Monday, July 19, 2010

So Hard to Say Goodbye to the Food Processor

I think I may be accidentally holding the guys back a little on their eating.  They are 10 1/2 months old, but their adjusted age is 7 1/2.  I've been looking up what an 'on track' eight month old is supposed to eat, and we're so not there.

Is this a side effect of making food at home?  Maybe.  Without those little jars with the ages and the pictures of kids at different stages, it is too easy to keep doing the same old thing.

Three times a day, they each get about three tablespoons of food and a bottle.  Twice a day they just get bottles.  While I've been trying to ensure we keep expanding what foods they eat, I have not been changing the texture of their foods.  I have been pureeing all of it into something between a stage one and stage two consistency.  Recently we added little finger foods like cereal puffs, cheerios and biter biscuits.  I stand close by, finger at the ready to scoop food out of the back of a little throat at the slightest sign of trouble!

According to the AAP, at eight months they should be getting about a cup and a half of food 3x daily, two snacks that can be either formula or finger foods, and should be in the process of being weaned off of bottles altogether.  They are supposed to be learning to feed themselves.  By a year, they should be off the bottle entirely, and be eating like a toddler -- cold cuts, cheese squares, fruit bits.  What!?!?  But . . . But . . . They're babies!

I just worry so much about them choking.  After all, they don't have back teeth!  Plus, I have taken much comfort in knowing that they are getting the nutrition they need from their formula.  It's scary for me to start relying on foods.  I think this is going to be a much more difficult transition for me than it is for them.

To jump start myself, I put the food processor in the cupboard last week.  When baby food day came around. I cooked the snot out of everything so it would be plenty soft in their little mouths, but I used a hand masher to mash up their foods to a much more chunky consistency than I was getting with the food processor.  I even cut up some of their carrots and apples so they can start learning to feed themselves at meal times.  Up to now, the little cereal puffs and such have been more like a game we give them to play.

So far, the finger foods really don't make it into their mouths much.  Despite my constant worry about the chunkier baby food, however, the guys are taking it like champs and don't even seem to notice the difference. 

Now I need to concentrate on beefing up the amount of food they get. I am hoping that as they eat more food, they will naturally start reducing the amount of formula they want.  I give them bottles after the food.  I'm not sure about introducing water at mealtimes, how that works. 

In short, I don't know how to make the transition from bottles to food at all!  The books seem to skim over that part.  I imagine I will muddle through, but would have appreciated some guidelines.

Meanwhile, I need to start feeding them proteins.  I have some chicken cooked up and suppose that will need to be pureed, so the food processor will be making another appearance.  Can I resist the urge to zap the carrots in it for a second?  Only time will tell.

4 comments:

  1. hey there. Found your site via Multiples and More. I'm sorry this issue is causing you such angst! You sound like you are doing a marvellous job with your twins.

    A few thoughts from me, thinking back to this stage:

    * Don't rush the food thing. Whatever makes you comfortable, but you really will be surprised at what they can manage with no teeth!

    * I have always been quick to progress to the 'self-feeding' stage with my kids (out of necessity really). They love the independence too. The downside is that when they have 'finger foods' they tend to eat less than they did on the pureed stuff. It is harder to monitor how much they are getting as well, so if weight gain is an issue, stick to the spoon feeding (but make it lumpier).

    * You also need to make sure they are hungry, so they can't be full of milk all the time. Feed them food first and then give them milk afterwards.

    That's all I can think of for now. Not sure if that helps?

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  2. Thank you for the tips! Luckily for me and the guys, Hubby is more aggressive and we are moving along well into thicker foods, with more variety.

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  3. Hi, Rochelle! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog yesterday! :)

    The Great Feeding Question has always been a big one for me. I fed our girls commercial baby food until they were a year old. When I started transitioning to "real" food, I wished 100 times over that I had made their baby food...I think it would have made the transition easier.

    From my experience, I think it helped to change only one variable at a time. Instead of pureeing their squash, hand mash it, as you said. I eventually worked from there into adding some spices, like I would add for my husband and me - as my ultimate goal is for the girls to eat what we eat. And from there, I worked to get the girls to eating cubed steamed squash, like my husband and I do.

    I actually didn't push the girls to hand-feed themselves until they were about 14 months old. I waited until they were very proficient with the Puffs, and then I put one piece of squash on their tray at a time. When they ate that, I would give them another piece. This worked for me, as it 1) allowed me to monitor how much they ate (as opposed to just raking the food off their trays, as if I'd given them an entire portion!); 2) allowed me to monitor them closely to make sure they didn't choke; and 3) kept them from making such a mess (back to #1). :)

    Our girls are 19 months old, and they hand-feed themselves everything, but I still monitor them very closely. I usually give them 2 or 3 bites of meat or veggies on their trays, and replenish once they've eaten that. With fruit, which they LOVE, I usually give them their entire portion, as I know they'll eat it (and not rake it off onto the floor).

    Our next move will be to introduce utensils, but I like to say I'm mess-averse. :) I think it worked really well for me to wait until the girls were READY to feed themselves before I tried to push it. I'm planning to do the same with teaching them to use a spoon. I don't want to ask them to do it too soon, as I think it could be frustrating for them, and I know it would be for me!

    By the way, I'm really proud to say our girls eat almost anything and everything now...as long as they can pick it up with their hands. They DO NOT LIKE for me to feed them, the only exception being oatmeal / cream of wheat and creamed spinach (one of their favorites).

    Just my thoughts...good luck with the transition! It sounds like you're definitely heading in the right direction!

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  4. I just realized I was signed into Google under our Mothers of Multiples account when I left my previous comment. My blog is

    twintrialsandtriumphs.blogspot.com

    Mandy
    :)

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