Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Talk to me about food. Please.

When Baby Girl was 4 months old, our pediatrician told us that the reason she wasn’t sleeping through the night was that she was hungry and ready to start cereal. She was in the 96th percentile for weight. She nursed every 2 hours.
Hungry? I wasn’t buying it. And really, if she was, 40 calories worth of cereal wasn’t going to fix it.

But DH wanted to try it, so we did. It was a disaster. We put away the spoons and the cereal boxes and waited.

When she was 5 months old, suddenly everyone I knew started freaking out. My mother in law told my husband that if we didn’t start feeding her soon, it would be too late. (What does this mean? I don’t know.) I suddenly felt an inordinate amount of pressure to give her food. I still didn’t want to. I wanted to wait the whole 6 months, but I was overcome with self-doubt and gave in. I started giving her one meal of cereal most days. And you know? It was okay. Maybe not necessary, but okay.

Little did I know, that was the beginning of the longest and biggest battle of my life. With food.

People? I love food. I mean, LOVE food. Baby Girl? Not so much.

At her 6 month visit, we saw a different doctor. He asked if we were still just doing cereal and told me to try new foods. I asked what, when, and how much. He told me I was overthinking it and just to try foods. Thanks.

The very next day was the first day I got carrot in my hair. But not the last.

Baby Girl is 11 months old now, and I still haven’t figured this stuff out. She eats yogurt, cheese, bread. Bananas. Applesauce. Sometimes sweet potatoes. Occasionally some baby food chicken gets by her. Once I saw her eat peas (I’m sure I did). Way too many Gerber graduates snacks. And that’s about it.

At our last Dr’s visit, the nurse practitioner said I should have her on 100% table food by a year. What? How? She only has 4 teeth. Do DH and I just eat mushy food for the next few months? Do I cook her her own meals?

I know, I know that “until 1, food is for fun.” I know that as long as I’m breastfeeding, she’s getting perfect nutrition. But, she’ll be 1 in a week. Then what? Does the switch just flip, like “Aaaaand. . . now her nutrition is coming from her food.” And what the heck do I do then? Babies cannot live on puffs alone.

So please, dear readers, someone tell me. What can this child eat?


  1. Ahhh your girl sounds like my first born. We did the exact same thing! So I tried a diff approach with my son this time around. Even though they have no teeth he seems to do okay with mushy foods like pieces of toast he'll eat. How bout baby pasta with tomato sauce. I never did that with my daughter but I've tried it with my son and he enjoys it. Ummm what else??
    With my daughter she def ate only purees well past age 1 and my dr also stresed the point of being on table foods. I think I waited until she had a bit more teeth then I would do a grilled cheese sandwich, that's soft. I'd do a ground beef tomato sauce with pasta...or rice...both don't require a lot of teeth.
    I know it's frustrating but she will eat more people foods as the months go by. How about while you're eating dinner offer something that's on your plate..she won't choke..the worst is she'll spit it out.
    Lol if you read my blog back in 2006 onwards you'll see some of my struggles she's 6 and eats like we do (ha!) still picky but she eats.
    So now with my 8mth old I'm being more brave and just offering him bits of things I eat while still giving him baby food....

    Sorry for the long comment...just that I know exactly where you're coming from!!

    Oh just remembered another food...scrambled egg or omelet is good too...

  2. Sigh. Round 2!

    To summarize: I think a lot of it will depend on how long you BF her. You still need to expose her to new textures and get her used to it. We started Nathan on whole milk about a month before his 1st birthday, and added a multivitamin once he was on 100% milk. (poly-visil with iron)

    We fed him: pancakes, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, toast w/ jelly, tons of pasta, rice, mashed potatoes (sweet potatoes too), sauteed or boiled veggies, watermelon, cut blueberries, avocado, cheese. You should be able to give her peanut butter soon - just thin it out with some apple sauce. She might like to dunk it in some of those apple flavored

    If she likes spaghetti sauce, you can mix in some of her pureed food with the sauce. We did that for a while when Nathan wasn't eating much.

    Aaand screamy kid has totally distracted me. I'll try to think of other things when it's quiet. Search for blogs out there too - these 2 are great!!

  3. Take your child's lead. I didn't follow what "everyone" else was saying in regards to when and what my kids should be eating.

    If you're trying foods, you could do soft foods, like pancakes, toast, eggs, fruits, stuff like that.

  4. I felt really pressured too at 4 months. I waited until 5, but really wanted to wait until 6. Next time I'll go with my gut. As for food, I like having a guide too. I use the book Super Baby Food. Also, the website is great. James&Jax told me about Weelicious, which is a food website that is child friendly, but the whole family can enjoy the foods. Good luck!

  5. Buggy is 15 months old and we still have to give him so baby food because he only has 6 teeth. But he's eating more and more table food every day. Just offer it to her, see what she does. She might be one of those that never takes to baby food and goes straight to table food.

  6. I agree 110% with what beckykid wrote. Those are great websites & great food suggestions--I still make dinners from Weelicious recipes, which the whole family eats. Around a year old, Jackson loved refried beans (vegetarian), avocado (still eats 2-3 per week), cheese, scrambled eggs with a little cheese on top, and mashed potatoes. Don't worry at first how much food is going in. Even if she gums it and a few little pieces break off, that's fine. She'll get the hang of it soon enough. Try not to stress too much, because that will just make it worse. Good luck!

  7. I'm sorry you're getting so much pressure and stress about it. It's one of those big transitions that can be really stressful as it is, without those around you making it harder.

    Drs and most people (esp older generations) tend to freak out from 4 months because they don't know any different - even if baby is obviously doing well on the charts and all the usual standards for measuring their progress. A lot of the information and bias comes from an era when formula was far inferior to what's available today, and it really was necessary to add something to babies' diets early to give them more nutrition. Drs get very little (if any) education about BF, and many don't understand anything about how breastmilk changes as baby does. My grandmother couldn't understand why I wouldn't give my first baby extra water - it was summer - when he was a few days old and we were feeding on demand.

    Each of my kids has started solids at around 10 months for allergy/intolerance reasons.

    None of them have been adversely affected by delaying solids, as far as we can tell. When #1 and #2 ate, they ate well, and still do.

    There are lots of kids who eat very little, or nothing, until well after their 1st birthdays. Also, BF exercises baby's jaw, so the "practising chewing" isn't as much of an issue as people seem to fear. They naturally get used to textures in time. Some babies skip the pureed foods altogether.

    You know your baby best, and I know that if you follow Baby Girl's cues and she's thriving and generally well and happy, you will know what is best for her. Unfortunately, I don't have any pearls of wisdom for fending off the stress-mongers - my family has just got used to our way of doing things over the years, and I've just got used to answering questions as simply and confidently as possible.

  8. Oops, sorry for the wordy comment! It's one of those subjects we've had some stress over, too!