Feeding to nourish: A baby food story

 

Like most of my posts, I write because I need to have a recipe-diary for all those times I “can’t remember how I made something”. I’ve done a great deal of research before I began the journey of introducing solids to my solely breastfed baby.

From the beginning, I decided I was going to make my own baby food for one primary reason, with additional other benefits that would come along side my decision. I wanted to know just what my baby was consuming, how it was made, and how it was processed. I had done some researched that opened my eyes and frightened me a bit to what the average American baby was consuming before the age of one. I didn’t like the idea of my baby being another mouth fed by an overpaid, popular company, with no consideration of the quality. The processing of our food in today’s day and age is nothing short of criminal as our food industry thrives on making easy money, feeding a growing population. Now, for many people, I know that this information wouldn’t change their life, but for me, it did. I decided that not only was my family (at the time, just my husband and I) going to go against the grain of modern day America, but my future family.

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The peace of mind I have to control the baby food in my home, is priceless. From the cooking process of steaming, roasting, or simply pureeing the food myself, I have no doubt that I’m caring for my precious babe in the best way I know how. I’ve spent a great deal of research finding the proper foods to feed him while considering our lifestyle and what’s available in upstate New York (especially in the dead of winter). If I’ve learned one thing about research is to not over-do it. I’ve found that when I put the time in to educate myself, there has to be parameters to follow. No matter what you are researching, you’ll always always always find opposing sides.

The method I’ve chosen to follow is one that is a combination of what’s been available in my grocery stores and practical for our lifestyle. I’ve compiled a timeline of what we’ve fed our baby along with the method to prepare. To be honest, we’ve had “emergencies” that have drove us to purchase the occasional baby food. I’ve included how we’ve gone about this to comply with our crazy busy lifestyle. With that said, 90% of baby’s food is made with love from mommy:)

First Foods:

at 4 months – We noticed clear signs that he was ready for solids. I was surprised because I didn’t think we’d actually see the signs the pediatrician explained.  I can assure you, we saw these signs. He clearly expressed interest in our food, placed everything in his mouth, and was fussy when nursing. We started with rice cereal (organic, fortified, and what I was recommended) that made me slightly uncomfortable. Being completely honest, I felt that we needed to do this because it was what was suggested, but I felt it went against my core love for fruits and vegetables. We stopped with the solids for a few weeks and I decided we (meaning me) wasn’t ready.

at 5 -6 months- We decided to go with mashed organic avocado. I remember the evening vividly as I smashed up the avocado with a fork in a small white porcelain bowl as best I could. I panicked because I couldn’t get every single particle of avocado smashed into a smooth mixture. He loved the avocado and I felt 1000000% better about feeding my baby vegetables (yes I know avocado is technically classified as fruit but I refuse to admit it). After the avocado, we experimented with organic sweet potato. The sweet potato method we used was to roast in the oven and blend in a high speed blender. I added a bit of water if needed. Next we moved onto organic banana which continues to be his favorite. I simply blended up bananas in a high speed blender until it reached a smooth consistency.

at 6-7 months- We tried an array of foods. I steamed organic pears (skins removed), steamed organic carrots, steamed organic zucchini, organic mango, and organic green beans. I prepared them all the same way in the high speed blender and only added some water if necessary.

at 7-8 months- I tried some finger foods. He hated eggs at first, but I was consist and he tolerates them currently. I scrambled up a local, organic egg and added it into some other foods he liked. We tried bits of organic apple, organic parsnips, and organic sweet potato. We also tried organic yogurt which I’m still in search of finding a good yogurt. It’s nearly impossible to find one without added sugar suited for babies.

Today at 8 1/2 months old, we’ve got an eater on our hands who eats three solid meals a day. I would love to say that everything he eats, we have made ourselves, but it’s not always the case. I wanted him to have experiences with finger foods and different textures. He happily eats cracker-like snacks and rice products. I think your first baby is an experiment. As I type this, I think about how awful that may come across, but it’s a true learning experience. I’ve learned so much that I don’t even feel like I’m the same person I was pre-mommyhood. The things I care about, I never thought I would; the things I don’t care about, I never thought I would be so relaxed about. I’ve got reasoning behind my actions, but I feel as if my decisions are beneficial for us all, mommy and baby. At the end of the day, you must do what is right by you and your family. Don’t be fooled by convenience, but don’t be  a slave to power. Find a healthy balance for your wholesome family:)

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