, under the table and even in his little crib!
Craftily, What I can camouflage is his greens! With yogurt and sometimes yogurt mixed in custard. Yes I raise my hand up, i am not ashamed, guilty as charged, I am those moms that do it. Guess what? he eats it. !aha! how is that for tricks nutritional guru!!!”
Did I mention my little one has now graduated to a phase where he no longer cries when he is fed, he simply eats a spoon full, and instead of swallowing, he regurgitates it right out, just like a waterfall. Its literally like watching a fast forward and rewind clip of me feeding him. It comes out exactly how it went in. In his little mind he probably thinks he is being smart? ah a-no-one-can-see kind of thing!
That is enough of the venting session.
Oh last but not least. Guys you think poo smells? wait till they start weaning!
On a serious note, here are some insights to share with other mothers who are embarking on this chapter of parenting. I hope you find them useful.
- Don’t add salt, don’t add sugar.
- Meal time is when they want.
- Start with mashed veg & fruits and cereal.
- For the things you cannot avoid (butter, oils, fruit purees etc) make sure they have a low safe salt and sugar content.
- Be well prepare for a mess (clean wipes, bibs, baby wipes, broom,mop la da da).
- They get bored. Entertain them (yes, evoke the clown in you) change highchair positions and room once a while.
- If you force them to eat they will associate meal time with stress and anxiety, so try to pick the signs and feed them when they ask for food.
- Be careful with fiber and vitamin C. Feeding too much vitamin C (plain strawberries) they get nappy rash. Too much fiber makes their poo very hard and painful.
- Be prepared for more poo and If you thought baby poo poo was bad, it will get horridly worse so brace yourself.
- There will be days baby will eat like a starved poodle and other days they simply love the taste of air, and other days they’ll be the devil of vomit disguised in cuteness. dont worry and roll with the punches.
- They always test gravity even with food.
- When baby avoids foods it’s ok to disguise it with something they enjoy. Arjun love yogurt and I often disguise all the greens and good nutrients with it. trust me it is OK!
- don’t think too hard about a meal plan keep the meals simple.
- Singular meals for about a week to ensure baby gets used to it. If you feel he doesn’t like something for a day or two feel free to switch.
Last but not least, Arjun is a fussy eater and that is far from food he is holding in his little hands. Be careful, they will eat anything but food. As you can see from the picture, Arjun decided to eat his nappy barrier cream. Ah! for another episode of fun.