Friday, February 4, 2011

Eating

As Lucy nears the one year mark, I'm starting to stress about weaning her from breastfeeding to table food.  I have no idea how that even begins.

Everything I've read says at this stage of her life, table food isn't important for nutrition - she gets all her nutrition from breastfeeding and any table food she eats is just to get her used to textures and tastes.  So . . . when does that change?  Do I just start feeding her more during meals?  Even when she has a pretty big meal, she still nurses right on schedule (every 4 hours).  So it's not like she gets full from the table food.

Where does baby food fit into this equation? She's not crazy about it.  Sometimes she gobbles it right down, sometimes she refuses.  I'm worried about her eating enough fruits and vegetables if she won't eat the baby food.  She's her mama's girl and she just wants carbs.  She gladly eats a whole piece of toast or a whole pancake for breakfast every morning.  She loves bread, gobbles down puffs, and eats cheese with abandon.  But she's not crazy about fruit or veggies.  Although I don't really know what to give her.  I've done carrots, green beans, and peas.  Most of them ended up on the floor.  I even made sweet potato fries the other day, but she was not a fan.  Any other suggestions?  Oh, and give me suggestions for serving them, too.  Like don't just say "avocado."  I've never eaten an avocado in my life.  Do I peel it? Cook it? Cut it into pieces? Strips?  I'm kind of a veggie novice . . .

So I guess I'm not totally concerned with the actual weaning process yet.  I'm just confused about how to introduce full meals into her diet to take the place of nursing sessions when the time comes.  Thanks for any advice you can offer!

Sadie

6 comments:

  1. Oh boy, I could have written this post myself not so long ago! I mostly let Hannah lead when it came to weaning, and by 13 or 14 months, we were down to only one feeding a day and she didn't even seem to notice when I skipped it one day (and then every two, and then every three, gradually cutting it out all together). As weird as it sounds, I'm going to take my time even introducing table foods with my next kid and I'll try to breastfeed for as long as she's interested. It's just so much less complicated than solid foods! :)

    I think the best piece of advice I got was, "Don't worry, one of my kids ate nothing but peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for almost two years of his life, and she turned out just fine." Hannah is still the pickiest eater in all of creation. She loves strawberries and grapes (cut up of course) and will sometimes eat pears, but other than that, she eats no fruit and no vegetables. It's so frustrating. I give her some V8 fruit fusion to drink so she gets at least one serving of both fruits and veggies a day (actually, it might count as 4 because I don't think toddler servings are the same). Some doctors tell you to water down juice, but I don't since Hannah needs the extra calories.

    Hannah's favorite foods right now? Noodles, waffles, pancakes, cereal (such as cheerios or reeses peanut butter puffs), poptarts, Cheese Its, Cheese, and occasionally a chicken finger or two. And you know what, she's happy and healthy. I offer all the good stuff, but she says "No like it" and throws it. So she gets a gummy bear vitamin every day and some carnation instant breakfast in her milk every morning, to be sure she's getting the full nutrition she needs. Hang in there, Mama, and know you are NOT alone!! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. *Edit* "One of my kids ate nothing but peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for almost two years of his life and *HE* turned out just fine." - Sorry, I was typing too fast. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I tired posting from my phone, but I'm not sure it worked, so if half of this is a repeat, I'm sorry!:)

    Sadie, I was SO stumped by this when Brooklyn was Lucy's age...and honestly I don't think I ever really figured it out. It just kind of happened with time. Brooklyn is still nursing, as you know, but she was definitely WAY past a year before I felt like she was actually getting a lot of good nutrition from food. She just didn't take to food very well and really didn't eat much until 8 months, and then after that it was a long time before she ate anything in any kind of quantity.
    Obviously, now all her nutrition is from food, because I don't think she gets much from breastmilk at this point, though she still loves to nurse.

    Avocado is the best baby food ever, because you can transport it and feed it to her with just a spoon and not need a dish or anything. Cut it in half lengthwise; you'll hit the pit, but it'll separate just fine. Scoop out the pit with a spoon, and then either just scoop out a little avocado on a spoon to feed her, or scoop it all out and mash it up to give it to her that way, or scoop and then slice or dice. Easy, versatile, and delicious!

    Sweet potatoes were always a HUGE hit around here. Now I usually wash them, poke with a fork, and microwave just like a baked potato. You can dress it up with butter and brown sugar if you want -- nothing wrong with a little fat and sugar for her (and something a friend read and showed me said something about that stuff unlocking good nutrients in veggies for kids -- fascinating, if over my head:)
    I used to roast them in the oven when she was little and I was weird about not using the microwave for her food.

    Here is the best site ever, that I use to this day to teach me how to cook veggies that I'm not used to cooking -- look especially at butternut squash...super cheap this time of year (at least here), super easy to cook, yummy, and really nutritious.
    www.wholesomebabyfood.com

    Seriously, that website was a lifesaver for me...and still is, because I definitely lack creativity when it comes to fruits and veggies.

    Now is the time to explore new things and have fun with it -- all the flavors and textures for her are what's important and will help her have a developed palate so she's not a "chicken nuggets only" kid later;)

    But yeah...totally get it -- I never understood how the transition would occur, but it did eventually. But she definitely still nursed every few hours for a LONG time after we started solids.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Whew, you already got a couple great responses so I won't say much. First of all, I have no idea how to wean because my supply just disappeared at like 6 months. I guess if you WANT to start weaning I'd just take away one feeding at a time (like the one before lunch or dinner) and maybe she'll be more hungry for solids.

    Things to try: orange veggies (squash, carrots) tend to be more popular. You can try mixing it with a fruit to make it more appetizing. We are having a really hard time getting O to eat veggies now that he's off baby food so no big tips there... but he's a fruit fiend so I'm thankful for that.

    I dunno... just try not to worry too much about it... I know that's like impossible, but do your best ;) Keep trying new things (and even things you've already tried- their tastes change really fast), and eventually she'll develop a taste for table food.

    So that was longer than I intended... but anyway, good luck!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh one more thing (ha, I ended up writing like 10 more things)! The "rule" about food is that you have to offer your kids something 15 times before you can honestly say "They don't like ____." Fifteen is a lot of times! It made me realize how quickly I'd go "Oh, she's not a big fan of squash" and then I'd try it again a few more times and suddenly she'd love it and continue loving it always.
    So if there are some things she didn't seem to like, keep offering them to her; I sometimes have a hard time with that and always want to just put broccoli in front of Brooklyn, since it's her favorite and I know she'll always eat it, so I try to offer her something alongside that sometimes...sometimes she'll try it, sometimes she won't, but half the battle is just having your kids see vegetables and be aware of them and be offered them, so if they want to try them, they can:)

    I just re-read what you wrote too -- you should try avocado yourself! It's SOOOOOOOO good...I eat it all the time:)

    Has Lucy tried black beans? Brooklyn and many of her friends love them, and they are packed with good protein.
    It's awesome that she loves cheese! B's still not a huge fan all the time, and she also doesn't really like cow's milk, so I sometimes get concerned about her calcium intake -- yogurt and ice cream are hopefully enough;)

    Grapes cut into quarters were an early favorite of Brooklyn's. Strawberries are a huge hit still (I waited a while on those, as they're sometimes an allergen). Nectarines and peaches and bananas...all still popular.

    Has she ever had spinach? Frozen spinach heated up and pureed is a super simple really nutritious veggie.

    Oh you know what Brooklyn LOVED at Lucy's age? Eggplant. I'd never cooked it before in my life, but that website I gave you earlier told me what to do -- I bought the wrong "gender" (how funny) the first time but thanks to them I got the right one the second time which made it easier to scoop out the good stuff. And any extra she doesn't eat? Make baba ghanoush for yourself...yum!:)

    And please know that I'm not trying to "instruct" with all this -- just help from a standpoint of having a child much older than Lucy, and yet food is still an area that really intimidates me. I'm not nearly as creative as my friends are, and I sometimes worry that Brooklyn isn't getting as much variety as she should. I was so much better about creativity when she was little, and I was making purees for her -- but you know what, she hasn't had turnips ever since she was a baby. Oh well.

    Just try to have fun with it for now...the fact that she loves carbs and cheese is awesome! She'll get the hang of liking some veggies and fruit if you just keep offering them and giving her yummy choices...and like I said before, don't be afraid to "dress them up." If some melted cheese makes a veggie more appealing to her, there is absolutely no harm in that!:)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you, everyone! I love the long responses. :-) And, Cara, I definitely don't feel like you're "instructing" me. I'm grateful for your insight!

    ReplyDelete

Pin It