I've been going back and forth on whether to introduce a third daily meal for William.
William has been eating breakfast and dinner, in addition to his breastfeeding sessions, for some time now. We're down to four, occasionally five, nursing sessions a day, but William is eating a fair amount of food at breakfast and dinner. He typically has a big bowl of oatmeal or cereal plus a jar of fruit for breakfast. For dinner, he eats a jar of meat and at least one jar of veggies, sometimes two or else an extra jar of fruit.
But I can't quite decide if it's time to start giving him lunch or not. I've encountered moms who are serving their babies three meals a day, and I've also talked to moms who didn't introduce a third meal of solid food until much later. David suggested that perhaps I try giving him something like one serving of fruit or veggies for lunch, see how it goes.
I looked up a sample menu for babies William's age in our American Academy of Pediatrics book--the one with the reassuringly confident title of "The Complete and Authoritative Guide : Caring for Your Baby and Young Child, Birth to Age 5." For babies eight months to twelve months, it recommends the following:
Breakfast: 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cereal or mashed egg yolk, 1/4 to 1/2 cup fruit, and 4-6 oz of breastmilk (or formula)
(Check. We're doing good. Except that William gets his breastmilk an hour or two before he has his sit-down meal.)
Snack: 4 to 6 oz juice, 1/4 cup diced cheese or cooked veggies
(Snack? We're supposed to give them snacks already?)
(Editorial note: David's not big on giving babies lots of juice: too much sugar and extra calories. 4 oz a day, max. I don't even give William juice yet. He's had a little bit, diluted with lots of water, but he's not super-enthusiastic about it, so I rarely bother.)
Lunch: 1/4 to 1/2 cup yogurt or cottage cheese, 1/4 to 1/2 cup yellow veggies, 4 to 6 oz breastmilk
(We're waiting 'til W turns nine months old to offer yogurt. I guess the same goes for cottage cheese, although I hadn't even thought about that.)
Snack: 1 teething biscuit or cracker, 1/4 cup diced meat or cheese
(There they go with that snack again. Well, I know one thing: no more teething biscuits around here. I should have listened to my friends who warned that those Biter Biscuits are unbelievably messy. Boy howdy. I will probably let William finish up the box that we already have, but he's going to be naked or close to it before I allow him to eat them.)
Dinner: 1/4 cup diced poultry, meat or tofu, 1/4 to 1/2 cup green veggies, 1/4 cup noodles, pasta, rice or potato, 1/4 cup fruit, 4 to 6 oz breastmilk.
(Does that seems like A LOT of food to you, or is it just me?)
Before bedtime: 6 to 8 oz breastmilk or formula, and don't forget to wash your mouth out with water or brush teeth afterward.
(We already know about the teeth issue here.)
Of course, W is on the young end of the age spectrum for that menu, so we haven't gotten to all the foods yet. He's a good eater, though, and he's even gotten over his early aversions to things like bananas and apples, so it's not difficult to find things to feed him at all. I just want to make sure I'm feeding him enough, you know?
Er, not that he looks like he's in any imminent danger of starving.