We all knew this was inevitable. A food lover has a baby, the baby finally moves on to solid foods, and food lover goes crazy making gourmet food baby couldn’t possibly appreciate. I am SO there right now. One bite of oatmeal in, flashes of Baby Boom with Dianne Keaton ran through my head, and before I could move my gourmet baby food empire to the big city, I jumped back to reality. I had to. Because she got a hold of the bowl of oatmeal and flung it on the cat.
Feeding her has turned out to cause a mixture of feelings in me–pride and joy mixed with a good dose of humor and frustration. It is so freaking adorable when she opens her mouth wide for a spoonful of food. WHEN is the key word here. When she doesn’t open her mouth for food, she is busy jamming her hands/bib/shirt into her mouth. Her hands flap up and down like a little bird, a little bird that likes to see her pears and oatmeal splattered on the side on Mommy’s face when her little bird arms smack the spoon away.
All of my pre-feeding fears have been put to rest, like “How will I know if she doesn’t like something?”, because thankfully, this baby has my personality and doesn’t skirt around the truth. Bitch lets you know LOUD AND CLEAR–hey. This stuff sucks. Go find something else to feed me, or fear my wrath.
For her first foods, I relied on premade organic baby food to test out what foods she liked and didn’t like. From there, I started experimenting with different fruit and vegetable purees, one food at a time, a new food every 3 days. We went apple picking where I accidentally picked 21 pounds instead of 12, so applesauce was the first food I made her. A quick peel and chop of the apples, thrown in a pot with some unsweetened apple juice and a lid until apples are soft, 20 minutes tops. A fast whirl through the food processor with some of the cooking liquid, pushed through a fine mesh sieve, and boom. Baby applesauce.
I moved on to make pears and sweet potatoes, and was rotating it in with new tastes of food from premade jarred baby food. Two weeks in, and I thought I had it made. She was doing awesome and loving it. Then, my perfect, always sleeps through the night baby was up ALL NIGHT LONG with the dreaded c-word (constipation). Screaming, writhing in pain and agony, and just generally miserable. It turns out the yummy apples, sweet potatoes, rice cereal and carrot I was feeding her all week long? BIG constipaters And when you are a baby going from a diet of straight liquid to solid food, your digestive system suffers anyway, so eating more foods that “move” (hee) are a good thing.
Sure as hell didn’t talk about THAT in Baby Boom.
So I started doing more research. Carrots, apples, sweet potatoes and rice tend to gum up the works, while apricots, pears, plums, peaches, prunes, peas, spinach, squash and oatmeal move things along. But for some babies, apples make things move and pears slow things up. So really, I had a general idea of what MIGHT be hurting her, but no real knowledge until I tested her out on each food. Shit. Have I mentioned that I am a motivated lazy person?
So I went out and bought a ton of dried apricot, which is supposed to be a SUPER “moving” (ha) food. I steeped it in hot water, pureed it smooth with a little of the cooking liquid, pushed it through a fine mesh sieve, and boom–baby dried apricot food. I was so excited that I gave it to her the next morning with her oatmeal, and she instantly recoiled at the taste and refused to eat anymore. Baby food fail number 2–while dried apricot moves things along, it’s also really tangy and sour, which baby palates are not a fan of. I knew this, and still made it. I blame the mom brain.
I bought this baby food tray and started freezing the food I had already made (which makes it last up to three months). I take the frozen cubes of food and put them in a freezer bag and I’m ready to feed! Each portion holds one ounce, and she eats two ounces a feeding now (three times a day), so I like to mix and match what she eats so she gets something different every time. I froze the dried apricot puree in half ounce portions, so I can add a bit of it in with foods that slow things down with out bringing too much sour to the party.
Other helpful things—-a Bumpo chair for feeding if you don’t have a high chair, or this booster chair if you need space savers like me. Plastic, easy wipe bibs, so you don’t have another mountain of bib laundry to do. Oh, and don’t bother with clothing. The baby WILL ruin it. Even with a bib.
Even though it’s not really necessary, here is a quick recipe for baby food. Basic rules are, if it is soft, puree it. If it is not, steam and then puree.