Recently I have found myself getting frustrated at dinner times, having realised that I am not eating my food in a ladylike manner, let alone getting to chew or savour the taste. I am swallowing each bite before chewing! The reason for this is partially my fault, or maybe it’s no ones fault?
From the age of six months we began to wean Deeja onto solid foods, which meant we were spoon feeding her puréed food, and then as she progressed; we moved onto more lumpy foods, but still spoon feeding her. Now that she is ten months old, she still does not self feed, unless it is something that is not edible and looks tasty to a 10 month old, say for example a tissue roll. We have tried giving her food on a plate and placing it in front of her, only to find the food splattered all over the floor, along with her water. The clean freak in me then begins to erupt and I give in within seconds of seeing the mess, so I begin to spoon feed her again. You see the problem there?
So now, every time we sit down to eat at the dinner table, Deeja will also join us in her high chair to sit and eat as a family. The thing is, every time I place a bite of food into Deeja’s mouth, I’ll also place a piece of food into my mouth, but…before I can even begin to chew my food… Deeja has already swallowed her food and is demanding another bite. So once again I place more food in her mouth, and without realising, I have already swallowed my food whole… without chewing or enjoying it. This cycle repeats itself every meal time, which means that I am not able to enjoy the food I have made, or enjoy dining out with a baby, instead I a, solely focused on feeding her and not myself. Then once she is full, she will continue to pester me by babbling loudly every time I try to finish my plate of cold food…just for the fun of it.
This cycle of swallow the food whole whilst it is hot, or eat cold food has been going on for while now. It turns out that I am quite the fast eater, I can even chug down hot tea by sipping super quick Just to get some caffeine down my system to keep me going a few more hours until bedtime. I may have destroyed most of my taste buds whilst chugging down hot tea, but in my opinion, it’s either drink cold tea that makes me gag, or have it nice and hot, just enough to keep me awake.
Not long ago, I was out for a quick lunch and catch up with a friend, this was of course without the baby. We decided to go to Handmade Burger Co, and ordered a Jalapeño burger with chips, topped with coleslaw. When the food had arrived, I had managed to eat a whole burger, chips and salad within five minutes. My friend had not even took a sip of her drink, yet there I was sat… with an empty plate. She looked at me very confused, and at the time may have just thought she’s probably starving from all the banter and walking we have done / had. Later that day, when I contemplated back on the events of the day, I was quite embarrassed to have pictured myself scoffing down a full plate of food as though I had been starved for over a decade. I didn’t even explain myself at the time because I was unaware that I was even eating so fast, even though I didn’t have Deeja around to nag me to hurry up.
It’s come to my attention that I am now a very fast eater, and may even win one of those food competitions because of the months of experience I now have under my belt. So sign me up people, I reckon I can become a big shot when it comes to speed eating! I have also realised, it’s time to let the clean freak within me go in hiding for a while, and to let the baby self feed… even if that means food being splattered everywhere, and me having to clean it all up. I will just have to deal with it, so I can finally chew my food again, and dine like a normal human being. Without looking like a scavenger.
Have you gone though is? If so, what are your ideas to help a child self feed?
Deeja & Mum