Now that Ben is eight (eight!) months old, he is happily surviving on more than just breast milk. We started him on smooshed fresh bananas, and those continue to be one of his favorite snacks.
However, smooshed foods have not become Ben’s primary source of supplemental calories. Rather, he gets little nibbles of whatever the rest of us are eating. I think back six (six!) years ago when Evie was a baby. I prepared hundreds of servings of homemade pureed baby food for her tiny palate! But, with three older kids I just don’t have the time to prepare special baby meals for my sweet Ben.
But, you know what? Ben LOVES big people food. He likes cheesy scrambled eggs, broken raspberries, flakes of Asian salmon, nibbles of roasted chicken and potatoes. I’ve even given him bits of oxtail marinated in teryaki, much to his delight! Some mornings he enjoys oatmeal with blueberries, but that is the extent of his mushy foods.
He even gets sips of water from a big kid cup. As soon as he notices his big sisters and brother drinking from their cups, he screeches until he gets some, too!
Apparently, feeding babies “real” food is, like, a thing. A movement called Baby Led Weaning. Some parents swear by it because by six months of age children are developmentally capable of feeding themselves proper food. I didn’t make the conscious choice to include Ben in our regular meals, but time and energy dictated that I do. And, we are all happier for it!
The lesson I take away? In parenting, there are lots of ways to do the same thing. Evie ate purees, and she is now a healthy and happy six year old who is willing to try just about any new food. Ben survives on tiny pieces of whatever the rest of us are eating, and he is an eager eater who loves a good meal. There is no single right answer for every family, because every family is different.
My goal in feeding ALL my kids is to provide them with an interesting and diverse weekly menu that is full of fresh produce and healthy fats from thoughtfully raised animals. Our meals aren’t always fancy, but Ben is learning that mealtime is something to look forward to!
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