Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Baby Food

So I have had a lot of people ask me about food I am feeding Hope right now. Ever since I have been on my own, I have loved to cook. I started doing a lot more when I was married. Sometimes it's hard when you are just cooking for yourself, but when you have another person to cook for, then you are do more. And the invention of the Food Network helped too!

So before Hope was born, I was considering making her baby food. I mean I like being in the kitchen, and I want to know what is going into her body, so why not. Of course, I admit, I was scared. I mean, baby food is expensive, so it must be very labor intensive and require heating things to a specific temperature to kill off bacteria, right? Wrong! I asked for a baby food cookbook for Christmas and got this one. I really like! Everything I read said not to worry about getting a cookbook, just steam and then puree. Well I didn't think it was that easy, but it is really. Of course, I like having the cookbook for reference. Also, I am/was clueless what babies can eat and when. Hearing that there is no real rhyme or reason to most of it, didn't help either. I am the person that follows instructions so I wanted to know what to do and when. Well reading the baby food cookbook helped! I now have recipes broken down by ages. Of course, the book starts solids at 4 months, and I didn't start until 6 months (recommendation from Hope's ped to not start solids if I was exclusively breastfeeding, which I was). The book recommended not making the baby cereal because of the fortified iron it in, which I also heard from a lactation consultant. So we did/do buy Earth's Best Cereals for Hope. But other than that, I have made the rest of her food. I just steam the fruits and veggies, peel them and put them in the food processor to puree. You don't need a special processor to make baby food. We did get some special containers as a gift for freezing. I have played it safe waiting at least 4 days before trying something new, so she probably hasn't had as much as most babies her age, but I am a cautious mom, what can I say. We have also been able to introduce to foods that you can't buy in baby food jars. So far, Hope has had:

Rice cereal
Sweet potatoes
Acorn squash
Green beans
Oatmeal cereal
Apples (didn't like the Gala apples I bought) :)
Bananas (I recommend introducing bananas early, because you don't have to do anything but mash them up and they are portable too)
Multi-grain cereal
She has also started eating organic cheerios.

The cookbook does promote organic eating. Adam and I eat organic with our fruits and veggies, eggs, and most of our dairy. Adam eats some of his meat organic and about half of our grains are organic. We are fortunate that we have a farmer's market less than 2 miles from our house, so I can get lots of organic fruits and veggies are very reasonable prices. I personally feel that eating organically for Hope is important right now, because I don't want her little body exposed to pesticides. They have been linked to ADD, ADHD, and several forms of autism. Autism does run on Adam's side of the family, so it's important to us.

The cookbook also goes way beyond just pureed fruits and veggies. I just bought some green lentils and brown rice (both organic) for a recipe in the cookbook. Now, where can you get that in a jar? I think this cookbook will give Hope a wide variety of foods at an early age and hopefully promote healthy eating habits as she grows up.

So if you are thinking about making your own baby food, it's not nearly as daunting as I thought it was. It just takes a little extra time in the kitchen. With several veggies, I just steamed a whole bunch. We ate some for dinner and then I pureed the rest for Hope. Didn't take much time at all.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this! The timing couldn't have been more perfect. I'm clueless about this stuff. We're got such a good schedule going with the bottles now, I'm afraid to introduce something new. This really helps give me some direction.