She will certainly hate me for this one day.
I always find it funny when someone asks, “is she a good eater?” I mean, it’s pretty evident from the rolls in her arms and the chub in her cheeks (and arms, and legs) that li’l miss Aisha doesn’t miss a meal. Instead of rolling my eyes, I simply jerk my head in her direction and reply, “she didn’t get that size from NOT eating, that’s for sure.”
From about four months of age, Aisha was interested in eating, and even though her doctor advised me to wait a few more months to circumvent the possibility of early allergies, there was no waiting for this kid. By the time she’d reached 5.5 months, the girl was eating cereal, fruit purees, smashed veggies and basically little bits of anything she could work around her mouth and smush with her gums.
These days, she pretty much eats what I eat, although in broken-down form. And aside from prunes and rice cereal, there isn’t much that she won’t tuck into. I hand make all her meals, with the exception of her new favourite treats, Gerber Graduates sweet potato puffs and Arrowroot cookies. Her usual daily meal routine goes something like this:
- Early AM: 7-9 oz of formula
- Mid AM: cereal (quinoa, oats or millet) and fruits (she loves apricots, mango, blueberries, applesauce and raspberries)
- Lunch: 4-5 oz of formula, and then some protein (in the form of chicken or legumes) and veggie purees
- Mid-afternoon snack: 4-5 oz of formula and a handful (10-15) of Gerber Graduates puffs
- Dinner: similar to lunch, but with different flavours. I try not to repeat the same thing in a day
- Bedtime: 7-9 oz of formula
Some days, she eats a little more, others a little less. She hasn’t had any reactions allergy-wise, but she is experiencing constipation, so I make sure she drinks more water (she takes it from a cup, as well as some juices cut with water). I’ve also gone back to single foods, as opposed to making little baby “stews” comprising various veggies, grains and proteins.
I buy everything frozen-organic (organic-frozen?). It costs a bit more initially, but it’s safer and cheaper in the long run; when I buy fresh, something always goes to waste, and with berries, there are always a number of spoilt ones in the middle of every pint and carton. I make small batches, and store them in these awesome small Ziploc containers.
Mealtime can sometimes be a messy affair, particularly when there are blueberries and spinach in the mix. She likes to put her hands in her mouth as she eats, and while my inner OCD freaks out at ALL THE MESS, Christine, our home care nurse (part of a program called Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies. She visits about once a month to ensure that Peanut and I are doing well) advises me not to discourage her from doing so. Apparently it’s a precursor to being able to self-feed. Argh. Curls Florentine it is, then.
I actually quite enjoy this foodie phase. I make the most of it because I know that it could very well change one day…and my eat-everything-Aisha will turn into a picky eater like I was, or like my cousin’s kid Andrew. When he was about three or four, he went through this phase where he wouldn’t eat anything brown. He once turned down a bowl of chocolate chip ice cream because the chips violated his food’s colour code. Crazy kid.
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Back in May, Aisha’s first taste of ice cream was met with a full-on, ear-to-ear baby grin. She couldn’t have cared LESS what colour it was. All that mattered was that it was soft serve, and it was GOOD. 😀