3 meals on we’re back on track

leave me alone so i can eat my pancake

My mama is always running around now.  I shout after her a lot because I can’t crawl properly yet, never mind run. Everything was the same for ages, then we went on our holidays then I started going to that creche place. Then I stayed in Oma & Opa’s house when mama & dada went to their friends wedding and then we’ve been home again the last few nights. I’m meeting so many new people, the nice ladies that mind me but aren’t my mama, and the other babies that I play with in the creche. I wonder where I’m going tomorrow?

Mama says “Dom! Give me your handie! Handie!” lots.  Sometimes I give her my handie for the spoon of food and sometimes I don’t.  The ladies in the creche don’t have time for how long it takes me to eat so they just put the food in my mouth.  I’m very tired in the evening so it’s easier to just open my mouth and let mama or dada put the food in.

Then this weekend I’d more energy.  Not my usual amount of energy though – I have a cough & I’m not sleeping too well because of that.  Today me and mama and dada made a super special effort and I had 3 meals to eat only with my handies.

For breakfast we had dada’s Swedish friend Erik’s American wife Amy’s pancakes.  They have a little girl I want to meet but we have to wait til mama’s work let her take enough days off for us all to go to Sweden where they live. I don’t know where that is, but I hope they have duckies there.  I’ve had pancakes before, but I think I like these better because of the yogurt and banana in it. We ate them with greek yogurt & grapes.  Mama and dada had maple syrup too but said I couldn’t have any.  Don’t mind they were sweet and fluffy, and I like that.

Amy’s Best Pancakes (feeds Erik, Amy, Siggy & now Mark, Jill & Dominic )
(adapted from Gourmet)
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1 ripe banana, mashed with a fork (you can leave out the banana and the ‘cakes are still good but the banana adds fluff and the perfect level of sweetness)

Whisk together all ingredients and drop by 1/4 cupfull into med-hot frying pan, greased with vegetable oil. Flip when cakes begin to bubble. Flip again after 30 seconds or so, but don’t flatten with spatula. Keep in a warm oven until all batter is used up. I usually end up with around 12 (give or take a cake) 3-inch pancakes.

For lunch, I had cheese and chicken and cherry tomato.  I had my chicken on brown bread with butter and I nommed it up.  Dada decided it was time for me to have meat again.  Mama doesn’t mind so much because now dada has to take charge of cooking for me for a couple of days to use up the whole chicky in the fridge.

Then for my dinner Dada made a very speedy chicken & couscous recipe from the Annabel Karmel book. He put in some lovely creme fraiche to make it stickier for me to pick up.  I got it in my mouth and everywhere else.  Mama says she’s not sure why she bothered washing the floor and my chair this morning at all at all.

– Dom

give me strength to carry on!

I’ve just pre-ordered The Baby Led Weaning Cookbook.  BLW’s been getting a little more difficult.  I’ve just started back to work – a week and half now.  Although I haven’t taken the most-trodden path type decisions in several areas of my life including parenting – cloth nappies, breastfeeding, BLW, being a vegetarian – I don’t tell anyone else what choices to make.  (That’s not to say I don’t offer advice & opinion!)  You have to pick your battles.  Dom isn’t vegetarian, he gets formula during the day in creche and has done for a while leading up to that, and other caregivers spoon feed him.

Well he’s taken to the spoon with gusto.  He’s settled in well in creche.  So far there’s been the expected crying on arrival, but he’s obviously not traumatised – he’s napping really well, playing with the other babies & minders, taking his bottles and eating okay.  I say okay, because he’s only eaten all his dinner once.  Dinner!  At lunchtime!  Like a farmer or someone on Coronation Street.  But from the point of view of a baby led weaning baby, when they say he ate half the food I’m actually pretty impressed.  On his first day I also had to point out that he’d barely eaten any meat at all ever, so nearly every meal is a new taste to him.

The only thing he ate none of was cod.  That’s my boy – note to self I must tell him about overfishing, and recommend he holds out for  Hoki as an alternative for his teeny palate.

And the only thing he ate all of?  Coddle! So he’s certainly broadening his foodie experiences in there – I can hand-on-heart say I don’t think he ever ever ever would have got that at home.

So, what’s my issue? Well, sit tight, I’ve a few:

  • It seems to me right now that Baby Led Weaning suit a stay at home mum more than a 40hour a week working mum.  Or at least a working mum that doesn’t go back to work til her baby is a year or so before the reigns of feeding are handed over to someone else.  Dominic’s an okay eater, but he still ignores/chucks away quite a lot of food and his portions are pretty tiny.  If we’d had til the end of the year there’s a good chance he would have been better established at eatin’.
  • Part of me goes phew, I don’t have to worry about his protein & iron intake.  Someone else will take care of that.  Then I give myself a mental smack on the wrist and think ‘he gets most of his nutrients from milk up to age one, I don’t need to worry about lashing the grub into him.’  But I do.  I guess it’s natural.  Creche feeding him perpetuates those feelings.  Either way he’s getting the nutrients, so I can let this one go…
  • I’ve told the creche what we’re doing, but not in a shove down their throats way so I think they think that he just likes to hold a spoon. And he’s opened his mouth wide for breakfast there, and as I said hasn’t shied away at lunchtime either.  So now at home in the evening, he opens his mouth like a little baby bird, and has to be coaxed to put out his ‘handie’ for the spoon.  If it’s a sure-fire favourite – yogurt – he’ll grab it, but if he’s not really hell bent on eating it, he’ll wait for you to come to him now
  • We’ve not settled into a routine yet.  BLW encourages the family to eat together.  It’s hard to cook in time for us to all eat together in the evening, so far at least half the evenings after creche Dom eats on his own & we eat later.  The earliest he gets home with parent A (Mark, every flippin day so far) is 17:45, parent B’s earliest arrival is 18:15 and he goes to bed by 19:00.  *sadface*
  • Because he’s had his main meal in the creche, we give him something smaller.  I have a few different soups in the freezer and they’ve been a real fall back option.  Although he can eat it with his hands on chunks of bread it’s not the ideal finger food.  Something more challenging might be better to keep up his development feeding himself and I don’t want him getting more used to such smooth food.   Even if he’s going to eat without us, I need to start giving more solid finger food.

On the bright side, one of my sisters reckons her kids creche pretty much let them feed themselves from age one, so they had to learn fairly fast then.  If that’s the case, then at least Dom will have a headstart!

So, although a specific Baby Led Weaning cookbook goes against the very strictest interpretation of what the method stands for , I have high hopes for it.  Anyway, I don’t think baby led weaning families go in for strict interpretations that much – sounds a bit to close to a Ms G. Ford…  I’m hoping for  food you know is suitable for all the family, recipes you don’t need to adjust the salty content of, and hopefully, some stuff you can prepare in advance.

In the meantime, if anyone has any tips on how to progress with BLW while I’m only feeding him about a third of his meals, please feel free to share in the comments.

Because this post has been a bit heavy, here’s a picture of Dom preparing for Halloween to brighten it up.

practising being a roary lion.

-jill

Ciao Dominic!

Well off we all trooped to Italy, myself, the babs, the hubbie & his parents for a friends wedding.  It was to a be a last hurrah before I abandoned Dom went back to work.  I had high hopes for the eye-talians (as my Great Auntie calls them) – they make the best finger food, and they love babies.

First up we flew to Bologna and stayed there 2 nights.  The hotel we stayed in (highly recommend, especially for the fact that they have a resident cat, who I named Luigi for the purposes of making up stories about him and following him around with Dom) recommended a local restaurant.  When we arrived and no highchair appeared I was a bit nervous – doesn’t scream family friendly. As soon as we met the waitress & waiter all worries were appeased as they “ciao’ed” and italian baby-talked away to Dom.  Italian food is very well suited to BLW – they keep things simple – something Mark appreciates, he’s not a big fan of me shoehorning extra veggies into stuff.  It means baby can try individual new flavours and stuff cools easily! So Dominic ate some of Mark’s pasta and mince.  Minced what I don’t know, but it was Bolognaise on the menu, um…beef?  Lamb?  Incidentally, Bolognaise never seemed to involve any sauces, tomato-based or otherwise at all.  Then, for a treat, cos he was 9 months old on the day, and because we were on our holiers, he tried pannacotta.

sugary creamy stuff…mmm

Big hit!  I gave him some of my baked pear, after sucking the choccy sauce off it. Not quite as interested, unsurprisingly.  I don’t mind giving him the odd taste of sweet things that aren’t fruit from around this age, just not as a habit.  Ha!  I’m such a hypocrite…

Olives! Incoming!

If all else fails, the Italian bread basket offers the king of fingers foods – breadsticks & olives.  He was distracted by flaky seed covered sticks and round hard crunchy breadstick-rings in several restaurants and at the wedding.  (I must buy some actually.)  Olives are great for the emerging pincer grip.  Obviously they’re de-stoned, and I might have been more nervous about them as a choking hazard up till a month or so ago.  Since then he’s been pulling out food he’s finished with, and we don’t really need to stick a finger in to retrieve half chewed mandarin segments anymore.  In fact he’s taken to rejecting grape halves after the most cursory of sucks, ready for a fresh one.  He’s like a mini decadent Roman emperor.

On saturday out in the hills of Fiesole where we supped prosecco on the lawn overlooking Florence, Dom played happily beneath our feet, and had a bit of craic with the other little kids.  Then we carried him about to show him the views and watch the jazz trio.  He seemed to be particularly fond of the sax & saxophonist who waved and winked when the jazziness allowed.  This is an aside to the main subject of the blog – but this was a great wedding to have a baby at (though its also our first).  Being outside in the warm autumnal sun instead of being a crowded hotel meant he could have a play and a good look about instead of us trying to shield him from swiping peoples glasses and knocking over stuff!  Kept me nice & relaxed about the whole thing anyway, but that may have been the prosecco too!   Then at dinner, where he had his very own placecard, he ate a good quarter of Mark’s wild mushroom risotto.  We’ve given him several risottos but none have been as well received as this one.  It was creamy but light rather than stodgy.

No trip to Italy could be complete without a pizza or 6.  We even returned to one place it was so good -ristorante DR OETKER.  No, Borgo Antico, on the square by the Santo Spirito over the river in the Oltrarno area.  Their ‘Borgo’ pizza had a basic tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes and masses of milky buffalo mozzarella torn onto it when it comes out of the oven.  My selfish husband ordered a cured ham & gorgonzola topped one, so that he didn’t have to share with either me or Dom.  I didn’t give him too much mozzarella as I guess it’s not pasteurised.

Also, this place had a really cute highchair, just like a plain wooden woven seat chair, but tall with a simple wooden bar in front.  Actually, when we did get highchairs they were this ‘rustic’ like this one, those hook/clamp onto the table ones,  or the trusty Ikea Antilop.  No chunky slumpy seated chairs, and none with trays at all – he was always up at the table right with us.  This cements my view of Italy as a child friendly country.  Despite the fact they’re a low birth rate themselves, they totally dote over babies (maybe from novelty value). Italy with baby FTW!

His Father’s Son

Friday was Wurld Vegtarian Day. Mama said she was having tofu satay specially. The food was there later but the kitchen was very clean. It came out of bags not noisy saucepans like usual.

I was in my cousins house earlier in the day. My biggest cousin Ella (she’ll be 6 on monday) is in skool and didn’t eat all of her lunch. It was on the table so I just took it. Mama said it was hang sangitches. It was yum. She let me try them out, but didn’t want to share. I might have to ask daddy for them if I want them again. He said he loves leftover hang too.

– Dom