We had a bit of a shift in Will’s eating last week. He had been eating around 16 oz of purees every day, and a few puff before each meal. I loved being able to give him puffs because it kept him happy while I was getting the rest of the food prepared, he was enjoying being able to feed himself, and Trigger got occasional treats dropped to the ground!
Well, as of last week he started rejecting the purees more and more, so I started giving him more solids to feed himself. The problem is, if he gets puffs first that’s all he wants to eat. They do work well for introducing new foods – since his fine motor skills aren’t fully developed, when he picks up one food from his tray he also gets whatever else is there and realizes that he can eat that, too. The most exciting place for a food to come from, though, is my plate, so I look at each meal differently now, to see what baby-friendly finger foods there might be.
Of course after not buying any baby food on one shopping trip, I realized that he’s not getting quite enough calories feeding himself and will usually let me feed him from a spoon after the novelty of feeding himself has worn off and he’s still hungry. This week he’s mellowed a little bit about having to feed himself – a lot of the food goes down into his chair and is more for playing with than eating (Trigger is not complaining about this at all!). So far, in terms of table foods, Will has had bananas, peaches, mashed peas, carrots, broccoli, pasta (little shells, orzo, pieces of my bigger shells), rice, white beans (smashed), baked beans, and probably a few other things I’m not thinking of. And plenty of puffs. He’s figuring out how to mash things between his gums, and will spit things out if the pieces are too big. No surprise that it’s easier to get him to eat peas if they’re hidden inside a macaroni shell.
In my typical style, I was starting to worry if I should have followed baby led weaning instead of feeding Will purees from the 5 month point. And as things typically go, the way things went assured me that he’ll let me know when he’s ready for things and I don’t have to watch the calendar or worry about following someone else’s advice perfectly (although that site is great for giving me ideas about what foods to feed him). We fed him purees because he was interested in table food and that’s what he could handle, and now he’s ready for the next step. He still doesn’t eat any meat, but we’ll keep trying on that end.