I am a little obsessed with food. Good food. Healthy food. Chocolate... After pregnancy I became super focused on getting in shape and eating clean. I work out often, and I eat right (other than a little treat here and there). My healthy mentality has helped me get back to my pre-pregnancy figure (and then some!). I feel great and I have a lot of energy, which is key for motherhood. Naturally as I start feeding my son his own meals, I want to give him healthy, real food that he will enjoy.
Feeding Jamesie is one of my favorite things to do. My enjoyment is fueled by his eagerness and willingness to eat and try new foods. From the time he was born and first started nursing in the hospital, he has always had a great appetite. Breast milk remains his main and vital source of nutrients, and will continue to be until he is at least a year old. In addition, mashed up fruits and veggies (as well as some grains now and then) provide him with an important introduction into the world of solid food.
James when he was about 7 months old, eating some banana off of his spoon.
Jamesie's favorite foods are banana, avocado, mango and carrots. He likes banana the best I think. He does not like peas at all, not even the little baby sweet peas, and not even fresh peas (the one time I found them). He also does not like asparagus, but he does tolerate it if I mix it with pear or mango. I think I will be mixing fruit with the greener veggies a little more often, but I also try to find foods that Jamesie really likes. It's a matter of patience and adjustability. His tastes will change too as his palette develops.
Jamesie is just about eight and a half months old now (ahhhhhhhh!) and he is beginning to transition away from puréed foods and into more finger foods. I give him small pieces of banana, mango, and avocado. I also give him slices of cooked apple and pear. Because these foods are a little tacky and slippery for his little fingers to hold on to, I coat them with Earth's Best Organic Whole Grain Oatmeal cereal to make them easier to grasp. Moving from puréed food to more solid pieces of food is a huge developmental step in my opinion, and one that shouldn't be rushed. My little baby boy is somehow turning into a kid before my eyes, and that scares me.
Jamesie reaching for some pieces of banana and steamed zucchini. The eagerness is clear in his face.
Jamesie is a quick learner. He figures things out so quickly it amazes me. The first time I ever fed him puréed food, he reached for the spoon himself. Now that he has discovered he can grab his own food, it's like a whole new world. The look of utter delight and pride that comes to his face when he eats makes me laugh. He now gobbles his food down handily (only spilling about half of it down his front) and bangs on his highchair demanding more. His impatience for his food is really hilarious. He has so much fun eating and sitting in his own seat that he can hardly contain all of his excitement and joy at times.
Sometimes Jamesie shakes and bounces in his seat he is so excited.
Nutrition is an important part of life, and an important part of motherhood. I see it as my job to present my son with clean, healthy food, and it is his job to eat it. When introducing new foods to Jamesie, I take it slow - getting his young digestive system used to this brand new food. Soon I will start introducing egg yoke and maybe a little meat. He doesn't get much though - it's all just a taste and an introduction. Grains, dairy and complex proteins can be the most difficult to digest. I find that I have trouble with them myself, so I won't give him much of either until he is a little older. It's all a learning process, and the last thing I am trying to do is rush him.
The down side of self-feeding? He needs a bath after every meal.
Oh wait, never mind - That's not a downside.