Heinz Baby Breakfast

I don’t usually feature anything food related on this blog as I save my foodie thoughts for Madame Gourmand but as I featured the Heinz baby breakfast range back in December 2013 on this blog I thought It made sense to talk about the range again on this blog.

Arthur used to love breakfast and usually started the day off with a bowl of porridge but for the past 6 months getting Arthur to eat something substantial at breakfast time has proved to be rather difficult.  Arthur has recently started eating Bananas again after months of refusing them which is positive and he is quite partial to a croissant but he really has to be in the mood to enjoy one.

heinz

We recently received the New Strawberry, Raspberry and Blueberry Muesli, the New Apricot and Peach Muesli as well as their 6 Cereals Breakfast Biscotti and Very Berry Porridge Breakfast Pots and Arthur dug right in as you can see by the photograph (there is a breakfast pot missing!)

I find both the porridge pots and biscotti a great time saver in the mornings, Arthur thinks the biscotti are a treat so he always has a big smile on his face when he is handed one at breakfast time, he has been know to snap them in half and crumble them so you have to watch him like a hawk when he has one in his hand.

biscotti

Heinz Six Cereals Breakfast Biscotti are finger biscuits specially made for children, with six baby-grade cereals (Wheat, Oat, Barley, Rice, Corn, Rye) and fortified with vitamins and minerals including iron which supports healthy cognitive development.

The porridge pots contain calcium for strong bones, iron for healthy brain development and are 1 of your baby’s 5 a day.  The porridge pots come in the following flavours: Creamy Oat Porridge, Banana and Apple Muesli and Very Berry Porridge, they contain no added sugar, artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, they do contain dairy so will not be suitable for some diets.

The muesli in my opinion is delicious, I make it with warmed whole milk and to check the temperature I have tasted the apricot and peach one and it’s really yummy.  Arthur does like to try and eat this himself to I tend to make it a little thicker than if I was feeding it to him so it stays on the spoon.  The two flavours of museli that we tried are suitable for babies from 10 months and contain 12 key vitamins and minerals including calcium & vitamin D to support healthy bone development. The apricot & peach muesli contains the equivalent of 55g fruit per 100g which gives the equivalent of 3 teaspoons of fruit per serving.  The strawberry, raspberry & blueberry muesli contains the equivalent of 46g fruit per 100g which gives the equivalent of 2 teaspoons of fruit per serving.

Heinz breakfast range can’t be faulted in my household, I’d love to see a range of cereals for toddlers too that would double as snacks in the future.

 * I received the products mentioned free of charge to review from my own perspective. All words, experiences and opinions are entirely my own*

What do you do when your child is choking?

I feel I need to get something off my chest, I’ve only told a couple of people about an incident that happened in July, I was left scared and traumatised by it and I really hope it doesn’t happen again. I hope that by sharing my story I get some release and stop dwelling over what happened meaning I can move on.

It was a Saturday lunchtime and we had decided to get lunch in town rather than go home so we picked a local gastro pub which we had heard good things about, they had a highchair and were child friendly so it sounded like a perfect choice.

I always pack a piece of fruit and a couple if snacks for Arthur as he associates sitting in a high chair with food NOW so once we had ordered I got him some fruit out of his bag and started to feed him his grapes.

Arthur has been following baby led weaning since he was 6 months old and quite happily munches on anything and everything, if something is too hard or chewy he will attempt it and if he’s struggling he will throw it down in protest.

He polished off his grapes in record speed so I started to peel his satsuma, for the past three months Arthur has devoured clementines, tangerines, satsumas and oranges so as you can imagine he got rather excited when he saw me preparing the segments for him.

He ate the first few segments like he always does and when I handed his next segment he started chewing and all of a sudden he was gasping for air, trying to cough but unable to, his face was going red and I shut down.

I’m his mother, I’m supposed to look after him, teach him how to do things, love him and most important of all protect him. I didn’t do any of these things, I froze. Only for a few seconds but still, I froze.

I dived to the button to open the straps so I could release him, I tried to put my fingers in his mouth to get the orange out so he could breathe. There was nothing there.

David jumped up out of his seat, scooped Arthur up and started smacking him hard on the back and within two seconds the chewed up orange and phlegm shot out of his mouth. He had a little cough and his colour returned to normal and he looked like nothing had happened as you can see in the picture below.

Madame G's lifestyle

I was a mess, an emotional wreck. I couldn’t stop shaking, I was freezing cold and crying. I kept thinking what would have happened if I had been alone? Would Arthur have stopped breathing? Would anyone have helped or even known what to do? Would an ambulance have got here in time if he didn’t bring it up.

It’s been over 2 months now since this happened and I’m petrified each time Arthur puts something into his mouth, every time he makes a gagging noise or coughs I think he’s choking, I’m cutting his fruit into tiny pieces which he hates and I’m staring into his mouth as he eats something to make sure he isn’t taking too much at a time.

Some people will think this is trivial and something I shouldn’t still be dwelling on which is fine, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I just can’t move on from the fact I feel like I have failed as a mother. The one job I signed up to do when I brought Arthur into this world I have failed at. I couldn’t help me son when he needed me. I won’t forget the look in his eyes when he was gasping for air and staring into my eyes and I did nothing. When he is playing and he comes over for a cuddle, holds my face and stares into my eyes I wonder if he’s looking at me wondering why I just looked back when he wanted my help, why his father had to help him and why I crumbled.

I panic daily about it happening again, I hate feeding him when I’m alone, I wonder if David trusts me to act accordingly should something happen again. Would I act differently if it does happen again? Will I be able to remember what to do?

I hope none of my readers have to go through this but as toddlers have a knack of finding the smallest of objects you have forgotten to put
away I thought I would share some tips I found on the NHS website. If any of my readers have experienced something similar, how did you deal with the guilt? Does it ever go away?

What to do if your child is choking

If you can see the object, try to remove it. Don’t poke blindly with your fingers. You could make things worse by pushing the object in further.
If your child is coughing loudly, there’s no need to do anything. Encourage them to carry on coughing and don’t leave them.
If your child’s coughing is not effective (it’s silent or they can’t breathe in properly), shout for help immediately and decide whether they’re still conscious.
If your child is still conscious but they’re either not coughing or their coughing is not effective, use back blows (see below).

Back blows for children under one year
Support the child in a head-downwards position. Gravity can help dislodge the object. It’s easiest to do this if you sit or kneel and support the child on your lap.
Don’t compress the soft tissues under the jaw as this will make the obstruction worse.
Give up to five sharp back blows with the
heel of one hand in the middle of the back between the shoulder blades.

Back blows for children over one year
Back blows are more effective if the child is positioned head down.
Put a small child across your lap as you would a baby.
If this isn’t possible, support your child in a forward-leaning position and give the back blows from behind.
If back blows don’t relieve the choking and your child is still conscious, give chest thrusts (see below) to infants under one year or abdominal thrusts (see below) to children over one year. This will create an artificial cough, increasing pressure in the chest and helping to dislodge the object.

Chest thrusts for children under one year
Support the baby on your arm, which is placed down (or across) your thigh as you sit or kneel.
Find the breastbone, and place two fingers in the middle.
Give five sharp chest thrusts (pushes), compressing the chest by about a third.

Abdominal thrusts for children over one year:
Stand or kneel behind your child. Place your arms under the child’s arms and around their upper abdomen.
Clench your fist and place it between the navel and ribs.
Grasp this hand with your other hand and pull sharply inwards and upwards.
Repeat up to five times.
Make sure you don’t apply pressure to the lower ribcage as this may cause damage.
Following chest or abdominal thrusts, reassess your child as follows

If the object is still not dislodged and your child is still conscious, continue the sequence of back blows and either chest or abdominal thrusts.
Call out or send for help if you’re still on your own.
Don’t leave the child.
Even if the object is expelled, get medical help. Part of the object might have been left behind or your child might have been hurt by the procedure.
Unconscious child with choking

If a choking child is, or becomes, unconscious, put them on a firm, flat surface.
Call out loudly or send for help if you’re on your own.
Don’t leave the child at any stage.
Open the child’s mouth. If the object is clearly visible and you can grasp it easily, then remove it.
Start CPR
Don’t poke blindly or repeatedly with your fingers to try to get the object out. This can push the object further in, making it harder to remove and causing more injury to the child.

Silence Is Golden…

“I don’t like that tone of voice lady, why do you use it when I’m trying to have fun? I was only hitting the TV with a broom! I’m just going to do this cool thing I’ve learnt so I don’t have to hear you talking.” Arthur 18 months old

fingers in ear not listening

 

Greenfingers

greenfingers

 

I’ve just this minute sent off an email to enquire about getting an allotment which I’m a little bit scared about but also a little bit excited.  In the town where I live there are 5 allotments 4 of which are within 10 minutes walking distance to my house however the waiting list for 3 of them is huge and when I say huge I mean you could be waiting over a year for a spot which is just too long for me as my green fingers are getting itchy.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the membership secretary offers me a plot, I have lots of ideas about what I would love to plant and I’m excited about taking Arthur with me and letting him run around outside while getting his hands dirty.

When I was growing up my grandfather always had an allotment, it was huge with a big greenhouse at the top, rabbit hutches to one side, ducks, chickens and a huge vegetable plot.  I would spend my Saturday mornings feeding the chickens, taking water from a big drum to water the vegetables, collecting eggs and picking weeds and when we were finished we would stick the portable gas fire on in the greenhouse and have a cup of tea and sandwiches.  My memories of working at the allotment are all amazing and I really want to be able to share something similar with my children.

It’s not just memories I want to make don’t get me wrong, I also can’t wait to eat the fruits of my labour.  I’m looking forward to planting lettuce, cabbage, carrots and broad beans, currants, beetroot, sprouts, garlic and potatoes, leeks and onions.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this particular allotment allows chickens as the thought of fresh eggs is very tempting and I may get some real baking inspiration.

I will keep you all informed on my progress, don’t forget to keep your fingers crossed for me that I get a speedy reply.

Recycle, Upcycle, Reuse

We don’t get to visit our extended family very often, I’ve visited my Aunt twice this year and each time it’s taken until we were just about to leave for Arthur to come out of his shell and act like his normal joyful self.

During our January visit Arthur would not go down on the floor until my Aunts two boxer dogs had been put outside in the garden, to a 10 month old baby they were huge monsters who wanted to eat him when in reality they wanted to lick him until they couldn’t lick him anymore.

Once the dogs had been put outside Arthur took a shine to one of the dog beds which closely resembled our sofa, I think Arthur thought it was a baby sofa as it was the perfect size for him and he was in his element sitting on it.

Last week we visited my Aunts new house, she only has one of her boxer dogs as the other sadly passed away a couple of months prior to our visit and just like the first time Arthur didn’t want to be near the dog.  The dog had a new bean bag bed which Arthur didn’t seem to find as comfortable so he spent his time commando crawling underneath a coffee table instead just to taunt the dog.

When we were due to leave my Aunt said she had remembered how much Arthur loved his baby sofa and as her dog now had a new bed asked if we wanted the old one to take home (it had been washed).

After a spray and wipe with some sanitiser spray Arthur now has his own upcycled sofa just like mine.

baby sofa Toddler Sofa

 

Who would have thought a dog bed could keep a toddler not only comfortable but quiet! He sat for ten minutes straight reading his book (before getting up and throwing it across the room in true toddler style).