Since having Baby D, I’m often asked if it’s different having a boy? To which the answer is (aside from one nappy-change incident early on) so far, not really. It is different having a second child though. Despite any best intentions you might have to treat your children the same, things necessarily change.
Number two naturally sets the family agenda far less than his sister did. Routines are in place, but much less strict as we escort 4-year-old A to swimming, gymnastics, preschool. He’s now double the size of his 9 months and racing through A’s hand-me-down clothes and toys. But he also benefits from big sister’s entertainment (nothing makes him laugh more) and all of our experience from first time round: much more relaxed parents with the knowledge that it’s ok, he will sleep at some point; and eat at some point, the world won’t end if he cries a bit, and that temperature is one I can treat at home.
When it came to introducing our little bug to food, I was excited, and since weaning first time round, even had a nutrition qualification. I’d planned to do things slightly differently, mainly by following the advice to focus on green and non-sweet vegetables as first foods; then introduce sweeter things like fruit later, before moving on to just feeding him what we were cooking as a family. As with A, I’d use a mixture of purées and finger foods.
D, of course, had other ideas. Luckily he has not followed his big sister with an egg allergy, and is already growing out of his reaction to milk, but he is incredibly particular. I’m going to stop short of saying ‘fussy’ because he’s still so little and just starting learning about food, but given his size (98th centile) I’d assumed he follow number one’s lead and take to eating like a duck to water. To be honest sometimes it’s more like trying to get a cat in the bath. A 12 kilo cat. With no teeth.
He won’t eat if he’s not hungry. Fair enough. But he also won’t eat if he’s too hungry. Or for that matter if he’s teething (always), under the weather (most of the time), or distracted. Sometimes, though, he will only eat if he’s distracted. He doesn’t like being fed with a spoon (unless it’s by one particular carer at his nursery), but he also doesn’t much like to touch foods by himself, unless they are dry and ideally beige. He’s getting pretty good with feeding himself with a spoon already luckily, but if I dare to try and hand him the spoon, oh no! That won’t do. He likes toast, and yogurt; he regards anything green with deep suspicion. His favourite manoeuvre is a haughty windscreen wiper-style ‘swoosh’ with his arm across the table to send any and all foodstuffs straight onto the floor or a nearby family member.
This is all pretty hard for me to understand, and a little disappointing for a family of colour-loving flexitarian foodies. The last thing I want to do is make mealtimes stressful for any of us, though, so I’m taking lots of deep breaths and focussing on making mealtimes relaxed and fun and letting him experiment. I’m certainly not getting too hung up on making everything from scratch, especially when lots ends up on the floor.
We’ve started to take more of a baby-led type approach – so finger foods at breakfast which affords D his own pace whilst I can prepare for the day ahead; then a mixture of spoon food and the finger food equivalent at other meals for him to explore and get to know the colours, textures and flavours, whilst I do my best to sneak a few spoonfuls in. Today he tried a piece of apple for the first time, and took a bite of a raw mushroom when he ‘helped’ me unpack the weekly veg box. I’m chalking those up as wins. The mess is incredible, but also kind of fun.
I’m doing what I can to make sure there are nutritious ingredients in everything we serve – so the first stage fruit and vegetable purées come into their own as simple pasta sauces that cling to the curves of pasta shapes; stirred through porridge, or spread on wholegrain toast fingers. Whilst he may reject a thoughtfully prepared broccoli floret, at least some goes in accompanied by bread.
LICKALIX sent us some of their new BABY CüBES to try out, and my goodness I wish they’d been available sooner. When we first started weaning I would take peas and spinach from the freezer, cook and blend it, then stick it back in the freezer – how has no-one thought of just selling ready-made cubes before?! They taste so much fresher than the pouches you can buy – just like homemade. All of the meals you see on this blog post are made with their products.
I like that they are simple fruit and vegetable blends with nothing added – so allergy friendly. Often ready-made baby food is over-sweet and doesn’t encourage baby to develop a taste for all kinds of flavours, so that fact that the green vegetables have no sweeter ones added gets the thumbs up from me – hopefully over time, D will grow accustomed to these new flavours and experiences and join us in eating a nutritious and varied diet. As well as using these as a shortcut to get vegetables into baby, I’m going to try out the fruit cubes as egg replacers in pancakes and muffins for his big sister.
I am excited to be running a giveaway with LICKALIX – one lucky winner will take delivery of their own colourful bundle of timesaving BABY CüBES, some of the LICKALIX fruity lollies and other goodies to celebrate the launch of BABY CüBES.
To be in with a chance of winning, simply make sure you are following us on Instagram, and leave a comment on my LICKALIX post, tagging someone else who enjoys colourful, nutritious & family-friendly food.
We will pick a winner at random on Friday 25th May. The winner will have to be within a delivery postcode area for Ocado and be happy to share their name and address with LICKALIX to arrange delivery.
I’d love to hear about your journey with introducing food to your baby – what did you find worked? Any tips for our reluctant eater? This is all new territory for me!
Disclosure: Lickalix gifted us these products for review. We did not receive any payment, and all content is our own. You can buy the Lickalix products from Ocado.