You know, baby led weaning has kind of found it's stride in our house. About 3 months ago, we stopped calling it weaning and just called it eating once Ace could walk up to a cabinet and pick out what he wanted for a snack. Once he began to open the fridge to imply he was ready for dinner-STAT. We were just humming right along into the almost a toddler stage (very scientific label) of eating when I realized I had not updated you about our progression. So, to remedy, a post for all you weaners about where we are with food.
Back in September (11 mos), Ace was becoming pretty comfortable with the process of eating. He handled food best when it was in big hunks that he could regulate on his own. He was just beginning to grasp the concept of the shot glass and didn't have great odds with getting the liquid in to his mouth. I hadn't found too much that he wasn't interested in trying: salad greens and sadly, avocados, although he will drink them in a smoothie.
From a year until 14 months he put down groundwork for advanced eating skills. Hand eye coordination picked up such that drinking and using spoons and forks because much easier- I didn't cringe each time I offered him yogurt or oatmeal! Cleanup after meal time didn't seem to take forever. This is the stage in baby led weaning where patience pays out. Sure, it was messy when we started and we wasted a bit of food if he played with it, or it got eaten by the dog, but now he emerges as a tidy little eater who usually leaves an empty plate behind. We can even go to the Dairy Barn and he knows how to eat an ice cream cone without dripping it everywhere- Champ and I are so proud.
(muffin, concentrating on pasta spearing)
By 16 months he was consistently in his high chair to share family meals with us, and at the weaning table for most breakfasts and lunches. It is a bit more difficult getting Ace to understand he needs to stay at the table until he has finished his meal; I think this might have something to do with being the second child. If Bear leaves the weaning table (I don't call it that in front of Bear by the way!) then Ace wants to go, even is he's not done. If he sees something at the window, he wants to investigate and then finish eating. The other difference this time around is that Ace does not always want to wear a bib. I can see his little brain working: he looks over at Bear, sees no bib and proceeds to tear his off. Oh the humility! So, I am trying to be ok with no bib unless it's a truly messy meal.
(oatmeal and mandarins)
At a year and a half he is not picky about his food by any means, but his taste buds tend toward his father's love of meat and starches. Champ loves that. The picture shows a pottery bowl and so here's what I have to say about his dishware: sometimes, I don't use any plates and just put the food on his tray; sometimes I use his wooden bowl and plate, but they have gotten cracked from being thrown a time or two; sometimes I use our usual dishes when I can keep an eye on him because he is pleased by it and he learns how to properly treat the dishes. And finally, on the dish note, Ace is learning to clear his place when he is finished and to help set the table before we eat. It can be a real help when I need just one more minute to get a meal on the table!