Monday, October 4, 2010

Things I'll likely forget by baby #2.

Our Bug started eating solid food around 5 months old.  Back then, she looked like this:

(All the pictures in this post were taken via cell phone.  Sorry they stink.)

That's when I decided to begin making much of her food here at home.  It was something I had considered before she was born, and I was eager to give it a shot.

I don't have anything against store-brand baby food.  In fact, Bug enjoys crackers and other snacks from the store regularly because they are so portable. I just feel that, like nursing, making most of her food here at home is something healthy and cost-effective I can do for her.  Plus, despite how rarely I really do it, I really love to cook.  After a day like today, peeling and chopping vegetables is quite therapeutic. 

I started Bug out on simple veggies like sweet potatoes, yams, green beans, and avocado.  I'm sure there are fancier ways to prepare baby food, but I simply peel and boil the veggies, if needed.  When she was very small, I blended them in the blender to get them nice and smooth.  Now, a hand mixer or even mashing with a fork pretty much does the trick.  When I serve it to her, I generally mix it with fortified rice or wheat cereal to ensure she gets plenty of iron.

We have done our best to expose Bug to lots of different flavors.  As she has gotten older, we have slowly added carrots (gross, but healthy), peas, squash, cauliflower, cucumbers, and spinach.  We have chosen to add each new food slowly, letting her eat it for several meals in a row before introducing anything new.  When I prepare veggies for the first time, I've decided to boil them separately.  That way, if she has a reaction to one, I don't have to throw out all the other varieties I made that night.  Once I know she tolerates each of them just fine, I usually throw like vegetables in the pot together (ie sweet potatoes and yams).  Because of our busy schedule, I tend to make lots of food at a time and freeze it to use later.

Fruit has been easy to add to her diet, as well.  I generally don't prepare fruit ahead of time, as it is easy to mash up on the spot.  We started with bananas (which tended to, ahem, stop her up a bit) and applesauce.  We've also tried pears, peaches, and mandarin oranges.  After she reached nine months old, we got the go ahead to add yogurt, string cheese, and cottage cheese to her diet.  She's also tried black beans, olives (chopped), graham crackers, and several jams and jellies.

Not surprisingly given the size of her cheeks, we have not found much of anything she doesn't like.  Now she looks more like this:

After eating pasta and tomato sauce a few days ago and smearing it all over herself, she developed a mild rash on her tummy.  A bit of nervous-mommy googling revealed it was likely just from the high acid content in tomatoes.  Rumor on the street is that raw strawberries can also produce a skin reaction, so we have not given her those.  Tonight, I made her brocolli for the first time.  It can be hard on little tummies, so we waited a bit longer before giving it a shot.  I also mixed it with some simple white sweet potatoes (which she loves) to hopefully make it tummy friendly.  We have held off on introducing melons as Schmoopsie is slightly allergic to them.  We also steer clear of highly allergenic foods including eggs and peanut butter, and we have not given her regular cow's milk yet.  Honey, of course, is another no-no. 

Tonight, as I peeled the carrots, I threw the occasional bite down to Lupe.  She's not a good catch, so she let them bounce off her face before eating them off the ground. 

It seems both my baby and my dog eat healthier than I do.


Alice said...

I suddenly really wish I had a peach to enjoy this very second.

Quite the mom you are. Bug is one lucky girl.

Liv said...

These are goooood tips. I used some of my pears to make baby mash for when Aspen is ready. They're hanging out in the freezer right now.

I'll be calling you when it's time to tackle veggies and to actually feed her these strange concoctions.

Jessica said...

Good for you. I have ambitions to make my own baby food, but have yet to do so more than once or twice. I swear, my kid likes the store-bought kind more.

Melinda said...

I have a totally unrelated comment to this post. You know how you mentioned that ONE towel that Bug is lying on in the first picture that matches the one in our blog pictures? We only have ONE as well! Someone made it into a hooded towel for Emerson when he was a baby. I feel so special to have a connection to you through our lonely towels. :)