We are one month into the food experiment with Theo and I wanted to give a little update about how everything's going. The short story is that Theo loves to eat! Shocking, I know. He has willingly tried everything and for the most part liked what he's eaten. He has gotten super-duper messy and it seems like he truly enjoys eating. In fact, don't strap him in his high chair and make him wait for his food because he will let you know about it.
In the first few weeks a lot ended up on him/the floor and very little was actually swallowed. But even in just a few weeks' more time he's figured out swallowing and has become quite adept using his pincher grasp. It has been so fun to watch him explore with food. Here are some examples of the foods he's tried.
Tomatoes (not a fan)
Bell peppers (raw and grilled)
Sugar snap peas
Frozen yogurt bites (homemade - was NOT a fan of the cold!)
Toast with cream cheese or mashed fruit
Pita chips with hummus
Rice cakes (does anyone like these things?)
In the beginning we started very basic. A piece of fruit, a graham cracker, some cheese. Once he started to show genuine interest, I'd try to give him a new thing each day. We worked through a lot of food pretty quickly! Then I started to do combinations of things, initially to help him eat the messier foods. For example, I'd give him a graham cracker dipped in yogurt. Or hummus spread on toast. After a week or so I bought some suction bowls (which sadly are not 100% effective) and would let him scoop yogurt or oatmeal out with his hand. Oh, the messy yogurt faces he has had! This week I dropped raspberries in his yogurt bowl and he gobbled them up!
He definitely has his favorite foods. He loves plums and will suck the flesh from the skin and spit that back out. He loves raspberries, grapes, graham crackers, hummus, and yogurt. You might be wondering how I know these are favorites, since he can't talk yet. These are the foods that when he sees me getting them out, he starts grunting and flailing until I put them on his tray. Like I said earlier, don't make the boy wait.
This method of feeding has proven to be very enlightening for me. Theo has tried food that Emmett has never once eaten. This is as much my fault as it is his, in fact probably more so. I never exposed Emmett to all these foods in the early days. I made my own baby food, sure, but they don't eat that mush for long. Once it was time for real food, he was hesitant to try it and I ended up wasting quite a bit of food. Over time, I grew tired of throwing away so much and just stuck to what I knew he'd eat. Very basic stuff. He is now pretty picky about what he eats and always makes a big deal about what "new food" he has to try. I'd hoped that he'd see Theo trying new food and think that maybe it wasn't a big deal, but so far all he can say is, "gross!" and "ew!" at the mess of it all.
My hope is that Theo won't have the same issues with food. I hope he is always eager to try something new. I hope he can encourage his older brother to try new things, too. We've got a long road ahead of us but I'm optimistic about the future!