Wednesday, July 27, 2011

BLW a year on: A Retrospective

It's been a while since my last update, and even though I'm back at work and don't have much blogging time now, I decided it was time for an installment. I didn't want to leave you with the lasting impression that baby-led weaning = baby-led whining after all.

Mae is 20 months old now and with over a year of BLW under our belts, I think I can impart a with-hindsight appraisal.

And I have to say, it's a thumbs up. I realise this is a case study of one, and I'm sure there are many 20-month-olds who started on puree and are just as competent at the dining table as Mae, but nevertheless, she eats a broad range of food stuffs with little fuss and nonsense, which was the aim of this venture, non?

It's not quite like in the book though. I think Gill Rapley would have us all sitting down for a jolly feast together every evening. But to be honest, I would rather eat with Chris at a leisurely pace after Mae is in bed, and enjoy a glass of wine that isn't under constant threat of being smashed to the ground.

Which means I do usually cook twice on week days, which is fine. This is what I do for Mae's dinner:

1. Whip up a carbohydrate staple, generally one of:

- Pasta
- Ravioli (spinach and ricotta)
- Couscous

2. Mix it with some kind of protein, one of:

- can of tuna (various flavour)
- left over/frozen homemade bolognese sauce
- omelette
- butter beans/chickpeas/peas/baked beans

3. Add in some kind of vegetable(s):

- cherry tomatoes
- broccoli
- sweetcorn
- cucumber

And top it all off with some cheese or cottage cheese, and maybe some pesto or some Rafferty's Garden tuna and vegetable if it's looking a bit dry.

She eats plenty of other things at daycare/on weekends etc, but I have found the formula above to be quite suitable for the rush for dinner/bath/bed after a long day, and you can get a surprising number of variations out of that lot!

Here are some additional food-related snippets from a day in the life of a baby-led weaner that may be of interest:
  • Mae doesn't eat everything, and if something is rejected, it is most like to be on the grounds of texture. Anything fibrous like a ripe mango, rhubarb and some meats will get chucked on the floor. And egg that is not a well-cooked omelette is also still a candidate for a shudder and a fling over the shoulder
  • She has recently taken to standing up in her highchair and shouting "out!" which can be somewhat tiresome
  • Her horsey (revolting pink My Little Pony, only redeeming feature being how its hair has become dreadlocked due to man-handling by sticky fingers over a period of months) often has to join her in the highchair. Sometimes she will settle for horsey "watching" dinner, giving its hair a welcome relief from the constant threat of tomato sauce.
  • I have noticed that if watched or "encouraged" to eat by anyone who is used to a more traditional baby meal, Mae will get a bit silly and start flinging things around or refusing things at random. I think it's definitely best to assume she will eat and for you to get on with something else while she does.
  • She can eat with a fork or spoon, but if she's hungry, she still resorts to fingers. One can shove so much more in with one's hands!
  • She is a speed-eater (like her parents). Strangers marvel at her ability to eat two pieces of cheese on toast in less than two minutes flat. We are not training her to be a pie-eating contestant (although there's an idea - maybe that's the BLW alternative to the beauty pageant! I hear those competitions can be quite the money spinner) but she is definitely an "eyes down to a full stomach" kind of girl.

So anyway, if you're new to this and wondering if it's all worth it, the voice of experience can tell you that it most definitely is!

Although having said that, we have not yet reached the terrible twos - I'm sure we're not out of the woods yet...

Friday, January 7, 2011

Baby-led whining

Recently Mae has turned into a fussy little tyke and I'm finding this to be something of a knock to my street cred as the baby-led weaner on the block. Despite all my best efforts, she is now rejecting previous favourites and scuppering my claims to have a baby that "just eats what we eat, really".

I persist though; yesterday I served her greek salad. "She likes onion, she's had feta and olives before, and cucumber and tomato are staples", I reason. "Oh no!" she whines, literally (her second word after "uh-oh" was "no", and now she has combined the two into a rather plaintive "oh no!")

She ate the tomatoes and the pitta bread, but not the bits with tsatsiki on; I had to get the plain yoghurt out as a dip instead.

"How has this happened?" I wonder. I think back to the weeks where I was applying for jobs rather then whipping up exotic offerings and she had pasta bows nightly. Is it my fault? Maybe taste buds and preferences are formed in the three weeks between ten months, three weeks and eleven months, two weeks? Maybe she saw another kid rejecting things and so she started getting ideas? Maybe she knows I'm writing a blog and wants to scupper it because she's really a teenager inside a 74cm frame?

Or maybe it's just what kids do. I mean I know they eat curry in India and sushi in Japan and no doubt greek salad in Greece, but I'm sure they are fussy too, and have preferences within their relative cuisines. And it does seem to me that her taste buds have become more sensitive lately - the way she shudders when biting down on an olive is entirely physical and in no way a game. I think we'll just ride it out and be thankful that she will eat any amount of fruit, cheddar, tofu, beans, pasta, bread and tomatoes - lamenting my 13-month old's distaste for feta and olives seems a very minor and very silly lament.

Still loving her pasta bows

And as for my street cred? I'll just talk up her other skills instead - she stacked cups the other day, and she's got four molars, and isn't "oh no" is a two syllable word? Phew, I feel better already.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Decadent deviant

I knew there must be some negatives to baby-led weaning and today I discovered one: stealing.

Yes, today in Safeway I found out that Mae is so dextrous now, and so in control of her own food intake, that just as I had my hands full with new season plums, she swiped an apricot from the display and sunk her teeth into it before I could yell "stop, thief!".

"Ah well" I reasoned, "no one wants an apricot with indeterminate teeth marks in it" so I let her polish it off, praying she would make it swift and painless. She didn't let me down. The evidence was swallowed before we'd reached the nappy aisle, at which point I slid the stone slyly into my pocket, making me well and truly an accomplice.


Shoplifting aside, I am happy to see evidence that she can eat fruit like this now - no more slicing necessary! As long as it is reasonably ripe, Mae can get stuck into nectarines, peaches, plums and obviously apricots; skin and all from here on in. And it seems she knows that the stone is not for eating too, so I can mostly relax on the choking front.

Anyway, back to today because there is another brush with the law to report. On leaving Safeway (without setting off the alarm) we made our way to my mothers' group Christmas picnic. Here, Mae cruised around sampling watermelon and fairy bread, all fairly benign and quite delicious. Until she remembered she aint no nice girl, she's a girl on a crime spree and there's work to do.

I had popped my plastic glass of cold sauv blanc next to me for a second while I rummaged in my bag for more treats, and once again Mae spotted my distraction and used her dexterity to dabble on the wrong side of the law for a second time in a day. This time it was underage drinking.

She actually downed my glass of wine in one. Jeez! I was horrified! The other mums assured me it had mostly gone down her front, and there was only a centimetre or so in there in the first place so I don't think I'm going to be featured on A Current Affair as Australia's most irresponsible mother just yet. Most worrying though, was that she didn't even flinch! I don't think I could down a glass of wine, and certainly couldn't in my underage drinking days. On the upside, she holds her drink well, no ill effects to report!

Crikey.

So my point is, that it's all well and good bringing them up to be in control of their own food intake, and very dextrous with it, but there seems to be a gaping hole between now (when she is physically capable of shovelling anything into her mouth) and sometime in the future she can actually understand the meaning of the word "no", or better still just know inherently that we don't steal apricots off the shelves in Safeway and eat them in full view of our fellow shoppers. Nor do we pick up other people's glasses of wine at picnics and down them in one.

Bring on that day because I'm not sure I'm fit to be her moral guide in the meantime!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Birthday special

"Where have you been?!" I hear you cry. Well we've been busy, OK?!

Actually Mae has been busy eating pasta bows and broccoli and I didn't think you'd want to hear any more about that. Meanwhile I've been busy applying for jobs and that zaps my ability to cook exotic things. Plus she has continued to reject pretty much anything that has more than two ingredients. But I will give you the highlights of the last month in brief:

Favourites:
  • Cherry tomatoes, cut in half. Can eat about 12 cherry tomatoes in one sitting
  • Blueberries. Entire punnet eaten whilst in shopping trolley in Safeway last Wednesday
  • Cucumber. Yes, finally she has top and bottom teeth so can bite harder foods
  • Entire pears, including the core, eaten like a real person
  • Cream cheese, cucumber and avocado sandwiches
  • Butter beans, straight out the can served on a dirty picnic blanket. Once again, we are in the 12-15 region in one sitting

Most rejected
  • Eggs
  • French toast! (who rejects french toast for egg's sake?!)
  • Potatoes in all forms apart from chips
  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet potato
  • Her own birthday cake
Because yes indeed, Mae is now one year old! To celebrate this momentous occasion, I slaved over this hungry caterpillar cake (fitting choice, yes?):


And she took one bite and chucked it on the floor:


But the fact that she rejects anything that lurid is totally fine with me!

Hang on a minute, I do believe jelly snakes (AKA hungry caterpillar's mouth) are fairly lurid, and clearly not rejected:

video

Yes, must be my cooking after all.

Mae is kind of toddling (a bit like a happy-drunk zombie) and can even climb up stairs. Nothing will stop her speed-crawling around, not a nappy change or a cuddle or a story. Well, nothing but food. I'm so glad we've raised a little foodie who will happily give up racing for a precipice when she hears the cry, "sultanas!" and will don her pelican in order to speed-eat a range of healthy foodstuffs several times a day. Just got to polish my cooking skills and work out how to truly hide an egg, and "Extremely Junior Masterchef", here we come!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Bad egg

I must admit Mae has inadvertently become a creature of habit over recent days. My imagination seems to have narrowed to the size of a petit pois when it comes to thinking of meals, and so it's been pasta bows with Rafferty's Garden puree and cottage cheese or ricotta stirred in, served with some lamb or kangaroo with a side of either broccoli or cauliflower. Followed by watermelon and a yoghurt.

The poor girl has had this fail-safe gaggle (what's the collective noun for a random group of foods thrown together for their nutritional value and pick-up-ability? Perhaps a "cobble" would be better, as in, "cobbled together") most days for at least a week now. So it shouldn't have been a surprise when I pushed the boat out today and the boat was rejected - she too is now totally unable to think outside the bow-shaped square.

I had a look at another BLW blogger's page for inspiration and decided to grate a potato, an onion and some broccoli stem (I know, sounds random, but actually quite nice!) into a pan of hot oil, fry it up then break an egg in and fry it up some more. It seemed like a totally delicious feast to me, one of those decadent Friday night meals that your dad makes when your mum is away.

This was her face on tasting my offering:


After flinging it around the tray for a while, she grabbed a piece of egg and shoved it in her ear. It was at that moment that I realised we were through with dinner.

It also confirmed what I had suspected the last few times she's had it - that she has gone off egg. Better than the egg having gone off itself I suppose. Nevertheless, I am going to have to lift my game tomorrow if she is to be kept from turning into a pasta bow.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Dirty little secret

One of the reasons many parents prefer purees to finger food is that they are just so much bloody neater. Never having done purees, I was in somewhat blissful ignorance as to how many wipes, wipedowns and total wipeouts we could have avoided. But having lunch with a friend and her 7-month old today, I saw how the pears and yoghurt were neatly transfered into Miss Mac's mouth and with one wipe, we were done!

Meanwhile, Mae scoffed her cream cheese and tomato sandwich, wiping it across her ears, elbows and the table top (collecting the previous occupant's debris as she went). The obligatory mandarin that followed drenched her sleeves and orange bits found their way up her nose. Nine wipes later, we were done.


Let's see those Orangesleeves in more detail:



But I am so used to it now that I barely notice, and do you know what, it all comes out in the wash. Literally. She has a staple wardrobe of (white) Mothercare long-sleeved onesies, and at the end of each day we have at least two with illuminous orange up to the elbows and a necklace of watermelon. But I just pop them in a laundry sink of Napisan until the next machine wash and so far no stain has proved too tough! Now I sound like a bad eighties ad for washing powder.

Actually there's a thought, I should call up Omo, Mae could be the next star of a "before and after!" But then I'd have to play the sorry housewife with the chauvinist husband and the relentless sons with their relentless footballs. Perhaps I'll keep my dirty little secret to myself.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Little shop of horrors

The horror is the bill from the weekly shop, and there is nothing little about it.

I knew having a baby would be a little bit pricey what with the cots and the prams and all, but I never imagined quite how much greedy guts would add to our weekly shopping bill. Especially doing baby-led weaning - I thought eating what we eat, it would just be a case of a bit of extra pasta here, a few more veggies in a sauce there, right? Wrong. These are all the extra things I now buy on the weekly trolley dash round Coles to keep the little lady's belly spilling over her elasticated jeggings:



The receipt tells me that this little lot adds up to over $40 per week!

I mean, I know if I was to be organised I would be whizzing up snack foods from scratch and freezing them, so I know I'm paying (literally) for my own laziness, but who'd have thought such a small person could eat all that in a week? On top of all the actual meals she eats too.

Right. This week I'm getting onto these pikelets my friend and fellow baby-led weaner, Rosie, recommended - surely more delicious, better for her and certainly way cheaper than the motley crew in the photo:

1/2 cup wholemeal SR flour
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 smallish ripe banana
splash of vanilla
sultanas
I just go industrial style on all the ingredients (apart the sultanas) and blend them together with a bar mix. Add in the sultanas and pan fry in a little butter. Serve with a splodge of cream cheese.


I'll let you know how they go tomorrow.

PS. I'd like to share a moment from today where Mae took BLW to new extremes. I turned my back for a second (don't all parents say that? Can it really be true? I know that you know that it was slightly longer) and when I turned back, newly mobile Mae was sitting quietly by the cat's dish, her pincer grip wielding a Salmon and Tuna Purina One. I couldn't say for sure if she had already eaten one or not, but I'm choosing to see the sunny side in that I'm glad it was the food, not the litter, she was contemplating!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Lonely laptop

In case you were wondering where we've been, there is a sorry tale to tell, but it has a very happy ending. And I wouldn't go into detail if it wasn't food related.

It starts with me and Mae at teatime on a dreary Thursday evening racing to pick the laptop up from the repair shop at rush hour. Picture the scene: Mae is hungry (and this girl waits for no laptop), my arms are full of Mae, my bag, my wallet, the laptop in a bag... I am trying to wrangle her into her carseat, she is not happy with this (as discussed, she is hungry). I am rummaging around looking for stale snacks in my bag to bribe her with for the journey. Finally she is in the car, sultanas in her lap.

We arrive home without too many tears. I whip up some cheese on toast, and phew, the whinging subsides and we all start to relax. At this point I remember the laptop, still in the car. I go and get it. It's not there. It's nowhere. IT IS NOWHERE! I realise with horror that it is actually somewhere. It is on the street where the car was parked, WHERE NO LAPTOP SHOULD EVER BE.

Clearly, however, unattended laptops do not stay on the street for long.

The tale between then and now is a torrid one, involving lamenting the decline of humanity and prayers over a backup hard drive. Until I got a phonecall this morning from a lovely man who had found the lonely laptop languishing in the gutter and taken it home and taken his time over finding its anguished owner. Thank you, thank you, thank you, lovely man!

So, to cut a long story not all that short, we are back and I will tap out the BLW tales that have been mounting up in my mind over the coming days...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Kangaroo court

Judge Mae tried kangaroo in the highchair court yesterday, and the verdict? Guilty of liking it. Loads.

It was marinated in some kind of herby, garlicky affair so was full of flavour, and on Chris's instructions I cooked it by zapping it in the sandwich toaster for two minutes so it was still a little bit pink inside. I served her two pieces about 5cm x 2cm and watched slightly stunned as she got the bits between her teeth and actually gnawed on them, with accompanying caveman-like sound effects. She still only has two actual teeth but I think more are emerging, so I can only assume that poor skippy served as a more macabre version of Sophie the Giraffe.


She has definitely chewed meat with gusto before, but this was the first time she followed sucking and chewing with actual swallowing. In fact as soon as it was softened and devoid of goodness, she just swallowed the whole thing with one enormous gulp.

I had also roasted a plate of lovely veg, which she helped herself to enthusiastically:


Clearly not enough gum satisfaction in a roasted carrot, zucchini or potato though - she took one bite of each then threw it on the floor, going back several times to repeat the hilarious exercise with a Roman feast-style decadence.

With the excitement of all that red meat, she was bouncing off the walls by bedtime. Geddit?!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Nuffin Muffin

Sometimes I amaze myself with my own dexterity. Not only have I learnt to tidy up with my toes since having Mae, but yesterday I baked savoury muffins one-handed.

Yes, Her Royal Whingeyness could not be put down for one second between the hours of 4pm and 7pm, due to her mini-nap schedule which had left her beside herself with tiredness. And so it was that I found myself weighing flour, cracking eggs and getting muffins out of the oven all whilst balancing Mae on my hip, persisting in my quest for an interesting and varied diet for my loved one against all odds.

The effect on my stress levels of her increasingly panicky whinge (think the vuvuzela for an approximate sound) meant that the scene would have looked like a poor man's Ready, Steady, Cook! to the casual observer, with the added twist of a very bossy mini-me attached to the stressed-out chef. With none of the banter. Or prizes. And a much harsher judge than a studio audience armed with red tomato cards.

And I'm very sad to report that the fruits of my one-handed labour were outright rejected by the judge on this occasion.

I followed this recipe but left out the salt, used more zucchini and added mustard. I cooled them down in the garden for extra speed, and grated a cucumber into some greek yogurt as a delicious, contrasting topping/spread/dip thing. I was convinced I was onto a winner, and she seemed to enjoy the first mouthful. But on going back for seconds, the whinge finally turned to tears. Perhaps it was a bit hot, or the top too crusty, or the new teeth too hurty, or the baby simply too tiredy, but an angry face was made and the muffin ejected into her pelican in one definitive rejection of my culinary efforts:


I won't take it personally though, I will instead view the experience as a physical achievement - I bet I couldn't have done that a year ago. And I know they were yummy. I know this because I ate three before dinner, adding a whole new dimension to my muffin top.

And she did continue to covet the yoghurty dip thing, which was also made with my (one) fair hand:


Monday, September 13, 2010

Daily grind

I normally post when Mae has had something quite delicious or a bit of a breakthrough, but I don't want you to think it's all saganaki and organic muffins in this house. Most meals are significantly more mundane. Although you probably weren't thinking Mae's diet was particularly gourmet given the likes of the tuna tempter or the cauliflower cheese episodes!

Either way, I thought I'd share a typical day:

Breakfast, 8am

Amuse bouche
1/2 banana, served chopped onto the highchair tray

Main
5-10 Sultana buds, Blackcurrant Wheats OR Weetbix Bites, soaked in just enough full fat milk so that they are soft yet still pickupable

Dessert
Baby yoghurt, flavour variable

Palate cleanser
A strawberry or some watermelon


Mid morning snack, 10.30am

Mini packet of sultanas
Two mini rice cakes with mashed avocado, served on her play mat so they can be spread across the floor and/or wiped across the DVD player


Sultana grazing

Lunch, 12:15pm

Cream cheese & cucumber sandwich, crusts removed, bread squashed down and cut into three fingers

A Mandarin. This does not vary, for the kicky legs and squeals of excitement upon sighting the mandarin are amongst the highlights of my day. Yesterday she broke the world speed record for mandarin eating, downing the whole thing in less than two minutes flat


Mid afternoon snack, 3:30pm

Two bits of steamed apple
Two mini rice cakes with humous (see morning snack for serving suggestion)


Dinner, 5:30pm

Entree
Two florets of brocolli, steamed

Main
Pasta bows with the veggie mince bolognese sauce Chris made last night, topped with parmesan

Dessert
1/2 kiwi fruit


The only remarkable thing about that menu is perhaps the sheer quantities, it looks enough for a fully grown man! Well, one on Weight Watchers at least.

Has anyone got any suggestions for fail-safe stalwarts, especially snacks? Those rice cakes are boring me...



Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Bada Bings

Actually, this post is about butter beans. *See below for an explanation of the title.

So, back to lunch.

I'm trying to tick so many boxes with each meal now:
  • Protein, good fats, carbs and non-nuked vegetables must be present
  • Not too much salt
  • Not too much processed stuff or E numbers
  • Chris and I must be able to eat it for our dinner too
  • Mae will actually be able to eat it (as in, pick it up, hold it, chew it and not choke on it) and as a bonus, enjoy it
  • It will not take more than 20 mins to cook
and I've just added another one:
  • Must be good for my waistline, yet filling enough to mean I will not be forced into eating yet another Mint Slice mid-afternoon
So today, I whiz up an onion and fry it in some olive oil, added some garlic, a can of tomatoes, some parsley and some cumin and stir in a can of butter beans. I serve it on toast, with a side of avocado. This is for both of us:



One of the slices of toast I cut into fingers so I have three offerings for her tray: individual beans, tomato on toast and avocado. I love to play the guessing game as to what she'll go for first. Today, it it's the toast, but after she's tried a butter bean, she keeps going back for more beans.


It occurs to me as she chews and swallows the beans how far we have come in a few short months - I would have seen a bean as a choking hazard for sure even probably six weeks ago, but she ate them like a normal person today and I didn't need to poise myself for the heimlick maneuver once!

The beans don't keep the wolf from the door for me till dinner though. As I've already thrown the Mint Slices in the bin in an angry fit, my rumbling stomach has to make do with dry bread and jam.

* The title refers to an unfortunate mishearing on my part BC (before children). I used to be part of a pub quiz team, members of which were mad on the Sopranos. I had not seen the Sopranos at the time, so when they put our team forward as "The Bada Bings", I heard "The Butter Beans" in an Australian accent. For months on end I went along with this lame name, mainly because I do quite like a butter bean. On finally seeing the Sopranos, my mistake dawned upon me. However this fictional, yet legendary, strip club will forever be interchangeable with the humble legume in my mind.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Munch Brunch

I have had some very successful brunch experiences out with the little boss over the last week that I'd like to share with you. Unfortunately, so consuming was the constant-ness of our dates that I failed to take a photo (see last para for why). Not wanting to leave a post pic-free, here's a shot of Mae in her retro jumper from Grandma and Grandpa:


Now, back to brunch.

Pros:
  • Meeting friends anytime between 10.30 and 12:30 works really well at the moment as Mae is tending towards a nap 9-10 ish and then down again at 2pm
  • That time would encompass her lunch anyway, and this way I don't have to cook it
  • There are some great brunch/lunch places opening up near us eg. Milkwood and Pope Joan
  • The likes of poached eggs, sourdough toast, avocado and any kind of homemade beans type arrangement are the staple fair at these places and all these things can be shared with the Mae-stro
  • Sharing my meal with Mae might actually make up calorie-wise for all the times I tidy up her leftovers into my mouth
  • She gets to sit at a table like real person (we don't have a dining table at home). I can tell she loves it, she even joins in the conversation with her shouty pontification
Cons:
  • If I have to pick Upsy Daisy off the floor again I might scream
  • Ditto sultanas (brought as Mae's hors d'oeuvres)
  • I use so many wipes - for hands, faces, tables, my brow that I feel very sorry for all the wipe trees that are being depleted at such a rate
  • There are many hazards on a table - hot coffee, salt-shakers (imagine! That would really set me back with all that salt-anxiety I've been suffering from), knives...
Really, so many more pros than cons, although I do feel if someone was to film these jaunts and then play it back at high-speed, you would see me wiping up and picking up and wiping up and picking up and rescuing and fishing and offering and endless more 'doing' words, whilst my friend is able to recline and enjoy a latte. Such would be the ferver on my side of the table, the viewer would feel exhausted just watching.

But I don't feel exhausted from 'doing', rather I feel proud of Mae for enjoying our adult-style outing as much as me. I think it's only Upsy Daisy who got the raw end of the deal, oh and the floor of the cafe has probably seen better days too...


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More peas please

Yesterday we had one of the stalwarts on the Hotham-Welford weekly meal rotation - penne pasta with chilli salmon, peas, mint and ricotta. All you do is boil up your pasta with some peas (same pan), drain, then stir in 500g ricotta, a bunch of chopped mint and one of those shrink-wrapped chilli salmon fillets (chopped) that you find next to the smoked salmon in the supermarket. So easy and delicious, with all the food groups represented:



Might I say, success! Like, kicking of the feet, mmm mmm noises as she munched and a panicky cry for more before she'd even swallowed her mouthful, success. The only other thing that currently meets with the same enthusiasm is oranges. And the bath flannel.



After a few bits of pasta though, I could see the peas were not surviving the journey from tray to mouth, and she had obviously forgotten about her pincer-grip, leaving the peas to collect in her pelican.

Concerned that they were the only representatives from the vitamin family in this meal, I began to make mini-canellonis with the penne, stuffing each with peas before I put it on her tray. It seemed to work, and about twenty penne pieces later, I was satisfied she had eaten more than forty peas too. How many peas make a serve of vegies for a baby? I've no idea but surely this is adequate.

We had loads left over, so I repeated the whole process for lunch today and it went down equally well second time around. Although I'm not sure I've got the energy for mini-cannelloni-pea type missions for at least a week so Chris will be pleased to hear this one is off the meal rotation until my pasta-stuffing RSI has recovered.

How many vegies would your baby typically have in a day?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fritter critters

Individual lumps of steamed vegetables are boring Mae senseless, so I'm continuing down the path to us all eating the same thing at quite a speed.

Today I made some fritters - pumpkin, pea and feta fritters to be precise. I followed this recipe but just added some feta (AKA salt). They took about 20 mins total and we all had them for dinner - now that's my kind of chefery!



I'm pretty sure they would have been added to the reject pile along with the parsnip if it wasn't for the feta - Mae just loves the salty, tart-tasting stuff, just like her dad. Unless of course it was the shapes into which they were cut that made her eat them:



Or was that just me?! I know what you're thinking: "too much time on her hands", but honestly it took ten seconds after I found the critter-shaped cookie cutters in the back of the drawer! And I have to find a way to make a play on words for blog's sake! However at 9 months, I think Mae has a hard time telling a cat from a dog, so I doubt she was able to identify the animals and consequently be amused and inspired enough to eat them due to their shape.

But eat them she did. Well, sort of. It's the first time she's had peas, and as predicted a few months ago, her pincer grip is refined enough now so sort the peas from the pumpkin:



As you can imagine, it was a very long meal.


What do you think about salt in your baby's food? How much is too much?