My baby is growing up: Feeding and Eating Independently

child-1207329_640Day before yesterday, Aaron made pasta with ground turkey sauce for dinner. He and I were going to eat that while I made J his usual mashed brown rice-lentil mix. I decided that I would feed him some pasta to slowly get him introduced to normal everyday food but also kept his rice meal on stand-by so if he does not eat the pasta or enough of it, I could feed him rice.

Just as we were about to start dinner, Aaron’s parents video chatted in. Then on, egged on and encouraged by them, amidst applause and cheers, my baby eat his pasta, one little bite at a time, dropping a few on the floor and his seat but mostly eating the sliced pasta I kept giving him. He seemed to have made a game out of it and looked forward to stabbing his food with his fork sometimes with help from me, putting it in his mouth, and then clapping loudly to get our attention and that of his grandparents. In the past when we have let him eat, he has taken maybe 3-4 bites of his food and then rejected it.

This day was so different. He continued to eat even amidst technology interruptions caused by a weak internet. He did really good and I was really proud of him. He did not eat a lot but I thought he ate enough that I felt comfortable not force feeding him any more food. I decided to let him be and see how the night goes. One of my biggest fears with letting him eat our food and by himself is the worry that he will wake up in the middle of the night, hungry and screaming for food.

He slept well and woke up at 7:00 a.m. this morning.

Today, we went to a local Nepalese buffet for lunch. I fork fed him tandoori chicken and he fed himself some naan that I laid on the table for him. I even put some palak on the naan that he ate. I also gave him some chicken makhni. He ate all of it with a lot falling on the floor and some being spit up on purpose (he does this thing where he takes the food, bites it a bit, then decides he doesn’t want it, and then lets it fall out of his mouth). For the most part, he ate well and I content. I did not feed him any more after coming back home.

For dinner, I had made Korean beef stir fry, and chole with white rice. In his bowl, I put some rice and chole with the whole chana and put some cut pieces of the beef as well. I had my doubts whether he would take to the rice mainly because, thus far, I have only fed him mashed/mushed rice and daal with all the veggies blended in. However, after some hesitation, he did eat this rice too.

One of my concerns with J is that he does not really chew his food. Granted he doesn’t have any molars yet and only has 7 front teeth (four on top and three beneath) so maybe he is not supposed to be able to bite anyway which makes sense. Yet, what happens is that the food gets eaten in its wholeness which basically means that rice goes down with their shape stable.

Anyway, he ate bites of the beef that I put on his plate and helped him get with his fork and later, ate some of the rice and chole I fed him. He even ate some of the chana (made extremely soft by adding two pinches of soda to the chana while in the pressure cooker) with his fork. When he started throwing food on the floor, which is how I know he is done, I stopped. It all made for a pleasant meal time. He really enjoys feeding himself with some encouragement and help and I enjoy the fact that meal time is not such a stressful event.

Let’s see what happens tomorrow. Planning on making grilled cheese for lunch.

Poor kiddo, he is adapting to the changes in his life so well. Last week, his sleep sack was taken away and he hasn’t complained about that and yesterday, he’s been on adult/normal food and he’s doing great. Now for the paci…okay one thing at a time 🙂

Published by Suchitra

I am a former Communication Studies professor turned stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) to two multiracial kids. I write about my adventures in parenting and living a multicultural life with my family. Blogger at: Follow me: @thephdmama

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