Princess Baby has feeditis: 28th January-3rd February

posted Feb 8, 2012, 6:23 AM by Dinner Lady   [ updated May 10, 2012, 1:35 AM ]
Princess Baby has refused her meal. Again. I cannot profess to her enjoying her food, unlike her older brothers who scoffed any morsel I threw in their direction, making delicious "mmmmm" noises as they chewed and swallowed. Or maybe I am looking back through banana smeared spectacles and remember weaning as a much easier experience than it really was.  Princess Baby enjoys chunks of bananas, pieces of very ripe pear and those watsits looking snacks that are called carrot sticks.  She does not enjoy or really eat anything else I try to tempt her with. At best, she gags on whatever I manage to get into her mouth; more often, she just turns her head away with her lips firmly shut. Occasionally, she makes terrifying noises that a seagull would be proud of.  

And maybe that word "tempt" is part of the problem.  By trying to tempt her, I am in the same breath getting emotional about her eating, something I swore I would never do.  But feeding our children is such an emotional issue, isn't it?  By tempting her, I am playing games, willing her to eat, suggesting that there is a problem if she doesn't.  

At Monday supper time Maths Geek gave me some child care advice.  "She's six months, she should be eating well by now.  I think she's got feeditis. That means she doesn't feed."  So what should one do when one's child comes down with feeditis?  The remedy I have been trying for the last week has been this:  insanely trying to work out what time she eats best, trying to discover the perfect length between milk feeds, naps and meals; rushing around trying to ensure that I give her a meal at a time that seems to work; making delicious concoctions up for her, a mixture of mush that I can shovel in, with tender finger food that will make her feel grown up; providing her favourite foods, even if that means that she is restricting herself to "watsits", pears and bananas.  And yet I spend more time at the sink, washing my tears away while I wash up the latest, mostly uneaten, bowl of organic, lovingly made baby food.  Clearly I need a different remedy.  
Mrs Doubtfire gave me the best bit of advice.  The sort of advice that you know already, but need someone sane and level headed to help you remember it.  He reminded me that all I can do is offer her food. I cannot make her eat it.   He reassured me that at her wedding breakfast Princess Baby will probably have moved on to foods other than chunks of bananas, pieces of pear and watsits looking snacks.  This weaning is just another stage, albeit a bit of a stressful one. And then he reminded me that I had found weaning just as difficult with both boys. I should try and remember what worked before and do that again with Princess Baby.  That got me thinking and talking to my other Dinner Lady friends.

From now on, my remedy for her feeditis will be thus:  I shall offer a range of healthy food, both pureed and finger food.  Sometimes these will be her favourites, sometimes food she finds less appealing and sometimes new tastes and textures. I shall present these food items to her at a time that is convenient to both of us. I will offer them with an expectation that she might enjoy them.  For there is nothing to say that babies do not like spinach or lentils, it is just us adults putting our preconceptions onto them.   And if I look at her as if to say "honey, this is not your favourite, you might not like it", of course she will not like it.  If I look longingly at the food, and maybe try some with her, she will think it is heaven.  If I let her pick it up, smudge it around the table and on her face and in her hair, she will get to know the food well, even though she might look like she has had a bad spray tan after eating orange mush.  And if she prefers not to eat anything, I am not going to get stressed and I am not going to encourage or tempt her.  And I shall not offer her watsit carrot sticks or chunks of banana instead. Because doesn't that then send her the message that there is something to be afraid of in the food she has just refused? 

rotten or gone off - quarter of beetroot

left on our plates - too much - every meal time a couple of tsp off The Naughty Knight’s plate; several tsp of Princess Baby’s mush and finger food - both still being faddy.  No matter how little I serve them, they still leave some.  

left overs I have forgotten to use up - 2 tbsp pilau rice


Carry forward           £378.72

Supermarket             £13.00 (Mrs Doubtfire took it upon himself to treat us to all sorts of lovely unnecessaries....)

Total for January    £391.72
This is an overspend of £88.72 over the month of January.Possibly because of spending at expensive "local" delis and food stores. Also January is a long month.....Let's try harder for February then. 

Start                    £0.000
Vegetable box           £19.40
Supermarket             £142.79
Lunch out               £8
Take away               £14
Total February so far   £184.19