Nursing my baby meant a lot to me. I freaked out (as in !!!FREAKED OUT!!!) when I was having some milk supply problems early on. I felt like I was failing my baby’s needs. Hey, don’t judge – those first few weeks post-partum are wacky, your hormonal soup is boiling and you cry at a drop of a pin, let alone when some real stuff is happening.
I fought to get the nursing thing going – so when Timothy turned 5 months old and I started receiving newsletters on starting solids, got a brochure from my pediatrician on starting solids, started getting more and more questions from friends about starting solids… I felt resentment. It was all so good, and quiet, and peaceful: Timothy is hungry, I nurse him, we cuddle, I smell the top of his head, he strokes me with his tiny sticky fingers… pure happiness. It was hard to imagine that anyone would be able to feed him. It was so hard to grasp the fact that he’s not a tiny baby any longer, that milk alone won’t cut it any longer. That he’s growing up so fast. I don’t know what exactly bothered me, but I resented the change.
When Timothy was 5.5 months, I gave in – we tried rice cereal and it was an immediate success. Seeing him eagerly leaning forward, opening his mouth, asking for more melted all my reservations. Then we tried oat cereal, then carrot, pumpkin, apple and so on.
And then I started worrying that I am giving him all these bland foods: is he getting enough vitamins? Am I setting him up to become a picky eater later on?
I went through some magazines, books and online websites and they said that, basically, yes – if we keep giving them same old carrots, why do we expect them to share filet mignon and onion soup when they’re two? I researched the subject further and realized that there is a whole world of things I can be cooking for him. It doesn’t have to be all carrots and peas. I can add onions, garlic, herbs, butter – and so on. Numerous things to make things interesting – and get him ready to share our meals when he is ready.
I tried potato-carrot-onion puree (boiled it all in one pan and mashed it) – he LOVED it. Couldn’t get enough. I tried butternut squash boiled with garlic and peppercorns – again, success. I tried a lentils-celery-carrot puree and (uh-oh!) Timothy wasn’t very excited; I tried the puree and thought it might be too high on celery, so I added some mashed potatoes to dull the celery down a bit – huge success. Mind you, not only was the celery still very prominent, the lentils weren’t fully mashed, giving the puree a very different texture. Success!
So that’s what I do now – I experiment. But, just in case, I always have a few jars of frozen sweet potatoes or potato-onion puree or something like this. If any too adventurous food ever needs to be rescued from the garbage fate 🙂
And Timothy loves his meals. To the point of constantly checking to see if there’s still more food in the bowl in my hand 🙂