I have a weird obsession--baby food cookbooks. I guess the amount of nutrition the authors of these books try to pack into a food cube fascinates me. Have a I ever had a child who would eat purees? Not until Bardo. Stacy and Pippi refused outright to have even more then a bite of liquified anything. I bought 1 box each of baby rice, oatmeal, and barley and I think they may have lasted through both of them. I've gone through a box of each with Bardo, and now he's progressed to homeade grain cereals (whole grains ground in a coffee grinder and boiled. Incidentally, Pippi even likes these cereals).
But Bardo, he's an entirely different story. At 6 months he would eat whatever came close to his mouth, even baby cereal. He even would eat pureed fruits and vegetables. He's shown good sense in refusing the combination baby food dinners. They all taste the same and have weird ingredients, but I tried when we were on vacation and just ended up giving him on table food. And now he's eating everything we are. We sit at the table and he begs for a sandwich; I pour a glass of milk and he wants it. If we're eating apples, he wants his own apple, and he will hold a whole apple in his hands a gnaw at it until he's tired of it. Usually halfway through the apple. I really don't have to worry about him choking when he's feeding himself. He's becoming quite proficient at using grunts and sighs and gestures to communicate mealtime wants and needs. He has his sound for "I want that." When he needs a drink of water or is tired of what I'm feeding him he wrinkles his nose and closes his eyes and turns his head and pushes away the spoon. I mean, he could not be more clear in his refusal of food. He raises his arm in the air with a big grin on his face when he wants out of his chair. If we don't respond he starts to scream like it's the end of the world.
So back to my obsession. I was surfing the internet today, reading about feeding solid foods to kids, and it turns out that breastfeeding helps kids to learn how to feed themselves, too. Everything in this article on child led solid food introduction has held true with Bardo, and the girls, too. Except for the part about how they eventually figure out how to eat cleanly. I'm still working on that with Pippi at age 5 1/2.