Eating on Vacation

We seemed to have backslid a bit with baby-led-eating while on vacation. This is mostly due to the fact that we ate a lot of meals in restaurants and I am loathe to make a mess in them. This might be my food service background rearing up or just a general sense of societal obligation. I don’t want to be the people with “that baby,” the tantrum throwing, food flinging nightmare that gives babies in restaurants a bad name. I remember reading a comment on a popular feminist blog that basically stated that parents with small children should automatically tip 30% to compensate for the assumed mess and bother that said child creates while out to eat. That is total crap. We leave less of a mess than many groups of adults. There is little to no food on the floor, we brush off the high chair and pack out our trash.

That said, I am not sure how much longer we can get away with supplementing with out own food. Mostly just cheerios, mum mums or puffs, but still when eating in a place that offers a kids menu, when to you really have to start ordering from it? Part of the reason we are able to stay to neat in restaurants is Spencer’s own pigginess. Even at home, when we care a lot less about what ends up on the floor, we can’t give him much more than a bite or two of food at a time or he will shove as much as will fit in his mouth, regardless of how much he may be able to swallow. Periodically, I test his limits by putting third piece of banana on his tray and invariably I end up pulling it out of his mouth when he has mashed them all together into a big unswallowable banana blob in his mouth. We are still working on the concepts of biting and portions.

The unfortunate result of all of this is that more often than not, it is easiest just to pop a bite of food in his mouth when we are out, or staying with a relative with cream carpet, for that matter. I normally do this either with just my fingers or a fork. He’s become quite good at taking bites off of metal silverware and I only poked him in the face once. But now that we are home, he doesn’t always want to pick up food off of his tray. Last night at dinner, he would pick up the noodles, but only eat zucchini that I hand fed him. I’m sure he’ll get back on track now that we’ll be eating more at home. I just need to focus on the positive: all of those restaurant meals meant he tried a bunch of foods, he might not have had the chance to try at home, like bison, char-grilled bok choy, great smoked turkey and some of the best bbq brisket I have ever had.

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