Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Got millet? Mill it. *

Ava's journey with solid foods continues. Today she had her first taste of cereal. Instead of buying commercial baby cereal, we choose to grind our own grains and make homemade baby cereal. It is ridiculously easy to do, it is much cheaper, it is far less refined than commercial baby cereal, and it really opens up the repertoire of grains. Processed, commercial baby cereals are only offered as oatmeal or rice; we choose to use a variety of grains instead.

The first grain for Ava was millet. She really dug it. For a baby who's not really into eating, millet porridge earns a 4.5 on the "Ava Likability" scale. (Range of 1-5, 1 being "yuck" and 5 being "no resistance, I'll eat it if I have to.")

Ava was also introduced to bananas a few days prior to the cereal event. When Liesl was a baby, I had one hard and fast rule with solids: Absolutely no spoon-feeding at breakfast. Mornings are crazy enough in our household without additional work, so I made it a point when Liesl was a baby to only give her "finger foods," things she would be able to pick up and eat with minimal or no intervention from Mommy and Daddy. The tradition continues--Ava gets pieces of soft banana diced into very tiny chunks placed before her. Her input is good--about 15% of what goes on the tray makes it into her mouth. Not bad for someone with very immature fine motor skills!

Besides waiting a few extra months, the only difference between Liesl's introduction to solids and Ava's is that Ava has entertainment during her meals. In the form of an older sibling. When you dine with Liesl, every meal is a party. Dinner and a show: You can't argue with that.

(* I acknowledge that the title of this post is a horrible pun and that I will be mocked.)

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