Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mad Skillz

I was thinking about all the things that Sprout has learned to do since starting solid food & came up with a list of them all, broken down into basic components. I wonder if he'd be able to do these things or be as good at them if we were spoon-feeding him purees? (Any mamas out there who are not doing BLW who can report back on that?)

Here's what I came up with:

  • Picking up items & putting them into his mouth. (kind of cheating putting this on the list, as it was a prerequisite for starting solids, really)
  • Pincer grip (e.g. being able to pick up peas between thumb & forefinger)
  • Picking up slippery foods like avocado or mango
  • Grabbing smaller chunks in his fist & opening his hand to get them into his mouth (seems like this would be easy, but babies can't open their fists & let go of things intentionally for a long time)
  • Putting a spoon in his mouth (initially many spoonfuls went into his nose or ears, but nowadays he's quite accurate. Still mooshes the excess all over his lips & chin though)
  • Moving food around in his mouth with his tongue (rather than just bringing it forward by gagging)
  • Biting off pieces
  • Chewing food into smaller bits (still working on this one, but it's coming along)
  • Sucking on food/mushing it against his palate with his tongue to disintegrate it
  • Swapping food from hand to hand
  • Using a second hand to help get bigger items to his mouth
  • Drinking from a cup (when held by a parent)
  • Adapting to different textures & figuring out the appropriate 'technique' to use to eat each one

Still working on:
  • Holding the cup himself
  • Scooping up food himself with the spoon (at the moment we load it & hand it to him)
  • Dipping food in sauce (he's starting to get this)
  • Dealing with hard or chewy foods (he can manage soft stuff like overcooked broccoli, roasted yams, or crispy stuff that breaks down easily like rice cakes, dense fruit like pear & apple that take a little gnawing)
These days his main limitations are just that we haven't fed him certain foods yet, so he can't just eat what we're eating. We're waiting to introduce wheat, so far he's eating rice, millet, quinoa & barley. Oats are next. He's eating cheese & yogurt, but nothing unpasteurized. Nuts, shellfish, egg, citrus & other acidic fruits can wait until he's a year at least. Honey is also a no-no for a few months more, as is anything with added salt or sugar. So we're still not quite at the point where we just hand him chunks off our plate, but we'll be there in three or four months.

1 comment:

  1. Great list! We're just starting solids with our 6 month old, trying the baby-led approach (we tried a spoon once - she was not into it - and I can't see a good reason to feed her when she clearly enjoys feeding herself). So far I've seen her develop great skills at holding slippery foods and focused grasping. Not much going down yet :)


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