Δευτέρα, 30 Απριλίου 2012

Vegan Baby Led Weaning: First Foods *Broccoli*

We started putting him on his highchair and it's going pretty well! It was given to us by another family! I haven't searched at all about highchairs, so maybe I could have found something more functional for us. Something that makes cleaning much easier or something. I will only compare our eating on a highchair experience with eating on our lap cause I have no idea about how other highchairs look like. So...the big highchair tray, which gets higher on the sides, keeps the food off the floor for more time than the table. That's a good thing. We don't want the food to be eaten by the floor, right? Of course you can always put a clean tablecloth on the floor, so you can give the food back to the baby. But, that's something we haven't done yet. I have to admit that I hate cleaning! I've always have. If I ever find a jini in a bottle I know what I'll ask. No more cleaning! Back to reality...I have to clean, so a slightly wet cloth would do the job on the highchair. Just like I did on the table, when he was in our laps. The thing with the highchair is that you have to search for food all over it (babies always hide stuff). That's all with the highchair.

This is pretty much what happened today...

[caption id="attachment_440" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Meeting the broccoli...[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_441" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Tasting the broccoli...[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_443" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Retesting the broccoli[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_444" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Making some mess...[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_445" align="aligncenter" width="600"] I love this messy little face![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_446" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Mess mess mess mess everywhere![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_447" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Some cauliflower joins the game![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_448" align="aligncenter" width="600"] More mess = more fun![/caption]

Now, about the food, broccoli is a great first food. It already has a ''handle'' that makes it so easy for babies to grasp, just like cauliflower. My son loved it so much. He played for hours ( ok not hours, but a lot). It's weird, cause the other day I met two mamas who both had 10 month old boys and they were both allergic to broccoli and cauliflower. I don't know if this has anything to do with the fact that they stopped breastfeeding at around 3 months or maybe they started solids before 6 months or it is just a coincidense. Anyway it doesn't matter.They told me to give him potato and I dicided potato would be his next new food.

Update (some time later)

Broccoli remains one of his favourites. Easy to grasp, as well as to chew with those gums.

Σάββατο, 28 Απριλίου 2012

He has a tooth...!

Yep! It's official! He has a tooth!

Everyday after his meal, I always check if there's any hidden piece of food in his mouth before I lie him down. I never found anything yet, but it's an important rule to avoid choking, so I always check.

Today, I found nothing, as always so far, but hey...something's there. Something sharp...like a tooth. Hey it's a tooth!!! I've been trying for hours to see it but he won't let me! Everytime I pull gently his lip he puts his tongue in the way and hides the tooth. We also tried to trick him. We did some crazy stuff to make him laugh but we couldn't see anything either.

Παρασκευή, 27 Απριλίου 2012

Vegan Baby Led Weaning: First Foods *Baby Zucchini*

The third time

So, everything's perfect with BLW so far. Nine days of ''eating'' solids and the third food is zucchini! I was supposed to post this yesterday but we had some internet connection issues. We basically had no internet connection for more than 24 hours. Anyway he's been eating zucchini since yesterday and today morning we found a piece of zucchini in his diaper. I think I'll stop mentioning anything that has to do with the content of his diaper cause obviously something goes in his stomach already and it's not so exciting anymore! It is for me of course...but, well just for me!

I was thinking about peeling or not the zucchini. All the nutrients are there and I didn't want to waste them. I red that the peel may be hard for the baby to digest and cause him tummy ache. That would be a problem if it happened, but when I red that it's a choking hazard I decided not to risk it for now. Zucchini was quite easy for him to hold, a little slippery though. Maybe it was because I used baby zucchini. The next time, I'm going to buy the regular ones and cut them into sticks. I think the angles will make it easier to hold.

Since he started solids he had been very focused on his new experiments and didn't really cared about what was happening around him. But the last three days he's been trying to grab things from our plates which is not good cause I have to stick to the 4 day rule (4 days before introducing a new food to check for allergic reactions/intolerances) as long as Phillip won't go check what he's allergic to.

Every photo I took of him eating was blurry. I picked the less blurry ones...

[caption id="attachment_452" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Eating in mama's lap![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_453" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Playing with his zucchini...at his grandma's house...[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_454" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Hey sweetie![/caption]

UPDATE (months later)

Zucchini is a great first baby food. If cooked well enough, it will probably be easy for the baby to ''have'' some, even without any teeth. It's important to cut it in a proper size, so the baby can munch the top of it. Just like with all previous food, he had done amazing progress within the four days. Now that I write this update, he's 11 months and eats zuchini in many ways...boiled, steamed, baked, raw in salads etc. Seriously, I watch these pictures and I can't believe that was him only 5 months ago. This food destroyer used to work so hard to finally put a tiny piece of food into his belly, back then. Wow, I'm shocked!

Κυριακή, 22 Απριλίου 2012

Vegan Baby Led Weaning: First Foods *Cauliflower*

The second time

I wanted broccoli to be the second food I'd offer to my baby, but I was unlucky. I've been trying to buy some vegetables for 4 days now. Everytime that I get really close to get them, my sweet little baby finds a reason to cry desperately and makes my life difficult (but in a sweet way). Yesterday was my last chance! I got dressed, I dressed my son, sitted him on his stroller and took the way to...ehm, I had no idea where I was going. I thought that a bio market would be a good idea, so I headed to one. We stopped at a park for a  quick breastfeed and we took the roads again. When I reached our destination, I realised there wasn't there anymore...ggrrr...I remembered I had seen another one, once, not too far away. I walked a bit and there was it! Full with nuts and seeds and fruits and a million different nut milks and everything! What a great store! I loved it! I went to the vegetable corner to find out that there was no broccoli but I was lucky enough to find a tiny cauliflower. We needed an easy to grasp vegetable and cauliflower would be fine. "Yes my friend"...I said to the cauliflower and picked it up "you're gonna be eaten by my son".

I decided to steam it to keep more nutrients inside it. I have a steamer my mama gave me. She never used it before  cause the instructions' leaflet was in french, german and spanish. I had to spend some of my precious time for translation, but I think it worths it! Using a steamer turned out to be a lot less complicated than I though at first.

While I was finishing the preparation of our meal, Phillip sat on the table with our son on his lap. The baby was continuously searching about something. He had realised that it was time for meal and he was searching for his toy/food! When I left a cauliflower floret infront of him, he immediately grabbed it and putted it into his mouth. He's totally into the rythm!

[caption id="attachment_403" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Hm...very interesting...[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_404" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Let's taste it!!![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_405" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Patient daddy holds baby at every meal[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_406" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Hey you...come back![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_407" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Now get in my mouth![/caption]

UPDATE (4 days later)

So, our baby-led weaning experience with cauliflower, the first day, was perfect. First of all, it was super easy for him to hold. Cauliflower, just like broccoli, has a natural 'handle' so the baby can play with it without having to figure out how to hold it first. And second of all, it was almost not messy at all. Or at least not as messy as the avocado. And it doesn't leave any stains on the clothes! The second day Phillip decided to cook the cauliflower. He overcooked it and when the baby had been trying to pick it up he couldn't cause it would fall to pieces. Disaster! He got really angry, I breastfed him and everything was fine! The third day we ate at my granma's and when we got home he slept for like three hours and we didn't give anything except breastmilk. The fourth day have been better. He played a lot with his food and we all had fun. I think he shows some serious interest about what there's in our plates. I hoped this wouldn't happen soon...

Τετάρτη, 18 Απριλίου 2012

Vegan Baby Led Weaning: First Foods *Avocado*

The Very First Time

I've been searching about baby food since he was 4 months old, when our pediatrician told us to start with baby cereal. Which I didn't. I searched over the internet until I got overwhelmed from the amount of information I could find. I bought I book about introducing solids to babies. It was relatively small, written by a famous (among mamas) greek pediatrician. It was a nice book with a lot of ideas and helpful tips, a little advanced for greeks' average thinking and most importantly in greek. But that wasn't enough for me. I wanted us to become vegans and a book about vegan children would make me feel sure I'm doing the right thing. It's impossible to find this kind of books in Greece, so I had to order one. While I had these thoughts in my mind I discovered Baby-Led Weaning (BLW).It seemed sooo interesting. I remembered I had red an article about it on a magazine when I was pregnant. I came back to it, then searched a lot over the internet about it and decided that I needed to read the Baby-Led Weaning book. So, I had to buy books and that's what I did.

I immediately started reading the Baby-Led Weaning book after I recieved it. As I was reading, I realised my baby was actually ''ready'' to begin experimenting with solids for some time. Ready as described in the book. Not at 6 months, but about 6 months and a half. That's probably because, as I believe, the doctor took my baby earlier than he should have. I could have waited more of course until he showed all signs of readiness, like sitting with no support and some teeth maybe. I have red a lot of things about signs of readiness and the authors of the book apparently have a relaxed point of view about them. In my life I strongly believe there's no right and wrong and I find it hard to follow an idea without doubting and criticizing, but there is no way to manage to do something without having some rules in mind...you''ll get lost. I wasn't sure what to do, and I was under pressure by my relatives who wanted to see my son having something else, besides my breasts, in his mouth. So I decided to follow the orders from the book and offer him some food. He was already grabbing EVERYTHING and putting it into his mouth and at last, I think I did the right thing.

There is a belief that we should introduce foods seperately so if the baby is allergic or intolerant, we can spot what food causes the problem. BLW babies don't have to do that as long as they are healthy, older than 6 months and have no allergy history in the family. Unfortunately, Phillip is allergic to something, we don't know what, and he refuses to see a doctor about it. Men are so silly. So, I have to be very carefull about what my baby eats. I'm planning to offer the same food for 4 days and check what happens before offer a new one. I also want to keep a diary, cause I have a memory problem.

As long as I'm healthy and able to stay at home to take care of my baby, I'm definitely NOT giving him any ready meals because they contain enormous amounts of sugar and/or salt. Cereal was not a first option because it's not so nutritious as other foods. The most famous BLW first solids are fruits or vegetables and that's what I was planning to offer. Some people believe that it's better not to offer something sweet at first. That's because milk is sweet and if the baby starts with sweet food, he probably will expect that every food he's being offered is sweet, rejecting other tastes. If it's true that, breastmilk's taste changes depanding on what the mother eats, there won't be any problem with us, as long as I have a rich diet, so he already had a variety of tastes through my breastmilk. But I thought I should give it a go. I had to find a non sweet fruit or vegetable to start with. I was between broccoli and avocado. Broccoli because it has a natural handle, so it would be easy for him to hold it and avocado because I always have one in my kitchen and it doesn't need any special preparation.

And the winner was...avocado!!!!!

Phillip holded him on his lap and I left a thick stick of avocado infront of the baby. He grabbed it and immediately putted it into his mouth. He played with it for a few seconds but it fell off his hand. He found it hard grabbing it again. It was too slippery for him. He had been trying to grab it, hold it, he squeezed it, licked it.

He messed the table...

...he messed his face...and bib and clothes and Phillip and floor...

He got angry as the avocado was getting lumpy. He couldn't grab it easily. I thought I shouldn't let him torture himself and end this mealtime. And then, I was amazed to see him using his both hands to catch the small pieces of avocado and steadily putting them into his mouth. I knew from the book that eating solids would be hard at first, but as time goes by babies find the ways to feed themselves effectively. I thought it would take some time but he already found a way to deal with smaller pieces.

After his "meal" I breastfed him and he slept happy!

UPDATE (4 days later)

I'm so proud of his progress with avocado. The first day, he played with it a lot and figured out how to use his both hands to pick up the small pieces. The second day, he played more using his both hands more effectively. The third day, I was surprised by how long it took him to finally break his piece of avocado in two pieces...not 100 like the previous days, just two big pieces...he found out how much pressure he has to put on his hands so he wan't crash the avocado. Oh I almost forgot...he also gagged a little which means a piece of food went on the back of his mouth but was too big and had to come out again.

Πέμπτη, 12 Απριλίου 2012

Baby's Firsts: Swinging

We usually go to the playground like everyday. He loves looking at the other kids. Mostly boys doing fast and hard stuff like playing football or biking. What does that say about him? He also loves it when I sit on the swing with him on my lap and swing fast.

Yesterday was the first time he sat on his own on the swing. He did some swinging but the sun was very annoying and we had no hat so we left.

Like a sir!

Damn you sun!

I love him so much!

Τρίτη, 10 Απριλίου 2012

They're here!

I left the house early in the morning with my boys, today. We went to do some blood tests for the baby. It turned out it wasn't necessary, so we left doing nothing. When we got in the house we saw a brown packet with a reciept on it( how much I love these packets). ''My books are heeeeereee!!!" I screamed and jumped all over like a stupid cartoon. Phillip gave my his weird look. I  normally don't act like that but, when something I had ordered arrives, my excitement make me a bit crazy!

I barely go to the shops anymore for two reasons... 1. baby and 2. economical crisis . That's not very bad cause I don't really enjoy shopping in general. I actually hate crowded places, where everyone invades your personal space (also knon as aura), or even worse touch your ash . Yes, it's a crazy world! I prefer to order stuff via internet when I can or even better make my own.

I don't know why but, when I recieve something I have bought I feel so happy! Maybe it's because I don't know excactly when my package will arrive...maybe it's the surprise that makes it more exciting than buying something immediately. Or maybe it is that, when I decide to buy something from an online shop, especially from another country, it's because I can't make it on my own or I can't find it locally...that makes the purchase very special.

Anyway, both these reasons make my current purchase tooo special. First of all, it was totally unexpected. It arrived less than 5 days after ordering, while I thought it would be more than ten days. And second of all, finding these kind of books in Greece is almost impossible. I'm not talking about translated books...you can't even find them in english. I was surprised when a friend lent me this book in greek! I guess there are some available on spesific bookstores. Or you could find people who own these books and ask to read them or buy them. Another idea would be to find other people who also want these books and make a big order to a bookstore. All sound very good in my mind, but would take some time and I needed the books NOW! A big part of my excitement, had to do with my baby son's upcoming introduction to solid food. I'm looking forward to see how he goes with vegan baby led weaning!

Back to the books!

I got 'Vegan for life' for me, to help me plan a healthy vegan diet while breastfeeding. I got 'Feeding your vegan infant-with confidence'  and 'Baby led weaning' to help me find the ways to feed my baby (or better let him feed himself). I've already started reading Baby led and I looove it!

Σάββατο, 7 Απριλίου 2012

Where I Breastfeed

Breastfeeding, in a distinctive way (although that wasn't my intention), in our ring sling at the restaurant Philip works! I had an amazing vegetable souvlaki with whole wheat pita and some delicious vegan salad!!!

*** For more 'Where I Breastfeed' posts click here.***

Τετάρτη, 4 Απριλίου 2012

Minimal Dinner

I'm planning to turn my diet into totally vegan in a couple of weeks. About 2 months ago, I started to gradually minimize my animal product intake. I thought I should take it slow so my body wouldn't be shocked.  Right now I don't eat dairy, I sparingly eat eggs and I eat meat/fish/seafood once a week. That's when we visit Phillip's parents or my mom or my grandma. I have quited cooking with animals and animal products, except of eggs.

I have tried veganism in the past but, I only used to eat bread, fries and rice. I know, pretty stupid. This time I'll have to do it right. Tomorrow I'm going to order, among other stuff,  a book about vegan nutrition. I'm so excited about the idea of having a balanced vegan diet. I already feel ready to do it and avoid the mistakes of the past. I'm actually obsessed with how food can affect our body and mental health. I totally consider food as medicine like Hippocrates believed. Lately, all the time, I read about food, food,food.

This is my tonight's vegan dinner. Pretty simple, pretty minimal as you see, as long as my sweetheart slept kind of late and I didn't have much time to enrich my meal.

[caption id="attachment_314" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Leftover boiled broccoli with olive oil and lemon dressing, half an avocado and two slices of whole wheat bread"][/caption]
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