How not to go Crazy over Baby Food

Don’t panic…it’s just tomato sauce.  Jr didn’t stab himself with a fork…really it’s just tomato sauce.

Kids learning to eat “real” food is a process.  You need to expect to get dirty, have food thrown at you, touched with sticky fingers and kissed with all sorts of mess across the face.  And really is it any worse than that baby puke stain down the back of your favorite shirt just before going out the door.

Little people learning to eat can also be the most hilarious time you have before they start speaking.  The faces made as they start trying new and different flavors and textures are likely the best you will see as they grow up.  The best thing is you won’t hear “Mommy, I don’t like that or I don’t like dinner” before they even try a bite.baby-food (1)

There are a lot of cautions out there about what and when to start feeding your infant and when to start the process to make sure that they are still getting all of the nutrients they need.  I am not a nutritionist, and while they are useful people to know, they also have particular opinions about food, eating and your health.

Trust your instinct on when your child is ready.  If they are interested in reaching for your food, tasting what you have and get upset when you don’t give them some…it might be time to start.  Infants don’t have a good swallowing reflex for anything thicker than milk when they first start so you have to make everything like soup.  Puree the crap out of it…add some breast milk or formula, water, etc to make it thin, then slowly (and I mean slowly) decrease the liquid making the mash thicker and adding more texture.  Not rocket science, all of the parenting books will tell you the same thing.  And really, how are they going to chew with only those couple of bottom front teeth anyway.

Now here comes the fun part…what to start with.

Make sure you know what people in your family, including you, are allergic to, DON’T start with that stuff, save it for much later.

Start with something simply…and I recommend a vegetable over a fruit.

Why?

Training.  If you can train your infant to like pureed spinach, knowing you can’t stand the stuff unless doused in butter or hidden somewhere, you will start the training to like things much earlier and stop the “Mommy that’s yucky” conversation before it begins.

Not only that, vegetables are often the things that toddlers won’t eat, so get them in early.  My son is an exception as he goes after the vegetables like they are candy (yes we told him they were).

The very first thing that we started to feed our son was Sweet Potato.  Easy to prepare and get thin.  Bake or boil, put in blender or Magic Bullet (full sized not baby) and blend, blend, blend.  He loved it and got mad when it was gone.

We added rice cereal after that, which was much blander tasting, but still was liked.

baby-foodBrussels sprouts, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower  and basically any vegetable we were eating for dinner got blended for our son.  Of course we started slow and you can freeze the blended stuff for use later (so making too much isn’t a problem).  Cover an large ice cube tray with plastic wrap and freeze.  Pop out the cubes and bag in portions for later.  Easy…we never had that much left over.

My son is an eater.  He loves food…which is why I am so glad he likes vegetables over junk.

I very rarely bought prepared baby food.  In fact, since my son has started eating solids I can count on one hand how many times I have, it was just too easy to make my own.

Here’s how easy:

  1. Steam vegetable
  2. Blend adding milk, formula, or water to desired thickness.
  3. Feed or store for later

Hardly any more time than making regular dinner.

I started adding goat cheese to the mix and then pureed meat too.baby-food-2

Once we had some of the more pungent vegetables mixed into eating habits it’s easy to continue.  My son loves peppers, peas, spinach (leaves uncooked), cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots (a bit), and sweet potato.  He will eat those pretty much without us asking him to and will actually eat the vegetable before anything else on his plate.

When I think of all of the money that could be spent on baby food processed and packaged in a factory full of preservatives and how much I saved by making my own and knowing exactly what was put in it I smile!

Making your own baby food just takes a bit of planning and a desire to go on a food adventure with your child.

We didn’t add much fruit into our feeding routine until our son had moved into more solid, less soupy consistency.  Then I started adding the fruit to breakfast stuff.  Bananas, apples, pears, strawberries, blueberries, and any other fruit that didn’t have a lot of seeds.  Now our son will eat pretty much any fruit you stick in front of him, though grapes are a favorite.

Adventures in food with young ones can be fun and not a complete hassle, but you have to be willing to take the risk with some of the things you don’t particularly like.

Set the example it will go a long, long way.

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Published by Sabrina J. Adams (Syryn TheVoice)

I have many different hats that I wear. Throughout my life I have been many different things: a small business owner, problem solver, mother, friend, sister, writer, designer, employee, manager, consultant, gamer, leader and many more buzz words that I can't think of. Many of these I still do, but some I have let go to focus more on the here and now. I like to share my experiences, ideas and funny things I run across. Ask me something and I will provide an honest and likely unfiltered opinion. I am still learning about life, myself, relationships, parenting and well everything else. I am not superwoman and don't really have my life together, but I manage and am willing to share my tips and learnings. Writing for me can be cathartic and sharing makes us not feel so alone in this crazy, mess of a world we currently inhabit.

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