time flies when you're being a mum

09 Jan, 2014

We were talking yesterday on the Mum’s Days page about a Mother’s Intuition and how we should trust it…well today my Mother’s Intuition is having a fight with my Lazy Bone and it’s all over fussy eaters. In particular MY fussy eater. I talked last week about how Reuben was displaying fussy eating habits and while it’s a million times better now we’re at home, I thought, for the purposes of research and this blog, I would do some digging to find out why he won’t try new things or in lots of case, not even eat the food he used eat and love…

I got a book out of the library called Teach Yourself Feeding Your Toddler written by Judy More of Child Nutrition. Books about weaning and food are generally a recipe for disaster (haha). They normally lead to misery for me. I read them and then start to worry! This book has been no different but I’m trying to keep a lid on it because actually I’m learning some good stuff! Fussy eaters, or them not wanting to eat, can be caused by everything from being bored or over hungry to not feeling well or even anaemia! (more…)

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02 Jan, 2014

It’s kind of obvious but new year is a great opportunity to look back at the year just gone and think about the future. The lovely thing about having a blog is that you can look back and see exactly what you were thinking about this time last year and also what you had hoped for the coming year.

My thoughts were all around my four month old baby – when will he sleep through the night, I’m ready to start thinking more about work but can I really start to leave him more? And what about breastfeeding? I was ready to move on and start fading it out but what would my family think and society at large? It’s one thing to not be able to breastfeed but another all together to choose not to! We overcame our/my hurdles and, of course, and the process wasn’t that bad.

I was reminded countless times that one thing that plagues you now will soon be long forgotten and replaced with something new. And, the plague now? Fussy eating.

Reuben really took to weaning and would eat anything I put in front of him from carrots to quinoa, apricots to avocado. He loved eating. Now, however, he will hardly eat a thing, so his diet is incredibly samey – rice cakes, fruit (he will eat most fruit), bread, porridge, those little pasta shells when he’s in the mood (which does mean I can hide veg in the sauce) and sometimes scrambled eggs. This is the sum total of what he will eat and it has hit an all time low on holiday – he’s been living on banana, a bit of bread, rice cakes (although we’ve just ran out) and raisins.

At home it breaks my heart. I might not be able to run a hoover around my house but I can cook. I love it and it brings me a lot of joy to make delicious and healthy things for my family. So, if I’m being honest, I feel like a failure that I can’t tempt him to eat and I’ve been in tears countless times over a plate of food that has been thrown across the floor.

Of course this is just another one of those hurdles to face, it may last longer than the sleeping through the night problem but I have to remind myself that despite how I feel, he’s not going to be a 25 year old eating rice cakes.

We’re already seeing his independent streak (if you give him a piece of bread, he won’t have it but if he picks it himself, he will), so there will be techniques we can use to get him back into eating (which I’ve started to look into now…How to help fussy eaters eat!). I just need to discover what they are and already lots of the Mum’s Days Facebook likers have pointed me towards things to try and research.

So, yes, my little fella causes me anxiety but if one thing is for sure, he always will! I’m reading Graham Norton’s Agony Aunt book on holiday. I didn’t know he’d wrote an agony aunt column either but that’s what you get if you don’t read the Telegraph. Anyway, if I learnt one thing from his advice to parents, that is to let their children live their own lives – guide and educate but don’t force issues. I know Reuben is still very little but I think that advice still stacks up – he’s happy, healthy for the most part and too busy to sit and eat the beautiful (ish) meals I make for him. And what’s the main reason I want him to eat? So I don’t feel like a failure!

It’s not about me, it’s about him being happy and healthy, which he is. So I will continue to be consistent and work harder at putting more variety in front of him but I won’t force the issue. He’ll get there in his own time. In the meantime, we’ll be eating lots of these…

fussy eating

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Don't play with your food...actually do!

28 Nov, 2013

Just a quicky tonight but back in October I was looking for good toddler recipes to try on Reuben. The Ella’s Kitchen toddler recipes book was recommended by Sarah? Claire? I forget and can’t find the post but basically what happen then was I came across some research by Ella’s Kitchen (with Reading Uni). This was a different type of toddler recipe from what I was expecting…the crux of the research was if kids play with vegetables (not so much fruit) in between meals, they are more likely to actually eat said veg at meal times!

If you take part in the Mum’s Days facebook wall, I’m always lamenting Reuben’s lack of interest in veggies – he’ll eat things in a tomato sauce with pasta, when he’s in the mood and occasionally has a go at a carrot when we’re having a meat and 2 veg type of meal but otherwise, no thanks. So, this sounded like a good idea!

Ella’s Kitchen have a set of activity sheets to try, which we are going to have a go at but in the mean time, yesterday I just gave him some leftovers from our tea – beans and cauliflower (in hind sight, the cauliflower was a silly idea on our wooden floors!) with some little pots with lids – he played for a bit and did put a green bean in his mouth before making a face but it is definitely a positive start!!!!

toddler recipes

And then he did some walking for me – he’s not keen on doing on demand and flatly refused to walk for Grandma and Grandad tonight , but look at his little face!

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Weaning just got a little less scary

02 Nov, 2013

Nuby recently asked us if we’d give their new i Monster feeding set a go. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the old set (which was the prize on the Mum’s Days facebook scary photo competition this week), there’s no funny feeding pots, this is your old fashioned malamite feeding bowl, plate and stainless steel knife, fork and spoon set.

I have to say that I kind of like the fact that it’s simple. I love the novelty of the original set but since when did cutlery have to be the main attraction? Surely the beautiful food I create is good enough?! I say that entirely tongue in cheek, of course, because Reubs has gone through a fairly long phase now of hating most things I give him so any distraction with cutlery is very welcome! But he seems to like the “big boy” cutlery of the i Monster feeding set and likes to look at the design on the plate once he’s “finished” and goes “rawwww”, which is insanely cute.

Originally I had thought that forks were a bit dangerous. That maybe he would poke himself in the eye or mouth and hurt himself. It turns out that he likes stabbing things, like a chunk of scrambled eggs, with a fork and I now use a fork over a spoon for him. I also read in the Baby Led Weaning book I mentioned yesterday, that when babies are first learning to use cutlery, you might want to consider using a fork. It increases the chance of your baby getting something into its mouth as they can scoop and stab. Genius.

Just before he came out in the pox Reubs ate really well for 2 days and it was during these 2 days that I managed to get some lovely shots of him ACTUALLY EATING AT THE TABLE! Amazing*.

Nuby i Monster feeding set A place at the table

Nuby i Monster feeding set

Red pepper, spinach and tomato pasta, with cheeeeeeese

Nuby i Monster feeding set This actually looks alright.

Nuby i Monster feeding set

Do I like it…?

Nuby i Monster feeding set

OK, you can put my bib on, it’s scooping time

You can see here that he’s managed to get quite a good scoop of pasta on his fork and actually managed to get some of it to his mouth!

Nuby i Monster feeding set

Goal!

As a rule, the spoon in his left hand is pretty redundant, so I have a second spoon in the waiting. To give him a little helping hand when there’s less in the bowl I’ll sneakily load the spoon for him. In this instance I had loaded it pointing to the left so he could use his left hand. He decided he’d use his right anyway.

Nuby i Monster feeding set

Who loaded that spoon?

Nuby i Monster feeding set

That’s a bit awkward!

Then when he’s starting to think about being finished he’ll kindly put his cutlery on the floor.

Nuby i Monster feeding set

I’m finished!

But being the persistent mum I am I retrieve the cutlery and have one more go, this never normally works but look!

Nuby i Monster feeding set

Go on but then I’m really finished!

Nuby i Monster feeding set

See?

Nuby i Monster feeding set

It’s OK, I’ll just get myself down.

I did all this just before bedtime so straight after this it was bath, books and bed. Then the start of the mass tidy up. If you ever wondered what my house looks like just after bed time, this is it…

Nuby i Monster feeding set

This doesn’t actually demonstrate the true carnage, but it gives you a bit of an idea!

*Since he’s had the pox, he’s been having 2 to 3 mouthfuls of food and then he’s no longer interested…hence me asking this on the FB wall

How do you engage your little one at meal times?

Reuben’s latest eating trick is to have about 3 bites of food and start attempting to climb out before swallowing said 3rd bite. So before I’ve even sat down to start my food he’s lost interest and is off. 

Some people would say strap him in (which is mainly pointless as he can contort himself out) but that would result in a very unenjoyable mealtime for all. Or would you just let him down, assuming it’s ‘just a phase’ (he’s 15 months)?

The suggestions were to move him out of a highchair to either a booster seat or a little table and chair set of his own – awww! – or to use a Fun Pod so he can stand (see what the Mum’s Net lot thought here)…I had no idea what that was, Maxeen!!

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A mum's experience of Baby Led Weaning from Sarah

01 Nov, 2013

After all this scary eating stuff on facebook for the Hallo”wean” photo competition, which was announced yesterday – congratulations to Faye and her boogie monster baby! – it seemed fitting to talk about Baby Led Weaning today!

Baby Led Weaning

The winning photo from the Hallo”wean” facebook competition – Faye’s baby after a run in with the boogie monster!

Sarah’s becoming a bit of a resident writer here on Mum’s Days! Having also shared her experience of bottle feeding, here she is telling us how she got on with Baby Led Weaning her two girls, Ava and Eliza, because, as she pointed out, and I quote, “There’s still not a lot written about it!” It’s funny because after she sent this through, Amy then asked the question on Facebook – “Baby Led Weaning, good or bad idea?” The general consensus was, do a bit of both, however, the die hard BLW experts would say if you do BLW you have do it exclusively!

Baby Led Weaning

Ava and Eliza loving BLW!

baby led weaning

Reuben at 6 months – Back when he would sit near a bit of broccoli

I wrote my experience of Baby Led Weaning back when Reubs was 6-7 months, which basically says, it’s not for me but if you want to have a go, here are some resources! It wasn’t until Reuben was about about 9 months, when I was around at my friend’s house with a few of her mum pals, that I started to question my decision. All of those mums had done BLW and while Reuben was just getting to grips with a little sandwich, all those babies were eating chunks of cheese, watermelon complete with pips and skin, and the one that really got me…corn ON the cob!

Baby Led Weaning

Corn ON the cob – beautifully modelled by Sarah’s youngest, Eliza

But I stuck with my decision as he was eating amazingly well. Up until he started teething and everything he used to like, the failsafes, he now hates!

Now Reuben is eating all by himself – GET OFF MY FOOD, MUM, I DON’T NEED YOUR HELP!! – I’ve been looking to BLW for some ideas to help him to really enjoy his food again (and not just scrambled egg and porridge but veg too!) and also to help me to be more hands off. I find it difficult not to get frustrated when the food I have lovingly created is being lobbed around the room, but you have to just go with it and, apparently, it doesn’t mean they will turn into yobs.

This is a lovely potted guide to Baby Led Weaning so I hope, if you’re just about to get started on your weaning journey, that you find this helpful! (more…)

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