I often let Aed play with his food (and my food if I'm eating something he can eat).
This is only slightly hard for me. I’ll be honest.. His baby food grosses me out. I can’t even bring myself to taste it. I make the stuff for pete’s sake! I know exactly what is in it! But I can’t do it. Because when I puree it, it magically becomes baby food and really disgusting and squishy.
I don’t mind that he gets messy.. I just think it’s SO GROSS that it’s mushy baby food. I know. At least it’s not poop, you’re saying. Or boogers. Or any number of gross things I may find on his person in the years to come.
So I let him play with it. I encourage it, actually.
For example. A sunny afternoon.. Lunchtime.. Avocados on the menu (amongst other things).. Aed, not typically a picky eater, suddenly decides he does not like these avocados. Too green perhaps? Maybe too smooth? The boy certainly has a sensitive side.
Well, one thing that is hard for Mama to handle is wasting his food that I purchased in the raw and made with my own two hands.. Just throwing it on out, because we all know I’m not going to eat it! So, I decided if he wasn’t going to eat it, he might as well brush up on some other senses and touch it and squish it and rub it all over his face!
And that’s just what he did!
I am foreseeing some finger painting in the not-so-distant future! :)
You'll also notice the bowl and spoon are at the very edge of the tray.. as far from those little hands I can get it. I used to let him play with the spoons after he was finished, but as of late, he just gags himself over and over again instead of chewing on them, so we've stopped that habit! And he can have the bowl once it's empty, but man can that kid reach! And he doesn't just reach, he lunges :) Things aren't safe even at the edge of his tray anymore.
Aed’s highchair has two little toys on the tray (toys that are often covered with Mama’s attempts at not wasting food..). One is a giraffe, dubbed Gerard, and the other is a Zebra whose name is Zebedee (but we call him Zeb). While Aed does occasionally look at Gerard, he LOVES Zeb.
Can you see the love in his eyes? That zebra gets ALL the attention. And, the little avocado squisher has figured out that if he pushes on Zeb’s head, all the little beads dance around in his tummy.. How exciting!