Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Hashtag Merf - the first few days of solid foods...

We have survived almost 2 weeks of M eating solid food!
I've started calling her MERF (M Eats Real Food) and it's started to stick at dinner time. I've been labeling all her dinner pictures with #merf on instagram, and it makes me laugh reading it out loud!
Here's my little Merf during her first meal...

We are feeding her using the Baby Led Weaning approach, which has led to a lot of fun and a lot of messes! I know there are lots of mamas out there feeding their babies finger foods and skipping purees, we are certainly not the first! But I thought I'd share some of what she's been eating. Before we started, I looked at DOZENS of blogs that recapped babies experiences with BLW. It helped give me ideas for foods to try and some general tips. Here's what my little piglet has been eating so far...

Roasted Sweet Potato - cut into "fries" and drizzled with a little olive oil
Avocado - cut into strips
Roasted Pears - cut into strips, skin left on to help give texture
Roasted Zucchini - cut into strips, skin left on to help give texture
Banana - cut into strips or left inside the peel
Cucumber -  cut into strips, some skin left on to help give texture
Steamed Carrots - peeled large carrots and cut them into sticks for her

Another helpful piece of advice I read somewhere was to cut the food with a crinkle cutter. It helps give slippery foods a little more texture. We had one in a drawer that I got as a wedding shower gift almost five years ago and I've been using the heck out of it lately!  

This is definitely a learning activity for all of us! She usually shows some interest in the food on her tray and will play with it and eat some, but after 10-15 minutes, she's usually bored and wants nothing to do with it. She's eating very little at each meal, but that's entirely okay since she's still nursing 5-6 times a day. She's having fun exploring, and I want all three of us to enjoy meal times and not feel pressured to get her to eat a great deal at each sitting. We're letting her call the shots for now.

What should we introduce next? I'm hoping to try brocoli and apples soon!
What food(s) did your baby love?
How do I keep my dogs from gaining a million pounds?


  1. Oh my goodness, she is SO cute. I love the merf thing... I guess ierf doesn't sound nearly as fun. ;) We're also doing solids, but I've gone with purees, mostly because I don't know what to do with this whole solid food thing AT ALL. Totally winging it here, but things seem to be going just fine despite my ignorance! Isaac's favorite has been sweet potato, (also has had carrots, green beans, and peas) and I can't wait to introduce some fruit.

    1. Isn't it crazy that these babies are eating FOOD?! How did they get this big??

  2. I am dying to try BLW with Drew this summer. I think the problems we have with Trent and food all started with me doing purees for too long! By the time I was offering him table food, he had already developed a love of pureed stuff and it is a daily battle to get him to eat real food. MERF might be the cutest example of BLW and I love the nickname!! :)

  3. I had been wondering what exactly #merf meant! I am so intrigued by BLW and tell my friends with kids to try it? I think they think I'm a crazy since I don't have my own kids!!!

  4. hey rachel!

    i've loved reading (and rereading) your posts on BLW; i've been excited to try it with my baby long before i was even pregnant, and can't believe it's almost time - my baby will be 6 months next month. i have a few questions about your experiences if you don't mind...

    -when you started introducing solids to M, did you start with one meal a day? it was recommended to me to start with one, add a second after two weeks, then a third after a few more weeks, with the goal of three meals a day around meal time by 9 months. i see in your 10 month schedule (so helpful - specifics are so helpful to me!), she was at three meals plus a snack of solid food. i was wondering about when you started it at 6 months, and how it progressed from there?
    -were the large pieces ever an issue with M getting too big of a chunk in her mouth? i've read and understand the benefits of the pieces (and love the tips on leaving the skins on and using a crinkle cutter!), but a pediatric nurse yesterday said that she'd mash the foods rather than give pieces to eliminate the risk. my understanding is that the mashing takes away from some of the fine motor development, and is harder for the baby to get into her mouth than holding a strip. just looking for reassurance that the strips went well, i guess :).
    -did you skip over cereals completely? at my baby's 4 month appt (he didn't have a 5 month, so next time to talk to the dr face to face will be his 6 month), the doctor mentioned starting with cereals, and i hadn't done enough research yet on BLW to have much to say back about it. it seems like, from what i've heard, the cereals aren't needed with the variety of other foods. i'm also wondering, if you did cereals, if you left it just out for M to try and pick up herself so that food wasn't being fed to her (would run into the same problem, i'd think, as mashing the food...?)
    -did you always nurse M before a solid food meal? i've read to do it that way so that the baby is full and won't get frustrated or hungry while trying solid foods, since they're not consuming much of the food for the first while. the same nurse i spoke to, though, said that the practice she works in recommends nursing after meals so that the baby's hungry and more interested in the food. i'm worried about that approach also because i wouldn't want it to negatively affect my supply, since the majority of the baby's calories are still supposed to come from breast milk (or formula).

    thank you!!