Friday, May 21, 2010

Baby Food Adventures

Ok. So we've been feeding Lyddie solid foods for about 2 months now, starting with the rice cereal and adding some fruits, and then some veggies. Even though I'm a feeding therapist, who specializes in helping kids learn how to eat, for some reason this feeding-baby thing has me mentally stumped! I have a hard time knowing what to try next, when to try it, how rigid and careful I really need to be... I almost always lean toward LESS cautious about things than the so-called professionals say to be, so we went ahead and started early.
I think what I kind of wish I had done was make a little list of the foods I want to give Lyddie and then just check them off once she's had them and they're "safe." Then I would just have a little food log of ideas when I'm running dry on ideas of what to give her once dinner comes.
I think it's also been a strange shift from just preparing food for us to also making sure she has something to eat and since she can't really eat what we're having for dinner yet, I find that once I'm almost done making our dinner I realize I still need to pull hers together.
On top of all of that, I prefer to make my own baby food and use the jars we have in the pantry as pure back-up, but I have slipped into the convenience of using a jar since it's already room temp and I don't have to thaw it.
But seriously, if I just got in the habit of pulling out the cubes of food for her from the freezer when I go in the kitchen to make dinner, I would feel happier because I would know exactly what she was getting, where it was coming from, and what was in it.
The baby food "meat" was a wake-up call for me on this and I realized how much I really want to stay away from the jarred baby foods for her. It looked, tasted, and smelled completely revolting, whereas a chicken breast that I have cooked and ground up strikes me as completely differently, since I know exactly what parts of the meat are included in the grinding process. If any of y'all saw Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution and saw him demonstrate how most chicken nuggets are made... that's exactly what this looked like. Like all the leftover parts of chicken run through a blender with some corn starch to make it grainy and thick. After watching that and having that mental image, there was no way I could feed her that muck.
So I retrieved my baby food cookbook from a friend to glean ideas on where to go next with Adelaide's food and am feeling rejuvenated to add to my stash of frozen baby foods some of the things I know she likes. I know she likes squash and we like squash, so that is easy - I can puree up some squash for her while making us some too... she likes carrots and that's easy, I always have carrots in my fridge.
The tricky part is planning foods for her that align with the produce I have as well - I am okay buying supermarket produce for her, I guess, but I would much prefer to train her from the beginning about eating what's in season. This forces creativity on my part and keeps us from the food ruts that are so common.
So as I type, the carrots are steaming and I'm headed in next to puree them and freeze them in my baby food freezer trays. I have some extra ground beef leftover from dinner last night that I haven't cooked up that I was considering as well, since I would like to start introducing meats. I think she's ready, she loves everything new we are giving her and enjoys things with a lot of flavor, so I'm considering trying that tonight as our new food...
I would make a sarcastic comment here about the "exciting life I lead" except I really do love being a stay at home mom and I do find these things exciting, challenging, and fun. These things are the reason that Jesse and I wanted me to stay home - so I could have the time to proactively parent the way we want to raise our children and run our home the way I want it run - not the leftovers that it received when I was working full time. I'm just not on top of it enough to do everything and this is our priority. We are making it work and I'm enjoying it.

Adelaide Renee, 6 months


  1. You are doing a great job and it is a lot of work but well worth it`

  2. Well, I am sure to sound sarcastic here, but jar food has fed generations of babies and are not quite the devil you might think they are. I say, go you!, if you want to make your own food, but if it becomes a stressful thing at this point in your life, use the jars when you need to and without guilt. By 1, you were eating all table food and all of it very rarely mashed up. I am guessing she will be the same way given her love of all things mommy! So, you are looking at only 6 months of this kind of cooking. And it is only 6 months of her eating life.

    It is not too late to make a check list either. The whole be careful thing is for the basics that you would normally feed a baby in the beginning---green beans, peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, pears, applesauce, bananas, peaches, apricots (your favorite when little by the way!), rice, oats, wheat, eggs, chicken and beef and pork and cheese.

    You also need to keep in mind that what looks and smells nasty to us, is not necessarily so for her. I am sure some of what is added to meat is to get it to a good consistency for babies who have texture issues in the beginning. Trust me honey--there is not baby food conspiracy--and look how healthy, normal and smart you 4 turned out! Believe my, by the time poor #4 Sam rolled around, there was no time for all the pre-planned and pre-prepared homemade baby food--and I was a stay at home mom. He basically was eating right off the table by 9 months (hated pureed stuff) and hasn't stopped eating since!!! ;)

    You are a great mom, with a healthy thriving baby girl!

    Love you!

  3. Hey! I hate baby food. But, I just blended like a batch of carrots or peas or what have you and froze it in ice cube trays-was not too bad. I never got too fancy.
    I also snuck in jars of baby food but my kids disliked pureed food and quickly went to finger foods, like toast and cooked diced carrots, cooked peas fairly quickly. (like 8/9 months)

    Jealous of your garden! Watermelon! Cool!