Eating like a grown-up
Alfie is now eating some adult food if we are out and about, which is really handy as we don’t need to prepare foods to take. In town today he had a cheese sandwich, some fruit, yogurt, and Heinz So Yummy Carrot Straws. I like to have snacks in his changing bag just in case, and he really likes the harder texture of these. They’re crunchier than some other similar things that just tended to melt in his mouth, and he likes the crunch and that he can chew them. I like them because they’re a great size for him to hold and keep him going a while. They're a great snack for on the go because they’re individually packed in twos.
Dinner tonight was Heinz By Nature Spaghetti Bolognese and he ate the whole thing. It had lots of texture as it was like an adult portion with big bits of pasta. It felt like a really great meal as a quick and easy dinner.
Full of flavour
I want to introduce a wider range of flavours, as well as stronger flavours - like the foods that we are used to as adults. I'm not sure how he'll respond, but I just need to give it a go. Lunch today was my homemade green soup with spinach, watercress, broccoli and leeks, which is still a favourite. He ate it really well and I was pleased, because it does have a lot of flavours to it. He wanted to eat it with an adult spoon, just like the ones we were using. So I gave him a teaspoon of his own, which he really liked.
For dinner, we gave Alfie lentils in a French tomato sauce and vegetables and he ate almost all of it. It has a strong taste from the sauce so I was pleased that he liked it. But he then spotted raspberries on the worktop and got really upset because he wanted those. They're really tangy but still seem to be his favourite food.
A fork of his own
Alfie loves the Heinz First Steps Mixed Berry Muesli and he eats this for breakfast by himself. He wanted to use a big spoon like I had, and he managed to eat the whole bowl. Lunch was a creamy tomato pasta bake, an adult meal that I made for myself too. He struggled a little to get it on his spoon so I gave him an adult fork and he used that. I will get him baby cutlery to use in future – he needs a fork of his own!
He's starting nursery this month and will be having all his meals there, and they only feed ‘grown up’ food. I feel excited about this because he will be trying lots of new meals and foods he may not have had before – it’s easy to get stuck in a rut at home. But there's also the worry of him eating in an unfamiliar environment with new people, not just me and Anthony.
Alfie was one today so he had cake for the first time, and of course he absolutely loved it with all the icing. We had a Wild One theme and had a jungle themed buffet at Nana’s with cheese twist snakes, a peacock made of fruit skewers, a lion made of carrot and hummus, pizzas, dough balls, and animal pawprint cookies. He tried everything and ate most of it, so it was a day of nibbling at adult food. It was such a busy day that he just had milk for dinner and then milk before bedtime.
Alfie had his first proper day at nursery today. He had his usual breakfast of berry muesli at home and then lunch and tea were at nursery. I felt anxious about whether he would eat because he was upset when we left him, and the nursery staff told us that he didn’t actually eat much at all. But I think that he will eat more as he settles in. He had a whole bowl of homemade green soup before bedtime – I think he needed something more after burning off so much energy.
The next day’s lunch was a salmon pesto bake with potatoes, which he really liked. The nursery staff keep a record of everything he has and they said he ate a lot. I was really pleased because it’s his first time trying pesto, and it was great to know he was more settled after yesterday.
Snacks for energy
It’s a busy day for Alfie when he has his breakfast, lunch and dinner at nursery. The days he has shepherd’s pie for lunch and salmon pasta bake for dinner are good ones as he enjoys those flavours. He seems to really enjoy his grown-up meals.
Just before bath and bedtime tonight I gave him half a hot cross bun with marmalade, some blueberries and strawberries, and Heinz So Yummy Peach & Apricot Biscuits. Nursery said he was very active today and had burnt a lot of energy, so I wanted to give him a snack before bed.
Alfie now eats all meals by himself with his spoon and won’t let anyone else really feed him anymore. He likes tasty foods that are really flavoursome. Mixing home-cooking with the variety of Heinz baby food in the early weaning days really helped because he was able to try lots of different flavours, textures and meals. He generally will eat anything now!
Now that Alfie is eleven months we've been trying to encourage him to have three meals a day. He's not always a fan of breakfast so we're trying to get him to have a bit more. But we've been struggling with that a little bit. This morning he woke at 4am and then slept in until 7am – but he has an 8.30am swimming lesson so there was only time for him to have milk before we got to the pool.
We were at a family member's house for a big family lunch, so Alfie had some roast veggies as finger food and then the Heinz By Nature Sweet and Sour Chicken. He grabbed the pouch and tried to suck it out, so we can safely say he loved it! We didn’t let him though, so he was happy to be spoonfed.
Towards the end of the meal he kept throwing his spoon and cup to the floor. I think he does it when he doesn’t want any more so that’s something to keep an eye on, so he doesn’t get frustrated. We need to make sure we are not trying to feed him when he is finished.
For dinner at home Alfie tried the Heinz By Nature Thai Chicken Curry, which was a new flavour for him. Anthony gave him the first spoonful which he chewed and swallowed really well. He was alternating spoonfuls of it with carrot puffs, which he likes to hold himself. He had about seven mouthfuls but then he was trying to grab the spoon from Daddy and throw it on the floor. Once he started throwing it around we knew it was his way of saying he had had enough.
Alfie tried muesli for breakfast and although he liked it the last time he had it, this time he was not so keen. We were spoonfeeding him and he had a few mouthfuls, but although there were little pieces of toast on his tray he was not very interested in eating them, just picking them up to play with them. He's had a cold and I think that has put him off his food a bit - he did a huge sneeze and had his nose wiped, which he doesn't like, and after that he lost interest in eating.
Lunch was a combination of pepper and cucumber sticks, as well as Heinz By Nature Peas, Potato & Fish. Not much of the finger food got eaten but he enjoyed picking it up and putting it in his mouth, exploring the texture. The pouch he really liked. He ate about three quarters! Now that he's on 10+ months foods the pouches are much bigger, 180g instead of 130g for the 7+ month varieties.
Dinner in the evening was homemade lentils with tuna and cooked veggies. He really liked it and ate a whole bowl full! This was followed by blueberries and yogurt, which is a favourite. I think it turned into a better day, although he's still a bit off his food with being under the weather.
The next couple of days we gave Alfie toasted bagels and he had a much better morning. They are cinnamon and raisin which he seems to really like, and because they are quite chewy, he's got four teeth now so he can get through them really nicely. He had half a bagel and a few spoonfuls of muesli which is better than he’s eaten at breakfast for a while. I think we need to try giving him a later breakfast to see if he eats more, because this has been working really well.
We had lunch out at a pub, and Alfie ate a whole pouch of Heinz By Nature Spaghetti Bolognese and a few sweet potato fries. He also had quite a lot of my beef and vegetable stew. I've never known him eat so much, so I hope this means he's getting over his cold.
Unfortunately things went wrong at dinnertime. We were out until 4pm and then Alfie had his milk later than usual, without having any afternoon nap. It meant he wasn’t that hungry and was overtired at dinnertime, which we pushed back a bit because of the milk feed being later. Alfie didn’t like the potato and fish, even though he's eaten it before. He tried the first spoon and jerked his head back, and pushed the food out of his mouth with his tongue. He ate a bit of bread himself as finger food, but then had a big drink of water from his cup and when Anthony tried to give him another spoon he reached for it and pushed it away. We tried with another spoon and he did dip that into the bowl and had a go at feeding himself. It was messy but some went in! I think he was just a bit too tired, although he happily ate blueberries and fed himself yogurt.
In the end it wasn't a great day in terms of having three full meals. It was a better breakfast and a really good lunch I suppose, so it was not horrendous, but not ideal. I feel like that is something that happens quite often, that we have one or two good meals each day but not always three in a row. But if we look at a week as a whole it is really encouraging to see how many meals he is now really eating a good amount.
"Alfie loves his food, putting his hands into it, playing with the textures and picking bits up. But sometimes he gets very distracted from actually eating! He has toast for breakfast and picks the pieces up himself, but he doesn't end up eating it all. He often chews it and then it all comes back out. Normally it's seeded bread but today we had white bread, so it was much soggier than usual once it was toasted. Alfie found the texture fun to play with as it was really bendy and he was laughing as he picked it up. We tried him with the Heinz First Steps Mixed Berry Muesli and he was really interested in the texture. But he kept grabbing at the spoons! He ended up with three of his own but we had plenty spare so I persevered and he liked what he had.
Lunch was my homemade green soup of broccoli, spinach, leeks and watercress. I spoon-fed him this and he ate a whole bowl – as much as I would eat. I put little bits of bread and cheese on his tray and he was picking them up carefully. But although he loved feeding himself, the bread just came out again.
Using his spoon
At the weekend we had two really good days of weaning. Alfie was less distracted with his food and just generally ate a lot more. We had a pub lunch so I took some homemade green soup while we waited for our dinners. Once our food arrived I gave him little bits from my plate so he could try his first roast dinner. He liked the bits of Yorkshire pudding and he absolutely loved picking up peas one by one between his finger and thumb. He ate a fair amount – although quite a lot ended up on the floor!
We tried him with the Heinz By Nature Sunday Chicken Dinner on Sunday night and at first I was spooning it out of the jar. Alfie reached with his cucumber stick and was dipping it into the jar and then licking it to copy me. It was so cute! I gave him his own spoon and he was carefully putting it in, then managing to get it out and eat.
He's advanced a lot from when we first started weaning, when he was being spoon-fed. He now understands he can get the spoon in the jar himself and his aim was really good. It's also great to know exactly how much he has actually eaten when the whole jar is gone. For pudding he had Greek yoghurt and Heinz So Yummy Chocolate Biscotti. I think he likes the crunch and that they melt really quickly in his mouth. Sometimes I eat them too – they are really good.
Trouble with teething
We stayed over at my mum's during the week and she had a great idea to help him with his teething, which has been upsetting him. His top ones have been causing trouble and that means he's not always interested in much food at the moment. A couple of times in the evenings he's been really tired and just cried in his highchair and refused to eat his food, so dinners have been milk followed by bedtime.
Tonight Mum gave him a homemade yogurt ice-lolly, and it was a completely new texture and temperature. He's never had anything frozen before! He made some screwed up faces because it's the first time he's ever had anything so cold and it surprised him, but he held the stick himself and ate the whole thing really easily. I think it was so good for his teething.
The next morning he was a bit fussy, maybe because his cousins were at the table and he was too busy watching them and enjoying himself without eating anything. But once they got down from the table he ate much better. He definitely gets easily distracted so we need to work on keeping him focused.
For lunch he had my mum's homemade fish pie with salmon, white fish and prawns. He has never had prawns before so I gave him a whole one to see what he would do. He put it all in his mouth and sucked it! Then when he'd spat it out because it was so big, I cut it into small pieces and he ate those. It's been a really interesting couple of days with lots of new and exciting tastes and textures.
Sometimes I think we need to make mealtimes quite short to keep him a bit more focused because he likes to look at what's going on around him, picking his mat up and playing with his bib. But we don't want mealtimes to be a chore and we like to let him play. It's about him exploring, trying new foods, and feeling them for himself."