Just eat it.
Starting our daughter on solid foods was surprisingly easy. We were prepared to don plastic ponchos like we were riding the Maid of the Mist towards a Niagara Falls of regurgitated baby foods. But our daughter liked to eat. When a spoonful of food came towards her, she ate.
She opened her mouth like a baby bird waiting for a worm. It’s cute. I’ve never had to do the airplane manoeuvre with the spoon. She always ate. I feel for parents of fussy babies, they have to design special feeding tricks like waiting until the baby yawns or rigging them up like geese for foie gras. The only time our daughter ever became fussy was when the food didn’t come fast enough.
We introduced her to solid foods at five and a half months and, if we’re continuing with avian imagery, she took to it like a duck to water. I say solid food but in the beginning it was more liquid than solid. It was a puree. That’s a fancy French word for mush. Pureed fruits and vegetables and fortified baby cereal that was dinner and breakfast.
Fortified baby cereal is dust. They say it’s rice cereal or barley or some other grain and the box has pictures of the food it’s supposed to be, but it’s dust. You add water or breast milk to it and serve your baby the paste. It’s perfect for caulking tiles, sealing exterior windows, and growing babies.
The fruits and vegetables come in tiny little jars. When I think of baby food those tiny little jars come to mind. There’s not much variety in those jars; squash, peas, pears, apples, entrees like beef pasta, turkey dinner, and chicken korma. And while they seem inexpensive it’s actually cheaper to make your own baby food at home. Here’s an easy recipe.
Baby Food Recipe.
Step 1) Cook vegetables. Fruits skip to step 2.
Step 2) Puree in blender.
Step 3) Serve immediately or freeze for later use.
There I just saved you the cost of a baby puree cookbook. My wife and I enjoyed making up batches of baby food. And our freezer soon bulged with dated bags full of various purees, ready to be thawed and spoonfed.
Of course, real food produced another real consequence.
Babies on an exclusive breast milk diet produce few diapers and the ones that they do produce are relatively inert. Breast milk is easy to digest and produces little unconsumed waste. Actual food is not as pure as mother’s milk. Food has fibre and other undigestibles. Once solid food was introduced diaper changing changed. The diapers were no longer consistent in either arrival or consistency.
Aside from that the introduction of solid food has been a breeze. There have been times when spoon-feeding has gone so well that the bib never got dirty. Though, like anything with a little baby easy spoon feeding only lasted a few months.
The baby food purees became chunkier and our daughter reached for her spoon. She was around 8 months old. It was a 2001-ape-using-tools kind of moment. I could hear the faintest rumblings of Also sprach Zarathrustra playing in the background. It was a great developmental moment, either that or Ric Flair was on his way over. By grabbing that spoon our daughter was taking control of her own eating and it was going to be messy.