11 August 2008

Keep track of food introductions on the kitchen calendar

Danielle's "duh" moment will make life a lot easier for parents of new eaters:

This one may be super obvious, but I was having a hard time keeping a mental and/or written log of the new foods we'd introduced to our 9-month old. It was easy at first, but when we started combining foods and buying jars of combined foods, I couldn't remember what he'd had or whether we'd waited the three days to see if he was allergic. Then last night it finally dawned on me: write it on the calendar! It's on the fridge (near where we eat), it naturally has dates attached to it, and I can look back and see what he's already eaten if I'm in doubt.

Related: Let new eaters sample foods from the salad bar

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Ha! That's a great idea! I've been making homemeade baby food for my (Holy Toledo! How did this happen?) almost 8 month old, and I like to give her something different every day. About Wednesday, I can't remember what she's already had. I could use the calendar! We have a Google calendar for the week that gets printed out each week (for the dinner menu and various activities). Right by the fridge.

is this for reminiscing, or...?? I'm not familiar with the custom of recording meals?

Shirky, most pediatricians want you to introduce a new food, then wait three days to see if an allergy develops before introducing another new food. When things get hectic, it's hard to remember when you introduced a food and sometimes it's even hard to remember what food you introduced! Keeping this info on the calendar would be very helpful information to have for your pediatrician in case your baby did have an allergic reaction.

I was careful with Baby #1, but Baby #2 broke out in hives once. When the pediatric nurse on the phone asked me what he'd eaten and I responded with a list that started with yogurt but progressed to "and some roasted red pepper hummus and..." she cut me off and said to give him Benadryl and just contact them if it ever happened again. I decided that cleaning out the fridge with a nine month old might not be the best plan.

This is such a great idea. I was so fastidious about what my first child ate, paid some attention on the second, but now? Let's just say that my 9 month old helps me clean the fridge out on a daily basis. Oops.

Thanks for the tip! We're only trying one new food a week (as per my son's GI doctor), and we just started last month, so I've only introduced his 4th new food this week. It's easy to keep track of things now, but I can imagine how easy it could be to lose track when he's eating more stuff.

This is how I always recorded it, and I loved that it was visible to ANYONE - esp since my hubby keeps the kids on Monday evenings while I go out for girls night (yes, he's a keeper!). No more (well, almost no more) calls about what was ok to feed the baby! I also kept a comprehensive checklist on the side of the fridge with the entire listing of what foods had been introduced (checks by the OK foods).

We use the trixie tracker software for this (www.trixietracker.com). It's great because you can not only look at when and what new foods are being given to your child but you can see if it affects diapers and sleep patterns.

I kept this info in the blog I do about the kid for the family (sorta an online baby book). I just tagged entries with "beef" or "sweet potato" or whatever - that way I can do a search by tag if the issue arose of forgetting if she tried something. I'm sure they got bored with the minutae of her meals at the time but it was an easy way to remind myself. And searchable.

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