Sausage, egg and chips.

3 May

The colic post can wait. Soz.

Following yesterday’s feeding post and the response it had on FB I’m posting about feeding again. Food this time.

A Brief History of Centiles…
My daughter was born a bit early, in the 25th centile but very long. 58cm long. This meant she was quite, quite thin. She looked a bit like a skinned rabbit hanging in a butchers window when she finally got out (with surgical assistance, but that’s another story for another time).

She hardly woke up for the first few weeks and feeding was a nightmare. She never woke or cried to feed, suffered colic and reflux and didn’t gain much weight.

She dropped down to near the 9th centile in the first 6 weeks then slowly started climbing back up, millimetre by millimetre.

The health visitor and my GP recommended early weaning (4 at months) due to her reflux. She seemingly hated milk. Not ideal for a tiny baby.

I tried her with some fruit purée at just under 5 months. She was interested but not ready. She pushed the mashed apple out of her mouth rather than taking it to the back of her throat and swallowing it.

We tried again a few weeks later and she swallowed the fruit and wanted more.

In the 7 months that followed she’s had a good go at pretty much everything we’ve offered her and gradually climbed up to around the 60th centile. Phew.

What I’m saying is, if your baby is a demon to milk feed (thrashing, angry, red. Horns optional) then don’t worry too much. Babies do not starve themselves to death. Yes, they are contrary, picky, unpredictable and annoying about food. They’re essentially like cats. What is the best thing ever one day has the ability to become putrid poison to them overnight. They will have enough. They still have milk. Try not to panic.

Some thoughts on Baby Led Weaning

This is very popular now. But, like most baby techniques, ideologies and strategies, it’s not for everyone. I used the principle of letting her try foods she showed an interest in and letting her feed herself, but I also spoon fed her some purée and baby food as I was hellbent on making sure she actually consumed calories rather than just distributing them all over my floor.

If you have a hungry, enthusiastic baby then BLW is great. If, like me, you have a baby who’s not motivated by food and is quite low weight, then it wasn’t ideal. I wanted to know how much she had actually eaten.

Spoon feeding is not force feeding as some BLW nutters will suggest. Pretty much everyone over the age of 5 was spoon fed and guess what? WE ARE FINE. There was life before BLW.

Like all baby fads/fashions/methods take what you want from it and discard the rest.

My daughter sometimes refuses the spoon now, but still isn’t coordinated enough to spoon feed herself runny stuff so I let her eat most things with her hands. Note: cling film your house.

Weaning is fun. It’s also frustrating, time consuming and creates a lot of mess and waste. My advice is try load of different stuff. Even stuff you don’t like.

I let my daughter try ice cream at around 7 months. She has the odd piece of chocolate. She prefers savoury stuff it seems but I don’t want any particular food to be perceived as ‘bad’ or a ‘treat’. I am trying to keep emotive language away from food and to never use it as a reward. I want her to eat healthily of course, but I want her to use food as fuel rather than as an emotional resource. I want her to eat when she’s hungry and stop when she’s full.

I had a range if issues with food in my teens and my (slim) mother has been on a diet for her entire life it seems. I want my daughter to be free of guilt or fear when it comes to eating.

So, where are we now?

My daughter is 13 months and is faddy about food. She generally eats between 1 and 2 slices of toast for breakfast. Usually with either cream cheese, marmite or sugar-free jam.

Lunch could be anything. I often save a bit of my dinner from the night before. Or she might have pasta, beans on toast or cauliflower cheese. Sometimes she eats loads. Sometimes next to nothing.

Dinner is much the same as lunch. Sometimes she has chips (gasp!) or potato wedges. Sometimes she has yoghurt. She usually has fruit of some kind. And a chocolate biscuit (Heinz baby biscotti).

I try not to give too many snacks as it means she has no appetite for meals. If she does have a snack it’s usually rice cakes, crackers, Organix corn crisps (look like wotsits, taste like NOTHING) or raisins.

She’s quite adventurous. She’s had Katsu curry in Wagamamas, eats raw red onion, sucks wedges of lemon and eats all the ingredients in a Pizza Express tuna Niçoise salad. Her absolutely favourite thing at the moment is smoked salmon. This is one middle class baby.

When we’re out I let her try stuff. Nothing is bad in tiny quantities (except perhaps gin).

She tried crisps, chocolate brownies and chocolate cornflake cake at a friends party recently.

She has been to McDonalds. She had 6 chips (so shoot me).

She’s been sucking/chewing on pizza crust in restaurants since she was big enough to sit in a high chair.

She had tapas in Madrid and she’ll eat Greek salad in Rhodes when we go there this summer. Pitta bread and taramasalata is right up her street. I’ll still be taking a couple of Ella’s Kitchen pouches of spag bol on holiday as a back up but I’m hoping she’ll be ok and take it in her wobbly stride.

As with everything, my motto is ‘I’m sure it’ll be fine’. If things don’t work I just try something else and try not to get disheartened.

I’d rather she eats something rather than nothing. Even if that something isn’t steamed organic vegetables and brown rice (yeah, good luck with that).

As for the title of this post, my girl LOVES a sausages. Sausage rolIs too. I wouldn’t let her have it everyday but a balance diet is just that. Balanced. She will eat chips if all else fails (I make my own, aren’t I la-di-da!) and there’s nowt wrong with a dippy egg and soldiers.

It’s not what you give your child for dinner that counts. It’s their overall diet. So don’t judge me if you see me feeding my daughter ice cream or pizza for dinner. She’ll most likely have had cucumber and tomatoes for lunch. That or sausages.

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