We have a new eater in the house, and looking at the photos above it's hard to tell which is more delicious: the sweet potatoes being shovelled into this baby's mouth or the boy himself, who's cleared quite pleased with his new developmental milestone.
Feeding babies has changed a lot since the last time I filled my freezer with frozen sweet potato puree, and I must confess that I fell down the Internet rabbit hole of research, trying to figure out how I should nourish this child of mine now that it's all so different. There's the popular practice known as Baby-Led Weaning to consider, and the iron-rich-foods-first guidelines established by Health Canada. More importantly, and I think this is key, there's also fifteen years of parenting experience under my own belt that I really should chew on. This isn't to say that I consider myself an expert, because I don't, but I think there's something to be said about instinct and past experience that's worth pondering.
(Side note: there's a lot of shaming going on in the Internet world today, and it's so easy to feel badly about the choices you're making. Please don't. You know what's best for your baby, and your family in general, and if you're feeling skeptical about feeding your six-month-old large chunks of chicken, that's quite all right as far as I'm concerned.)
So, what is Matthew eating? A variety of meals that are seasonal and healthy, puréed to a lumpy consistency to familiarize him with textures in addition to tastes. He has a voracious appetite and we joke that he's definitely a Scott when it comes to devouring his dinner, and it won't be long before he's following in his brothers' footsteps, I'm sure. He has his dinner when we do, and it's not at all uncommon for him to swipe something from our plates. Last week, he demolished two pieces of grilled baguette just before snatching my peach from my hands only to finish it himself.
I think it's a wonderful thing to be a winter-born baby. When it's finally time to eat, the very best foods of the whole year are abundantly available and in season. Every Friday morning, we visit the farmers' market and I pick up something that looks fresh and turn it into his food for the following week. At nearly six-months-old he's eating:
- Sweet Potatoes
This week, I'm introducing red lentils, apricots, and plums. Next week, I plan on adding chicken, cauliflower, and avocado to his repertoire. Don't worry, this isn't going to become an all-baby-food-all-the-time kind of blog, but I do think I'll share a few favourite recipes as I discover interesting flavour combinations he enjoys. I hope you won't mind.