Our family is growing in many ways... Growing in numbers, knowledge, parenting skills, growing in love, in our faith, growing our culinary skills (if you can call it that), growing without gluten (some of us), growing green...........

Friday, May 29, 2009

Our Little Foodie

Aiden may not be the best sleeper around, but boy can he EAT! We recently decided to throw out all of the rules with babies and food...and now Aiden is basically eating everything we are. Now, we aren't throwing all caution to the wind or doing so without knowing what we're doing, in case you were wondering. Ryan's sister is about to finish up with her degree in nutrition, and I have a mommy friend that has her PhD as a pediatric dietitian. That, along with advice from Aiden's doctor and our own in depth research....we're confident and know what we're doing around here. No worries there!

Watermelon puree mustache (had to drink it)

Once Aiden started eating solids, he just didn't stop! He gets some pureed foods occasionally now, especially if we're eating something he really can't, but that's not often. (That happens when we're eating things like fries or something with lots of sugar...stuff I'm not about to give him yet!) So, what exactly is the little guy eating? And what are our restrictions these days?

Well....nothing with HFCS at the moment (that's High Fructose Corn Syrup, for those that might not know that - and it's something we really REALLY are trying to keep out of our own diets, not just Aiden's), nothing with refined sugar, no extra butter or salt. And of course, no peanut butter, nuts, or honey - those are big no-nos for a while longer!

This is why beets aren't a finger food...
This is not from him being messy but from doing the spoon swipe across his lips.
Beets are a messy, messy food, even when they're not.

Just about everything else is game, though! Here are a few things he's had lately that you might be surprised to hear about (there are plenty of others but these are some "different" "baby" foods):
  • lettuce
  • asparagus
  • spaghetti with all the works (we have it with all sorts of veggies in there!)
  • garlic toast
  • taco soup
  • chili
  • salmon
  • kiwi
  • hard boiled egg yolks
  • broccoli (I'm determined to have one child that likes this stuff)
  • beans (refried beans and pinto bean soup)
  • mushrooms (cooked and fresh)
  • tomato soup (Trader Joe's has a really yummy tomato soup with NO HFCS) - we also mix in a little bit of plain yogurt
  • grapefruit (nothing added to sweeten, of course!)
  • sweet banana peppers
  • goldenrod eggs with small chunks of hard boiled egg whites
  • beef & lentils (exactly what it sounds like, add some cumin, onions, and garlic - I'll post the recipe soon!)
  • strawberry smoothie - no surprise here! (with bananas, organic whole fat yogurt, and milk)
  • cheddar & Swiss cheeses, shredded or small chunks
  • wheat bread
  • steel cut oatmeal (throw in some bananas and blueberries and oh my - he can't get enough!)
  • baked potato
  • cottage cheese (another thing from Mommy b/c Daddy doesn't like the stuff)
Tonight he also ate brown rice and chunks of chicken from P.F. Chang's lettuce wraps, which is in some sauce that has all kinds of seasonings he's never had. He loved that stuff!! (We do, too, by the way...)

Sometimes Aiden even tries to EAT his books...

And here he is getting mad and throwing the book when Mommy told him not to eat it.

Of course he gets small chunks of things he can smoosh with his gums, and then things like the spaghetti, we throw in the magic bullet to blend just until there are small chunks that he can gum.

It's bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

Every now and then, Camden asks what Aiden's favorite food is..... We can't say because he seems to like EVERYTHING! When I gave him some banana pepper, I expected a face but didn't get one. With the grapefruit, same thing! He just kept going! He definitely has a taste for sour things, that's for sure. (That's something he actually gets from ME. Ha!)

So for those of you who are saying...Wait! You aren't supposed to give strawberries (or other berries) until a year old. Or what about that salmon! (We had a hard time finding info on fish other than white fish - so we had to go to our nutrition friends for that ok. She not only answered with an ok but sent me a website link that reinforced it.) And citrus? Well, don't worry your pretty little heads about all that. Sure, you might hear to wait on things like berries and citrus, some say until a year, esp with berry allergy concerns. My friend says most of this caution came from people starting baby foods way too early to begin with (you're now supposed to try to wait until six months or the baby is showing the signs of readiness, though some old school doctors will still say 4 months...). With no family history, though (immediate family), even our doctor says to go for it with all this stuff. Babies can eat almost everything we are by the time they're 9-10 months - and they should be, too. We still haven't tried corn, which is another one "they" sometimes say to wait with but we have been told is fine with no immediate family history (even though my mom is highly allergic, that is not immediate family and Aiden should be fine). The corn will come up the next time we eat it, probably. We've waited a little longer with that one but it's ok by now. But other than that and the other big no-nos that have great reasons for being held off (pb, nuts, and honey), this kid is eating everything we are whenever possible!

If you're interested (esp those of you with babies!), my pediatric dietitian friend recommended a book to me early on, and I absolutely loved it! I had it checked out from the library with multiple renewals. I really want to buy it, actually, to keep as a reference. She said this is the book that most parents say they get the most out of when she recommends it. It's GREAT. It's Ellyn Satter's "Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense." And it's not just about baby food...if you have a younger baby or are expecting, there is great info on feeding from the start, before real food ever enters the picture. And we've actually used some of her advice with how we approach food with Camden...and, even though he is a pretty decent eater, he's doing much better since then. (He's picky with odd stuff...like potatoes. Hates mashed potatoes and things many other kids love. But he LOVES things you wouldn't expect, like banana peppers and salmon - apparently Aiden does, too.)

This is the ONLY way Camden will eat potatoes...smothered with salsa! At least it's not bad for him, like the sour cream and butter I usually use... ;)
Is he not a cute kid??? (Yes, he is.)

So, check out this book. It's awesome. And if you're one of those parents worried about food or trying to get your little one to eat - lighten up and follow her advice. Part of the best advice...follow the baby's lead. One thing I've always kept in mind is her saying that I should not have to put the spoon into my baby's mouth. He should be bringing his mouth to the spoon (or meeting me halfway). And he does. We've never been pushy with food. If he says no, we stop. (That rarely is necessary, but he has said no on occasion, especially when teething or tired.) Meal time is fun. Not playtime but fun. And our baby LOVES to eat!! We're really looking forward to the summer and lots of visits to the farmer's market for all that yummy fresh fruit! I know Aiden is going to love that!

A few more food photos for you to enjoy...

Aiden's first finger foods - egg yolks

Eating a chunk of grapefruit! Yum-yum!

He LOVES milk (or pretty much anything that comes from OUR glasses...). He likes to make sure he gets it ALL out of there.

More sour stuff...limes!

Feel free to share your thoughts, what your little ones like/don't like, etc, etc. :)


Kathy Willis said...

You are lucky! Johnathan is sooo picky about what he will eat. My sister's step daughter is like Aiden- she loves to eat, and will get so excited about food! But not my son, it's like eating is a chore for him, unless it's something he loves, which isn't very much! He really doesn't like anything healthy, like veggies. He loves fruit, which is good, but it doesn't help fatten him up! He loves chicken nuggets, sphagetti,chili, peanut butter and jelly, fruit, bread, and sometimes fish sticks. That's about it! Even some of these things, I really have to encourage him to eat them! So yeah, congrats for having a kid who will eat :)

Daisy and Ryan said...

I have no idea how you guys approached food with Johnathan. I know that with Camden, I did all the jarred baby food, except for fruits. And then when he switched to regular food...it seemed like he boycotted everything, except for the fruit! He's been picky ever since, though he has gotten MUCH better the past couple years, enough that I don't necessarily call him picky now.

Also...Aiden is NOT a good sleeper. Not by any means. So, I feel like this kinda sorta makes up for it. It's like...I got the great sleeper with Camden and the great eater with Aiden. Guess I can't have them both at the same time? I wonder what the next child will be like???

You should check out this lady's books. There is info to use with kids Johnathan's age, too. I think you would like it. We used some of the info with Camden, and it's really helped!! I really recommend her stuff. I've only read this one book so far, but I want to look at her others, too.

Daisy and Ryan said...

I meant to include some other info in that comment... got off track.

Anyway, Camden only kept eating the "real" food he had been eating early on, if that makes sense. When we switched him to the real food from baby food is when we noticed the change in his eating habits. I'm really hoping that the fact that Aiden isn't getting the jarred food but is really getting the same thing we eat from the start will help him continue to be a good eater. He's STARTING on the foods we all eat instead of getting used to the jarred kind and then having to change. I'm not sure if it really makes that much of a difference...but Camden ate jarred food and REAL fruit early on - and then didn't like any of the real foods EXCEPT for the fruit later on. So, there might be something there. Not sure.

Plus, I think our approach with Aiden is really working well with him. Like I said, I really recommend that book! :) It's affected how I look at the whole "making" them eat the foods, which has helped Camden, too.

Samara said...

I just thought I would mention that you should try the golden beets when they are in season. They are just as good as the red beets with out the red mess.

I have a recipe for coleslaw that I will sometimes put in the shredded yellow beets in. It's super yummy and gives a sweetness to it with out adding sugar. (It's not a mayo based coleslaw.)

Daisy and Ryan said...

Good idea about the beets! He really likes the red ones, and I hate keeping something good from him (yummy and good for him!) - but man, they are messy even with a spoon! And I know they would stain everything. I know he'll get some eventually anyway (aside from what we feed him since he still lets us do that so far) - I worry about the mess even with Camden b/c he's messy enough and he's almost 10! Ha. We'll try the golden ones when we can find them!! Thanks for the tip!!

Kathy Willis said...

It seems like with Johnathan it is a texture thing. He's getting better, since he's finally getting more teeth (they had stopped coming in for quite awhile) but he used to not want anything that he had to work on chewing. He had always done fairly well with the jarred baby food, then when we started to switch, he didn't like that he had to work! But I think that started a pattern of not eating a whole lot. He's getting better though, it just takes awhile for him to get used to eating more. He just doesn't get excited about food like some babies!

Becky said...

I think Aiden left his taste buds in the womb!
Colin has gotten a lot better since he started eating finger foods. Not nearly as good as Aiden. Egg yolks get spit right out! It is actually funny to watch him try to get them off his tongue.

Daisy and Ryan said...

I'm laughing picturing him trying to get the yolks off his tongue!

Life Scraps and Patches said...

Heck, yes, Camden's a cute kid. I ALWAYS thought that. Good to see that Aiden's eating PF Chang's lettuce wraps - that kid definitely knows what's good.

Candice Ward said...

Sounds like Mason and Aiden have the same tastebuds haha!! Mason's favorite foods are asparagus, brocoli, avacado and raspberries haha. We make a lot of our babyfood but are definitely not opposed to jar food. We use jar at the sitter, when we travel, and when I'm lazy haha. Mason is still not feeling finger foods at all!! We tried breaking up the puffs and he wasn't having it. We may have to try the hard boiled egg yolks. Does anybody have any other suggestions?? Just last week he "popped" his first tooth so he is a late bloomer about food I guess.

Daisy and Ryan said...

Candice - Have you tried regular bread, just tearing it into really small pieces? Since it's soft and small enough (if you make it small enough, that is), even if he doesn't really "chew" it, he should be fine eating it. I think that would be a good thing to try. And the egg yolks b/c they will break apart easily. But I'll warn you - the egg yolks are messy! And Aiden didn't get the hang of picking it up at first - we had to put it in his mouth. Just takes some practice and figuring out what they're supposed to do with that food! ;) And you know, the salmon was pretty easy for Aiden to eat, too, since it flakes apart easily. You might also want to see how he does with chunky foods you feed him. We do that with the magic bullet - just take what we're eating and mix it until it seems like it's the right texture but not too chunky. I think that helped Aiden with the chewing, too. Just some things that came to mind. I'll let you know if I have any others. We really just take what we are having and see what we could cut/tear up and he could eat! :)

Anyone else have any ideas? What did you start Colin with, Becky?

I'm happy to get some ideas, too. Sometimes what we're having just isn't something I'm ready to give him and I need to come up with something quickly. He'll still eat the purees (some foods he does better if we feed him, actually, like peas and green beans..), but I'm always up for new ideas!

Daisy and Ryan said...

and i don't think mason is late to the teething game necessarily. aiden was early. and we know of babies his age that are just about to get their first teeth!