Thursday, May 2, 2013

Munchkin Meals

I know I've been talking an awful lot this week about Eleanor and food.  It is just really exciting for me to watch her grow and explore in this way, because duh, I'm a foodie.  My little foodie baby is all about eating solids and I am so excited that we were introduced to Baby Led Weaning by none other than the host of Munchkin Meals.  So today I am anxious to post our very first edition Eleanor's Munchkin Meals on the link up.  If this is not making any sense to you, click on over to Brittany's blog and join in the party.  And read below for details about how we are using Baby Led Weaning to start Eleanor on solid foods.
I love that Eleanor's very first food was at the beach (Thursday, April 25th).  I had this grandiose plan to start with sweet potatoes in the evening on her six month birthday while Alex and I were both home and sitting at the table with her...blah, blah blah.  Yeah, so the ripe banana was in my hand and Eleanor was eyeing it.  And the rest is history.  She loves food!
So we went for the sweet potatoes second (Saturday, April 27)...still 9 days shy of her six month birthday.  These were actually a bit of a fail.  Turns out smaller doesn't equal better with Baby Led Weaning (BLW).  She needed something to get her hands around.  These just mushed into her hands and flopped over.
She didn't eat much...but not for lack of trying.
Her next food was a strawberry (Sunday, April 29).  This was out of pure convenience.  Alex's mom bought us strawberries so they were in the fridge.  We were cooking breakfast and making coffee before church.  It seemed like a good fit.  I stuck her in the high chair in the kitchen.  Handed her a strawberry with the top cut off and sliced in half.  Perfect.
Strawberries hold up her in hands, they don't mush too much, and there is still enough sticking out from her little fist for her to fit in her mouth.  She loved it!
The next day we went back to the banana.  It doesn't work so well without the peel.  It just got slimy and mushed in her hand.  I'm not sure if any made it into her mouth.
But she sure had fun trying!
In fact, together I thing BLW is the most fun thing Eleanor and I have done.  Swinging comes in a close second though.
I love this happy face.  I love watching her explore her food.  Making a mess.  Cheering her on.  I can cook in the kitchen while she's munching on food.  I even set my computer up on the counter to check emails while I'm simultaneously scooping banana pieces from her diaper and back on her tray.
To think that solid foods could be a struggle with spoon feeding, crying baby and frustrated mom.  That is definitely not the case in our house.  I am a true believer of Baby Led Weaning.  It allows Eleanor to go at her own pace while keeping it fun and exciting.  There is no force feeding and no fuss. 

After she eats I just scoop her up and toss her straight into the tub for a quick rinse.

Yesterday we tried cucumber for the first time.
She's already a pro at double-fisting!  I liked the cucumbers because they stood up to her grip, she could gnaw away at them and it didn't create as big of a mess.  She didn't eat as much because it doesn't mush in her mouth, and I watched her a little more carefully to make sure she wouldn't choke.  But she was entertained by those two little pieces for the better part of an hour.
Of course I gave her some strawberries to work with as well!

Currently we do not have a set schedule of when she eats.  I may try to instill a "breakfast" and "dinner" time in the next couple of weeks, but right now we are just exploring.  We are also adjusting to how the foods are affecting her body.  Yesterday she was having a rough time with her stomach.  Almost every diaper was a "stinky" and she developed a little bit of a diaper rash...either from the citrus in the strawberries, or just from so many poos.  We may let off the strawberries for a bit, focus on more veggies this week and see how it improves.  I know her digestive system is going to need time to readjust so we are just taking it one day at a time.

Baby Led Weaning Notes:
  • We are trying to introduce one food at a time to make sure she doesn't have any allergies.  Some reports recommend one food every three or so days.  We are basically doing one food every day, but skipping some days in between as well (not on purpose).
  • We do not help her eat at all.  We just simply put food on her tray and let her explore.  If it gets in her mouth, great!  If not, oh well.
  • Other foods we are anxious to try: avocado, steamed carrots, peeled summer squash and zucchini and tofu.  Any other suggestions for first foods?

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