Self-feeding

Discussion in 'Babies & Toddlers' started by Confused-Hasya, Jan 7, 2011.


 
  1. Confused-Hasya

    Confused-Hasya Active Member

    I tried giving M (her) bite-size pieces of a soft rice-lentil cake. What does she do? She picks each and every piece off the plate with both hands, squeezes it, and drops it on the floor. Is this typical or at least normal first time "self-feeding" behaviour? If it is, I'll keep giving her the second half of her food to eat on her own and see if she'll eat it. If not, should I wait?

    I thought she has the pincer grasp now when she picked something off the floor but she was using all of her fingers to pick up food from the plate. Perhaps she was just trying to get used to the texture between her fingers? Does she even know that it is something to eat? She saw me feed her from that very plate... How do I tell her to eat it? Tips, please!

     
  2. MyrtleWarbler

    MyrtleWarbler Super Moderator Staff Member

    We did "baby led weaning" (baby-led solids), and the stuff I read related to that approach talked alot about how, when they first start solids, the emphasis really is on exploring it and playing with it. Most nutrition is still coming from breast or formula. They may hardly consume anything early on, but they are learning a lot. So let her explore all kinds of foods! I really think it's so important for giving kids a healthy experience with food for the long-term... knowing what food *really* looks and feels like, instead of just purees in a jar (even if you also do some of that). It's a very messy and somewhat frustrating phase, but enjoy it the best you can!

     
  3. nessa26

    nessa26 New Member

    Yes Confused, sounds like M is being a normal baby!! Sofie even at 14 months will play with food that she doesn't want, or she will do it when she is full and doesn't want anymore. M is just starting out, and like MW said, it can be quite frustrating to constantly be cleaning up after your little one, but its very normal!! Babies explore through touch and by putting stuff in their mouths. Give her time. She will eventually put two and two together and try to sample what she touches!!

     
  4. Confused-Hasya

    Confused-Hasya Active Member

    Thanks for your responses.

    So, should I let her sample food her own way right from the beginning or do half and half like I did oooh...yesterday, by now!

    What's baby-led solids? I give her as much as she wants. In the morning, I was feeding her mashed, but not fully mashed, so that she learns chewing with her incisors, and she got so impatient that I only had a third of a banana in the bowl. She demanded and ate almost all of it. I don't give her food from a jar. Let me give her wholesome home food for as long as I can. Hopefully, by the time I go back to work, she'll be eating table food, so that I can just reduce the spices in everyone's foods and feed her. Or, I'll do jars, perhaps, but I'd really rather not. I am not much of an eat-outer and I wouldn't feel right about it. Not judging anyone who does. This is just what suits my food beliefs. If I can make the effort to cook for DH and me, I can bake a root or a winter squash for her.

    I'll try baking an apple for her. I am tempted to add cinnamon to flavour it. I am not sure if I should.

    I feed her twice/thrice a day, depending on her how she naps. Usually thrice.

     
  5. MyrtleWarbler

    MyrtleWarbler Super Moderator Staff Member

    Baby led solids is the idea of giving table foods, spices and all, rigt from the start. No mashing, no strict rules... Just trusting baby to learn at a natural pace as they "gum" and sample soft foods whole. There is some gagging at first, but that is NOT the same as choking and is part of the learning process. Supervise obviously... But you'd be surprised. I suggest you google it. I believe this is why Allie eats a great variety, spice and all, and does so well in restaurants.

    Even with mashed food there is no need to avoid spices and flavor. We underestimate what babies can handle... The result is a society of kids that want bland processed food.

     
  6. BunnyGirl19

    BunnyGirl19 Super Moderator Staff Member

    I didn't realize they called it that! It sounds kind of like what I wanted to do for feeding. My plan was to make baby food out of what our meal was, like smash it up a little or put it into much smaller pieces for easier feeding, but to leave all the seasonings and everything else in it like we eat. I never actually thought about leaving it the way it actually was supposed to be and letting baby eat it that way. I just wanted baby exposed to our meals with all the seasonings and all right from the start when they get solids.

     
  7. Myste

    Myste New Member

    We started out with purees but moved to finger foods quickly around 7 months, closer to the baby-led approach. I've never toned down foods or had to hold back for Wes - he *love* raw onion, happily eats buffalo-wing sauced chicken strips, blue cheeses, pretty much anything. So far there are very few foods he won't eat... he's not a huge fan of bread (unless it's homemade!) but he'll eat a few bites. Don't have to be afraid of the spices.

    The exploring textures is part of the learning process, Wes has always been a confident, good eater and so we haven't ever had problems with gagging/choking, I don't often bother to cut up his food into small pieces unless it's hard to eat, like beef.

     
  8. MyrtleWarbler

    MyrtleWarbler Super Moderator Staff Member

    And actually it's best to leave the pieces of food fairly big, not bite-sized until they are older. At that age, give them things to hold with their whole hand and chew/gum on.

     
  9. BunnyGirl19

    BunnyGirl19 Super Moderator Staff Member

    I know my friend will give her 9-month-old a whole pork chop to chew on and gum at dinner time.

     
  10. nessa26

    nessa26 New Member

    We did that when she first started solids; gave her a good size piece of meat to chew on. She got so mad if you took it away from her!!!! Lol!

     
  11. iampam

    iampam Active Member

    Yeah there's an argument that starting out with spoon-fed foods suppresses the natural gag reflex that babies have, making them more likely to choke. Supposedly if you do baby-led weaning with solid foods, they are unlikely to actually choke.

     
  12. AliBaby

    AliBaby New Member

    I've never heard of this but it's very interesting.


    On the subject of meat, my mom embarrassingly admitted that when my brother was teething she found herself at the grocery store without a teething ring or anything for him to gum on. She said she grabbed a package of beef jerky and gave him a piece and he loved it! She said he would work on it until it got nasty and then she would give him another piece. I guess she kept doing it because it worked and made him happy. He's now 33 and could live on beef jerky. Lol!

     
  13. BunnyGirl19

    BunnyGirl19 Super Moderator Staff Member

    LOL! I'm a huge jerky fiend too. I should ask my mom if she gave me jerky to teethe on too. Hahahahahahahaha!!!!

     
  14. labby06

    labby06 Active Member

    I guess we did the baby led weaning approach too, even though I didn't really realize it, lol! We have never had a problem with Olivia eating. Like MW said, she did/does the gag reflex on occasion, but has never actually choked. At first I was really careful with things like fruit that had skins (namely blueberries since she loves them so much) but now I just give them to her whole and she's fine with them. She's always been good at "chewing".

    A friend of mine has a little boy who is turning 1 next week. All she's ever fed him is spoon fed purees. She's now trying to get him to eat finger foods and he wants nothing to do with them. She said he keeps throwing them up. I'm thinking it's probably more of the gag reflex since he's not used to them and he just happens to spit them out and not actually "throw it up". She said she thinks he doesn't like the texture. She gets frustrated when I tell her about all of the things Olivia eats and has been eating for quite a while now. I always offered Olivia the solid stuff, even if she wouldn't eat it it was always there for her to play with and get a feel for. She naturally just started to figure it out. My friend never did that. It was always just the mashed/pureed food which I think is the reason she's having such a hard time with food now.

    Mmmm jerky. We just made some in the new dehydrator I got for Christmas! We screwed it up though because DH sliced it way too thin and we didn't mix it in the marinade enough so some of it isn't all that flavorful. I haven't tried giving Olivia any yet. Maybe I will have to!

    Speaking of foods, I also made some dried bananas and apples, but I've been hesitant to give them to her (aside from teeny tiny broken off pieces) because of how chewy they are. I'm not sure her gums could mash it up well enough. Has anyone else tried dried fruit? Do you think she'd be ok with it? I guess maybe I should just try it, I'm just so afraid of her choking on it.

     
  15. Myste

    Myste New Member

    Wes has had chewy dried cherries/raisins/cranberries with no problems but he has all his teeth, and I didn't start until he was about 15-16m. He's done fine on freeze dried fruit though since about a year. I've given him pretty much everything now - nuts, popcorn, chewy candies, jellies, etc. I just tell him "chew very well" and don't let him run off with them ( except the fruit jellies, he steals the bag) so I can do something if he does choke. So far the only time he's choked on something was butternut squash at 7-8 months, I didn't get it quite soft enough for him to gum.

     
  16. labby06

    labby06 Active Member

    Good to know, Myste! She doesn't have her molars yet so I think I'd feel better about it once those are in so she can actually break them up a little better. She has had some small raisins already which she loved, but she must have just swallowed them whole because they came out whole in her poop, lol! So then I stopped giving them since I realized she probably can't chew them so it's probably not such a great idea in case she got one that was a little too big.

     
  17. Confused-Hasya

    Confused-Hasya Active Member

    Huh! These days, I am giving her textured food. Bits of banana, soft-cooked rice. I tried rice noodles yesterday, and I doubt if she swallowed anything. Not ready for noodles. I'd be more comfortable about letting her try table food when she can sit on her own.

     
  18. iampam

    iampam Active Member

    Haha I think DH will be on board with the beef jerky idea [​IMG]

     
  19. MyrtleWarbler

    MyrtleWarbler Super Moderator Staff Member

    This exactly. I read that about when kids start solids (around 6 months, which is increasingly the suggestion for many babies, vs earlier), the gag reflex is naturally far forward on their tongue. Food doesn't have to go far back before they would "choke" on it (not really, just gag it back). That protects them from actually choking until they can get the hang of gumming/chewing it up to swallow safely. As they age and develop, the gag reflex moves back. Babies who eat only purees until much older don't have the practice, but the gag reflex is further back. Higher risk of actually choking.

    We had one rather embarassing incident in a restaurant, with aunt and grandma in tow. She was very nearly choking, you could tell even she was scared. We smacked her back, she got it up, cried a bit. People looked at us. [​IMG] But despite that, even my aunt and grandma understood that what we were doing made sense. They were impressed. We really never had any other scary incidents.

    My 1-yr old eats foods now that I'm quite sure I never touched until adulthood. I was a very picky eater, and I think that's unfortunate, so part of my motivation was to minimize the chance of that with her.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2013

     
  20. *mel*

    *mel* Super Moderator Staff Member

    I know this is an old post but thought I would revive it as I am after advice. I am very early into the weaning stage, we started just 2 weeks ago. Luke is already eating some table foods which he much prefers to puree's and baby mush! lol! I am not doing baby led weaning completely but was thinking at least one meal a day of finger foods. So far he has had toast, banana, rice cakes, rusks and these organic corn snacks. I am just after other ideas of finger foods for this early age which are easy for them to "chew" on. i was very nervous when I first gave him finger foods but he really does seem to much prefer it and actually eats quite alot of it [​IMG]

     

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