Last Saturday, we started Arddun on real food.

Introduction to Solids. Otherwise known as the fine art of balancing nutrition with baby constipation. Goodbye 3-hourly feeds, hello sticky fingers and Wet Ones.

Suddenly, those weeks of hanging out on the high chair during meal times make sense. The high chair, it seems, has magical properties now. Sit in one, and absolutely fabulous non-milk things get placed in our mouths and then it’s party time for Tonguesville!

Arddun sat in an IKEA high chair, very much like her own, at the Coffee Club this afternoon while my mother and I enjoyed a quick respite. And she was almost indignant that she didn’t get offered a piece of bread or a spoonful of something mushy and divine. In just 10 short days, she’s learnt the joys of gastronomy and she cannot. get. enough.

I’ve always had every intention of doing both Baby-Led Weaning (for the psychomotor skills and self-feeding independence) and the traditional spoon-feeding (for the less-mess version when eating out.) And yes, Baby-Led Weaning purists do not condone purees and mixing it up with spoon-feeding. They also completely frown upon starting before six months. But after four straight weeks of staring longingly at us at the dinner table; after a few attempts at swotting at our spoons and the occasional sympathy-chew, we decided to end her misery and give her a pear on Saturday – just 2 weeks shy of her 6th Monthversary.

The faces she pulled made the cleaning up after worthwhile.

Immediate grab-and-bite resulted in much unexpected chewing and pulling of faces.
Arddun putting a strawberry half in her mouth.
Oookay... let's give this strawberry a go.
Arddun pulling a face while holding her strawberry half.

I know some books say we’re supposed to try a food item for four days before moving on to the next. But that all went out the window very quickly. Flexing Arddun’s tastebuds has become the new family joy and entertainment. And man, does she pack an appetite in that lithe little body. We’ve given her pears, bananas, strawberries, apples, sweet potato, carrots… she’s warmed to ground cinnamon and oregano, and she relishes chicken apricot and rice porridge with spinach and steamed snapper. But she ab-so-lute-ly inhaled the steak and veggie puree. Just lunged for it. I could not feed her fast enough.

But that grin – that sparkle in the eyes, that gummy, toothless smile and that angelic sigh of contentment was plenty thanks, I have to say. Plus, she’s also taken to voicing her enjoyment through a continuous commentary of “mum-mum”s and “yum-yum”s. I kid you not.

Needless to say, our daughter is NOT a vegetarian.

Best part? Bread. Will sit quietly and self-feed very happily for at least half an hour, which makes lunch time at nearby cafe possible and very enjoyable. Observe:

Arddun’s verdict: Bread good.