Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Baby-led weaning, Asperger's and a fussy little so-and-so

Boy Three has announced his intention to move on from a milk-only diet. He did so by waking up in the early hours after months of entirely predictable night-long slumber. He also started kicking up a hullaballoo whenever anyone else was eating, only silenced by something to slurp at.
Baby Led Weaning seems hugely sensible – let them do it themselves, learn something, refine motor skills and develop a healthy sense of gastronomic adventure. However, Boy Three doesn’t seem keen to wait another six weeks or so until the digestive L-plates can come off so, meantime, it’s on with the spooned-in slime.
BLW’s philosophy that babies are people too and there’s no good reason why they’d prefer to eat bland, slippery slop just because they haven’t got any teeth yet makes perfect sense.
Food is one of the things that makes being human so fabulous – not just the myriad tastes, textures, smells and colours, but the sociability and the kitchen alchemy too.
I always imagined my children would approach their meals with gusto and that we could explore the world on a plate together. After all, cooking is probably one of the things I’m better at and tasty cuisine a real passion.
So, it’s long been a disappointment that Boys One and Two like nothing better than fishfingers and pizza and just aren’t much interested in anything else.
Typical of kids with Asperger’s Boy One is just a bit strange about food – it is fuel and there are rules and that’s that.
For example, food is neither green nor sloppy and one can’t eat the ends of things.
Until I figured out that the rules had to be followed mealtimes were horrible – at one point the only thing he would eat was chocolate donuts and even then not if there were any other foodstuffs or diners within sight.
However, he’s got much better and, within the rules, will have a go at things – apples peeled are not green and cooked chicken is not sloppy.
But his brother, Boy Two, is the real frustration.
He’s not anywhere near the Spectrum – he’s an astute and formidable communicator who zips through most aspects of his life.
At first I let the diet of nuggets, fishfingers and chips go – it seemed a little unfair to make him eat mince and curry while his brother got stuff in breadcrumbs. Not to mention the inconvenience of two lots of cooking.
I studiously ignored his refusal to eat the ends of his sausages and – unlike Boy One – how he always finishes his chips, ends included. He’s seven now and I was sure that, sooner or later, he’d cotton on to the fun of the feast.
But I was wrong, how he’s worse than ever - picky and fussy and only wants kiddy food awash with ketchup.
Have I got to give up on my dream of family meals where plates are licked clean and new tastes explored?
Do I have a second chance to get it right with Boy Three and the BLW or will he follow the same, dull, nutritionally deprived route as his brothers?

1 comment:

  1. Ellen, I did BLW weaning with Cara and it did what it says on the tin. Until she went to nursery and now she doesn't like sauce (yuk), vegetables (yuk), food that's for boys (can be very random). But I did get a couple of years of being able to smugly say I had a great eater and put it all down to BLW!

    JoA

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