The last four days have gone pretty well. Daniel’s continued to have some fruit and/or veg at at least one adult mealtime each day, and we’ve also had a couple of dining out experiences that haven’t ended in disaster or disgrace!
The first outing was my birthday dinner. While the grownups were having starters, we ordered Daniel a side dish of fresh veg which contained some broccoli and carrots (as well as shredded red cabbage and new potatoes, which I took care of myself). Daniel sat in the restaurant’s highchair and had a bit of a go at the broccoli and carrots, but did seem a bit hesitant about the butter and herbs they were dressed with. I also gave in to my urge to offer him some of the restaurant’s delicious homemade bread, but after my inner debate about whether or not to put some on his tray, he turned out not to be very interested in this – a tiny bite was spat out almost immediately. He was also flagging somewhat by this point in the evening (we’d been out and about all day) and started to grizzle before the main courses arrived, so we took him out of the highchair and after a brief breastfeed to settle him down, he slept in the crook of my arm for the remainder of the meal.
Our second ‘away game’ was actually just at my dad’s – for his birthday this time! This went really well. My dad, bless him, had watched all of the videos I’ve posted online of Daniel eating various fruits and vegetables, and he’d been out and stocked up on all of them for our visit to his house! I’d also just bought Daniel’s highchair that day, so he had his first go in that and munched his way through some pepper and broccoli and then two types of melon.
My dad and his wife were both very encouraging and complimentary about Daniel’s self-feeding. I don’t know if they’re specifically aware of BLW as ‘method’, but they didn’t bat an eyelid when I gave him finger foods, and just watched with supportive smiles as Daniel got on with his meal. This was great, since I’ve read about other people’s frustration and disappointment when grandparents, in-laws, etc. don’t understand or approve of the BLW approach, or try to ‘help’ in ways that undermine what the parents are trying to do.
So, recent additions to the range of foods tried are cantaloupe and galia melon, pineapple and cooked carrot. Mango is becoming established as the firm favourite though. He really has got the knack of that one now (offered in fingers with the peel on) and stripped one piece almost bare tonight. And this morning, he tried an Organix mini raspberry & blueberry ricecake which was offered as a snack at a playgroup we went to. I wasn’t initially intending to get him involved in snacktime, but it seems that once you start on this BLW thing, it’s hard to stop! And since it seemed like a perfectly ‘safe’ thing for him to try, we went ahead. He seemed to like the flavour, and he was good at holding it and getting it to his mouth for a suck, but once it started to disintegrate, most of it ended up mushed down his t-shirt.
A few more general points…
I’ve noticed that D is less adept at eating when he’s tired. We’ve come across this first thing in the mornings and also evenings when grownup tea time starts a little late for him. So far in D’s life, we’ve had a very laid back approach to sleeping and feeding routines – i.e. no routine at all. But I guess this is going to have to change once he’s needing three regular mealtimes a day. Tea time might have to be brought forward for all of us if he’s going to have the energy to ‘lead’ his own mealtimes.
The highchair we bought is the Ikea Antilop (plus tray). £14.99 in total. It’s basic, but that works in its favour for BLW: it’s got no padding or crevices for things to get stuck in and if needs be the whole seat and tray could just be sprayed down in the shower after mealtimes. Daniel has sat comfortably in it for at least half an hour at a time.
Lastly a word on the nappies. We’re now seeing regular evidence of fruits and veg passing through – but they do seem to emerge in pieces pretty much the same size and consistency as he must have swallowed them. So, I don’t know how much nutrition he’s actually absorbing from them, and I wonder if this would be the same if he was eating pureed fruit and veg. Would more be ‘soaking in’ en route if he was eating them already mushed up? Anyway, I just keep reminding myself of the mantra I’ve learned on the BLW forum: “Food until one is just for fun”!