I was away most of last week, and have found myself getting a bit irritated when I don’t manage Dominic’s food intake well. Let me rephrase – baby led weaning isn’t really about management, but presenting of opportunities and I feel that I haven’t been offering him the opportunity to eat at the right time always. We’re in the middle of weaning from breast to bottle, and have settled into a rough routine of 2 breastfeeds & 2 bottlefeeds most days (sometimes more). Seeing as we don’t have much of a fixed routine for anything feeding can be a bit haphazard – milk feeds run late, then he’s not hungry for solids, then I offer lunch late. While we were away, we might have been out and about in the car, and while me and my mum ate lunch, he was only due a bottle. Or we’re not organised enough in the evening and I end up making do for his dinner and we don’t all eat together. Making do is usually natural yogurt and or a fruit pot. I think this would be fine if we were doing a good structured ‘protein lunch’, but I’ll be conscious he might only have had a couple of nibbles on a bit of cheese or toast at lunchtime. There’s the added pressure then, when you’re trying to prove something to someone (that blw is a good idea) and you can’t seem to get him to eat at all. Repeat to self – he’s not eating up for me, he’s eating for him.
So this weekend, I resolved to do better. The freezer is our best friend. I made my very first lasagne, ever. People often find it odd that a vegetarian doesn’t make veggie lasagna’s often, but for years it was about the only thing on offer in restaurants. (Now its wild mushroom risottos & goats cheese tartlets…don’t get me started) A few weeks ago I made lentil bolognaise and had frozen enough to make up the lasagna. This is the recipe I used, but I added a layer of passata into the mix also. I’m not sure how authentic that is, but I love the sweet tang of tomato, and it was a nice contrast to the bechamel. I didn’t realise how easy bechamel is to make, now I can’t believe you can even buy a jar of the white stuff. In the interests of full disclosure, Mark did spoonfeed some of it to him for lunch as I’d been a bit worried about Dom’s weight gain. (This happens sporadically and after a good days eating, sense has kicked in) After a few spoon swooshes and aeroplane noises, the mouth started to clamp shut. He won’t put up with that for long – he’ll watch your act for a bit, but as the spoon comes close he bats it away or wants to grab it himself. But we weren’t in any hurry, so I just sighed and dumped the rest of the food out onto the tablecloth, kinda expecting it to hit the floor momentarily. But in it went – mushy strips of pasta coated in sticky sauces and lentils.
On a roll, and after planting snowdrops & crocuses (croci?) and baking banana bread (yes! really!), I decided to try soup for the first time today. I make soup relatively often, but having had a reasonably good summer, this was the first batch in a while. While I can’t automatically turn to the Annabel Karmel recipes, I have a few reliable sites I look at for ideas (links on left) and My Daddy Cooks is always good for a laugh and for inspiration. I’d thought of soup for him before, but just wasn’t sure how to get it into him – I like to avoid doing too many pre-loaded spoons. This soup video had me foraging in the fridge, and I ended up with carrot & parsnip soup with potatoes for bulk. I needed it to be thick to have any chance of it going into Dom’s mouth. I used big hunks of brown bread, so they’d hold together nicely when soup-sodden.
The wee fella was having a bit of a meltdown by the time the whole lot was ready and cool enough for him. He was only up a while from a nap, and he’s quite predictable compared to a couple of months ago in terms of his milk feeds. Not even the sight of the 2 cats playing with a feather in the back yard could quiet him. I can only come to the conclusion that he may have finally made the link between hunger & solids – if this is the case then great (but I won’t get away with skipping meals anymore!) I wish I could capture the face he makes when he tries something new. His whole face screws up like he’s eating lemons, and he’s really unsure and then just when you think you’re going to get a spit out, it’s like: hang on, this is the weirdest taste/texture ever, but wait! I LIKE it. And in he tucks.
Given the gusto with which he tackled his soupy dippers, I’m guessing he’s into the whole soup thing. Good thing too, there’a about 5 cups of it going in that blessed freezer tonight.
So I’ll leave you with this thought – every joyful moment, every new meal Dominic gobbles up, is marred only by the thought of the clean up afterward. Curses… I wonder can you train cats like house-elves?