Monday, May 11, 2009

Oliver update

Feeding the Popper solids got off to a very slow start, but he is at last showing marked interest in our food. (On a side note, I have noticed a big increase in my own milk production over the past couple of months since he has been getting 90% of his nourishment from me and is growing so big, and since I have been eating so well!). We tried the pureeing thing, and freezing mashed food in little ice cube trays and then thawing them out, etc. The food really doesn't taste good like this, a little sawdusty no matter how good it tasted fresh, and I can't blame Ollie for not being too into it.

The newest thing, though, (which seems to work really well) is to chew a bite of food for Oliver and then put it in a special little bowl for him and feed it to him with a baby spoon while I eat my own meal. This is not the most elegant dinner-table practice, but it does allow for easy preparation of an appropriately-small quantity of food and also provides a digestive boost in the form of enzymes from the parental saliva. Oliver shows a marked preference for animal protein at this point, and has recently enjoyed pork breakfast sausage links, smoked venison sausage, breaded water buffalo cutlets, and artisanal raw milk cheeses (all from our local Greenmarkets or Abner Lapp's farm). He also likes soft egg yolks which I share with him when I make poached or fried eggs, and various fermented & cultured foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, olives, and kim chee. He enjoys cooked apple with cream on occasion, and sometimes mashed potato with butter or gravy or some other orange veggie with butter (carrots, yams, etc.). He will also eagerly eat sour cream from a spoon all by itself! Hugo and I attended Nina Planck's talk this week on 'Real Food for Mother & Baby' where we learned about an interesting experiment done several decades ago where older babies were allowed to feed themselves anything they wanted, as much as they wanted. The babies seemed to know intuitively what they needed: one drank cod liver oil until he was cured of rickets; another ate large quantities of sea salt and then stopped when he no longer needed it. It was quite interesting to learn this. Of course babies also have natural appetites for unhealthy sweet foods which we can't really indulge in this way since they don't realize these foods are bad for them (they were not available in the experiment), but since Oliver shows a preference for certain healthy foods I am allowing him to eat them. He enjoyed asparagus-ramp-spinach quiche this week, and some asparagus-white bean soup; he always likes having a little raw milk ice cream occasionally, and of course he still has the daily high-vitamin cod liver oil in raw milk.

At our 9-month-old checkup on Friday we found out that Mr. Popper now weighs 19 lbs. 6 oz. and is 28.2" long! He has also never been sick (one episode of teething fevers aside) and is a strong, happy, and hearty little boy. We are very proud. :) And also very glad that our efforts to keep him healthy and well are paying off so far...