Thursday, December 10, 2009

DIY Baby Food


We started solid foods with Eliza a few weeks ago. I thought this would be great fun...I absolutely hated it. I had no idea how messy feeding a baby was. It gets everywhere. Eliza gets food in her hair, on her eyes, behind her ears. Everywhere. I'm sure this isn't news to any veteran mamas out there, but I honestly thought the food would just go straight from the spoon to her mouth. Silly first time parent! I also naively thought that Eliza would instantly like solid food, after all, she seemed interested enough in David and I's food, but again: Wrong.

A month later, however, and things are swell. We have our routine down: we feed Eliza when we eat, at the dinner table. Before we even started solids we would sit her at the table with us and give her something to chew on, usually a baby spoon, already making her part of our meal. Now, David and I feed her bites of sweet potatoes in between our own dinner. I've decided to try and make her baby food and I honestly think this has been so easy, which has shocked me. When we started rice cereal (which I did not make) I was sort of panicked that I wouldn't be able to find time to make her food, but I checked out the book, Feeding the Whole Family, which I think I saw over on Soule Mama at some point. The one thing I really took to heart from this book is for each of the recipes, it has an adaptation for 6 month olds or 10 month olds, which is really just telling you to set aside this or that and puree it for your infant. This got me thinking about how I can do this with any meal. So now if we are having pasta and salad for dinner, I am already chopping up carrots so I'll just set some chopped carrots aside, boil them and then puree them alongside all the other cooking we are already doing. In a snap there are five baby meals. Incorporating baby food making into the normal meal preparation has made baby food making much easier. I have done some baby food making (i.e. pureeing) at night too, but not anything painstaking. Very little effort, trust me. And I've pretty much decided to ditch all the baby food cook book recipes, except for the basics. Who has time to make gourmet food for your baby? Not me! I'm sticking to one or two ingredients, no more. Another thing that has saved time is I bought organic frozen vegetables to cook and puree. Since these are already washed and chopped, it saves me some steps and seems more appealing than jars of baby food to me (and is actually still cheaper than jarred food).

I think as Eliza's tastes evolve, I may need to invest in a food mill too, but I haven't yet researched how these work. Have any of you used one? The other thing I am not all to clear on is when I am supposed to increase Eliza's meals to more than one per day. We are still trying new foods, but lately it seems as if I could feed her at breakfast too, at least some of the time, but I've also heard you shouldn't rush things. So far she has tried only rice cereal, apples, bananas, sweet potatoes and carrots. Are you supposed to be out of the tasting phase before adding a meal? What did some of you all do?

4 comments:

Cat said...

Well, it was a while ago, so the details are fuzzy, but I remember giving him some solids more than once a day fairly soon after starting him on cereal. We also stuck to veggies for a while before tasting fruits in an effort to steer clear of sugary stuff. He never liked bananas at all, though, which is probably a texture thing, but he always love love loved carrots and green beans (and still does!)

Cheryl said...

I bet she's ready for breakfast! Can't hurt to try - just adds in a bit more time to the morning routine. And good for you to let her self feed so early. I think we were pretty regularly spooning it to her for the first couple months at least (!). good luck!

Amanda said...

Oh, we still feed her :) I've given her the spoon a few times and the food ends up all over...usually the floor or her seat. I do give her the spoon towards the end when there is just a little food on it tho

katie said...

Absolutely, we did lots of pureeing and food milling. Here's the food mill we used. http://www.onestepahead.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=1182&cmSource=Search

The crazy thing is that I just can't remember when we started adding in more meals...although what Cat says about it not being much after introducing the solid foods sounds familiar. I think it takes off pretty fast, especially considering it took 6 months to get to this point!

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