Posts Tagged ‘baby led weaning’

Ideal jobs for toddlers: poison taste testers for royalty.

October 20, 2011

The first time it happened was when I had the genuis idea to combine several favourite foods into a new meal. Potatoes were loved by one kid, tolerated by the other. Hummous and salsa were both gobbled with abandon at any opportunity. TMD invented the jacket/baked potato with hummous and salsa years ago, so I knew how tasty it was. I was so excited to see their faces light up with love for the dish.

Instead, Snort looked at me like I was offering him dog shit smothered in cigarette ashes. Coconut wasn’t much better.

Oh, folks, the sheer falacy that if your kid likes A and B, then when you combine A and B into a new dish they will LOVE it. #incorrect #youfoolmother #whybothertrying

It happened this week again, with tortillas, shredded cheese, and black beans heated, rolled up, and then cut into smaller pieces. Oh HELL no. Beans and MELTED CHEESE? That shit ain’t right, Mama, how can you mess with our palates this way?

I tried again. Pizzadillas with a sprinkling of black beans. ‘Oh NO, beans!’ Snort exclaimed, picking each bean out and then shoving the rest of the thing in his mouth.

While baby led weaning has given them superb food handling skills, cutlery and glasses skills years beyond their age – I don’t know if it’s made them non-picky. Coconut WILL eat anything – if she tries something and doesn’t like it, she will just continue and continue to eat it, even if it means spitting it out after every bite. Snort, on the other hand, can tell the difference between the sodium-laced canned lentil soup (yum!) and the healthy organic homemade slow cooked lentil soup that looks and smells IDENTICAL to the canned stuff in one glance (poison! I will not try it!).

Bottom line: there is no point in me trying to be creative at this point. While it will result in the awesomeness of me having five spartan black bean burritos to myself,  it also means my kids end up starving.

Beans on toast? DELICIOUS. FEED US MORE. WE CANNOT GET ENOUGH.

Creative dish with added protein? WHORE. HOW DARE YOU? WE KICK DIRT ON YOUR EFFORTS.

Thus ends this public service announcement.

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A week in the life of our tummies

July 26, 2011

Please ignore all horrible formatting issues – this was written on my phone and is less than perfect!

But I have people asking us about food all the time. What do you feed toddlers? Vegetarian toddlers? Baby led weaning kids, one of whom is allergic to everything?

This is what we had last week- a week’s worth of food with no meat, eggs, peanuts – and no fighting, no food power struggles, no grief. Glorious!

Monday

Pre breakfast
Milk for coconut

Breakfast

Wholegrain Cheerios (with oat milk, we don’t do cows milk)
Plums
Water

Snack
Organic herb and tomato puffs
Bananas
Water

Lunch
Pizzadillas (tomato paste, broccoli, carrots, olives, mature cheddar)
Baby oranges
Milk
Water

Snack

Water
Milk
Fruit sticks (apricot, pear)
Crackers

Dinner

Mexican bean burgers (patties only)
Green beans (only ever had plain, but tried mixed herbs and butter on them tonight)
Mashed red potatoes (smash)
Nectarines
Organic yogurt (peach, raspberry)

Tuesday

Breakfast

Cheerios
Plums
Organic yogurt – strawberry

Snack
Water
Crackers
Raisins
Milk

Lunch

Potato waffle
Cod fish fingers
Green peas
Blueberries
Milk
Water

Snack
Water
Dilute juice
Organic carrot and pumpkin rice cakes
Olives
Fruit stick
Grapes

Dinner
Existere’s awesome bean soup – red kidney beans, black eyed beans (better with black beans but all shops near us apparently no longer stock), sweetcorn, chopped tomatoes (in the liquid), garlic, chili powder

Baked long baguettes
Milk
Water
Sliced mature cheddar
Bananas
Baby oranges
Organic yogurt – strawberry

Wednesday
Breakfast
Cheerios and milk
Plums
Oranges
Water
Plain bagels w/ cream cheese

Snack
Oat cakes/crackers
Water

Lunch
Creamy veggie soup
Hummus (carmelized onion) sandwiches (wholemeal bread)
Weird red fancy pears

Snack
Organic herb puffs
Water
Olives
Chocolate chip granola bar (one third each)

Apple /  pear – literally minutes before dinner, so don’t know where to put these!

Dinner
New potatoes, chopped into chunks with melted mature cheddar
Baked beans
Cherry tomatoes
Organic yogurt – raspberry, peach

Snack
Wholemeal toast w butter

Thursday

Breakfast
Cheerios
Plums
Toast
Water

Snack
Strawberries
Rice cakes
Juice

Lunch
Lentil soup
Full fat cream cheese sandwiches (referred to as ‘poor man’s sandwiches by us!)
Weird red fancy pears
Water

Snack
Baby carrots
Apples
Milk
Water

Dinner
Dominos fully loaded veggie pizza
Baby oranges
Organic yogurt – strawberry

Friday

Breakfast
Cheerios
Bananas
Water

Snack
Organic yogurt – apricot
Blueberries
Organic tomato and herb puffs
Water

Grapes

Lunch
Mandarin oranges
Blueberries (fruit given while I made lunch, as both freakishly napped before lunch and woke up starving!)
Toddler crack (wholegrain twisty noodles, bit of green pesto, some shredded mature cheddar)
Baked beans
Water

Snack
Chocolate (given by someone else tho I kept saying no! Ha. Broke the giant bars in half. I ate the pieces I took from kids. Score.)
Crackers
Fruit sticks
Water
Olives

Dinner
Italian vegetarian sausages (tofu based)
Potato waffles
Broccoli
Carrots
Honeydew melon
Organic yogurt – peach, strawberry

Daily liquid vitamins for vegan/veggie children

Oh, Mr Toasty (the remix)

January 7, 2011

Who needs entertainment when you are left with a messy kitchen table? I assure you this is quite normal in our house, though probably not ‘normal’ in the wider sense of the word.

Carnival of Horrors.

December 22, 2010

I just served up a dinner that is probably unforgiveable. Leftover fish fingers, leftover fully loaded veggie pizza, raw carrot sticks, lukewarm baked beans, banana, and yogurt – strawberry.

My kids are good eaters. They love food, and they are very skilled in manipulating all different sorts – soups, giant pears (!), sandwiches, curry, pasta, well…anything you would feed to a human. I fully credit baby led weaning with this.

I also credit the book (amazing bible of baby led weaning – Baby Led Weaning by Gill Rapley) on the topic with mentioning that BLW kids like interesting combinations of food. At lunch today, Coconut happily dipped banana into pumpkin soup and proclaimed, ‘YUM’ after every bite.

I notice that while my kids will eat anything, variety in a meal often means they will eat more. I forgot that this evening as I was busy quietly stifling the urge to gag as I served up fish and pizza in the same meal.

Well, those kids went to town. They were like dingoes on a baby. It was like the last time they ate was last Tuesday. We’re talking frantic, stuffing your face full eating.

My mouth was dropped open most of the meal (also, I was calculating if there would be any leftover pizza which had not been contaminated by the fish. The answer is no. Because NOTHING was leftover. Not a drop.) which made it hard to contain the further urges to void the pumpkin soup from earlier. But their sheer gusto made me forget how gross the meal was.

In fact, Snort just walked over here clutching a pizza crust from god knows where (the floor) and mowing down on it. And then came back twenty seconds later covered in yogurt – he’d climbed up on the table to get the empty pot and somehow smeared the dredges all over his face…and my arms.

I just….I am amazed. Disgusted. Thankful. Blown away.

(Also, people, this is freakishly my fourth entry of the day. Clicking to previous entries, you will see a picture of my young artists, a conversation about atheism with my mother, and the long awaited post on getting babies to sleep happily without crying. I am too lazy to link.

I am too lazy to cook, too.)

Oh god, he just blew raspberries through a mouth of yogurt covered pizza crust. And now Coconut has picked up his already chewed pizza crust and is eating it. Who needs dogs when you have baby led weaning babies?!?

Allergy appointment!

November 30, 2010

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Hope the following info helps people with kids younger than ours who are wondering about allergies, to food or otherwise.

Good result at Snort’s long awaited allergy appointment. The doctor treated us as if we were intelligent equals, and our appointment was relaxed, unhurried, and full of good info. This is a rarity.

He’s got a prescription for an epipen and a new liquid antihistamine.

He’s too little to sit through a full skin prick test, so that’ll happen in six months. In the meantime, he’s having blood tests next Monday for milk, eggs, peanuts, dust mites, cat…and I think that’s it. He’ll have a skin prick test for cooked potato at the same time.

She was pleasantly surprised that he is tolerating other nuts and legumes, thank you baby led weaning. Our style of weaning has actually helped him build tolerances!  We’ve been instructed to keep up his intake of hummus, black beans, chickpeas, and pesto lest a break from them will cause him to develop allergies. (sesame, pine nuts, cashews)

She, too, suspects that much of his ‘eczema’ has actually been an allergic reaction to his formula.

She thinks his potato allergy is probably going, and the egg too…though the egg one can be a predictor for asthma.  She says the peanut one is less likely to leave (though because he was sensitized so early it has a better chance of eventually being outgrown), though will do controlled testing to monitor his reaction to tree nuts in future. She mentioned hazelnuts as being little bitches to peanut allergy kids, and said they were always present in coffee shops. Perhaps this explains his face blowing up like the Elephant Man every time we step through the doors of one.

We will also do controlled testing (ie small amounts of The Bad Foods given in hospital under observation to monitor reactions, etc, once the testing shows that the allergies are borderline or going away) for eggs, the above mentioned tree nuts (peanuts are actually a legume, apparently), and any other foods he tests allergic to.

She said regarding the packaging saying ‘may contain nuts’, to keep having stuff he is tolerating (keeping that tolerance strong!) and we can experiment at home where we know his reactions, but that when he is away from us – no chance of that anytime soon – it is strictly no nuts of any kind, as well no foods where there may be traces of nuts.

Snort and Coconut both had a fabulous time there. Pretend cups of tea making, colouring, and wire pulling all contributed to the party atmosphere.

We also talked quite a lot about vaccines. She was actually working at the hospital where all the autism hoopla happened in 2001, and said when they looked at causal issues, many of the children in the group hadn’t even received the MMR! …though no cause was found, but there was a real chance it was a live measles infection/exposure, so that was interesting.

On the whole, I feel better as we’ve been told the swelling and hives are minor. We’ve been told when and how to use an epipen, and to call an ambulance as soon as we do. Hopefully we’ll never need to use this new knowledge.

Onward and upward to the first phase of testing!

Quotation marks are the new irony.

October 1, 2010

Three things:

1. A friend on facebook has pointed out that ordering that pfau (red 6, me thinks!!) from a Country B vendor is way cheaper than ordering from Didymos (based in Germany). Only 109.00. ‘Only.’ Need to sell my Didymos Ruby Indio 8 before I can buy this other wrap. If you want a long wrap because you are fluffy, or you have twins/two kids to wrap, you let me know. It’s in excellent condition and going cheap! ‘Cheap.’

2. I managed to screw up bagels and nectarines this morning. I have taken pictures because I think you’d all love to see my ‘cooking’ ‘skills’, but that will have to wait.

3. At playgroup, I am like Mary Poppins. A drug dealing Mary Poppins in a crowd of smack addicted toddlers.

Fear based feeding.

September 1, 2010

A few weeks ago, I was talking to my mother while cleaning up after a meal. I casually said something like, ‘Well, Snort didn’t have much of his ___________ today.’ It didn’t worry me. Some days he’ll eat 75 melons, and some days he’ll only eat 3.

My mom’s reply startled me, perhaps because it wasn’t what I expected her to say.

‘Oh, let him choose how much he wants to eat.’  Now, let’s say it loud and clear: my mother is not a fan of baby led weaning. She was loudly opposed to this style of feeding from the start, but when it became clear that her fears about choking were not going to change how we did things, she stopped critiquing us. (This, incidentally, is how I know I am a mother in full standing, and a woman to be respected: my mother trusts me to raise my own children. Ha.)

But then she continued.

‘When you were a baby, sometimes you seemed like you didn’t want to eat. So I would force you. You would be screaming and crying and I just kept shovelling food in because I was afraid you weren’t eating enough.  I took you to the doctor and he said you were fine, you were healthy, and a baby who is healthy doesn’t need to be forced to eat. He said you would be eating what was right for you.’

A few things from this paragraph.

One, this is a major principle of baby led weaning. You don’t encourage your kid to eat more or less than what they are eating. Only they know how hungry their tummy is. Research has also shown that kids will gravitate towards things that have what their body is lacking. This is why my kids sometimes attack wheat bread and I think I’ll have to open my own mill, and why sometimes they lean towards cheese, or fruit, or beans.

Two, my mother had informed me awhile back (probably around the time Snort and Coco were 6 months old and we were starting solid food) that she had not given me anything but purees until I was ‘well over a year old.’  Yes, all I ate until god knows how old was smoothly pureed stuff. You know, the stuff that I was forced to keep eating even when I was full and protesting.

Three, well, is there a ‘three’?

You all know I am pretty overweight right now. Almost 55 pounds overweight, despite having already lost about 25 pounds. I may have been a healthy, slim weight when I got pregnant, but that has never been my norm.

Longtime readers will know that a few years before I got pregnant, I lost 58 pounds in 18 months doing Weight Watchers. Prior to being pregnant with two big ass twins, my starting weight at WW was the heaviest I’d ever been, and it’s about what I weigh right now.

While I wasn’t a fat child – though certainly made to feel so by my mother – I was never a skinny minnie once I started puberty, and for me that happened in about fourth grade. So being a healthy eater, a thin person, is not my natural mode of being.

Some people are just naturally chunky (and hawt), but I don’t think there’s anything natural about my chunkiness (despite the fact that I am, of course, still hawt!). I think it happened – and is happening – for a number of reasons.

One, I was not allowed to make decisions for myself regarding food as a child. I would have eaten whatever was on that spoon. Two, I was forced to eat even when I was not hungry, and this has perhaps overridden my natural awareness of being full, of being finished. Three, I was not allowed ‘real people food’ until I was long past my baby years.

Even as a child, I was lied to about food. I was afraid of fish, so my mother told me tuna was chicken. I didn’t want to eat meats at all after awhile, and my family bribed me with money, hid the wrappers of meat in the trash, and continued to lie. I was full and didn’t want to eat my peaches? I got hit and screamed at while at the table. I threw up because I was made to eat when I didn’t want to? Hit and yelled at again (not by my mother).

As I got even older, I was enlisted to lie to my sister about the food on the table, as she was 5.5 years younger than me and would only eat what I would.

Now, obviously my family is an extreme. But I still think that the feeding experiences of babyhood – like most experiences of babyhood – remain with us and play a large part in the formation of our character, our self-beliefs, and our choices.

We’ve been doing baby led weaning for about seven months now, and it couldn’t have been a better experience. Sure, at the beginning I worried about how much they were (not) eating. Sure, the first time Coconut swallowed a hunk of bread it scared me so much I didn’t give them solids for two days.

But I kept on, because at the core of it I do trust my children.

And now they are healthy and happy eaters. No doubt there will be bumps in the road, but I feel like I have helped create a baseline for them – learning when they are full, choosing what foods to eat from the variety that is offered, choosing how much to eat. Letting me know when they are done, and that being respected.

Snort and Coconut laugh during meals. Coconut often hums (much like my sister used to do when eating). They drink water and merrily slam their cups down, they hand me choice pieces of chewed up muck to sample, they are weaning themselves off milk. For Snort and Coconut, mealtimes are an opportunity for us to all be together, to have a ‘chat’, to enjoy each other and the good food in front of us.

What a stark contrast – for me as a child, mealtimes were often scary and laced with the fighting of my parents (who later divorced, thankfully in retrospect!), pressures on me to make choices, and pressures on me (still, when I visit home) to just ‘finish things off’, to make sure there are no leftovers. I have received so many mixed messages about food, and I could write a novel on the ways my family have – unknowingly, perhaps – fucked me up in relation to food.

TMD is still struck dumb by it all. At my parents’ house, there is a big breakfast and then one later meal around 4. If you get hungry before then you are shamed for wanting to eat, and if you get hungry afterwards you are shamed for wanting to eat. Yet during the meal itself you are encouraged to gorge, to always, always eat more.

TMD will be driven to secretive eating within days of being there (alongside me!), much as I ate secretively as a child – except now I’m old enough to drive away, order food, and eat in the car and throw away the wrapper before I get home. Ridiculous. We have both made a conscious effort (thank god for TMD and her neverending support) to eat normally while at my mother’s house, though the continual commentary on our eating is tough to deal with.

This will not happen for Snort and Coconut.

I am curious to see what my mother makes of baby led weaning in action, but I am a woman now. I am doing the best I can by my children, making choices I hope are the right ones, and so far it’s working: I have two almost-toddlers who exude confidence, joy, curiousity, and wonder.

Long may it continue.

PIZZADILLA: The Musical!!

July 16, 2010

Settle down in your seats –  the show is about to start. I hope you have snacks that are quiet to chew, because you don’t want to disturb those sitting near you – you’ll all have to concentrate to understand the complex truths and subtle messages contained within this great musical…

The red curtain parts….

Presenting PIZZADILLA: THE MUSICAL!

(Notice how both babies manage to ignore my rousing performance? It’s because they are used to me behaving this way. I do it a lot. *kiss*)

pizzadilla recipe

PIZZADILLA: the recipe (and some preliminary reviews)

July 15, 2010

Oh, hundreds of thousands of you were asking for the PIZZADILLA recipe on Twitter. Fear not, my whimsical chefs, I’ve got all you need for tummies aged tiny – old.

First step:

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Yes, it’s a plain tortilla on a white plate. I realise it’s the blurriest picture in the world, but let’s be honest. If you can’t visualise a tortilla on a plate, the cooking skillz needed to make Pizzadillas are probably beyond you. Only visionaries who dream big can make them.

Next step:

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Squirt tomato paste all over your sad little tortilla, and use a knife to try to spread it around. This takes supreme effort and concentration, since everybody knows tomato paste doesn’t like to spread. Notice my concentrated little knife marks. I am one serious chef, yo.

And then:

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Cheese! We use full fat, full flavour mature cheddar. (Full fat foods are a must with baby led weaning, kids. Babies don’t need any skinny minnie bullshit.) Here I’ve lovingly grated and judiciously sprinkled it evenly across the surface of the period blood – I mean, the tomato paste.

Time to make a taste sensation:

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Here we seem to have hit on the ultimate Pizzadilla flavour nest. I know because I made three different Pizzadillas, and this first one was lust-a-rific, at least from Snort and Coconut’s point of view. I’ve got finely diced yellow peppers and green olives. (And I think the taste of the smushed up clumsily cut olives is actually KEY to the success of the Pizzadilla.) I’ve also thrown on some oregano.

Next, you take another lonely little tortilla, smack it on top of this pretty little mess, and bang that shit into the microwave. I made the mistake of cooking the first one for two minutes, and delaying lunch by about 16 hours while we waited for it to cool. The next one I zapped for a minute, and that was perfect.

When it comes out, you cut it into six charming pieces. I served it with the leftover yellow peppers (because the Mamadilla I made was without peppers, since peppers make me want to die inside) and pears.

See here:

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And voila! You have got yourself six hot, tasty little pieces of heaven.

The preliminary test group:

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I think you’ll appreciate this was a moment of nail biting excitement. Not only was this test group composed of famous food critics and movie stars, but…and this is a big but (big butt – ha! I’m 12!)….their final decision on the Pizzadilla, if unanimous, would win me the brand new category of Nobel Prize: innovation and involuntary genius in cooking.

Judge one:

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Judge two:

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They LOVED it!! And they weren’t the only ones.

I’ll have you know that one piece was saved (by ‘saved’ I mean I didn’t get around to cleaning the table, so it sat out congealing for four hours until TMD got home) and when my wife tasted it, her eyes lit up. These things might not look like much, but do they taste GOOD.

She said, and I quote, ‘This thing is fucking magical’ and ‘this is the best quesadilla I have ever eaten.’ And that was after it had sat out minding its own business and getting gross. Imagine how good they are fresh. She even requested I make her one! I also admit to filming a Pizzadilla interview with her, which I am debating putting on the blog.

But….the best part of the Pizzadilla? They prompted the creation of PIZZADILLA: THE MUSICAL and it will be premiering on my blog tomorrow. Put on a pantyliner now, cause I know you’re gonna piss yourself with excitement several times while waiting to see this video.

If any of you become Pizzarilla Guerillas and strike upon another tasty combination of fillings, do come here and let the rest of us devotees know. I don’t know much, but I do bet at least three of your asses are going to make Pizzadillas sometime today, am I right??

PIZZADILLA THE FIRST.

July 14, 2010

Everyone’s been wondering: what will the buzz be about this summer? What movie, what song? I have breaking news. The ONLY ‘in’ thing this summer is……DA DA DUMMMMM…..

The Pizzadilla.

I’m not a great cook, but I’m a creative one. And because my babies will happily hold a hunk of onion in one hand and a peach in the other, taking alternating bites with big smiles, I’m pretty confident that no matter what hellish form of food I serve they will eat.

So today I was like, ‘Hey, self, remember when you were a teenager and the only thing you would make for yourself was shredded cheese on a tortilla, microwaved, and rolled up? That was AWESOME.’ I decided the only course of action was to make some sort of fake quesadilla for the babies. Fake because I doubt real quesadilla chefs experiment with how long their creations should be in the microwave.

Nor do I think the decide they are going to make pizza fake quesadillas. Watch out, world!!

Have no fear: I’ve got pictures of the step-by-step process. I’ve got candid shots of my test audience making me feel like a fucking MASTERCHEF because they cannot get enough. There is even an exclusive rough cut of Pizzadilla : The Musical ™ storming your way in two days.

Stay tuned.

Buzz this big can’t be contained.

This post brought to you by PIZZADILLA: the food item SO GOOD it warrants using all caps MULTIPLE TIMES in a blog post!!