Food and DC2

Long-term readers of the blog may have come to the realization that #1 and her partner are kind of hippy-dippy parents.  Or lazy parents as they think of themselves.  They tend to let nature take its course, even when that causes them to deviate from the more stress-inducing mainstream.   Things other parents tend to complain about, #1 and spouse do a little research on and then usually realize they can avoid the thing causing the stress.

One of the potentially stress-inducing baby situations to rear its messy head is that of introduction to solid food.  Some parents force it on their kids and get very frustrated when it doesn’t go down.  Some parents freak out about perfectly made fresh organic purees, lovingly frozen in ice cubes.  Obviously perfectly made fresh organic purees are great, but if they freak one out…they can be skipped.

So in our lazy parenting strategy, we wait for the “signs of readiness”.  These are things like the baby being interested in food, the baby grabbing your food from you, the baby swallowing the food rather than pushing it out with hir tongue, and so on.  DC1 did not get these signs until ze was around 8 or 9 months old and rather dramatically stole a banana from me.  Because DC was so old and was pincer grasping, we figured we could just skip the puree stage entirely, so we did.  Research on “baby-led weaning” backed us up on it.  (Weaning being the British terminology for introducing foods.)

DC2 has shown the signs of readiness much earlier.  The day after hir 4 month appointment, in fact, it became pretty well impossible to keep food from hir at the dinner table.  So we didn’t try to keep it away.

DC2 gets table food, just like DC1 did.  We give hir little non-chokable bites.  Ze eats things that are naturally mushy with a spoon (split pea soup for lunch today).  We have been keeping wheat away because we’re still a bit worried about allergens.  And DC2 did have a small allergic reaction to *something* in San Diego, but we have no idea what, possibly naan (this, of course, being the reason the pedi says to introduce only one food at a time in 3 day intervals… something hard to do with a grabby baby on vacation).

Other forms of baby-led weaning suggest mesh baggies or just giving entire chicken legs or soft carrot sticks… but we’re still too lazy for that.  Ze gets what we’re eating.

And it seems to be going just fine, though we could have lived longer without the stinkier diapers.  Still, if you limit to whole foods, the diapers still aren’t as stinky as they could be.  (We remember the results of DC1’s first foray into processed food… the experience out the other end cut processed food out of all of our lives.)  We also understand bibs in a way that we missed with DC1.

Now, does that mean that more traditional methods of introducing solids are wrong?  Probably not.  We’re just lazy and take the least stressful way out.  It seems to work so far.

So if you don’t want to bother with purees, we at grumpy rumblings give you permission not to.

Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: , . 28 Comments »

28 Responses to “Food and DC2”

  1. Leah Says:

    A couple of my friends have done baby led weaning, and I like that idea. Specifically, I think it’s pretty smart to try and teach kids to chew before they learn to swallow — I’m in the camp that now sees how learning to swallow purees can end up being a trouble when you first have to learn to chew food. Not that purees are wrong, but maybe do them for ease after baby can already chew, or mixed into the variety of food baby is fed.

    Plus, I totally ascribe to the lazy parenting method. I’d rather spend my time reading with my (future, hypothetical) kids, or playing, then trying to do complicated food. Plus, the odds of me eating well when I have kids will increase if they’re eating what I am.

    • Leah Says:

      hahaha, what a comment to look back on. Boy has being a mom upended my ideas. We totally do a mix of whatever works — I’ve made some purees (we were gifted a super easy baby food maker), buy some, feed some table food.

      Man, I keep rereading this comment and laughing at my still narrow viewpoint.

  2. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    Split pea soup is the f#cken BESTEST!!!!!!!

  3. Perpetua Says:

    Also those jars of pureed food are expensive and gross tasting. I had a rule that we would only give the babies food that I would eat, too (flavor wise). (I like happy baby multigrain cereal and most of the Sprout bags of pureed food – they have actual flavors.) Images of parents trying to cram spoons of pureed food into their babies’ mouths always made me a little sad. We did BLW w/ #2 and it was great. The least stressful and the least amount of work.

    • bogart Says:

      No, no, no: what are these “jars” you reference? You make your own pureed food after organically growing all the ingredients yourself in your spare time. Good heavens, haven’t you been reading the internets ;) ?

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        And more power to the folks who do that, btw. Fresh homegrown food is awesome, unless it is a source of stress.

      • Perpetua Says:

        You won’t believe this, but when I made perfect purees of organic vegetables lovingly for my baby (and I will add that I did not find this task particularly onerous; 15 minutes of effort yielded an entire ice cube tray of food), he gagged and spat them out. He had/has serious issues with textures and rejected anything that wasn’t perfectly smooth. I didn’t have the equipment to create perfect smoothness á la jar, so he got jarred food until I found better. With #2, I learned my lesson and skipped the whole pureed mess.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        what gets me is the cleanup, though I understand food mills aren’t so bad (and I bet we could use our handblender like we do for soups), still, not doing that…

      • Rosa Says:

        My son is tiny, when he was starting solid foods we were desperately trying to stuff calories in him (among other things, i didn’t want to wean and his dad was convinced he was skinny because of extended breastfeeding).

        So the tiny jars were a godsend. Daddy could go to the store and read all the labels and choose the 3 most calorie-dense foods on the shelf and then we could measure how much kiddo ate and Daddy could do the calorie math and feel better about the world and leave me and little Mr. I Want to Nurse Forever alone at non-meal times.

        Homemade food would have totally negated this joy because you never *really* know if something is good for the baby until you test it in a lab.

        (we learned later that calorie-dense food is useless. Kiddo eats until he’s met his current caloric need, and then stops. Richer food = less eating. He’s still skinny as a school-aged kid.)

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Our DC1 was also tiny and is still super skinny (and can refuse dessert if ze’s not hungry). So we put out a muffin tin with all sorts of little foods that ze could graze on while being super-active. And ze remained skinny.

        It’s funny how the advice they give to fatten up skinny kids just encourages them to listen to their hunger more, but the advice they give to slim down overweight kids often gets them needing to eat more. If we really wanted to fatten DC1 up, we should have withheld food rather than letting hir eat when ze was hungry! (But we were find with letting hir listen to hir hunger instead.)

  4. bogart Says:

    We also had good luck with this approach, not quite so early (as DC2), maybe 5 months or 6? I did make extensive use of the powdered rice cereal (of course in retrospect I now know I was poisoning my kid with arsenic, oh well) as a mix-in-with-squishy-stuff (e.g. yogurt) ingredient, as it thickens stuff enough for a (likely slightly older, I forget when we started this) tot to have a fighting chance of moving stuff from bowl to mouth via spoon.

    Last I checked, the more recent research on allergens was showing that the earlier stuff was introduced, the less the likelihood of developing allergies (to it or, writ large, in general i.e.: diversity of foodstuffs at an early age = good), but you are likely more up to date on this than am I. Still, if you haven’t read up on it and are going by “conventional wisdom” my recollection is that the conventional wisdom is wrong.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      The best research on the allergen topic switched 180 degrees literally 3 times in DC1’s short life, so I’ve given up on them actually knowing anything.

      Our worry with allergens is with wheat specifically– recall I could not eat it during pregnancy without throwing it up, and then we suspect it has already caused an allergic reaction in DC2, but it isn’t something we want to test extensively ourselves.

      • rented life Says:

        At least, if there is a wheat allergy, DC2 is growing up in a day and age where more and more food options are becoming available.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Yes! And my months of being unable to eat anything with so much as Worcester sauce in it actually weren’t so bad after I figured out what to do. I still am not eating much if any wheat and think I should probably go for allergy testing some time to see if the mild symptoms I get after eating bread are real or psychosomatic.

  5. rented life Says:

    I have a recipe for a plit pea soup with curry and other Indian spices if you want.It’s all vegan and stuff—a co-worker brought it in for lunch and we all liked it so much she had to share her recipes.

    We’re TTC, so I’m enjoying reading all these posts. We generally haven’t done *anything* the way “mainstream” says we should so I can’t imagine raising kids would be any different for us. And I just don’t get some of the push and fuss my cousins make about their kids. I’d much prefer the least stressful way to do things. I feel like there are so few people takling about other ways to raise your kids other than the conventional ways, and that leaves me and husband feeling a little uncomfortable. There should be more conversations on topics 1) to help new parents and 2) because why the hell not? Instead it’s all about baby showers, and cutesy kind of stuff that is nice but not helpful at all. (Don’t worry, i stay off mommy forums. Too busy getting into fights on twitter about things I teach to do that!)

    All i know re: allergies is that my allergist said if both parents have allergies, then the kid has an 80% chance of havign them. I onlly asked because I’m super allergic and carry an epi pen and I wanted to know how much was genetic. Both my parents are allergic to a lot too. (Thanks guys!) It took awhile for my brother’s wheat allergy to become apparent to us.

  6. oilandgarlic Says:

    I confess..I pureed organic fruits and veggies. I don’t remember pureeing much meat but I probably did… We would make a big batch and then freeze some in little cubes so that there would be variety. I thought I would freeze a lot but usually just fed it right away and refrigerated most of it.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      There’s nothing wrong with that! Especially if it didn’t cause you any stress.

      • oilandgarlic Says:

        True, it wasn’t too stressful for me. And I didn’t lord it over parents who didn’t have time or inclination to do the puree thing. I did supplement with some jar foods but our kids only liked the sweeter stuff.

  7. Sarah Says:

    I’m with you….so much easier and fun.

    I think it is the iron fortified content of food (or formula) that upon first introduction to baby’s gut starts to change the bacteria in a way that transitions to the smell. At least that’s what I’ve been told. Does it make sense? So the more processed stuff you used likely had iron fortification?

  8. retirebyforty (@retirebyforty) Says:

    Our kid eat whatever we eat too. We had to tone down the heat, but otherwise he is keeping up with the adults quite well. He’s almost 2 now so he is up for pretty much anything. I don’t remember much about the solid food intro. He went through the baby food phase pretty quickly.

  9. First Gen American Says:

    I puréed stuff but more out of necessity. When my first was born my mom still had her apartment building which had a huge pear tree and we had enough canned pear sauce to last a year. We did used canned food too.

  10. becca Says:

    Ha. My kid (3.5) still eats store bought puréed vegtables, because that’s easier for us (I don’t like overcooking my broccoli and asparagus so it’s as soft as he likes it). Plus, he’s really not going to get the butternut squash any other way.

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