Weaning with a pre-schooler about presents new challenges to the first time around.
Gone are the days of baby and I discussing the news events of the day over a leisurely Weetabix, laughing and gossiping over a coffee and water, rice cake in hand and toast on the floor. Now on certain days we have to work to someone else’s schedule and having to be on the doorstep for pre-school at 9am means breakfast is no longer an event in itself but merely a means to an end i.e. getting enough food into the children to last them to snack time! Mess is more difficult to tolerate when you know the clean-up will take time and energy and there’s a temptation to give the foods I know will be cleaner and quicker and hence get us all out of the door sooner.
I have been having to remind myself repeatedly that my second child deserves the relaxed, exploratory, varied and messy new experiences with food that my first child enjoyed and it is my responsibility to provide this. It involves starting breakfast earlier than we used to, with my older child often joining halfway through as she only takes half the time. It involves a complete baby outfit change before leaving rather than faffing around with bibs and wipes. A strategic post-breakfast clean-up of the area by the dog then ensures the area looks slightly less like a supermarket cereal aisle exploded in our house, and buys me some time to clean with a bit of disinfectant when we get back.
Being a dietitian I’m a bit of a stuck record on the importance of breakfast as a good start to the day, especially for children, and so creating a relaxed environment where people have time to eat what they need, discuss any concerns or excitements for the day and generally get a chance to wake up and get going feels important to me. I hope we can continue in this pattern when I return to work, although I imagine this will challenge the system even further. I’ll worry about that in August though.
This post was originally written and posted in June 2017