Other Pages of Interest

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Solid Food, Who Knew?

Gretchen is officially eating solid food and it takes a whole lot more thought that I had ever expected. It all started with offering her little snacks and bites of food when she turned 5 months old, and it has very slowly but surely developed into a solid 2 "meals" a day of real, solid, food.  She is still drinking milk (either by nursing or a bottle) 4 times a day, which is down from 5 times a day a month ago, so we've essentially replaced one milk feeding with two solids feedings.  I could go on about her eating habits for hours, I think I spend more time thinking about her eating routine than anything else that goes on in my day.  I know that as with most things in parenthood, this new frontier will become more defined as time goes on, but until then I really wish there were an instruction manual!

We started with easy to smash foods like bananas and avocados.  Gretchen was not interested in the actual eating part, but she loved playing with the spoon.  Here she is just over 5 months trying some avocados.
Sticking her tongue out says it all
As of her 6-month birthday, this was the approximate amount of food she was eating on a daily basis. One mouthful. 
She looks adorable while eating, even if it's only for a bite
 And she much preferred to be eating her toys, like this:

We have graduated to eating 1oz portions of food at a time, generally mid-morning and again in the late afternoon.  So far, her favorite food (by a landslide) is carrots and she does not give broccoli the time of day.  She has tried quite a few different foods, but we are a bit limited due to the time of year here - which I'll discuss more below.  As for the foods that she has tried, we've got; bananas, avocado, blueberries, mango, carrots, squash, broccoli, kiwi, yogurt and more recently (thanks to our generous friends Milena and Talia) Cheerios.  

 When you're just nursing, it's easy: baby hungry = milk.  But now that we've added variety to her diet it's hard to know when she will be hungry, when she's full and what sort of ratio we're going for.  My doctor has been pretty laid back about offering advice, so my main go-to is the Baby 411 book, which appears to have just released a new addition in September 2011.  If you're having a baby, buy this book, it is a great resource for when the little ones throws a wrench your way, aka - everyday.

Delicious sugar cereal
A main issue that I've had is the availability of traditional baby foods here in Buenos Aires.  My first challenge was rice cereal, the basic of all basics when it comes to baby food.  My issue here is that they all contain sugar.  I'm not crazy about not allowing my child to have sugar, but this stuff contains quite a bit, it actually smells like powdered sugar when you pour it in the bowl. The ingredient list says: rice flour, sugar, etc. - sugar is ingredient #2!  I'll interject here that before I had Gretchen I thought that people really over-thought the introduction of sugar to kids' diets - I guess that changes when it's your own.  Hilariously, in the instructions on the box of rice cereal it actually states that you "do not need to add sugar".  Was anyone sitting back making food for their 6-month old and wondering how much sugar they needed to add?  I was hesitant to have this be the first thing that she ever eats, concerned that she will be addicted to sweets her whole life. Which brings me to challenge number two: yogurt.

Here she is with the yummy Greek yogurt
I have now found a yogurt brand that I like, and better yet, that Gretchen likes, but you need to be careful with this item as well.  I was on the hunt for whole milk, natural flavor yogurt, and I assumed that natural flavor meant no sugar.  It turns out that this is incorrect.  I purchased some natural flavored Greek yogurt, which she LOVED, and then when Daddy tried to feed her a different brand that was truly natural, she literally spit it out.  All over the floor.  Turns out the Greek yogurt (Griego, for those that are interested) is more like vanilla flavoring in any other brand.  No wonder the healthy stuff got the ax. 

I have also been making baby food for Gretchen, which is really the easiest thing, but there are slight challenges here as well.  Not all foods are available all year long here, so some of the staples that people generally start with, peaches, peas, apricots, etc, are not in the stores until the summer months.  Though I have given up on my search for a food processor we've been using the blender, which works just fine. It's actually been kind of fun to search for different things I think she'll enjoy. 

After all of the challenges, it's still a pretty neat thing watching our little girl develop her own likes and dislikes and learn how to eat like a big girl.  I have to say that I am more than a little jealous when I see all of the convenience items available for transitioning babies to solid foods. 

No comments:

Post a Comment