rosefox: A comic of a man holding a baby and looking stunned. (baby-wtf)
Rose Fox ([personal profile] rosefox) wrote2016-05-28 01:10 am

"Feed the hungerbeast"

Now that we're starting Kit on solid foods, I'm trying to figure out when to give them food, and how to include them in mealtimes. I don't think they've ever really seen us eat! J and X leave work at 6 and have ~45-minute commutes, so usually J cooks while X and I put the baby to bed, and then the adults have dinner around 8 after Kit's asleep. And mornings are such a rush; I'm not awake then, but I think J and X usually grab a quick breakfast during Kit's morning nap. So I think for now, solid food will have to happen on the baby's schedule, and I guess once they're old enough to stay up until 9, they can have dinner with us at 8. (I was always a night owl and perfectly comfortable eating on an adult schedule, so the whole "kids have early dinner" thing totally baffles me.)

Parent-type friends, what do/did your young kids' mealtime schedules look like? How did you manage this transition?

[identity profile] 2016-05-29 05:14 am (UTC)(link)
We started solids a trifle later, six months, in part figuring it would minimize the boring spooning-goo-into-mouths period. The twins took to solids quite quickly and went from barley cereal (rice proved too constipating for them) to mashed-up veg and fruit and such pretty quickly. The youngest considered solids a parlor game for quite a while, and only started really tucking in at about ten months. The advice about allergies and so forth has changed completely since my kids were little, so I won't go into that. At first solids are a lot of mess for very little intake, so typically people do just one meal a day at first and work up. (I don't think we bothered doing baby feeding at the same time as grown-up meals until the babies were old enough to sit up in a high chair. But we did generally have the babies with us at mealtime, being passed around -- when the twins were little we were living with extended family, so lots of arms available.) The boxed baby cereal was convenient just at first as it could be made up in very small quantities, mixed with different fruits, etc.

[identity profile] 2016-05-28 02:17 pm (UTC)(link)
Kids will adapt to your hours. One thing I found generally true: once they ate solid food they tended to sleep through the night better. (If the kid is already doing that, not an issue!)

It does take a while, especially at first, as they get the hang of it. But when they do, 'bits' are generally really popular. That is, when they can masticate, putting foods cut into tiny bits on the baby dish so they can pick them up with their fingers. They get to work out those hand muscles, and get jazzed at feeding themselves.

[identity profile] 2016-05-28 02:30 pm (UTC)(link)
We did baby-led weaning, because M was already included in mealtimes in the sense of being at the table and started trying to steal food off our plates. So she's been on the grown-up schedule (breakfast around 8 or earlier depending on when we wake up and whether she's coming on the dog walk and such, lunch around 12, dinner at 7) and mostly grown-up food (starting with the mushy stuff, like guacamole) from the start. Sometimes she'd do better with an earlier dinner and therefore bedtime, especially when she doesn't nap, but I am not about to start cooking separate meals for small people now.

Once they're less on breastmilk/formula and more on solid food, snacks become VERY IMPORTANT. Milk stops being filling well before the interval needed between feedings starts to stretch much. So there's a phase where you really just need to carry something (cheerios and rice rusks were both very popular here) with you all the time.

[identity profile] 2016-05-28 11:29 pm (UTC)(link)
Alyssa was interested in food early, and after the single food phase she tended to eat what we ate plus mashed steamed veggie mush of some sort. Adira nursed long term, and had to be abruptly weaned for medical reasons (pray to anything you believe in that you don't have to do that). She wasn't that interested in meals with us, would graze bits and pieces, and in general was more of a grazer thru out toddlerhood (actually, still kinda is)

[identity profile] 2016-05-29 04:22 am (UTC)(link)
I grew up in a family where the kids had dinner first up until we left home. I always assumed it was a European family thing, but it does mean I rarely saw my mom eating. Never occurred to me to think about that until now, it all just seemed nornal at the time.

[identity profile] 2016-05-30 01:09 pm (UTC)(link)
UK advice is not to give solids until 6 months, so I had babies who were sitting up and starting to grab food and looking like mealtime companions.
Quatlet was a totally non-routine baby so I would have my breakfast and try to interest him in bits of fruit and a bit of porridge or weetabix with Greek yoghurt. He liked finger food but didn't want to feed himself with a spoon - made it very clear that me feeding him would be much more efficient and to get on with it please! Then I'd give him food to play with while I had other meals, and give him milk after - but to be honest it was a good 2-3 months before he was having less milk and a meal's-worth of food. He would be very persistent - around 7 months I went out with him and my parents to an Italian restaurant, gave him a breadstick and then a stick of my pork with sage, a couple carrot batons and a couple chunks of potato. About half an hour later he presented my dad with a glob of collagen from which every cell of meat had been removed!

It wasn't as organised as it sounds - seeing as I didn't go back to work until 11 months, it was a lot of giving him milk if he was upset and didn't want the food, and carrying snacks around. Once at nursery, and with me working 9-5 for the first time in my life, I copied their mealtimes a bit more.

Quatling had more set meals because Quatlet was already there eating. She was the opposite - "I do it myself" and wanted everything presented so she could pick it up and eat it, usually with terrible mess, but even more was not really interested in actually eating food until nigh on a year. She slept through from 3-6 months but apart from that neither of them did until about 18 months or more.

[identity profile] 2016-06-06 06:38 am (UTC)(link)
We started my little one on food a bit early, since he had severe reflux issues, and the food actually helped him vomit less. We were on a regimented schedule with him: he needed at least one baby food with protein in it for one meal a day, and preferably two. (Protein is apparently the magic vomit-holder-downer.)

So I fed him when his older sister ate her breakfast, and then usually again at dinner-time with us--we eat late at around eight usually. As he got older, I put lunch with me in there, too.

Now he's 16 months old, and seems to want to eat non-stop. He eats with us at regular mealtimes, steals food off of our plates (literally), and grazes in between. He's figured out where we keep some of the snacks, and he brings them to me whenever he's hungry. He usually ends up getting fruit instead of cheddar bunnies though. =)

The other thing, which we did with my ultra-picky older one, and him, is that we mostly try to serve one thing for dinner. If you don't like what the grownups are having for dinner, then you do not get any other dinner. You are encouraged to try or lick everything on your plate though, and rewarded for tiny acts of bravery like tasting something that you have an issue with (my daughter has oral-motor sensitivities that go beyond being simply picky). And if you eat enough of dinner, then we talk about dessert. We're more flexible about breakfast and lunch being towards kid tastes, and we're not ogres: every now and then my daughter won't eat dinner at all, and we try to get something in her, even a cup of milk.