This month felt like it was less about new foods and more about developing Violet's eating skills. Although when I uploaded all the pictures we actually did introduce a pretty standard (for us) amount. There are also more new foods that have been introduced after the 17th that I'll wait to include in next months post, this one is so late! More about the development throughout this post. Cottage Cheese did not go down well! Totally my fault because I'm a novice and did not soften it in the microwave. I bet it was like glue in her mouth. But then I did soften it and it still wasn't a big hit. So I mixed it in with a pumpkin/sweet potato/carrot blend and it was deemed acceptable. To be honest, there's no way I would eat straight cottage cheese either so I'm not calling it a case of fussy baby, I'm calling it a case of sensible baby!
There's no way that she was going to dislike watermelon, I mean, c'mon, it's watermelon! I threw a towel down on the carpet, put piece after piece in the mesh bag and let her go to town for about half an hour. She was covered in juice and so was the towel but she actually sat still for a whole half an hour. Maybe I cleaned up a little bit, maybe I watched an episode of something terrible on tv, my lips are sealed. I can hardly get a moment to myself these days though, as Violet is incredibly good at finding everything she shouldn't and getting into it so that night I praised almighty watermelon and did a dance in it's honour on the front lawn. Kidding about the dance.
We've had a pretty poor run of strawberries this season. I can't seem to get a golden combination of sweet and not rotting. These were so tart when I opened them after buying them that I just couldn't conceive of giving them to her. It would end up as a video on YouTube or something. So I left them until I had to cut as many bad bits off as bits that I could save. Those bits that I could save were delicious though and very well received. A couple of times later I mixed steamed apple, strawberries and vanilla custard together and I think Violet was in heaven. Thank you summer fruit and a baby who it gives me such joy to experience things for the first time again with.
For this one I blanched the skin off several fresh tomatoes, cut them up and cooked them in a pot until they were a sauce, added a few cups of water and some dried split red lentils, kept the pot at a simmer until the lentils were cooked. I think I had to top up the water once or twice. It was DARN TASTY! In fact, I kept defrosting the snack pots for myself while Violet was napping. Yep. I even encouraged her to feed herself with this one and it was so cute watching her grab fistfuls and drop most of it before she could get fist to mouth.
Blueberries are my own personal favourite fruit, when we go to the farmer's market I get a punnet for my treat and I take them home and eat them in one sitting. Violet gave me all the gratification I was looking for with these blueberries, lots of mmm mmms and a little tantrum when they were all gone. I've started mashing them a little now, rather than pureeing in an effort to teach her to chew. I can't wait until we can sit down and scoff a punnet of super fresh blueberries in under a minute together. It's becoming pretty apparent from these pictures that I always feed my baby in the nude (but for a nappy) and often on the floor. She's such a good eater when being spoon fed that she never tries to put her hands in the food and she never gets messy anywhere but her face. Putting a bib on actually creates more mess because she wipes her face on it, then her hands on the bib, then her hands on her body etc. She's kind of like a baby bird.
So pasta is where things started to get tricky. We had been waiting patiently for so long for our high chair so that Violet could start feeding herself as I was convinced that that was how she was going to learn to start chewing her food. I can't remember whether I blogged about the banana incident but basically, I let her nibble on a small piece of banana that I was holding, she opened up wide and before i could do anything had got the whole piece in her mouth and swallowed it whole. An inhuman amount of gurgled up liquid, a purple face, a hyperventilating mum and a literally inside down baby having the living daylights smacked out of her back later the chuck fell on the floor. Well it's happened a few times since then, Anything that isn't incredibly finely mashed or pureed just gets swallowed without a second thought. I've given her slivers of steamed apple so soft that I'm certain they'll break apart when she picks them up, only to be banging them out of her throat seconds later. I think I put too much weight in the importance of feeding herself straight off the bat. If I don't cut it up so that it's so small that she has trouble picking it up, it's coming back out the hard way. Pasta was no different, though it's slippery and skinny so I just had to watch her gag a whole bunch rather than choke. I'm sure we'll get there. I mixed this pasta with some of her broccoli/zucchini puree as a sauce and cut it up much finer after this time.
I'm not sure why I only have one picture for this. It's also not actually the first time she ate egg but the second. The first time we did it the way our health nurse recommended. I boiled an egg very very hard boiled, peeled off the white and cut a quarter of the yolk to give to her. I just fed it to her with my hands. She liked it! Then, as I knew she wasn't allergic, I was able to do something more exciting! Scrambled eggs made from one whole egg and a dash of cows milk. She really liked this and I'm super please about the protein she's getting from the egg. She has scrambled eggs for breakfast every day now.
Next we tried grated cheddar cheese. The first time she was not too pleased with it. I'm seriously not surprised though, I'm sure it would have been a glue mouth experience and she wanted plenty of water while I was feeding her. So the next day I grated some cheese into the beaten egg/cows milk mixture and huzzah! Cheesy scrambled eggs! I call it the dairy/protein requirement meal of the day. It makes her smell so funky though, ha! And the first few egg poops and then cheese/egg poops were out of control on the stink-o-metre. I had to take them straight to the outside bin. I like being a mum who makes cooked breakfast every morning, even if she eats it cold and doesn't understand.
These plums were epic. I forgot about them in the cupboard so by the time I got to them they were at the ripest point before sliding into rotting and SO SWEET! She ate them at the cafe at the children's farm and loved every bit, even the skin (which i tore up with my hands and gave to her because, y'know, the choking thing). I've never been the hugest plum fan so I was surprised by her delight in these.
More puree! At this point in week 4, we're up to one finger food meal a day that she feeds herself with her hands and two puree meals a day that we feed her with a spoon. Next time I run out of frozen purees I'll be chopping the steamed veg into tiny tiny pieces and freezing it that way so we can up the finger food meals and HOPEFULLY learn to chew! And not choke! Mama's life expectancy is going down from the stress of banging that food out. I put spinach and pea together and mixed it with broccoli and zucchini. I figured that she was unlikely to be allergic and that all kids hate peas and spinach at some point, regardless of anything I do. She does eat it and eats it without complaint or face pulling but I can tell she doesn't like it as much as just broccoli/zucchini. She gets EXCITED for that combo, this she puts in her mouth then eats the rest with a sense of duty. For real.
We introduced toast bits! I cut up half a piece of toast, unbuttered, and put the hot cheesy egg on top of it, to soften it a bit again. Obviously I waited until everything was cold before giving it to her. This was the first time she had it, the next time I cut those toast pieces in half again after having to shove my fingers in her mouth a couple of times as she went to swallow one whole. For the most part though she was actually pretty good at the pieces, she sucked on a bunch of them until half came off and was soggy enough to be swallowed without chewing. By the time we introduced toast Violet had become a pro at eating egg with her hands. It's soft enough that it falls apart in her mouth and isn't a choking hazard but firm enough that it stayed whole in her hand and doesn't fall out on the journey to her mouth. Yay!
The funniest part about this whole chewing/choking business is that she's obviously been observing us eat and tries to emulate the chewing motion. So she has the food on her tongue and moves her jaws together, on the outside it looks like she's chewing (just like mummy and daddy!) but on the inside, the food is far away from her teeth and gums, getting no mushier than when it went it. I'm at a bit of a loss but I guess it will just happen at some point. In the meantime, I'll keep offering food she can eat with her hands and watch her like a hawk. She's pretty good to look at anyway.