It’s only been in the last week or so that Damien has made progress in self-feeding. Though he’s been eating solids for a while now, he usually is in quite a rush to eat: “OMG food, give it to me NOW!” As such, he hasn’t had much motivation to move from his fisting to practice his pincer grip.
In the last week or so, he’s been making more progress by feeding himself toast strips, something he finally has a little bit of patience to attempt. He has already passed the stage where MumMums are good, and even is kind of so-so about Heinz teething biscuits already, but toast with peanut butter or cream cheese seems to keep his attention. He’s able to take bites (with his 2 mini teeth) and to shove pieces into his mouth, if they are in danger of falling out. He coos like crazy, so proud of his achievement!
I was having a bit of a rough day yesterday, compounded by a baby who wasn’t keen on taking a long nap and a 3-year-old whose ‘quiet time’ consisted of watching a movie and asking questions about it every 30 seconds. I was quite drained, so I opened up my Pinterest boards and began looking for some inspiration.
Christmas is one of my favourite times of year because it gives me a reason to make meaningful crafts – crafts that we can keep and use year to year as ornaments or give away as presents. I love crafts, though Aiden is only just beginning to warm up to them. Giving him a defined craft or project is always easier to grab his attention, so we sat down and began a few different ornaments, then went to the fridge for some gingerbread dough (thanks Whole Foods) and rolled out some cookies.
If you would like some inspiration for your difficult days, check out some of my Pinterest boards!
Damien began eating solids about a week before he was 5 months old. Just like Aiden, he began showing early signs of being ready. If a baby could demand to be included in mealtimes, that’s exactly what Damien would look like. We began with a few simple foods, but he really just wanted to eat what we were eating. So, although we felt we were pretty liberal with Aiden (who also started early) in terms of texture, Damien tops him in terms of variety.
Following more of a ‘baby led weaning’ technique, I have not been as concerned with introducing multiple foods at once. I keep track of what he eats so I can back off several items if an allergy appears. His first foods were apple, banana and rice cereal, though he is not a fan of bland or mushy food. I only mushed his banana twice before he was totally fine chewing or swallowing lumpy pieces. He’s totally off rice cereal and even baby oatmeal got a big ‘No’ from him this morning. Who can blame him, really, when his other meals include tasty things like lasagna or meatballs?
Feeding Damien table food that is well cooked / soft has made it possible for him to eat almost everything we do with no extra preparation. He eats chunks of chicken (which I recall briefly making into a chunky puree for Aiden), rice and pieces of vegetables with no issue.
In the video above, Damien is enjoying two of his favourite foods: chicken and mango.
Another mom friend recently told us about the Well Fed Meal Assembly classes held in North Vancouver by the Well Fed Studios. For two months, these meals have been feeding us well! Ianiv took the course in June and I took the course with some mom friends in July – it was so amazing!
In just over two hours, I walked out of the studio with 8 family-sized meals (for us, 2 dinners at least!) based off of a menu of 12 that we pre-selected. How do we have so many meals in 2 hours? Well Fed studio does all the prep – all the cutting and pre-cooking and measuring. During the course, all you have to do is follow a well laid-out set of instructions to assemble all the ingredients into a meal that you take home to freeze (they provide all the ziploc bags & freezer trays). During the class, we enjoyed wine alongside bread & cheese – so great!
All the meals feel gourmet and they taste that way too! Using high quality ingredients and great recipes, we have been incredibly happy with all our meals. Since this is our second month, we have now tried 10 dishes and have not been disappointed in any of them. From pork tenderloin to gnocchi to chicken roulade to blue cheese bison burgers, the variety has been amazing.
In terms of kid friendly-ness, Aiden is kind of picky about foods being “mixed”, so he doesn’t really eat all of these meals (unfortunately). There have been a couple that he has enjoyed such as the chicken kabobs, chicken tenders and mac & cheese. We are hoping that continually exposing him to these meals will mean he eventually tries them (that’s our tactic with all our meals, but often we cook more simple dishes with him in mind).
If you are finding yourself going out, ordering in or eating poor thrown-together meals, this class may just be for you!
Every Friday, it’s now a tradition for Aiden to bake with his Babby during their weekly visit. After one cookie baking session, Aiden started to ask to bake cookies again within minutes of her appearance in hour home. Now, he’ll even ask ahead of time to bake something in particular. Last Friday, he wanted to make cupcakes. He was inspired by one of his Hide and Seek books that showed a picture of chocolate cupcakes with pink icing – that was his request.
In the end, he chose to make cupcakes with blue icing, but the result was the same – a very happy Aiden!! He absolutely loves baking with his Babby. Such special memories!