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.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Day 2

Today was a bit less eventful than yesterday.

I was at church in the morning so Archie (wonderful hubby!) was in charge of both of the kids.  He always gives Mia her breakfasts really late (more interested in playing with toys the pair of them) so I knew Anya had no chance of breakfast.

Then I was at a wedding fayre with Archie so dinner went out of the window.  We ended up grabbing a sandwich from M&S so Anya just had a little taste of humous which she seemed to enjoy.  Back to my mum's for tea (chips and quorn escalopes) so not very baby friendly but Anya seemed to enjoy the chips.  I gave her some escalope but she grabbed it, then chucked it on the floor.  Probably a good idea as they are so high in salt but it's just nice for her to be included in the meals and enjoy sitting with the family.

I did buy some plastic material to put under Anya's chairs both at home and outside, but I've no chance of picking food up from the floor in either our house or my mum and dad's house.  We've got two dogs and they've got two dogs.  The dogs think BLW is the way to go!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

And we're off!

Today was Anya's official start to blw.  It was quite exciting and also a bit nerving at the same time.

I know she's ready for food.  She's showing all the signs, ticks all the boxes and is 6 months in 2 days.  Plus when she sees people eat she starts to 'practise' chew.  She was doing it on holiday watching a couple eating their lunch and they couldn't stop laughing.

She always has a sleep about 9.30 ish so I went to buy the highchair, which I'm really pleased with.  Not as cheap as the Ikea one but considering they're completely sold out I had to get one that was both suitable and cheap. So with my purse £25 lighter we begin.

I gave her a bit of banana for lunch which she mainly played with.  Everytime she picks up food they go straight into her mouth so she knows exactly what she's doing.  Most of the banana ended up on the floor or mashed on her tray but no gagging and a couple of classic facial expressions.

For tea I was making mushroom stroganoff with jacket potato.  I cooked her some potato wedges so she could hold them and gave her a couple of large strips of red and green peppers and a mushroom.

She picked up the mushroom had a little play, tasted it, then threw it back onto the tray in disgust!  She had us all in stitches.

Next she picked up the wedges.  She sucked them, squashed them, chewed them and literally had a great time with them.  Each time she dropped them she would go back for more.  And yes - there was gagging involved.  Not very nice and if you're not used to it or didn't expect it, it could be quite scary.  My mum didn't like it at all and had a lot of reservations about blw just because of the gagging.  My husband didn't mind too much but kept asking a lot of questions just to make sure we were doing things right.

But the gagging was fine and everything came up that needed to come up.

When she had finally finished with the potatoes she moved onto the peppers.  I think she managed quite well with these and you could see she had taken some of the flesh off and eaten it (I think, the nappy will tell!).  But again came the gagging.  Probably because she tried to ram the whole of the strip into her mouth.

I think the gagging does put a lot of people off and at times even I was watching her intently to make sure she was fine.  But after doing loads of reading and seeing videos on youtube gagging goes hand in hand with blw.  And hopefully, as research indicates, she'll stop gagging sooner than most babies as she learns control over her food and how much she should put in.

I'm not sure if I go straight to 3 meals a day plus little snacks now or do I just give maybe lunch and tea.  It probably doesn't make much difference seeing as she isn't 'eating' most of it yet so perhaps she'll just play a little.

Photos to follow!

Friday, 8 October 2010

Nearly ready!

Anya is 6 months this Monday.  I can't believe where the time has gone.  6 months has gone so much quicker than with my first baby.

And now she is ready for food! Yeah.

We've just returned from holiday and probably a good job that I didn't start to wean her on the holiday as we ate a lot of unfriendly baby led weaning food.  Hot curries, chinese, ice cream (she'd probably have liked that), chips (good size for her to hold!) and chocolate.  Though she would've got most of it through my breastmilk!

Today I made a vegetable sauce with gnocchi.  I gave her some baby sweetcorn, red peppers and courgette.  I did it at the totally wrong time as she was ready for bed but was still quite alert.  We were having tea very late so I thought, what the hell, I'll see how she goes.

She loved the baby sweetcorn and managed to gnaw (gum) quite a bit off.  The dog ended up getting most of it when she dropped it.  She really enjoyed the pepper but got a bit too excited with it and very quickly dropped it. Unfortunately I'd cut her pieces quite big (cadbury's finger size) and I'd cut ours up into small chunks.  My first daughter (weaned the traditional way) can be a bit fussy so I try not to make some food obvious.  So, note to self, make more bigger pieces for Anya next time.

Again, the dog liked the red pepper too, though he declined the courgette when she threw that down!

Just before we went on holiday I tried to get the Antilop highchair from Ikea.  I've heard a lot of good reports saying that it's perfect for blw.  Perhaps blw has seriously taken off as Ikea are out of stock with these highchairs.  I tried Warrington, Manchester, Leeds.  I think the next choice would've been Birmingham but what it would cost me to go down there I could just get a highchair from Argos for more money.  So I've reserved my highchair and collect it tomorrow.

Blw is definitely the way for me but I'd prefer a highchair for her, otherwise not only does Anya get mucky, but so do I if she's sat on my knee.

I was getting a bit annoyed when I found out Ikea had sold out of the highchair as I really wanted that one for both practical and financial reasons.  And I was getting a bit impatient as I knew she was getting to 6 months and she needed to eat food.

But then I relaxed and remembered what blw is all about.  Letting the children take their time, explore different tastes, textures and smells.  For the first couple of months it's all about exploration and as long as they are still getting lots of milk feeds they shouldn't really want for anything else.  So I have to remind myself to take my time with blw.

The good thing about starting just after holiday is the fact that we are on our health kick now (until Christmas) so she'll get lots of good healthy food, plus apples and pears are coming into season now - yummy.