Little One screws up her face in apparent disgust at this strange substance being inserted into her mouth on the end of a long plastic implement. "What is this?" I can almost imagine her thinking.
The spoon is removed and she starts smacking her lips together, investigating this new taste and texture. This looks more positive; she seems to be savouring it. Well, who wouldn't like prune puree? Although, to be honest, I'm not sure what the exact ratio is of puree inside her mouth to puree around her mouth.
And that was Little One's introduction to solids. When I say solids, I mean purees. Around a month ago, when she was about four and a half months old, our pediatrician, a friendly older doctor who bashes out prescriptions on a little typewriter and is keen on showing us percentile charts every time we're there, recommended that we start to give her prune puree because she had been a bit constipated since making the transition from mostly breastmilk to mostly, and eventually exclusively, formula milk.
She started with the prune about a week before I started my new job. Not the best timing, I thought, and was worried about how it would work out (this amongst many other things) once I was working. As it happened, all went smoothly; Monday to Friday, my mother-in-law looks after Little One until I get home at about four; she drinks her milk and eats the puree enthusiastically, usually after her second bottle. No problems.
I've been giving her baby food from a jar (Gerber - here in Mexico, they use the brand name as a generic name) because when I looked at the ingredients, all it contains is prune puree and water, so there seemed no point in making life more complicated than it already is. The second stage Gerbers are different, I don´t know why. I don't want to feed her those as they contain a lot more added ingredients, including sugar and modified corn starch (WHY?), so once she gets to this stage, I think I'll be making much more of her food myself.
After a month of prune puree, as the doctor prescribed, her digestive system seems to be normalising, Last week, we tried her with apple puree, which she also enjoys and savours every mouthful. Once, husband tried giving her some mashed-up papaya, but his mother told us it wasn't pureed enough, the baby was too young and could choke on it. Yesterday, Little One tried mushed banana for the first time. She couldn't get enough of it.
So that's been her experience with food so far.
When I started writing this post (probably about two weeks ago) I was wondering whether I should feel bad about feeding Little One mostly purees from a jar instead of making them myself. Now I realise that even spoons could be controversial.
I'd heard the phrase baby-led weaning, but I didn't know anything about it. Then I came across this post from Zena's Suitcase, plus all the comments, which sparked my curiosity. So I had a little investigate on babyledweaning.com, which was quite informative and friendly-sounding. Diary of a first child also has some useful information.
Little One is still not six months old yet (although nearly), and I would feel quite wary about giving her actual solid food, although the idea of her grasping a piece of papaya or steamed carrot or something like that and feeding herself is quite appealing. It's something I'd like to try in the not-too-distant future, once she is able to sit up on her own. When I do I'll let you know how it goes.
I'm starting to collect some interesting pages and food ideas on pinterest if you want to have a little look.