I shamelessly enjoyed feeding Baby Y purees for the past few months because they were so easy. Fail me in Responsible Motherhood 101 if you must, but we’ve been buying him baby food at the store (organic, though!) shoveling it in his eager, gaping mouth, and calling it a day with solids.

I introduced his first finger foods – run-of-the-mill baby puffs and Mum-Mums – a couple months back, but they were always more of an after-puree bonus or a diversion at restaurants. In the past month, though, I’ve stepped up my game. Baby Y was doing well with the limited non-purees he’d been given, and he was sprouting a mouth full of teeth (7 at last count) to help assuage my fears that he’d choke.

Banana and pear for breakfast.

To say that Baby Y has enjoyed feeding himself is an understatement. In fact, he has started rejecting purees. In the past couple of weeks, he has started showing his distaste in the following ways:

  1. Clamping down on the spoon so hard that it takes me 30 seconds to wrench it from his mouth, only to do the same exact thing with each bite. As you can imagine, it makes for one slooooow meal.
  2. Spraying the puree through pursed lips all over his highchair and whatever I happen to be wearing. (I thought this was cute the first couple of times … until I realized that he was doing it on purpose. Sigh.) The thinner the puree, the higher the risk!

Funnily enough, even though I liked purees because they were “easy,” it turns out letting Baby Y have table food is even easier! Aside from what little preparation may be necessary, now I simply get to drop some food in front of him and watch him go. No more hovering over him with a spoon. I’ve also found that as long as the food is fairly soft, I don’t have to go overboard tearing it into tiny pieces – Baby Y is a champ at tearing, chewing, and gumming things.

The table-food revolution is also making restaurant eating way more fun, as Emily noted in her excellent post on baby-led weaning. At breakfast the other morning, Baby Y noshed on some of my pancakes; at lunch, he had some steak, brown rice, carrots, spinach, and tortilla. (He is also making our meals more expensive – we leave such a huge mess that we feel it's prudent to be very generous tippers).

I know many babies who are great, indiscriminate eaters go on to be picky toddlers, so I’m mentally prepared for that possibility. But I am holding on to a shred of hope that Baby Y simply got his dad’s genes when it comes to eating. There are very few things Papa Y will not eat, whereas I am still a bit picky. I somewhat blame my parents for this – they passed their meat-and-potatoes worldview on to us kids, though I am much more adventurous than I used to be. So I recognize how important it is to offer a wide variety of foods to Baby Y and show him we mean business by eating that way ourselves, too. (I’m also hoping that modeling good habits for the kiddo will force us to eat more healthfully, which we are not the best at sometimes!)

If anything, my concern now is whether I should worry about portion sizes, because Baby Y often seems like he would go on eating indefinitely if I kept putting food in front of him. The other night, for instance, he had turkey breast. And cheese. And banana. And tofu. And squash! I should note that he’s still nursing at least four times a day (and sometimes 1-2 times a night ... though the past couple nights he's slept STRAIGHT THROUGH. Knock on wood).

How did your baby do with the transition to table food?

Turkey and squash for lunch.