My daughter has seemingly inherited an awful lot of genes from me from her hair and eye colour to her happy and positive nature. However there are a couple of characteristics that the lady of the manor might have wished she hadn’t inherited, at least when it comes to meal times. You see Matilda is fiercely independent and wants to do everything herself, including feeding herself.
So while her friends were taking spoonfuls of puree from spoons she wanted to use her fingers to feed herself. It was like she didn’t trust what we were putting on the spoon and wanted to feel with her own hands first. So the idea of starting with puree’s was quickly abandoned in favour of baby led weaning. We have a freezer full of lovingly made cubes of puree as evidence of that.
Baby led weaning seems to have worked well though, it’s a slow starter and requires a heck of a lot of patience but once they get it they really get it. I love watching Matilda explore food and get to know what things look and feel like as well as taste rather than just a coloured puree on a spoon. As a bona fide foodie I was desperate to make sure that Matilda didn’t end up as a child that wouldn’t eat or even try things. Touch wood it seems to be going well so far.
Plus feeding this way means we know exactly what she is eating, we value eating organic dairy products and high quality meat and vegetables. So why would we give our children anything else? There are always Yeo Valley yoghurt’s and milk in the fridge and if we need snacks for when out we choose Ella’s Kitchen or Plum.
Her favourite foods now are smoked mackerel, cheese, sausage casserole and Shepherd’s pie (although not all at the same time). She’ll eat a whole fillet of mackerel if you give her chance and bounces in her chair when she spots food she likes on her plate. She’s just learned to use a spoon and can pretty much eat a whole yoghurt by herself, even if she uses the handle to eat off some of the time. We can take her to a restaurant and she’ll happily sit in her high chair and eat part of our meals (especially if it’s Wagamamma’s!).
It’s been pretty damn frustrating and times and also very messy which is where having a dog to clean up is ideal. But it’s also been a lot of fun, even if it’s just for the face she pulls when she eats something she doesn’t like. The next challenge is to get her using a knife and fork.
This post is my entry for the Plum Cookery school competition on the Tots 100 site, Plum is just launching a cookery school to help mums learn about weaning and give them advice on what to feed their children. Chef Rachel Allen is working with Plum to develop recipes and help answer any questions from parents.