Enjoying Eating

We have been blessed with an adventurous, cheerful eater! I've been meaning to post for a while about the solid food thing because I don't know that I've mentioned it at all yet. I love making Ezra's food, and it's SO easy that I don't understand why commercial baby food was ever even invented. Even the busiest person could do it- if you feed yourself everyday, you can easily feed your baby the same stuff. It just takes a little planning. I've had lots of people ask me with a tone of awe, "Wow, you make your own food? How is that going?" Fine and Great, thanks.

Initially, feeding a baby solids is challenging and can be discouraging because they are just so amazed by the new, weird experience. However, Ezra took to it after about a week and a half. I know that every baby is different, though, so I don't think people whose babies are slow to accept solids have done anything wrong! Here's what works well for Ezra: warmth, flavor, and power. Ezzie does MUCH better if his food isn't cold. As for flavor, I have used garlic, olive oil, spices, and even (gasp! I know...) a few tiny grains of salt in all of Ezzie's little mixes. I was very surprised to discover that he prefers savory or even sour (like the plain, full fat yogurt) tastes over sweet ones sometimes. Power means that Ezra is in charge of the amount that he eats. I've never tricked or wrestled bites into his mouth, and I can really see day to day that he is just eating the amount that he needs. Our pediatrician's intern said that studies are now showing that the skill of portion control, developed as an infant, is carried on into life and heleps prevent obesity! So, yay for that! I also always give Ezra a few bites on his tray that he can smear, pinch, suck, eat (maybe) on his own. At first, when spoon feeding, I always had to give him a spoon of his own too, but now he's totally over that and can handle just me giving him bites.

Here's an example of how we work it.
This week's menu:
Monday: Adults - sloppy joes, sauteed spinach; Ezra - ground beef (taken out of the pan before saucing up the sloppy joe mix) and sauteed spinach (chopped of course)

Tuesday: Adults - Broccoli Cheese Soup and Bread; Ezra - broccoli stew (pureed veggies and broth taken out of pot before milk was added) with shredded cheese and bread bits on his tray

Wednesday: Adults - Mango Chicken with Black Beans and Rice; Ezra - a chunky puree of that whole dinner with avacado

Thursday (Tonight): Adults - Soup and Salad Bar for parish group; Ezra - leftover ground beef with peas and bites of mommy's soup and bread

Friday: Adults - Roasted Sausage and Root Veggies; Ezra - a few veggie chunks presed through the garlic press... I might let him try sausage (it's preservative/nitrate free)

For breakfast, I just give him leftovers from the night before, oatmeal, blueberries or other small bites of fruit, yogurt, or egg yolk if we're having eggs.

Lunches consist of leftovers or various small bites when lunch happens. I'm just now moving him toward three meals a day.

Anyway, there's some info for those who've been interested. I should note, too, that the American Academy of Pediatrics did a study on allergies and their connection to food introduction schedules and determined that there is no evidence to suggest waiting to introduce ANY particular foods until any particular time. Though, most professionals are still wary of peanuts and honey. Personally, I give Ezra something new, wait a day or two, and then give him the next thing. I've become VERY lax about it at this point. I will wait until he's 1 or older to do honey and peanuts.

Here's a video of some of our dinner time silliness :)

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