Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Baby Food!

Now that Lilly is starting on solids, I have been channeling my inner hippie and making my own baby food.  She is still only eating solids as a supplement in order to learn how to eat - that is, breast milk is still her primary source of nutrition.  I have read that "meals" come into play around the 9 month mark.


I decided to make my own food for several reasons.  I am not saying that there is one single thing wrong with food from a jar - I grew up on it, as most of us did, and I turned out fine.  I am also not saying that Lilly will never eat food from a jar.  She probably will.  There is something to be said, though, in my opinion, for knowing what is going into Lilly's food.  Making my own has, so far, been super easy.  It took Dan and I a little over an hour to make a TON of food. Additionally, due to the fact that we are not yet replacing meals with solids, she doesn't eat that much food in one sitting.  I have been freezing the food that I make in ice cube trays, which is just about the exact amount that she eats at one time. If cost is an issue, it's also cheaper.  :-)


I have used two resources so far, both of which were recommended by Lilly's pediatrician.  The first is the Baby Love Cookbook:




Y'all.  I LOVE this cookbook.  It is super informative and SO EASY.  It is organized into stages and has tons of helpful information on buying produce, what to freeze and not to freeze, what you can feed baby when, and much, much more.  I got my copy on Amazon and it wasn't very expensive.


The other resource I've been using, per the pediatrician's recommendation, is the Wholesome Baby Food website.  The recipes on this website are similar to the ones in the book, but there is a TON of helpful information on the website.  For example, it goes into a great bit of detail about when to feed what (stages), how to store, food allergies, etc.  Both have been super helpful!


The one thing our pediatrician told us to definitely buy instead of make is rice cereal and oatmeal.  I can't remember why she said to buy those, I think it had something to do with the fact that she wanted us to get the iron-fortified stuff, but I've just bought both per her instructions.  It's just as well because Lilly hates them both, ha!


So far, Lilly has eaten rice cereal (hates), oatmeal (hates), bananas, avocados, pears, butternut squash and sweet potatoes.  For right now, we feed her solids once a day, after her last "big" feeding of the day (before bath and bed).  Once I've introduced a few more things (up next: carrots, peas, apples and peaches), I'm going to move to twice a day and let her have a fruit in the  morning and a veggie at night.  Exciting stuff!  L has really gotten the hang of eating.  She opens her mouth when you get near it with a spoon like it's her job, and sometimes she gets mad if she likes something and I'm not feeding her fast enough.  I can always tell whether she likes something based on the faces she makes and whether or not she spits it out.


Here are some photos I took of the prep work and finished products when we made butternut squash, sweet potatoes and pears to freeze:


Pears!

Butternut squash and sweet potatoes.

Butternut squash and sweet potatoes.

Sweet potatoes.
LG LOVES to eat (clearly):  





In closing, on the off chance that anyone else is interested in making their own baby food, I thought I'd share a few tips that I found helpful:

  • If you have a food processor or blender, there is no need to buy any baby food making gadget (read: Baby Bullet or others like it) unless you just really want to.  They are just smaller food processors, so why spend the money?
  • Ditto on food storage.  There are plenty of fancy storage containers with lids that you can spend money on.  In fact, I knew I wanted to make some baby food so we registered for these, and I'm glad we didn't get them.  Both the book and the website suggest freezing in ice cube trays and then putting the food cubes in ziploc bags labeled with the date.  It is super easy and takes up a lot less room.
  • Everything I've read says not to freeze avocado, but I couldn't help but feel wasteful because Lilly eats less than 1/8th of an avocado in one sitting and they don't keep for very long.  They're not super expensive, but it still sucks having to throw basically a whole avocado away.  I have found that they will keep in the refrigerator for a few days if you leave the pit in tact.  Additionally,  Stephanie told me that if you slice an avocado into thin slices, lay them on wax paper, freeze overnight and then put in a ziploc (much like your baby food cubes), they will come out fine.  I have yet to try it, but plan to next time I have an avocado.  She said if there is any brown when she's taken hers out of the freezer, it's been very little and she just cut it right off.
I guess that's all for tonight.  I can't believe it's already Hump Day...where are my weeks going?!

Sarah

1 comment:

  1. Great post! Can't wait to make Raymond read it!

    ReplyDelete

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