The trouble with weaning and the kid who loves broccoli!

The trouble with weaning and the kid who loves broccoli!

I remember a feeling of total dread when baby number 1 got to 5 months old and realising that just as I had mastered the art of naptime and breastfeeding I now had to start another process - the weaning process! 

My daughter loved night feeds and she'd never slept longer than 4 hours so when I was told that eating solids would 'help with sleep' I was on a mission to start fuelling her with nutrition other than my own, homemade breastmilk. 

Now - before I go any further I want to explain the root cause of my undoing and that is believing that myth. None of my babies ever slept longer than 4 hours until they were almost a year old, none of them were ever affected by food in the sleep department. But this much is true - FOOD IS FOR FUN in the first year!!

That was the nugget I never heard the first time around and to be honest, it really wasn't fun. I was so hung up on wanting her to be a great, healthy eater that it became an anxious task that saw me cooking for hours or trying to follow weaning books verbatim only to have everything spat back at me. I'd feel deflated, like a terrible mother and totally unsure of what to do. 

Child number one now has a very small diet and will only eat certain foods. Strangely she's never tried meat and can detect it without even looking. She won't try new things and as a result she's on packed lunches instead of school dinners. 

Child number two was massive and I started weaning him at 5 months but he developed constipation so I stopped and waited. Determined not to make the same mistakes, I cooked and froze less puree plain veg but he had a tendency to choke on more solid food (he eventually saw a specialist). Instead, he really appreciated very flavoursome soups and his Nnenna's jollof rice, but he wouldn't touch fruit. He'll drink any fruit juice under the sun but you can't get him to pick up a solid piece of fruit and eat it. I also still have to hide the veg in his food and this I really, really hate.

And then there is child number three who's now two years old. The kid who loves broccoli. Zero interest in a biscuit, she'd rather have a bowl of fruit. She'll request an entire plate of broccoli and finish it with an avocado chaser. FINALLY I'M THAT MUM!!! But how has this happened and what did I do so right??

The honest answer - nothing. I knew I couldn't control what would happen, so I let go of the massive concern and decided to go with the flow. She'd sit on my lap at meal times and pick at my food. I made sure I ate well and it became more social rather than just intensely watching them eat, her 4 year old sister would also help, and I simply just relaxed. FOOD BECAME FUN in the first year, and then it just continued. 

Of course, I don't compare the three and their diet, and I don't shame the other two for not having their sister's love of fruits and vegetables, I feel confident that my son won't be shouting 'I DON'T LIKE BANANAS' at me when he's 18 years old, things will sort themselves out and if in the meantime if I still have to creatively cover the spinach (by turning off the lights and pretending we’re doing some elaborate dining in the dark game - yes that happened) then so be it. 

I do my best and that is enough.