This is a story seven months in the making and I am almost certain I am only in Act One of this play.
Whatever the journey. Here is what Aria ate yesterday:
Second Breakfast: iron fortified oatmeal
Morning Snack: Cucumber, avocado, and orange salad with honey and apple cider vinegar dressing
Lunch: shredded chicken + sweet potatoe cubes, black beans, and peas
Afternoon snacks: egg, spinach, and asparagus baby kiesh; full fat yogurt with roasted berries
Dinner: “super seed” crackers (brown rice, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, etc) and humus
I remember feeling like I’d really messed up by waiting until almost six months to introduce solids into Aria’s diet. We started with those single grains.
After, of course, we let her peruse the tools of the feeding:
Then I found a book I began living by. It’s really the only baby book I’ve really loved by:
Each weekend or two I try introducing a new food from the book.
Tried and failed and tried and failed.
Then there was some random turning point when we went to our Mexican restaurant and Aria ate about a half cup of guacamole. Really. Gobbled it like candy.
She started embracing my Little Foodie meals:
- Sweet Potato, Coconut, and Coriander
- Avocado and cilantro
- Roasted blueberries and cinnamon
- Broccoli Leek and Chives
- Mango, Chia, and Coconut
Eventually I introduced meats, feeling a little weird about making the decision to go omnivore, but needing to get all that protein and iron in her diet:
- Superhero green purée and chicken
- Beef and sweet potatoe
- Spiced fish purée
So many times I would have to get her to smile and stick the food in just to get her to taste it.
Many times I would chase her around with a spoon for hours until she would decide to really give something a shot.
Exhausted and stressed and thinking she would never embrace her foods, I persisted.
Then she was good and really would eat any of the meals I listed above!
And then she turned 11 months and stopped wanting purées…
I really, really didn’t want to start over again.
I felt like I failed more this round.
But I don’t think I did. I think I had mom brain and forgot the stress and misery of the first time with solids.
And this time she just seemed so much more complicated.
She points when she wants something and temper tantrums when she doesn’t. She clenches her teeth when she sort of doesn’t want something and spits out with a wail if you manage to sneak a new food in.
And I put so much love and effort into her meals. When one doesn’t work, like salmon or Thai beef, it makes me really sad 😦
But I’m so freakishly determined to guide her to a healthy, varied pallet.
And I really, really love cooking for my baby. I Would Not recommend doing what I do with all these silly meals tailored to her age, eating habits, and needs, unless you really enjoyed cooking them for the sake of cooking them.
I’ll never make homemade clothes for Aria. Never. I would not be able to put any love into that. Or homemade toys. Or art projects to liven up her room.
I love to cook, so that’s how I show my love to Aria.
Any way. It’s been a long journey. And I’m feeling like a winner!