Little Bean is an animal, a hungry animal. I started weaning her just before six months because, dear god, I couldn’t handle the stares and shouts at whatever was on my plate anymore. No matter what I was eating, she wanted. When Little Miss was a baby I was an un-adventurous, time poor Momma Bear whose commute meant there were very little home cooked dinners for her. It didn’t kill her! She ate and ate and happily moved on to our dinners when life settled down. Little Bean’ s appetite has outweighed her sisters from the very beginning. She’s an animal… did I say that already?
There have been quite a few days in the past few months when my dinner has been delayed until after Little Bean goes to bed (like tonight – hello burger and chips with an unhealthy dollop of coleslaw at 9pm) because it’s almost impossible to have a meal in front of her unless she has something other than her hands and toys to chomp on. Needless to say I’ve been quite hungry come evening time.
But is it ok for me to take a second and say, “Well done Momma, you’ve done pretty good this time round!” Not that A didn’t have a healthy diet in her first 1000 days but I definitely could have done a lot better with the variety of food she received and how comfortable she got with finger food.
Little Miss sampled her fair share of the pouches on the baby aisle shelves and I wasn’t too keen on going down that road again with Little Bean considering I’m at home and have the time to prepare her meals. But I will admit that I have been grateful for those pouches on occasion when she just wouldn’t wait for Momma Bear to whip up a healthy, fresh patch of mush. So far, she has already played favourites and squeals when she sees the My Little Piccolo pouch coming out!
I’ve had to be a bit more adventurous with D since she has wanted to feed herself almost from the get go.
From the beginning D has grabbed at the bowl, whipped the spoon out my hand and rummaged through anything I landed on her table to eat. And it’s been messy! Oh so messy but isn’t that half the fun of experimenting?
At practically 8 months old she is now on three meals and three bottles of milk. She’d have more! She’d eat a whole pizza if we let her! Obviously pizza is off the menu for her but you can actually see her mouth watering when she watches us eat our incredibly unhealthy, once a month, if we’re lucky, takeaway treat.
She is genuinely intrigued by food. The textures, the smells, the tastes. More so than I ever saw with Little Miss. She’s an adventurer and will try anything (the obligatory baby eating lime or lemon video should be inserted here but I’ll pop it up on Facebook!)
And I’ve been adventurous too. Making baby muffins that turn into a crumbled mess, pureed avocado, banana and the usual first foods that babies enjoy. But more so, I’m giving her the freedom to explore and learn. Giving her toast, wafers, orange quarters, would have terrified me before for the fear of choking. I’ve more confidence this time so I’m not letting my anxieties stop her from figuring out what she loves to eat… everything!
Its been fun this time. And I also haven’t put myself under any crazy pressure. Her nutrients still come from her milk so the food she experiments with now are for learning mostly. Learning to swallow, learning to chew, learning to hold a spoon, learning to throw everything on to the floor!
I’ve given myself freedom by not insisting that everything she eats has to come from my blender. Little Bean has devoured the My Little Piccolo range which came to Ireland last year. And I’ll be honest, I test everything she eats and it’s not half bad. The pea, courgette and leak puree genuinely brought me back to Sunday dinner sides. I tend to use the Piccolo dinners and fruit purees when I’m on the go, because, of course, since I quit work I’m a lady of leisure (note the sarcasm). They’re ridiculously handy and I’ll only stop using them when Little Bean starts refusing them, which is obviously never since I can’t imagine the day she refuses food.
But the organic range has surprised me more than their counterparts on the shelves. The flavours are more exciting, more natural. The ingredients are more versatile with the likes of kale and chickpea making it to my babies plate because Lord knows I wouldn’t have done that myself (I’m doing good this time round but not that good!). The textures have been perfect, from the smooth puree to the grainy lumps to encourage chewing.
Anytime we try her with a new flavour I can’t wait to see her reaction. It’s usually a chomp fest and we can’t feed her fast enough. More more more is her dinner time mantra and dear god when we take the bowl away we end up with this sad face! Little Bean hates it when dinner time is over!
*** Disclaimer: My Little Piccolo sent Little Bean some pouches to try out. This is a complete and honest rendition of our weaning journey. ***