Starting solids was a milestone met with some reluctance, and I have to admit that I am facing the prospect of giving Baby Champuru finger foods with even more trepidation. At least with rice cereal, we started out with a mixture that was so watery that it could hardly be called “solid.” Finger foods are definitely a choking hazard, no matter how you look at it.
On the other hand, it disturbs me that I am hindering Baby Champuru’s self-feeding progress because of my waffling over what type of teething biscuit to give her. The whole issue of teething biscuits have left me in a quandary. At Long’s, I couldn’t find anything on the shelves called “teething biscuits,” so I left the store and went back home to Google it. I found that Gerber makes some products called “biter biscuits,” but apparently, my neighborhood Long’s Drugs stores didn’t carry it. At Down to Earth, a local health food store, they carried products called organic “teething biscuits” but it plainly indicated on the front of the box that it was designed for infants 10 months and older. Perplexed, I turned to the Hawaii MomsLikeMe website and asked for their opinions.
One of the moms suggested Japanese rice crackers for babies, available at Shirokiya. They’re supposed to be similar to the Baby Mum-Mums (that many moms raved about), but they’re not made in China. Sorry, but I can’t bear the thought of Baby Champuru eating something made in a country that sickened their own babies with melamine in infant formula and regularly requires recalls of products that contain lead in the paint used on children’s toys.
So, I literally drove all the way to Shirokiya just to buy this package of $3.80 rice crackers. Of course, I found other things to buy along way: bento for hubby, musubi for me, Tim-Tams, and some Ba-Le pickeled daikon/carrots for my sandwiches. The rice crackers come in two varieties: one for babies 5+ months of age and the other for 7+ months. The major difference is that the 5+ month rice crackers are baked, while the one for older infants is fried. Also, the fried variety contains more ingredients, including different types of vegetable pureés that I haven’t yet introduced to baby’s diet – so I opted for the plain baked variety.
At first, Baby Champuru didn’t know what to make of the rice crackers. She studied it for a while, then started cracking them with her hands. The crackers are very brittle and easily break into pieces.
Eventually, she realized that they are made for eating and she started tentatively biting the pieces. At first it was okay, since the pieces (like the one you see in the photo below) were quite large, so she couldn’t fit the entire piece in her mouth. But she started biting off pieces and breaking pieces in her hands and shoving them in her mouth. Even though it dissolves quickly, it still made me nervous.
Then, she started choking a little. Nothing major, but I did a finger sweep to get the piece out of her mouth. As I tried to re-check her mouth for other pieces, she got upset at me and started trying to bite my hand! “Hands off my food, mom!”
Finger foods still scare the heck out of me. As for Baby Champuru, she seems to enjoy it — except when her mom sticks her finger down her throat. Can’t we just wait until she has a full set of chompers before she gets anything resembling real food?