Recently, mealtime at our home is starting to resemble a scene from Oliver Twist.
“More. More, please?” “More hummus.” “More yogurt.” “More omlette.” Just “More.”
Though it is quite exhausting, our son has happily graduated to Real People Food (TM). We were understandably concerned about transitioning our little man from his baby food purees to new textures as soon as we got the green light from our surgeon. Considering all of his food was in liquid form until about a month ago, Alexander has warmed up to table food with incredible ease! We made a few attempts with soft foods during Alexander’s post-surgical healing to see if he would try to self-feed with his hands. His response was usually to try and use his spoon to scoop whatever was on his tray. We had our nutritionist, occupational therapist, and feeding therapist at the ready, and we counted down the days to a normal family meal.
You can imagine our surprise when a few weeks ago during lunchtime, Alexander looked at the falafal and tabbouleh on my plate– then back to his pureed turkey/sweet potato mash. He pointed his spoon at my plate, and tried saying “More.” At that point, the floodgate was opened. I figured though it was a little early for solids, I’d give the softer foods a try because he was so eager. He immediately ate most of my lunch, and then finished off his. I decided to continue introducing new foods to him, and now he’s expanded his new little palate to everything from eggs benedict to baked tilapia and quinoa.
Since then, Alexander has yet to refuse a food. I’m sure a good chunk of his enthusiasm is the result of novelty and sheer excitement of trying new flavors, textures, and smells. It feels rather surreal to sit down to dinner with Brian, Alexander, and I all eating the same thing at the same time. Though we’re still waiting to give him steak (ha!), he devoured almost a quarter of my banzai burger at Red Robin for his birthday dinner. For those of you who’ve shared a meal with us recently, you’ll attest to the passionate “More!” Alexander conveys, mostly through signing, for more of whatever food we’re willing to share. He enjoyed an entire slice of ice cream cake for his birthday, then longingly looked over at the remainder of my piece. It’s almost comical to watch him– while we don’t want him to get sick from overeating, I have NO IDEA where he’s putting it all. Clearly, this boy is making up for lost time and is in a growth spurt.
As far as feeding himself, Alexander is making great strides in utensil use. He’s able to scoop softer foods from a bowl on his own, and he makes short work of his beloved greek yogurt. We’re still working on him loading his fork, but he’s trying more and more to eat like a big kid. Watching him enthusiastically eating a forkful of salad– and returning it to us empty with the request for “More!” is really exciting. (In all fairness though, he has tried removing green beans from his fork a number of times and pretending like he’s chewing them, but he’s not very good at hiding them on his tray!) Though I’m sure we’ll have many dining-related challenges ahead, for now, it’s all “food, glorious food” to him!