Thursday, July 29, 2010

I scream

We are on holiday, it's summer, and it's actually quite hot over here. Everyone else is doing it so why can't Mae? Yes, it's time for her first ice cream. Well, sort of. My Mum has stacked the freezer with mini Magnums for the adults and Mini-Milks for the kids. I check the ingredients - it's pretty much just milk and a bit of sugar. From all the reading I've done, I've worked out that salt is way worse for babies than sugar. Too much salt can damage kidneys, where too much sugar just rots your teeth and makes you fat. Seen as Mae only has half a tooth, and I'm not worried a little bit of sugar in an ice lolly is going to make her fat, I decide she can join that realms of those who have lived and those who have not, and give her a Mini Milk.

Mae sits on her Auntie Meg's knee and I give her the wooden bit of the stick, helping to guide the ice cream into her mouth whilst her audience looks on with anticipation - how will she react to this mouth-numbing-yet-mouth-watering deliciousness? A camera captures what no words can describe:

The cold is startling, causing this priceless moment, yet the sweetness that quickly follows is divine. Her crumple-face turns to delight as she reaches for the ice cream again, and again, and again. Oh dear, I think we've created a sugar-crazed monster - I wonder if she will ever eat broccoli again?!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Eating out(side)

Opportunities abound to dine alfresco in the English summertime. We have found ourselves at a BBQ, a children's birthday party and grabbing a quick sarnie in the middle of a London park in the last few days. And each time I have thanked the lords above that we did BLW because otherwise we would have had to have been way more organised.

Mae has tucked away some spicy beanburger, felafel (success this time!), bread and homemade humous, a fresh tomato (first time - tick!) and shared Chris' chicken & avocado sandwich from Pret A Manger. I worry about the salt intake here, but on the whole it's kind of worked.

I have quite a few learnings to share about baby-led weaning on the go:
  • Take some back-up vegies ready steamed in a little tupperware at least. Well-cooked vegies that are not drenched in some kind of dressing in a salad are hard to come by at these events and if you're out all day, the mother in you will be nagging that the 5 a-day count has not even nearly been reached. Consequently, you might find yourself thinking lettuce will be fine. It isn't. At least not for Mae at 8 months, she just can chew it, it's like us inhaling a leaf.
  • Disposable bibs! A revelation, and it means you don't have to carry round rotting debris for the rest of the day
  • Bring a little rug to sit on because as it turns out, Mae may not like lettuce but she loves grass
  • Snacks are really important now. At first I didn't bother too much, but now we're out and about, not only does she seem to be hungrier, but it's not always possible to breastfeed when caught in rush hour in London. Also, a good snack will keep her quiet for quite some time. The UK seems to have tons of travel-safe, organic, handy snacks made especially for babies. I'm hoping there are similar when we get back home. Flavoured breadsticks, little organic carrot cake bars and the trusty rice cracker are all becoming stalwarts.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


There's nothing like being at other people's houses with a baby to make you realise what kind of guests you really are: the worst kind. Noisy, inflexible and, of course, filthy. I feel like wherever we go, we leave a trail of debris at best, destruction at worst.

Luckily we are mostly staying with friends and family who've seen it all before, which is lucky because with baby-led weaning, there is really no way of containing it. You just have to apologise and make it clear you will clean up (and pay for any permanent damage) after bathtime, because as soon as dinner is over, it's time to strip Mae down and get the hosepipe on her. Or at least get her in a warm bath quick-smart, followed by a feed and bedtime in quick succession, because no amount of wet flannels can clean up this baby. This means, however, leaving your hosts' kitchen looking like a splurge gun has hit for at least an hour after the event.

I think our hosts would agree though, that the spectator sport that is baby-led weaning is enough compensation for the detritius. At least I think so, although Emma might disagree - I really hope Mae hasn't made her mark (literally) on the new (as yet untreated) kitchen floorboards!

  • We have doubled up on bibs now - we have the overall one with sleeves and the Tommy Tippee with the catch-all on top, which does a great job at, well, catching most
  • Buy a lot of wine as compensation for your hosts

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Berry nice

It's berry season in England - raspberries, strawberries, blueberries - little juicy nuggets of delight everywhere you look! Mae has had strawberries before and enjoyed them, but for some reason I kept thinking raspberries might be a choking hazard so had avoided them. Ridiculous! They are perfect baby food - the right size to pick up now she has a pincer grip that could pick the lint off my black jacket (actually there's a thought, I could put her to work), and then they melt in your mouth like a Prawn Cocktail Skip.

So at my parents house, Mae tucks into her very first full English brekkie. Two fingers of egg on toast, one finger of roast tomato on toast, two mini yoghurts, half a banana, five strawberries and ten raspberries later, she is finally full! Her look of delight is incongruous with the scene from a slasher movie that my parents dining table has become, but I think we can say she is going to enjoy English cuisine!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Doing the aeroplane

We are in England, meaning we survived 24hrs on an aeroplane with an 8-month old! And she managed to eat. Sort of.

The nice lady brought us four jars of Heinz puree at the beginning of Flight One - 2x Pumpkin & Sweetcorn and 2x Pear & Banana. It took us an hour to feed her one jar (which was fine, we weren't short of hours) but we were unable to take a photo - we had to employ all six arms to get it into her.

It goes something like this: she sits on her Dad's knee, long sleeved bib on, I put a small amount on a spoon, give the spoon to Mae whilst surreptitiously guiding it into her mouth, some comes off in her mouth, she pulls the spoon out and flicks it around, grinning, spraying pumpkin onto the entertainment system, her Dad's T-shirt (yellow in colour already - good choice, Chris) and the hair of the kicky man behind us. I wipe everything I can (apart from the kicky man's hair, he can do that himself as penance for kicking) and then we start again. 84 wipes later (including several used to mop our brows from the effort of it all), the jar is empty.

The next meal time, we decide to give her some of ours, the puree just too much effort. I get some very salty potato wedges with my meal so I suck the salt off and give her a couple:

The rest of the flight I'm afraid was rice crackers and breastmilk for Mae, but I'm pleased to report that she survived, and so did we!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tofu and brocciflower

I'm never quite sure what counts as genetically modified food, and why it's necessarily always bad, because as Mae and I are doing a trolley dash in Safeway, I spot a food that seems to have been modified especially for Mae. Brocciflower! I kid you not, it is an exact mixture of broccoli and cauliflower, making for basically a green cauliflower. Two of our most successful foods married into one nutritious nugget of luridness. It cannot fail!

I steam up giant florets and give two to Mae, along with some of last night's tofu that I saved for her. The tofu is one of those marinated ones that we had in a Chinese style stirfry (honey and soy flavour) but I wash it to rid it of honey/MSG/general badness on it.

Faced with a choice, even though the brocciflower is so jolly-looking, she chooses tofu. And eats it. Two 10cm x 1cm strips down the hatch. Then she attacks the brocciflower, ignorant to the fact this vegetable has astounded her mum (and surely all shoppers in Safeway today) with its novelty. Hard to say how much she actually eats, but I'd say at least one floret has been downed.

One more day until "doing the aeroplane" takes on an altogether different meaning in baby food lingo!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tuna tempter?

Looks like I should have named the last post "ear we don't go" as our flight to England has had to be postponed because of poor Mae's ear infection! So rather than sitting on a plane today working out inventive ways of getting the pureed baby plane food into Mae, I was left to work out inventive ways of finding a meal I could possibly give her from our pitifully bare cupboards. "How does Mild Indian Curry Tuna Tempter in a toasted sanger with cheese sound Mae?" "Delicious, Mum". Good, cos there's nothing else.

The tuna looks hideously oily so I put it in the sieve and rinse it, pat it dry, then toast it with the last of the tasty cheddar. I cut a big finger out the middle and eat the rest myself while Mae naps. Actually, it is quite delicious!

And she loves it! Her nap was particularly long today so it's been at least 3hrs since her last breastfeed when I give her lunch so I think she is quite hungry.

She actually eats the entire thing. There was literally nothing left down her front or down her pants afterwards. I also gave her the last of the broccoli to make sure gets some vitamins, and there was definitely some of that down her front. I can only conclude that Tuna Tempters have usurped broccoli as her favourite food!

  • I think it's OK to give processed food every now and again
  • She really loves toasties - if I can get some vegies in there next time, we have a winner!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ear we go

Poor Mae has an ear infection! Bless her, she is fighting through and has been quite jolly considering, but she is clinging to me, and that means I can't even put her in the high chair without tears! Her milk feeds are still going down well but solids seem to have taken a back seat. She managed a few bites of her favourite scrambled eggs on toast yesterday but today I have to sit her on my lap to eat. She ate some broccoli through tears (I know, broccoli makes me cry too) and I'm amazed that she is still chewing and swallowing with an earache and a temperature of 39!

I hope she's better tomorrow because I have broccoli where no girl should have broccoli from feeding her on my lap! No pics today - I am not that dextrous.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Risotto besotto

I'm going nuts on the sharing stuff now. Today, we shared some of the tomato risotto Chris and I had last night for dinner. It has onions and cherry toms in, and fetta on top, none of which she has had before. I gave it to Mae on a spoon at first, a la yoghurt (see my post on spoon feeding). I then dolloped a pile on her tray and she grabbed a fistful with the other hand. So, with spoon in one (repeatedly refilled by me – she’s not that dextrous!) and fistfuls in the other, she shovelled in a healthy portion over about 20 mins. Her face, hands and nose were orange for the rest of the day and I think the high chair is permanently scarred. But conclusion? Risotto=resounding success! I wish I had a photo of when the fetta hit the palate though!