Thursday, September 27, 2007

The food thing

Adriana's transition to solid foods hasn't been easy. The first few times we gave her cereal she seemed to enjoy it. She gave avocado a try one day, but after that she wasn't much of a fan. I thought maybe it wasn't sweet enough for her, so the next food I tried was sweet potatoes, which she also turned down. Bananas were also rejected. I tried offering the food after she had nursed, before she had nursed, and in between feedings. I tried different consistencies of food, finally diluting things with breastmilk so much that I wasn't sure she could taste anything but the milk. I tried giving her pieces of things to feed herself. I tried leaving the room while Brian fed her on weekends. I switched back to cereal, but she was no longer quite as interested. A friend said that her baby loved pears, so I bought some pears and pureed them one afternoon, planning on freezing them and starting her on them the next day. But she was just sitting there playing while I was in the kitchen, so I put her in the high chair and fed her some right then.

She loved it. Or sort of loved it: she made a horrible face with every spoonful, but then she would lean forward and open her mouth to ask for more. Success!

Except the next day? She wouldn't eat the pears at all. Or the cereal. Every time the spoon would come toward her, she would shut her mouth and turn her head to the side. It was discouraging. I would try to talk with other moms about it, but nearly everyone said something to the extent of, "Oh, we started a little earlier than we probably should have, but she really seemed ready. And she loves it! She'll eat anything we put in front of her." Which was lovely for them, I'm sure, but not exactly helpful information for me. Eventually, I put solids on hold for a while. I told myself that we'd get back to them after our Labor Day weekend vacation. But when I tried then, I was again met with the sealed lips and turned head. She'll eat when she's ready, I told myself. It's not like she's going to be getting her driver's license and refusing any food but milk.

Then the other day I picked up some bananas. I was about to eat one the other day, when I decided to see how Adriana would do. I put her in the high chair and let her watch as I broke off a piece of the banana at ate it. Then I gave her a big piece to see what would happen. I don't know how much you could actually say she ate, but at least she was willing to play with it. And so long as feeding the baby is fun rather than stressful, I think it will be much easier for me not to worry about whether she's actually eating the food.


Jennifer said...

I'm sure it will get easier!

My only tip is to eat with them at the table even if they're not eating. We would sit Alex at the table during our mealtimes... eventually he wanted to participate. The only down side to this is that now Alex refuses to eat anything "designated" for him, like baby food or cheerios. He'll only eat stuff if we're eating it. So, that's great if we're eating something nutritious (he'll try anything if we're eating it). But it's not so great when we're drinking wine or eating junk food and he wants a bite/sip.

I have begun to feel that it can be really stressful being wholly responsible for another person's nutritionally balanced diet. I have a hard enough time keeping my own diet in order!

Elizabeth said...

Yeah, when I give her the piece of banana, I make sure she watches me eat some too, and I try to get her paying attention when I eat breakfast. Sometimes she's in bed by the time we eat dinner. And I know what you mean about the responsibility for another person's nutrition. It already is making more conscious of some of what I eat, knowing that if she sees me eating that way at some point, she's going to want to eat that way too.