Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Soup - oh well, it has to be spoon fed then.

We've all had little coughs and colds over Christmas and we needed something lovely and nutritious to perk us all up.  My mum made this delicious leek and potato soup and Anya absolutely loved it.  Though obviously it had to be spoon fed.  Even I had to spoon feed myself!

And I know why I love BLW.  It's just so convenient everyone eating our meals together and having a chat and generally getting on with it.  I love my food.  I'll never be skinny because I could never eat such a small amount to make me skinny.  But what I also love about food is the pleasure of actually eating it.

Having kids generally means meal times are a bit of a chore whether spoon feeding of following BLW.  My 3 year old still asks me to blow her food if it's too hot.  She'll cut everything up but she just can't cool it down like I can.  If hers is too hot then it generally means that Anya's is too hot so I'm also trying to cool hers down out of sight.  If Anya sees her food and can't eat it she gets very stroppy!

If I'm spoon feeding then it really is just a big chore.  I have to cool down Anya's food (and possibly Mia's) then feed her and all the while my tea is just sat there getting cold.  So when it comes to eating it it's very cold.  And I still have to rush it down because the kids have finished and now want to 'do things'.

I've been putting off making soup for this very reason but sometimes it's just inevitable.

So for a treat my husband and I are having a take away tonight after the kids have gone to bed.  I'm going to really enjoy this and the kids better stay asleep!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Eggy bread for breakfast

I'm fed up with having toast or porridge for breakfast so we're having eggy bread.

I love eggy bread and always see it as a real treat.  If you haven't had it before it's very simple to make.

Whisk some eggs and a bit of milk together then soak a slice of bread in the mixture.  Once the bread is wet just pop it in the frying pan until it's all golden.

Make sure it's thoroughly cooked.

A very easy way of giving your baby egg without making a mess.  You could also serve it with baked beans if you want to add extra iron, fibre, protein and calcium to the meal.  Personally I think we should have baked beans everyday.  They taste delicious and are so healthy (low salt and sugar though), and for vegetarians it's a great way of getting extra iron in your diet.

Then it's off to the Carol Service at our local church. Can't wait.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Fun and games in Pizza Hut

Yesterday was my eldest daughter's 3rd birthday.  As a treat we took her out for dinner (lunch, if you're not from the North of England!).  We asked her what she wanted and she said pasta.  We were hoping for 'pasty' or 'chips' but no, she wanted pasta.  We couldn't really think of anywhere that sold pasta dishes cheap enough to buy just in case she left half of it, then I didn't begrudge paying for it.

So we decided on Pizza Hut. (Yes again, for those who have read my previous blogs.)  Not very healthy if you op for the pizza versions but what the heck, it was her birthday.

My husband and I had the buffet option which worked wonderfully with Anya and the blw.  She happily munched away on apple, pinched some of my pasta and loved the garlic bread.  She ate loads and really enjoyed herself, dancing away to the music and getting lots of attention from the staff.

I offered Mia some of my pizza (she'd finished hers) but she didn't want any.  As I'd already cut it into a little strip I thought I'd give it to Anya.  She happily took it and started to eat it.  She's got two bottom teeth now so she takes bigger bites than normal, which means more in the mouth.

Anyway, the cheese on this pizza was much stringier than what she is used to at home as we make our own pizzas with cheddar cheese.  She started to gag a little on her piece of pizza, but this didn't work.  The cheese was halfway down her through and wasn't coming up.

So she gagged a little more, trying hard to get rid of the cheese.  Then a little more.

And then, BAAARRRFFF.  All over the chair, her clothes and the floor.

And the little rascal had the cheek to smile once she had done it as if to say, look I got rid of the cheese!

So what did I learn?

  • Don't feed her too much.  Just because she munches away doesn't mean to say her belly has suddenly grown to a huge size and can handle lots of food.
  • Take the plastic mat with you wherever you go.
  • Take more wipes than you think you'll need.
  • Stick to apple and pasta in future!

The staff were lovely and brought me loads of napkins.  They even offered to wipe the highchair but I wouldn't have wished that on anybody.  By the time I had finished cleaning the highchair it was spotless and I'm sure there was food on there what wasn't Anya's! URGH

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Please Mummy no spoons

I can't believe how long it's been since I last posted on here but my reason is as follows:

BLW is so easy it can be a bit boring!

Perhaps it's just Anya but she just seems fine with it and basically eats anything.

There are a couple of things that I've noticed which I have to keep reminding myself that it's baby LED weaning.  Some days she'll eat loads then for the next few days I keep putting more food on her tray and if she doesn't eat it I start worrying and trying to give her something else to get her to eat.

I did broccoli in a cheese sauce tonight and she ate some of the broccoli then played with the rest.  When I gave her some of mine she quickly squashed it and ate none of it.  So I dipped my finger in the cheese sauce to see if she wanted it.  If she wants something she'll reach out for it even if it's in mine hand, but everytime I put my finger to her face she grabbed it and pushed it away.  I tried a few times to give it to her then it finally dawned on me that she just didn't want it.

The other day I gave her some stewed pears.  I had some pears that were going a little mushy so I rescued what I could and stewed them.  The only trouble with this is that they needed to be fed by a spoon.

Not a pleasant experience.  Anya loved the pears but because she couldn't get enough quickly she kept crying. (See her little sad face below.)  If she eats a pear she grabs it between her hands and munches away on it, but she was so upset that she had to wait for each spoonful.  It was the worst meal we've had so far and reminded me of when my eldest daughter used to do it.  If she was crying at mealtimes I used to think she didn't like the food but after seeing Anya doing it, it made me think that Mia just wanted her food quicker than I was giving it to her.

Anya does use a spoon sometimes, especially when we have porridge and she's very good at using it but using a spoon and a bowl is not a success as the bowl generally goes everywhere.  I gave her a bowl of porridge the other day with a spoon for her and a spoon for me to feed her with.  In the end she got fed up with the spoons and just grabbed the bowl and stuck her head in it!  Unfortunately my phone was charging otherwise I would've taken a picture as she was covered in it but had a huge grin on her face.  Below shows what happens when she is eating the porridge in a calm manner so you can imagine what she looked like the other day.

Oh, and she got her bottom teeth in the last few weeks and cold sticks of fruit from the fridge are perfect for her to chew on, though she does gag a bit.  She's getting very blas'e with eating and puts quite a lot in her mouth as if she's a pro now, and does gag a bit more.  She's very cute when she does it though as she'll look at you gag and smile as it to say look Mummy, aren't I funny?

Mummy, please just give me the pears.

Starting well.

Holding the spoon with porridge on, but deciding to use her other hand to concentrate on eating.

I never realised porridge could be picked  up so easily! Or perhaps it's just how I cook it.

I think the spoon stayed in this position for quite a while.

Ah, spoon in bowl finally.

And then spoon in mouth.  Very clever!

Oops, the spoon becomes more of a toy from now on.

Yep, porridge is mucky business. But very funny.

Action shot. Even the dog moved when she started doing this otherwise he was getting covered in porridge.

The spoon finally ended up in the mouth, but it's the wrong way around.

Very messy but very cute. 

Monday, 15 November 2010

Yeah - I've converted my Mum!

I was at my Mum's yesterday having tea, as is usual on Sunday for us, and she suddenly came out with 'I like this baby led weaning'.


She wasn't keen at first, especially when she saw Anya gag, but now she's loving it.

And so am I.  Anya just sits with us at meal times and enjoys the whole eating experience.  As soon as I put her tray in front of her she grabs for food, then spends the rest of the time happily laughing and smiling at us as we're all eating.  The only exception is when we're eating at home.  I tend to eat with my two daughters as my husband arrives home later than we eat, so we eat with the telly on.  Anya is often turning around when something interesting comes on.  Especially Zingzillas!

She ate loads tonight.  She had a cheese and onion bite, some bread, some pasta, then finished it off with a full pear (no skin).  It's 11.30pm and she hasn't woken up for a 10pm feed.  Perhaps this is the way to go!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Note to Self - feeding a child does need some form of organisation

As I've previously mentioned I'm not the most organised person.  Well actually, when it comes to big things, organising parties, moving house (and even countries!) studying, I'm very organised, but when it comes to everyday things I tend to take things as they come.

Which is why blw suits me just fine.  However, I keep forgetting that Anya needs to eat now.

I went into town today unexpectedly and got a pasty for Mia and myself.  Mia was fine with her cheese and onion pasty and I had a vegetable curry pasty.  It was just before dinnertime so I thought I might be ale to get back and cook Anya something but once she saw us eating, that was it.

Basically in baby talk, this is what she was saying, "Mmm, Mummy that looks nice.  Mummy, please can I have some?  Mummy, I'm getting hungry and your food looks nice, please can I have some?  Mummy, please please please can I have some food?  MUMMY GIVE ME YOUR FOOD?  NOW! MUMMY FOOD NOW! ARGH ARGH ARGH. JUST GIVE ME YOUR FOOD".

I managed to break a bit off of my very hot pasty (both hot and spicy) and cool it down.  I wasn't sure if she would eat it as it was quite spicy but she loved it.  She would suck the sauce off it then suck the pasty until the pastry was suitable for her to eat.

Then she decided to let me hold it and she moved her head from left to right and rub the pasty all over her face.  She loved it and I found it absolutely hilarious.  She was wearing a lovely white coat, which now isn't a lovely white coat!

I was quite surprised that she enjoyed the spicy pasty but then I do eat a lot of curries (not too hot as I'm a wimp) and I breastfed both my children, still breastfeeding Anya, so she's probably used to it.

So, hopefully, I've learnt my lesson.  Take food anywhere I go in case Anya goes mental and WANTS FOOD.

I'm thinking either fruit, sandwiches, breadsticks, cheese, falafel, or quiches.  I'll keep you filled in on what foods are appropriate when you're out and about and using blw.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Exciting times

Well I have to confess I don't normally get excited when I change Anya's nappies but today I noticed her poo is changing from breastmilk poo to food poo.

Yes I know this is somewhat disgusting for most people reading this but it's very exciting to know that she's actually ingesting food herself and her body is now making use of it rather than just letting everything go through her.

The only unfortunate thing was that it was from a veggie burger which I didn't make myself.  It was a Dalepak veggie burger and she absolutely loved it, hence eating most of it.

Oh, she also got her first tooth on Saturday.  The fact that I can give her cold fruit from the fridge to ease her gums, is a great example of how I can use baby led weaning to my advantage.

Don't worry, I didn't take any photos of Anya's nappies!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Week 3

I'm not sure if the Baby Led Weaning plays a part in this but Anya absolutely loves her food.

We went for a meal with my Nan at the weekend, celebrating her 96th birthday, and when the food arrived she just shouted and shouted until I finally gave her some food (Anya that is, not my Nan!).

At home, I daren't bring out her food if it's too hot otherwise she'll shout until it's on her tray so I have to let it cool in the kitchen.

I've noticed lots of changes recently.

Her nappies are showing visible signs that she's eating more.  Some of it has been digested and others have just gone straight through, but I believe this is totally normal until the body adjusts.

Eating skills
She's finding different ways of eating different foods.  I gave her some thin strips of lasagne and some how she wrapped it over her thumb.  However, she discovered she could suck all the sauce off then bite into the pasta.  Very clever I thought, especially as she has started to do this with a few kinds of foods now.

The gagging seems to be getting less and less, thankfully.  I can't say I enjoyed this part of baby led weaning.  I'm sure no-one wants to see their baby gagging, but it is reassuring to see the gagging reflex doing what it should be doing.  But what is very interesting is seeing the way Anya has learnt how to eat to avoid gagging.  She doesn't put food so far into her mouth now.  Once she has decided there is enough in there she'll happily chew until she either swallows it or decides to spit it out.  Even my mum gave her some pitta bread the other day so she must feel comfortable enough with her eating 'normal' food at the moment.

A friend wanted me to film Anya gagging as she wanted to try baby led weaning and wanted to know what she was in for, however I've been waiting for ages to do it.  At first I could've got some great footage but I was too concerned about watching every move she made to film it.  Now, we all sit at the table chatting and I can even turn my back on her for a few seconds without getting paranoid!  So I suggest anyone looks on youtube for baby led weaning clips as there are a few on there about gagging.  I'll try to find a good link for you.

As discussed, Anya just loves her food.  Three weeks into the weaning process and she just loves food and shouts for it when she sits down to eat.  It doesn't matter what I put infront of her she just grabs anything on her tray.  What is also interesting to see is my other daughter has started to try different foods when she sees Anya eating it.  Not too much, but little bits at a time.

Eating out
We've eaten out a few times in the last week and I've found this a bit tricky.  Not really for the food and what to give her but I'm conscious about what might happen if anyone sees her eating proper food and not cutting it up, not squashing food or feeding her and even what would happen if she starts gagging.

The first time we ate out was at a small cafe for lunch (my mum treated us!) and Anya had some of my wrap with peppers and mushrooms.  The second time we ate out we had a very healthy pizza (!!!!!) but I have to admit I was searching Anya's highchair for pizza and I couldn't find any.  I only gave her a thin strip about an inch wide and four inches long but she absolutely wolfed it down.  She also enjoyed munching on rocket but I didn't think it was too suitable for her just in case it got stuck.  Herbs are so much harder for her to spit out so I took it off her.

The third time we ate out was for my Nan's birthday and we went for a carvery.  I had the vegetarian lasagne option and Anya loved this too, but particularly loved the yorkshire puddings.  I learnt my lesson by the third outing and remembered to take my plastic floor mat!

Spaghetti is a big favourite in our house!

Anya getting very excited with the spaghetti.  She loves to eat it and play with it.

And this is where most of it ends up.

As fit as a baby led weaning dog!

Our first proper outing.  Anya ended up sitting on my knee eating as I wasn't happy with the cleanliness of the highchair or plates but then I ended spilling most of my food on the floor!  Luckily I could just blame the baby.

Anya discovering that if she wraps lasagne sheets around her thumb it's much easier to eat.  She's started doing this with a lot of food now.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Week 2

This week has been a good week but I've noticed that sometimes my diet isn't as good as it should be!

BLW (and traditional weaning perhaps) does make you look at the foods you are eating and whether they are healthy enough to give a baby.  Generally I don't add much salt to my food (expect chippy chips, the more salt the better) but if I have packaged foods then the salt content can be so high.  It's only after looking at the packaged foods' salt content that I've started to watch the level of salt I eat.

Just one portion of Quorn escalopes contain approximately 26% of my daily salt intake.  That might not be too much if I was eating 75% of my salt intake with my other meals but I don't always measure my smaller meals and that's excluding snacks!  Ao it's likely that I'm getting more salt than I should. It's actually very annoying the amount of salt they put in food.

So when I've been eating some meals that I wouldn't want to feed Anya I've had to give her something different.

I've also noticed that it's good to have snacks handy for Anya.  What I would describe as a snack, banana, small sandwich, cheese on toast, is in fact a full meal for Anya so I don't often worry what to give her but I do sometimes get a bit bored with giving her the same thing day in day out.

But realistically how many of us vary our diets on a daily basis?  My breakfasts and lunches are often the same and the meal that is varied daily is my main meal so why should it be any different for a baby or child?

I've been looking at a few recipes to make meals that I can give Anya and I made the most delicious frittata the other day, spinach, potato and pumpkin.  I'll post some of the meals up that I've been giving Anya to those who are looking at baby led weaning either for now or for the future.

I've also noticed that Anya has really taken to eating!  As soon as we sit down to eat she starts to 'shout' for her food and once it's on her tray she has no hesitation in going for what she wants.  Today she had roasted veg and loved her roasted parsnip.  She munched away on it for ages.

Anya trying melon for the first time.  I cut the skin off so she could eat it all.  It was a bit slippery but she managed very well.
She got a bit excited with the melon! The plum definitely came in second place.
She enjoyed the fruit so much that she was sucking her bib that was full of fruit juice.
Smiles all round.
Spinach, pumpkin and potato frittata.
Straight for the frittata.

She enjoyed the texture of the frittata and loved squashing it in her hands.
Just admiring a chip (oven cooked).  Fortunately she preferred the frittata otherwise I'd really be thinking my diet was rubbish.
Baby led weaning really is messy. A few chips and frittata lay on the floor for all of 2 minutes before the dogs got it.
Enjoying baby sweetcorn again.
Figuring out what a courgette is.

Whoops, missing her mouth with a fine bean.
First attempt at yoghurt.  I dipped the spoon and she fed herself.  However, I was really disappointed with the yoghurt.  It was described as perfect for weaning and my 2 year old loves them, but there is added sugar in them and it's far too high for my liking.  I've bought plain yoghurt and will put pureed fruit in it for next time.
Very messy banana.  She has so much fun with bananas.  They are squidy, tasty and easy to hold.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Week 1 - great success in my opinion.

See, this is why I like baby led weaning.  I'm just not organised enough to do a blog everyday and I'm not organised enough to do traditional weaning everyday!

This week Anya has eaten spaghetti bolognese, sausage mash and beans, cheese sandwiches, sausage casserole, vegemite (very thinly spread) on toast, bananas, broccoli and squash pasta and whoops a little bit of chocolate when she grabbed my hand and wouldn't let go. (All veggie food by the way.)

BLW is as good as I thought it would be.  On the days when her sleeps coincide with our meals and I just don't manage to have 2 sit down meals she just has lots of breastmilk.  But it doesn't worry me due to the amount of food she eats.

At the moment she puts things in her mouth, chews away (no teeth yet though) and spits most of it out but swallows some of it.  She likes banana and mashed potatoes and always laughs and talks when we're having toast in the morning.  Sometimes she just has butter and other times she might have a bit of vegemite but she doesn't have a preference yet.

URGH ALERT - I've been checking her nappies to see if she is infact eating any food.  There's a bit going in there.  Some evidence of bananas being ingested (looks like little brown worms so don't worry if you see this after your baby has eaten bananas!), red pepper, and a little bit of carrot.  Her poo is getting less runnier (most breastfed babies' poo is quite runny) but I haven't seen a huge difference.

Apparently this will happen at approximately 8 to 9 months when they start to notice that food fills their tummys and performs a purpose rather than food just being a toy at the moment.

She has taken to BLW really well.  She always sits with us at the table and as soon as the food is put on her highchair she grabs it and puts it in her mouth.  If she has a selection of food it's interesting to see which ones she picks out.  Usually it's the closest thing to her but if she recognises the foods and likes them from last time she'll have them.

The little bit of chocolate she had was a button I was eating.  It had melted in my hand and she grabbed my hand and would not let go.  It makes me think that we must be born to love chocolate otherwise babies would treat it the same as anything else.  Or perhaps she recognises it from my breastmilk as I do tend to eat a lot of it.

And now down to the topic of gagging!  She has gagged a few times and even vomited a little bit to bring up a particularly stubborn piece!  At first I had to hold myself back as it's not nice to see if you're not used to it but if you watch and don't interfere you see that the babies do perfectly well on their own.  There have been times when she's gagged, spat out some food, smiled and happily carried on!  My mum hates the gagging and has to turn her head away.  But seeing her bring up the food restores my faith that she'll do fine on her own as she does what nature intended her to do.

First try of banana

Not quite sure!

Very puzzled now

Mushroom stroganoff. She didn't like the mushroom and very quickly threw it to the side of her tray.

We had potato wedges too and she loved these, though this was her first proper meal and she did gag a bit on the wedges.

Trying to get hold of the pasta. A look of determination on her face.


Veggie sausage, squashed baked beans and mashed potato. I squashed the beans for two reasons - 1. she wouldn't have been able to pick them up and 2 - I thought they posed a small choking hazard.

She went straight for the sausage.

But very quickly found out that the mashed potato was much better.  It's also quite easy to grab.

She's managed to roll up some mashed potato to make it easier for handling. Quite clever I thought.

Spaghetti bolognese with Quorn mince. Nice and tidy to start with.

Yes, definitely a success.  She smiled all the way through this one, though it was a very good game for her!

And not so clean now.

She's just playing and inspecting the last few pieces.  Most of the spaghetti went on the floor but she had a great time.