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Her Daily Bread

For the last 6-8 weeks or so, Eliana has not been too keen on eating anything I try to feed her off a spoon. She is deeply offended by this concept. Why should she allow me to feed her when she can feed herself? She is a very independent little person. So, a new challenge has been figuring out what to do with all the frozen purees so she will eat them. Occasionally, she will let me feed her.

 

 

But, it is either a puree she really loves and doesn’t care that I have to put it into her mouth. Or, I’ve been a sneaky Mommy and given it to her using regular silverware. I think she is over using her rubber spoons. As far as she is concerned, she is too old for them. She sees me and Matt using the metal spoons so that’s what she wants to use too. That makes sense.

 

 

However, I do need to say that metal spoons might be successful because Eliana has a strange love of licking metal objects. Drains (gross), dresser knobs and latches (weird), zippers (doesn’t that hurt her tongue?), the buttons on her onesies (“safe-ish” metal as far as I’m concerned), tinfoil (scary) and anything else she can get her mouth on. I’m definitely asking the doctor about when to become concerned about the possibility of her having pica at her check-up in a couple weeks.

 

 

Anyway, back to the purees. What I’ve done to make them into finger foods is to mix them with textured foods Eliana can pick up like oatmeal, quinoa, couscous, cottage cheese, orzo pasta or rice. I’ve also spread them on little pieces of wheat toast or wheat tortillas. And if I thought feeding her was messy before, I was totally deluded. Yes, I do laugh about how I used to be so concerned about the mess she made while eating.

 

Oh, I had NO CLUE what was coming my way!

 

I laugh at my naiveté in the post Helicopter Mommy. Now, I might need to write one about how I am completely reformed- or at least much more accepting of the mess. As a result of her picking up her food and feeding herself all the time, I find food everywhere! Obviously, it goes onto the floor and her high chair. But, I also find food in her ears, on the back of her pants, in her neck folds and even, occasionally, in her diaper. (No idea how that happens.) At the end of a meal I do what I call a “360 Butt Check” and I rotate her around to see exactly all of the places on her body that meal went. Then we rush to the sink to “play” in the water so I can wash off her hands.

 

And, now that Eliana is eating more finger foods and mashed versions of what Matt and I eat, it is a regular exercise in not freaking out about her choking. At least once a meal, I quickly run through the steps of infant CPR in my head. There was even a scare a few weeks ago when Eliana looked at me wide-eyed with her mouth open like a fish and not making a sound. Something seemed wrong so I yanked her out of her high chair, flipped her over my knee and began pounding on her back. And then in the middle of my dramatic life-saving efforts, she had the nerve to start laughing! Little Bugger.

 

But back to her eating…

 

My friends and family are always asking me what new or wacky foods I’ve given Eliana lately. So, it got me thinking: what does my little lady eat across the day? Soon enough, she will be off her combination of solid foods, breast milk and formula and be drinking cow’s milk. At that point, I will really need to make sure I’m feeding her balanced meals. We aren’t at the point of doing any “snacks” yet. Between eating a meal each time she gets up from a nap and then having a bottle around an hour or two after she finishes her meal, there is no room in our day, or in her belly, for snacks.

 

I’m ALWAYS taking photos of her eating. I never know when a good ttf photo-op will happen! It is so boring to look at my phone and Matt’s iPad because they are FULL (literally, we can’t take any more photos without deleting some) of the same type of photo: Eliana with a bib sitting in her high chair and eating. Matt suggested I change it up a bit by labeling what she is eating. So I took his suggestion and began to track her eating by photographing her meals in a very “scientific” and “precise” way: I took a Post-it, wrote down what she was eating and stuck to her high chair for the photos.

 

And here is Eliana’s “daily bread” over the course of almost a week:

Day 1:

Breakfast: Banana sticks and peach puree

Lunch: Pea puree with cumin and garlic mixed with couscous.

 

Dinner: String cheese and baby carrots

Day 2:

Breakfast: Banana sticks with blueberry puree

Obviously she has the full-body bib for blueberries!

 

Lunch: White bean hummus with spinach on toast and peach puree

 

Dinner: Baked tofu with barbeque sauce and carrots
She didn’t love the homemade barbeque sauce. I think it was too vinegary for her. 

Day 3:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with blueberry puree

Lunch: Peach puree, carrot sticks and white bean hummus with spinach

No, I didn’t consciously make the spoons, sippy cup and napkin match the color of her food. Apparently, my craziness runs that deep. Matt laughed at my “restaurant style” presentation too. 

 

Dinner: Sauteed chicken breast (Yes, she has had chicken. And yes, the pescatarian in me cried a little inside.)

 

Thanks for dinner, Daddy!

Day 4:

Breakfast: French toast with peach puree
Lunch: White bean hummus with spinach and carrots

 

Dinner: String cheese and carrots

Those happy little feet crack me up!

Day 5:

Breakfast: Banana sticks with apple-ginger-spinach puree
Lunch: Chicken breast and oranges
Dinner: String cheese and carrots

 

Day 6:

Breakfast: Banana sticks with blueberry puree

Lunch: Wheat pasta with spinach and basil pesto and clementines

 

Dinner: String cheese, carrots and focaccia at one of our favorite local restaurants, La Villa.

 

Looking back at her meals I noticed several things:

  1. 1. We were definitely on a peach puree kick that week!
  2. 2. She will actually eat more purees than she did a few weeks ago. This makes things a little easier. 
  3. 3. While not everything is always perfectly balanced nutritionally, I’m glad that she does eat a variety of “colors”- orange carrots, peaches and clementines, green spinach, basil and peas, purple/blue blueberries. Well, I suppose mostly orange and green that week. Will work on that one.
  4. 4. I need to change up her dinners. I like doing the easy and “clean” dinner of string cheese and carrot sticks because I don’t need to use a bib or wipe off her hands and face like I do at the end of other meals. These moments became so un-fun for both of us that I started to feed her these “cleaner” meals to avoid the drama of cleaning her up after she was finished eating. She HATES the bib (go figure, since I wrote all about my obsession with bibs in an earlier post) and the post-meal clean up. For a tiny person she is LOUD and the neighbors must think I’m torturing her based on her protests every time I put on her bib or wipe her hands and face. But, string cheese and carrot sticks isn’t such a nutritious meal to have every day. So, I’ve gotta work on that one. And raw carrot sticks are no longer on the menu. She can break off pieces and that makes me nervous that she might choke on them. But, I discovered that roasting them makes them really tasty and soft enough for Eliana to eat them safely. 

 

 

So, there’s a window into her daily meals. I’ll keep track again soon and give you all an update of what she eats across the day. And maybe I’ll write a list of all the random non-food items she tries to eat too. Metal objects are just the beginning. Oh boy! 

 

 

 

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One Response to Her Daily Bread

  1. Excellent JZL! I'm so glad to hear the TTF is getting exposed to so many different foods and tastes… As for the metal issue, I think it's the texture and taste, as Sophie looks for anything she can grab to taste and “teethe” on. As for your photo storage capacity… find yourself an external hard drive on Amazon.com or at Costco or Staples. You can get between 1-2.5TB (terra bites, 1000 Giga bites in TB)for under $200. They're easy plug and play storage for documents, photos, videos, etc. so you can keep your computer hard drive and Ipad free of memory eating pictures.

    Missing BK,
    Steve

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