Saturday, May 29, 2010


We had scrambled eggs on toast for brekkie this morning and Mae was coveting it so much (she had a Weetbix. This works OK if you soak it in just enough milk so she can pick it up but I have to say, she doesn't love it) so we thought we'd let her try a bit of our egg on toast.

I know lots of books and info says you should wait till 12 months to give eggs to babies because of allergies, but the baby-led weaning book says it's OK from 6 months as long as the egg is well cooked. Which it was. So we decided to give it a go - if she was allergic we'd soon find out! And let me tell you, she loved it. And she swallowed it and had some more. And is definitely not allergic. This is great, it means eggs can be added to our repertoire! Great source of protein, iron and calories for little ones. And cheap and easy for mum. Hurray!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Outback banana

We've been at a wedding in Alice Springs this weekend, so Mae's solids intake has taken a bit of a break. I'm still breastfeeding 4hrly so I'm not worried she went hungry. We did try and share a banana with her at a little picnic we had on a daytrip, however, but it didn't go too well. Sitting on a beach surrounded by sand while trying to feed large banana to a 6-month old who can't sit unsupported proved a little foolhardy:

  • The highchair is king
  • Cut your banana like this (we worked this out back in the safety of our house this afternoon):

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Broccoli bonanza

Now I'm not a vegetable girl myself. I don't mind them hidden in stuff, or raw, but a pile of steamed or boiled greens sitting on my plate without being drowned in a good salty sauce is not my idea of dinner. Mae, on the other hand, has proved herself to be made of sterner stuff than her Mum by absolutely demolishing not one but TWO florets of broccoli yesterday. Oh my.

Mae actually grabbed at the flowery bit and shoved the stork in first. She then kind of half chewed, half sucked, going back for several bites until she couldn't hold it in her hand anymore. Needless to say, mini florets of broccoli were left strewn from the kitchen to the cat's waterbowl. But the next day - result! There were unmistakable bits of broccoli in her nappy. They kind of came out as they went in, but at least some went in. Does this mean she knows how to swallow food now, or was it just a stroke of luck that some slipped down?

  • Cut the florets quite big so there is more to grab onto (see pic for optimum size)
  • Steam till they're soft (at least 15 mins). If in doubt, steam some more

Monday, May 17, 2010

Pitta patter

My friend in England posts a pic on facebook of her daughter, Lola, in her high chair. Lola is 9 months older than Mae and is well and truly baby-led weaned, so after the carrot crisis I solicit suggestions for Mae’s first meals in the comments on the pic. The suggestions come thick and fast from friends over there who have all had great success with BLW. Pitta bread with avocado, brocolli, humous, rice crackers. Reassured by all these people and their happy babies who have survived carrot and worse, I decide on the pitta bread for today’s adventure.

Mae is able to pick it up herself without me handing it to her – yay! And she is able to suck and suck all the avocado off, AND keep it in her hand without it slipping out. The pitta starts to disintegrate as she sucks it, but I’m not at all worried that she will choke as it seems to just dissolve. Most of it is coming out the front, but she seems to enjoy the flavour and I am happy that she is getting the good fats from the avocado even if she is a long way from chewing and swallowing bread.

  • You could put any topping on pitta bread, like cream cheese, humous or more traditional purees if you wanted to make sure your baby was getting goodness from foods that can’t be cut into finger foods themselves
  • She is getting the hang of this lark!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Carrots aren't as soft as they used to be

Buoyed by yesterday’s success with the watermelon, and seeing that even watermelon turns her clothes orange, I decide there is nothing to lose by trying Mae on some well-steamed carrot. It’s sweet, it’s healthy and even though we like our carrots crunchy nowadays, I remember cooked carrots in the eighties at my Nanna’s dinner table – so soft I could easy hide them in my mashed potato in order to earn myself dessert.

So I cut an average carrot into four strips about 10 cm x 2 cm and steam for what seems like forever and allow to cool. I take a bite, they seem fairly soft and so I give one to Mae who is seated and awaiting day 2 of her culinary adventures. Once again, she puts it in her mouth and sucks. But it’s not as juicy as the watermelon and she seems to work out a different technique is required to get something out of this toy and starts to gum (she has no teeth yet).

Then I realise the bit in her hand is smaller than when it went in, meaning there must be some in her mouth! My delight quickly ends when I realise she doesn’t know how to chew. Her head goes back, her eyes start to water, OMG is she choking?! I lunge forward in order to try and sweep it from her mouth, before I realise she is gagging not choking and the bit comes straight out the front. She is totally unphased but I am sweating. I decide lunchtime is over before it’s really begun and I haven’t even had chance to take a pic!

  • Carrots must have been genetically modified over the last 20 years to make them more crunchy – even my Nanna didn’t steam her carrots for 30 mins!
  • I resolve that until Mae learns about chewing, I will give her foods that can be gummed until soft and do not break off into scary chunks
  • It doesn’t matter that lunch was so short – this is all about learning for both of us
  • Mae has a gag reflex that is second to none
  • Gagging does not bother her in the slightest

She carried a watermelon!

Mae turned 6 months today – the long awaited date to Begin Solid Food. Hurrah! With some nerves due to all the naysayers with their choking scaremongering, we decide watermelon is The One – watery by name, watery by nature. We reason that should it be inhaled and become lodged in the wrong tube, it will dissolve before any damage is done. It’s seedless. It’s ripe. We’re ready. Mae is seated in her high chair, propped up by one bath towel and four rolled tea towels and strapped in ready for the rollercoaster ride that is food. We carefully select a cut of the watermelon that is shaped like a hot chip.

We put it on her tray for her to pick up but she doesn’t seem to get what we’re all doing here, even though Chris and I are armed with a piece each and are taking bites, chewing enthusiastically to show her the way. Eventually I put it in her hand, and to our delight, she wields it towards her mouth. It goes in and she sucks, her eyes popping out of her head at the new flavour. We try not to celebrate too much (the books says food should be a relaxed affair). Pink juice flows down her chins (Mae is on the 90th percentile for weight) and into her lap where her towelling bib collects it. Success!

Until the piece breaks in two, leaving one bit slipping out of her grip and the other sticking out of her mouth. We steel ourselves, poised to grab it out of her mouth should it slide down the wrong way. We know any sensible person could see that this just isn’t possible, so enormous is the bit, but we imagine the headlines now “Irresponsible Parents Feed Baby Giant Watermelon in Choking Tragedy!”. But of course it just kind of slides out the front along with the juice. She goes to pick up the fallen bit, it’s too slippery, I put it in her hand again, she puts it in her mouth and sucks. And so it goes for about 5 mins, until Mae starts her tired whinge and so we call it a day.

BLW, Day One, we decide is a success because she actually put some food in her mouth. Nothing has been swallowed except maybe some juice but even so, it seems like a good start.

  • Mae likes watermelon
  • Leave some skin on next time so she can hold the bottom
  • This is going to be a long, slow process – when will she actually be eating proper food?
  • Watermelon dyes clothes bright orange – who knew?