Food Obsession

food redacted

I’m starting to worry about Punkie and his apparent obsession with getting solid food.  The older babies at day care sit down for solid food three times a day – morning, noon, and late afternoon.  Punkie gets finger food one time per day – usually fruit, Cheerios, and/or puffs.

Some of the older babies are mature enough to sit at a short baby-sized table, rather than in high chairs.  Punkie is not one of the babies at the table – he’s only 8 1/2 months old and not ready for that.  The “older” babies are closer to 12 months old.

But I’m told that he now crawls over, pulls himself up into a standing position next to the table, and STEALS FOOD from the other babies.

Really?  I honestly don’t know how to work through this one.  I can’t talk to Punkie about it, obviously – he’s 8 1/2 months old.  Day care is pressuring me to allow them to feed him solid food three times a day, but our pediatrician advised that we shouldn’t increase solid food until he’s 9 months old because an increase in solid food means a decrease in milk and milk should be his main source of nutrition at this age.

At home, he isn’t ravenous and he doesn’t try to steal food.  He doesn’t even complain when we’re a little bit late with his bottle.

And I’m wondering – does this mean that he’s overly susceptible to peer pressure?

I guess we’ll just have to work through it until I can talk to his pediatrician about his diet.


Finger Food

Punkie is officially a finger food kind of guy now.  We had practiced at home over the past week and he was doing pretty well getting the food from his tray into his mouth, although the pincer grip is still a challenge.  Mainly, he puts a food item into his hand, grips it with his fist, and then mashes it into his mouth.  It’s insanely cute.  And he works very hard when he’s eating his finger food – his little forehead crinkles and he sucks in his bottom lip as he picks up the food.

I thought I would give him some more time to practice at home before sending finger food to day care.  He’s 8 months old and our pediatrician advised that, if we increase his solid food too much, he might not get as much milk and it’s too soon to cut down on the milk.  In fact, my husband and I disagreed about this for the past several days – he thought I should send finger food to day care and I wanted to wait a few more weeks.  Why rush him, I thought.

But Punkie had become a food scrounger.  He was waiting for the older babies at day care to start eating their solid food and then he’d crawl over and eat the food they dropped.  When the teacher in his room told me this yesterday, it broke my heart.  The poor little punk is so excited about eating solid food, he’s willing to sit under chairs and take what falls.  She said they had to put him in the exer-saucer to keep him from crawling over to scrounge for food, and he would cry.

So I sent some finger food to day care today – bananas.  I stopped by to visit him this morning (I was hoping to catch him napping – the teachers keep swaddling him and I don’t want him swaddled anymore) and found him in a high chair (next to a couple of other babies in high chairs), wiggling and grunting with happiness, and shoving chunks of banana into his mouth.  He was so happy.

I really didn’t expect the peer pressure to begin this early.  He can’t even talk yet, but he wants the same Cheerios or whatever else the other babies get.

My heart gushed when I saw him so happy.  And my brain reminded me that I now have to produce a care package of finger food every morning.