I actually have had a really fun time of feeding Leo actual food and thought I would share a little bit about how we got to this place and what we're doing here.
How we started: Baby Led Weaning
I'm sure you've heard of this technique and after looking into it, Joel and I both felt passionate about the theory behind it (in summation, let your baby do the weaning ((of milk)), and try and stay out of the process).
We both read the book and when Leo was 6 months, 1 week we started to give Leo a few avocado slices to play with. We started with 1 "meal" a day, and for a month it was basically play time. Sometimes he would land a banana into his mouth, sometimes Roscoe would get an extra snack, and most of the time it ended up caked into his clothes. We have since become wise and try to eat naked.
Around 7 months, I started to introduce some Plum purees into the mix. I would often serve them with a food that I felt like was soft enough for Leo to mush on, but not hard enough where I was constantly concerned about him choking and gagging.
At this point, I was trying to have 2 "meal" times a day, but still not concerned at all by quantity. In the beginning we considered meal times more of an opportunity to explore, play with textures, and taste different flavors. Bonus points were awarded if something was consumed.
When Leo masted the pincer grib, I think right around 8/9 months, the game changed. He wanted nothing to do with purees, and started to become a legit eater.
Right around that point, we were up to 3 meals a day and we dropped our 4th bottle and introduced a snack. Now, Leo feeds himself most of the time - unless spoons are necessary, and the little 11 month old that he is can have days where he eats more than I do.
The last 2-3 months have been a blast. Leo's a great eater and we have fun finding new foods for him to try. For the most part, he eats what we eat - only in a deconstructed (and bite size) version.
What We Use:
placemat : Love this
lobster chair :This is a must have for us. It's super easy, portable, but is obnoxious to clean.
plates: dishwasher safe, I like that ours are white, and are stackable. They're a little pricey, I wanted a simple plate that divided out portions well. They make it easier for me to feel like I'm building a healthy meal for him.
cups :for whatever reason, Leo decided these are his favorite. They leak everywhere but the straw was the first thing he caught on to and they've stuck.
utensils:I was told these are the best. They're a little big for Leo now, but apparently they're nice to grow into.
What He's Eating:
For the most part, like I mentioned, he's eating what we're eating. Sometimes he will eat everything on his plate, sometimes he will eat nothing.
Breakfast - Easy go-to's for us are frozen whole wheat waffles, hard boiled eggs, Ezekiel toast, oatmeal, and lots of fruit!
As far as dinner is concerned, I try to keep the fruit at bay since he gets a lot of fruit during the day. We try and stick to veggies and proteins and then depending on what the earlier part of the day included will serve a carb or dairy product too - or whatever he will actually eat, which lately includes anything that's white.
And I know the tide on "picky eater"ness can change overnight, but for now, we are trying to shove as many vegetables and flavors down his throat in order to try and give him half a decent foundation for solid nutrients!