Baby brother

Sweet Potato has a new baby brother.  While we were expecting, we’d ask her what we should name him. One of Sweet Potato’s actual suggestions was “Eggplant Tomato”. Needless to say, we didn’t actually  name him that, but that’s what I’ll call him here.

The cutest kids ever

Eggplant Tomato and Sweet Potato

So far, Eggplant Tomato is nursing and growing well.  He is now 6 months old, and I have started to introduce solids into his diet.  From what I remember, Sweet Potato was pretty interested in food, and willingly opened her mouth for the spoon. Not so, Eggplant Tomato.  Whenever I hold a spoon of food in front of him, he looks at it and at me with his mouth closed and a slightly puzzled look on his face.  Then he begins to swing both hands at the spoon, which I finally realized is his attempt to grab it himself.  But when I manage to get a bite of baby food into his mouth he vacillates between gagging, making faces, and grinning at me with his mouth hanging open, food and drool dripping onto his bib.  So, he usually just gets to hold and chew on a clean baby spoon while Sweet Potato and I eat breakfast.

Sometimes I’ll give him tiny bites of what I’m eating. The other day he seemed interested in my slightly spicy beans and rice, so I held up a grain of rice for him to eat. ET dutifully opened his mouth, and even seemed to like it.  He also has gotten tiny bites of waffle cone from my fingers and potato from my fork.  But after that when I tried to feed him baby food again from a spoon, he gave me that confused skeptical look again. He has done this multiple times, while also seeming willing and eager to eat what is on my plate.  I have come to the conclusion that this baby does not like or want baby food; he wants to eat table food.

I can feed myself!

Baby carrots anyone?

I want to do it myself!

So now I have a dilemma. How do I feed him foods that he can “chew” and swallow that are appropriately seasoned (read: not over salted) in adequate quantities to support his growth, all while not needing to cook extra foods for the baby? Or should I just continue to give him our foods in larger amounts and let him gag or spit them out if he can’t tolerate them? Have any of my readers wisdom to offer on this subject?

ET adores his big sister SP.

Some days feel like parenting fails

Some days just feel like parenting failures when it comes to feeding my three-year old. Take today, for example.

Breakfast: toast with butter and cinnamon sugar, 1/2 bagel with cream cheese, milk (Why didn’t I give her fruit or peanut butter? I don’t know.)

Lunch: noodles, yogurt and broccoli. She also had on her plate asparagus and chick peas, both of which she likes, but she decided to forgo them.

Snack: applesauce, cheese stick, milk

Supper: most of 2 corn muffins, 2 bites of chili, the top of a chocolate chip blondie.

Yes, Sweet Potato had an all-carb day.  I suppose my carb-aholic tendencies are rubbing off, but I always hope she’ll eat more of what is on offer.  I also need to do a better job offering her high protein foods at breakfast in particular, as well as throughout the day.  Well, tomorrow is another day…onward and upward!

Judge not

Nothing has changed my perspectives on parenting like becoming a parent.  Before I had children, I always used to scorn the “kids menu” at restaurants.  They are almost entirely composed of things like chicken nuggets, burgers, fries and macaroni and cheese, no matter what type of restaurant you are visiting. I still do not like kids menus, but I have come to have a more nuanced feeling about them.

Somehow, Sweet Potato has gotten it into her head that she doesn’t like meat, but for some reason, she likes to eat chicken nuggets and fries.  I have learned that any time you sit down to eat with a three-year-old, it’s basically a crap shoot on what they’ll eat, or even if they’ll eat anything.  So when we go to restaurants, I am often persuaded to get her nuggets and fries since these are foods that she’ll eat somewhat reliably.

There is nothing that makes me scratch my head as a parent like seeing my child turn down home cooked chicken or pot roast, but ask for fast-food chicken nuggets.   Or why when I give her a “loaded” potato (everything is separate) with extra broccoli because I know she loves broccoli, the only thing she eats is the bacon.  Why will she not eat fresh meat, but she will eat processed meat? I’m pretty sure she does it to drive me crazy, or just to  remind me that she’s in control of what goes into her stomach.

This whole area of eating/not eating is just one more example of issues on which we as parents and especially non-parents need to stop judging other parents.

Is she even taking a bite?