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Posts Tagged ‘eating’

Breakfast in the PBX house

Single-minded determination – it’s really the only way to describe McBean’s eating style at breakfast.  He normally gets a bowl of mixed cereal or porridge and some sliced fruit, and from the time it’s put in front of him until the time his belly is full he’s like an eating automaton.  Spoon after spoon of cereal goes in the mouth in a steady progression, interspersed with bits of fruit being stuffed, and I mean stuffed, in alongside.  It’s quite remarkable to watch.

Breakfast is the only time of the day that McBean can be guaranteed to eat with gusto.  He will often have a good morning tea also, but come lunch time he’s as likely to refuse to eat anything at all.  Same goes for afternoon tea and dinner.  Some days breakfast is the only solid meal he eats.  Some days he eats more than I do.  I figure it all balances out over time.

Counter breakfast time McBean with breakfast time FenFox.  I’ve honestly never encountered anyone who faffs around as much and eats as slowly as FenFox.  Some mornings you quite literally have to harangue her for every single bite, otherwise she’d still be sitting there at lunchtime with half of her soggy breakfast in front of her.  It is one of the most incredibly frustrating experiences.  Sometimes she’s talking too much to eat, sometimes she’s just staring vacantly into space.  Reading has been banned at the breakfast table on school days.  She’ll come home from school and take 90 minutes to eat afternoon tea, because she’ll be stuck in her book.

We have the tortoise and hare children at breakfast time, except in our case the hare does win.  Meanwhile Clark is rushing around getting ready for work while I am trying to manage the kids and get breakfasts / lunches ready.  It’s a rare work day when we can all sit down for breakfast.  I am more likely to scrounge something vaguely breakfast like and eat standing up in the kitchen while I do other things, and several times a week Clark takes breakfast with her, a toasted sandwich or some such.

Clark and I are a bit like the tortoise and the hare in the mornings also – Clark leaves getting up too late and so has to rush around to do everything, whereas I allow for how slow I know I function in the mornings and get up early, when McBean hasn’t already made that choice for me of course.  It can take me 15 minutes to get my lunch and snacks together when I’m working, which Clark always finds funny;  I can stand in front of the pantry for long periods in contemplation.  Pantry meditation…  There might be something in that concept actually.  I’d never make a chef, I’m too slow and methodical in the kitchen.  It takes me hours and hours to meal plan, let alone cook.

I wonder are everyone’s mornings so erratic.  I consider it a good morning if FenFox is out the door by 8:45 without too much nagging and Clark walks to the train station (rather than having to drive, which then means McBean and I need to pick the car up within two hours).  We’ll get maybe one or two good mornings in a week, if we’re lucky.  Mornings are so crazy.

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Baby led weaning

McBean has been eating!  He’s really young so we haven’t done anything seriously about it, especially given that we want to practice baby-led weaning with him (an idea I first found out about from The Muriels post about it some time ago).  That means no or little spoon feeding, everything that goes into his mouth, he chooses and puts there.  Usually, this is not recommended until babies are six months because they aren’t able to sit up and bring food to their mouths without assistance.  But McBean has been fascinated when we eat for some time now, and can sit up and put things in his mouth with ease.

On 22 February, just before he was 4 months old, McBean repeatedly grabbed for the vegetables on our plates during dinner as he had been doing for weeks.  I got fed up of pushing his hands away and let him go for it.  He promptly picked up a piece of broccoli and put it in his mouth – the subsequent expression on his face was priceless.  So we put him in his little chair and gave him some of his own vegetables.  He was fascinated and extremely enthusiastic about it.  He mostly played with them, squishing and feeling but did manage to get a fair bit in his mouth, even if actually swallowing anything is still some way off!

We just let things go for a while after that while we did some more research and reading about the whole process.  The book we read was absolutely adamant that it wasn’t appropriate to offer any solid food until 6 months, so I got quite conflicted about it despite their descriptions of a 6 month old’s abilities being very similar to McBean’s now.

This last week we decided to test out our new Ik.ea high chair for something other than playing, and gave McBean some more food from our plates.  He has happily munched on watermelon, cucumber and a rice cracker as well as some rye crusts.  I was astounded that he managed to pick up a flat round cracker and suck on it.  All without us helping – it’s so hard to not help!

Today we went out for breakfast and he was so interested in our food that we gave him some bacon to munch on which was a big hit – he loved it, gumming it enthusiastically and grabbing for more.  Then I ordered a banana for him (and got some really funny looks!) which he enjoyed squishing between his fingers, coating himself in and even sucking on a little bit.

Despite our decision to feed McBean this way (or rather let him feed himself), Lazyboo really wanted to have the experience of feeding McBean some rice cereal.  So this afternoon while we were eating our lunch (and after McBean had already played with some rice and vegetables, and sucked happily on orange and watermelon – often just face planting onto it), we brought out the cereal.  We gave McBean a spoon and dipped it in the cereal and helped him guide it to his mouth.  Well that was it.  He was absolutely desperate for more grabbing at the spoon and the bowl and shoving it in his mouth.  So we kept loading a spoon, and holding it in front of him.  He would drop the other spoon and grab at the loaded spoon, pushing it into his mouth.  He was covered in the cereal, and so was Lazyboo, but he just loved it.  He ate a whole 2 tablespoons of cereal made up with 50ml of formula, as well as the fruit he sucked on.  While we don’t want to spoon feed McBean, it feels like this is a good compromise – he was very much in control of the whole experience and that spoon did not go in his mouth without him pushing it there.

It was hilarious.  See the photos above of the whole mess, as well as a couple of others of the earlier episodes.

I remember feeding FenFox as such a chore, fighting with her constantly to try and get a spoon in her mouth.  I actually had to make her laugh to open her mouth.  It was just horrible.  I think I instinctively just fed her finger foods as early and as often as I could to avoid the trauma for both of us.  I remember her sucking on strips of steak at about 8 months old, and eating heaps of cherry tomatos and baby corn – so I guess I did some of this without even thinking about it.

I love that feeding McBean solids is so much fun even if he is so young.  And it’s so easy.  Let’s hope it stays that way, and that we can deal with the mess.

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