Can’t eat, won’t eat

Ah, I had such good intentions! I really did. But blogging with a baby is challenging, and this kid is definitely a challenge at the moment. Leo is now 19 months and a tornado of energy. No idea where the energy comes from mind, given he hardly eats. (Actually, I do know. He is still a massive milk monster, nowhere close to weaning off the boob.) Which makes blogging about our food adventure together difficult.

Before he started on solids I had visions of us enjoying meals together; sharing a roast dinner with him gnawing on a chicken leg, roast potato in the other hand, or slurping down bowls of noodles, or just splitting a sandwich. Nope. Not this kid. Pot of Greek yogurt and a banana please!

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Greek yogurt, of course. Orange segments now banned because of the horrendous nappies they lead to

We started down the baby led weaning route and quickly stopped when I found I spent a lot of my time preparing and cleaning up after him and very little of it went in his mouth. I know, I know, that’s the point of BLW. They eat what they want, they’re exploring texture and smell and flavours, but he just didn’t seem to be getting any nourishment and I panicked. BLW takes balls if you have a reluctant eater.

So we did chunky purees and porridge in addition to finger food and that worked well, but still only a few spoonfuls at a time, certainly far, far less than a lot of similarly aged babies. And I tried not to worry or get stressed but it was really, really hard. I didn’t try to persuade him to eat, no zooming aeroplanes or spoonfuls “just for mummy” but I did sit there silently willing him to pick up a stick of courgette, or take a bite of a mini burger. Sometimes he did, a lot of times he didn’t and I’d just feel myself getting more angry at him, unfairly, for what felt to me like turning his nose up at my lovingly prepared dinner. I love cooking for those I love and this felt like a massive rejection. Irrational but true.

So come new year, my one and only resolution was to stop worrying about what he ate and just roll with it. He really is full of energy, bright and inquisitive, and almost the 75th centile for weight. So no reason to worry from a health perspective, just a societal one. And who cares what society thinks, eh?  (Yeah, me too.)

Sounds so simple, but it’s been a hard month. Colds and teething haven’t helped matters, putting him off food  and making nights more disrupted than usual, so I’m even more tired and with a bit less patience come tea time. And I’ve realised the waste of both my time and the actual food was getting to me so I’m taking a new tack. Starting yesterday, we are going to eat the same foods as much as possible, so if he doesn’t eat it, we will (and want to!).

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Lunch at IKEA (chips, and a bit of waffle for pudding)

My collection of cookbooks has a growing family section now, and I might (big might) start planning a week’s meals and shopping accordingly so that we don’t get caught short (lunches are often a bit of a fail, and I’m still hungry a lot since he still has so much milk).

And I’ll be honest here about our adventures in eating (or not as the case may be), and not be so concerned about the lack of original recipes. So hopefully more blog posts about the reality of weaning a baby, and the occasional recipe thrown in for good measure.

2 thoughts on “Can’t eat, won’t eat

  1. It’ll all work out in the end…………… look at the great job you have done so far. He is a delightful little boy and full of beans, healthy and happy ……….. regardless of how much/little he eats. There will be light at then end of the tunnel……..he will decide when that time comes, just try not to stress about it and enjoy him. He is only little for a very short time and all too soon he will be at school and the next time you look.. all grown up.

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    • I know it will, it’s just finding strategies to get us there. Easy to say it’ll get better (and really, everything does), harder to live it three times a day! There’s not much help or info concerning bf toddlers and food intake other than tips to wean them, so it does feel like we are winging it a bit.

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