Save a Shirt, Eat Naked

Our twin girls are such messy eaters that I recently considered training our dog Miles to lick their high chairs clean. Ava refuses to wear a bib. As soon as we secure one upon her neck, she rips it off like a first grader opening his Christmas presents. To top it off, she swipes at her food as if her hands were a pair of windshield wipers.

Kaitlyn smashes her carrots with her sippy cub.  The mush ends up everywhere, in their hair, on their clothes, on the seats, and on the floor. Oh, bless the floor. “Here boy, come lick up this mess.”

I mopped the floor twice yesterday. So to save the floors and their cute outfits, I came up my newest solution: eat outside, naked. Problem solved.

baby eating
Kaitlyn swiping her chicken and Ava in the background.

People Food. At almost 10 months, the girls are right in the middle of learning to eat people food, a.k.a. non-baby food mush. I realize that hard work now will mean easier meal times later, but this is a challenge. It’s messy and time-consuming. I cook their meals separately than our adult food, because their little digestive systems aren’t ready to our seasoned palates.

Today’s menu consists of an appetizer of Cheerios, then on to unseasoned diced chicken, diced carrots, and diced french cut green beans. Unfortunately for the girls, I’ve run out food ideas. That’s what they have consumed pretty much every day this month. Until we get the doc’s okay, we’re having to avoid fruits due to acid reflux. See my post on that difficult journey.

Mom’s Best Buy. A friend introduced me to Walmart’s Great Value carrots.  They are already cooked, diced, and stored in individual containers, perfect for sharing for two. I was boiling my own carrots then chopping them up. These, I can keep in the pantry till it’s chow time.  Love this time saver. Thanks Faith for your suggestion!

QUESTION: Alright parents, I’m ready for your suggestions.  What first ‘people foods’ did you feed your babies.  Also, how did you prepare them?

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15 thoughts on “Save a Shirt, Eat Naked

  1. Hi, I so remember this time! I was mopping the floor all the time… Great idea with eating naked outside. We couldn’t do that here, but I did put them on a “eating shirt” closed on the back, with sleeves. I felt like cleaning all the time (the girls (hands, hair, ears!, etc.; sometimes I found even food in their diapers…; chairs, floors etc.).
    About the cooking, it was surely the most intense time…
    I didn’t give them anything salty or sweet until they were 1.5 years old, for obvious reasons.
    I also cooked their food separately, but sometimes I did cook all together and added salt etc. later on our plates. When they were 10 months old, they did eat a lot with their fingers, but started also to eat pasta (without salt etc.) with vegetable sauce etc. I gave them boiled carrotsticks, potatosticks (you just cut potatoes in slices and heat them in water). If you heat them together with the carotts and other vegetables (zucchini), the savours mix a bit and they might like it more. They often did eat ricecrackers (without salt etc.) or little omelettes (cut in pieces). Crackers for children were always in my bag when we were out and about.

    • Thank you so much. These are great suggestions. I will try the food shirt. I’m going to keep them away from sweets as long as possible, being that I don’t really like sweets myself. I’ll start them on pasta this week, and try the potato sticks and zucchini. I appreciate your comments. I intend to use them.

    • I’m glad you appreciated. I can also not-recommend rice… I found it everywhere (even in the diapers…). What about pumpkin cubes and potatoe cubes? My kids really liked that too.

  2. Hey Maya, I kept asking my dates to eat their diner with their tops off when we were eating at home to keep food off their clothes, but they always refused and got mad just as I was doing them a favor…go figure???

    You are doing such a super-duper job with the cutie pie girls! They could never have had a better Mom, and that is why they were wanting to be born so early, I think. As I was telling my younger sis, Jane, (www.thesweetery.com) about you, Maya is great at ALL she does.

    Your friend, Tim in Anderson, SC

  3. I am CONSTANTLY cleaning the floors!!!! My kids love wheat rotini pasta with a tiny bit of butter. I just cut it up and it’s easy finger food. Also, peas are great. If you want to introduce a bit of dairy I usually give pieces of cut up cheese or some yogurt. My twins also had reflux, but grew out of it around 10 months. They can pretty much eat anything these days including fruit. They especially love strawberries!

    • Thanks! I’ll try the wheat rotini this week. Then I’ll add yogurt and peas. Already doing the cheese. Glad to hear your twins grew out of the reflux. Mine will 10 months in a few days. I appreciate your comments and reading your blog. Cheers!

  4. My two eat naked too (when we’re at home!) Otherwise you can get these huge ‘messy eater’ bibs which are great (and machine washable – yay!) Have you tried things like sweet potato / yams (baked) and baby corn (steamed)? Also toast and scones (we make our own to avoid the salt/sugar in commercial ones)? There are some yogurts / fromage frais especially for which don’t have sugar in them, or you could try plain natural yoghurt (which my two actually like – I really don’t!)

  5. Haha, Love the title of this!

    Our son’s messy eating habits are a big reason we want a dog. I settled on a dirt devil instead. I can’t imagine the mess with TWO messy eaters! We are almost out of the mushy food – but still supplement with Gerber much when Avery would rather throw all his food instead of eat it.

    Some great finger foods that work for us are:

    Peas: although after he eats 2-3, he would rather just smush them.
    Toast: I think he likes how crunchy it is and feels on his teeth and gums
    Long Grain Rice: I tried white rice and he had a hard time picking it up so one night we gave him some of the rice we were having for dinner – long grain chicken flavored from a Lipton package – he LOVED it. Scooped it up in piles with his hands.
    Cereal: Great for snacking and easy to pickup – cheerios and Kix are our faves.

    Happy (messy) eating!

    • These are good suggestions! I will try the Lipton package soon. Yes, we too have a dirtdevil! ha! I’ve started the girls on peas and they love them. Although, I don’t serve them for dinner anymore because then they get a bowel movement around bed time. ha!

    • What other finger foods are working for your girls? Our little guy really doesn’t care for anything right now. I swear he goes thru stages where he eats and eats and eats… then he wants nothing to do with food. Ugh. Way to keep me on my toes…

    • I’m waiting for our “picky” stage, hear it comes soon. I received lots of suggestions for finger foods. Potato or sweet potato sticks – just boil them and cut them finger friendly shapes. Peas, diced carrots, rice, mac and cheese. Boiled cauliflower florets – I get the frozen ones, boil them, and put them right on their plates without slicing them. They love ’em. Boiled French cut green beans. Toasted whole wheat bagel. Cheerios – they have these with every snack. Meats – they like shredded chicken, pork tenderloin, roast beef, hamburger (i’ll brown it and set some aside for them before I season ours). What does your little man like?

    • Thanks for the suggestions – I’ll try some of them. Our little guy is a meat eater. He loves shredded chicken, sausage, hot dogs, pork. He will eat a couple peas but then he’ll just squish them. He recently likes grapes. I have the hardest time with veggies because if it’s squishy, he will just play with it. He has a thing about textures… if its squishy or wet (like mac and cheese), he will just play with it.

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