I thought feeding an infant strained and mashed veggies was messy, but finger foods are a whole different ball game. For the past few months, we have been feeding Hadley lots of mashed veggies, some mashed fruits, and lots of whole wheat cereal and oatmeal. About a month ago, Sean decided to throw caution to the wind and feed Hadley her first bite of "big girl food"-- a tiny, itty bitty crumb of a biscuit. You would have thought Hadley was eating acid by the look on her face. There was lots of gagging, choking, grimacing, and general drama by both Daddy and baby. Sean then declared that Hadley wasn't allowed to eat "big girl food" again until she was at least five years old. He just couldn't stand to watch her choke and gag on tiny bites of food.
So, I waited a couple of days and let Hadley try Puffs (little snacks that dissolve in baby's mouth-- they remind me of Cheerios) a few times while Sean was at work. At first, Hadley just played with the Puffs. She picked them up, clutched them in her little paws, and kept them there until I cleaned them out at the end of the meal. She tried to swipe her little hand into her mouth to eat the Puffs, but the Puffs rarely made it past her lips. After a few days, though, she managed to successfully transfer the Puffs to her mouth. And then, the fun began. There was more gagging and drama, but within a day or so, Hadley had learned to gum and swallow the Puffs. Now, she is a Puff-eating machine.
And, we are having so much fun experimenting with new and inventive table foods and finger foods that she can gum. Have I mentioned that my little star has no teeth whatsoever? Nope, not a one. That's made eating so much more interesting. In addition to vegetables, Hadley has tasted and approved cottage cheese, pancakes, dry wheat toast, plain oatmeal, cheddar cheese, mashed bananas, brown rice, refried beans, and her all-time favorite, mashed potatoes.
We went out to dinner last night with some of Sean's co-workers and since it was also Hadley's dinner time, we ordered her some mashed potatoes to accompany her veggies. The restaurant's mashed potatoes were very chunky, almost dry even, with a little bit of garlic thrown in. I wasn't sure Hadley would go for them. Until then, she had never had white potatoes and she certainly had not had anything with garlic. She loved them, though, and ate almost the entire plate. No one could believe she ate that many potatoes.
My first "real" food was mashed potatoes fed to me by my grandmother at about Hadley's age. I ate my grandmother's entire serving of potatoes and wanted more. Since Hadley is essentially Sean's little twin, I'm always happy when I find something Hadley inherited from me. I guess our love for potatoes starts early.