Big Boy Eating

I think we’re quite lucky that we have a good eater. Wes took to those first bowls of oatmeal and purees like a pro. He hasn’t shown great love for bananas, but he’s still eaten them, both out of a jar and mashed (and just recently sliced across). The only thing he has ever refused me is avocado. Go figure. But I started to notice his predilection for chomping on Mum-Mums on his own and raking puffs off his high chair tray while practicing his pincer grasp — along with an altogether interest in feeding himself.

I wish I had investigated baby-led weaning months ago before we ever got started on solids. Have you seen how these babies eat? They’re practically chomping at whole fruit from the start. But I only just now came across the idea, and the book is on a 1 to 2 month backorder. I guess now we’re just at a point of progressively moving toward more finger foods. Mum-Mums and puffs make for good practice, I suppose, but really they’re just sugar. So I find myself getting much more adventurous with what I’ll give Wes.

Out for breakfast the other day, we just got Wesley his own bagel and let him chomp away at it. Of course, he barely made a dent in it, but he and the bagel were practically in love. On our way out, we had to run Wes to the car because it had begun to rain and though he tried to clutch it tight, one bagel half inevitably landed on the floor in the mad rush. And our boy sobbed so passionately, it may have been the most pitiful — and adorable — thing I’d ever seen. (As you can imagine, his daddy ran back in and got him another, which he enjoyed in the dry comfort of his home):

Since then we’ve also tried steamed carrot sticks, raw celery ones, a bit of cheese, another go at chunks of avocado (which, even coated, proved difficult to grab), and that banana sliced cross way — the one piece of food that scared the crap out of me, seeing as how Wesley proceeded to gag on it. And that’s the scary part of this whole finger food thing. I mean, I know gagging is our way of NOT choking, but I’m not exactly that clear headed when my son sits in front of me in apparent distress.

I want Wes to love food. Good food. I want him to want to devour his veggies, the way I used to eat whole tomatoes like apples over a kitchen sink. But it’s hard to give up purees altogether since I can count on him to eat them so diligently. So I’m not sure how to proceed from here. Do I dare stop spoon-feeding him so soon?


10 thoughts on “Big Boy Eating

  1. I’ve been having the hardest time getting Jax to eat anything other than purees. If he sees us bringing “big people food” towards his mouth, he usually shudders and/or gags! Hopefully he can start eating better soon because I want him to love good food too! I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on the comments to this post for any advice…so sorry I am no help!

    Wes is adorable, btw!

  2. Hi, Lou! As you know, Finn loves to eat, and although he’s always been pretty daring and accepting, he has been pickier in the last couple of months. Many days he only wants what we’re eating; other days he rejects his FOOD food but will eat a puree. I therefore still do both depending on circumstances (what he’s eating, what we’re eating, etc.). Of course, his diet consists more of solids, as he eats almost everything we eat now — bites of our salads, sandwiches, veggie burgers, omelettes, pasta, whatever we can expose him to — but sometimes I still squeeze in a puree on the side to keep his diet balanced and extra healthy. You can pretty much throw anything into a puree, right? Also, he gets yogurt mixed with veggies and fruit everyday as part of his lunch to give him probiotic benefits, and gets oatmeal mixed with fruit every morning (in addition to finger-food pieces of fruit on the side). The oatmeal is iron-fortified, which is important because although Finn’s still nursing, he won’t get much iron through breastmilk, and we give him trivisol rather than polyvisol (which we’ve heard stinks and stains). So — we do a bit of everything — and expose him to as much as possible. As long as he’s eating well and is happy and healthy, we’re happy, too.

  3. I also wanted to add that I found different kinds of pancakes to be good transition foods — like low-sodium sweet potato, spinach, and zucchini pancakes. You can make or buy them frozen. Broccoli bites (Dr. Praeger) aren’t bad, either.

    Keep working on the avocado! How about mushing some up and spreading it over soft bread? Pieces of zucchini and carrots cooked until they’re really soft are also easy for little mouths without many teeth!

  4. Becca: How funny! Jax WANTS to eat purees. Not that Wes doesn’t want to eat them so much as he really wants to feed himself more I think.

    Sarah: I can’t believe how long it’s been since we’ve talked. I miss you!

    I totally get where you are coming from. I think some of my hesitation about baby-led weaning is that Wes will give (most) foods a go, but he doesn’t really get a whole lot from them. He barely makes a dent in a bagel half, for instance. I know everyone says that what is important in their diet in the first year is milk, but as every month goes by he really does need to be consuming solids, too — not just tasting them. Which is why I’m trying to be more consistent about still giving him purees while also letting him try finger foods and the like.

    He loves yogurt, so that’s certainly a good thing. Of course, he’d be happier feeding himself — I guess that’s the issue actually: how we can balance his getting food down his tummy while getting to handle the food himself. I can spoon-feed him, and he will eat, but he’ll whine a lot during the process whereas he’s as happy as a clam if he’s in control of the spoon or the item in his hand. Except as you can imagine he doesn’t really yet have any control over spoon feeding himself!

    I’m not so concerned about iron issues because he’s on formula. He does also still eat oatmeal, and that’s fortified, too.

    The pancakes sound like a great idea, though I do feel myself hesitating a bit over frozen food only because I can see how easily I could create a habit for that type of food for him. This is my issue with the rice crackers and Happy puffs as well and why I’m offering carrots and celery more of late in their stead (though they don’t travel as conveniently in a diaper bag, lol).

    It really boils down to the fact that Craig and I need to work on eating home-cooked meals ourselves more consistently. Then we can just offer Wes anything on our own plates without hesitation.

  5. Wow, we’re in such a similar boat. Elsa is boycotting jarred baby food this week, and we think it’s because she’s bored with it. But I haven’t figured out how ELSE to get her reasonable amounts of “big person food” that she can actually manage.

    And we love Mum Mums (especially the veggie version)! We get ours at, but they’re getting harder to purchase there. Where do you buy yours?

  6. Hi, I follow your blog from the nest and wanted to let you know that we’ve followed baby led weaning from the start of solids feeding – I think it is possibly more common here in the UK. My son has flourished this way – he is so adventurous with food and gets real enjoyment both in the eating and the playing! His hand eye co ordination is really good and it’s been a pleasure to see him develop in this way. In regards to what to feed Wes – we just try and give our son whatever we are having in an easy to hold form. I know what you mean about the gagging – my son has gagged a few times but never come close to choking as he has quickly learned how much he needs to chew before swallowing! He loves eating out now especially at tapas restaurants and we love to have our meals all together when possible. I have the book so if you want to ask any specific questions I would be more than happy to answer from it! Good luck

  7. I love tomatoes eaten as apples too! I just haven’t done that in a long while. My mom was introducing fruit to Sofia when she was about 5 months. Mom would hold the apple slice and sofi would suck on it, taking in the taste and nutrients. She didn’t have enough teeth to bite or to make it bland but over time she loved apples and bananas and such to a point where she eats it now with no worries. Just try fruits and veggies in small bites but with your help. I always think about how small her throat is so i cut her food very small.

  8. Tara: they ARE hard to find. I’ve had some luck at Babies R Us, but it’s hit/miss. I have seen them on Amazon though, so maybe that is an option.

    Caroline: It does seem like the UK is leading the way with BLW, at least from what I read online. It’s nice to hear another mom’s experience with it. It gives me hope that good eating habits can be in our horizon, too.

    My other sweet Caroline: I miss you guys! I started out giving Wes fruit in the mesh feeder, but for some reason kind of abandoned it that way. Not sure what happened…I may have just gotten more into the baby-led weaning idea? I think I worry more about small pieces than about letting Wes hold a piece of fruit or veggie and try to make his way through it. Not sure if this is at all justified. It IS a bit terrifying not knowing if he’ll chew it little by little or try to stuff the whole thing down his throat though. But the willful boy just wants to hold his own food already!

  9. I haven’t stopped by here in a while. (I’m a fan from weddingbee!) My, Wes has grown! And so adorable with the bagel. The halloween pictures are great, too. That costume was precious! So happy for your lovely family.

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