Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Adventures in Baby Food Making, Take Two

I have a couple posts coming at you this week. I missed Insta-Friday and I'm not sure I'll keep doing that. Unless you guys enjoy it? I just feel so redundant. But the reason I missed it? We were in Boston! Another travel post to come on that in the next couple days. And that would be the reason I run ads on my blog. Because, y'all. We like to travel and travel isn't cheap! Hah.

But for now, I'll discuss baby food. Because I currently live in the land of messy baby is eating real food and pooping something cray-cray. And it's my excuse to cram another food post on this here blog.

Here are the photos I have going on of the little person's food supply:
cubed up
cubed up
sweet potato
I've been really slacking on the photo-taking of the food making, but so far I've blended up the following items for freezer storage in ice cube amounts: carrots, yellow squash, cherries, blueberries, oatmeal, pears, sweet potatoes, bananas, spinach, apples. There are so many other items B will be exposed to, but I just haven't bought those up yet. I've also cheated and purchased the Ella's Organic, HappyBaby, Plum Organics & Gerber Organics squeeze pouches for travel and occasional convenience. They are pretty tasty as we've been known to finish them off when he's had his fill. Hah. He's also eaten some of those HappyBaby banana puffs that, for the record, don't taste anything like banana. We know. We both tried them out. And since I might hear the riot act from someone about the size in his wee baby throat... we literally break them up into about 6 pieces to serve him. And watch him like a hawk when eating. It's pretty much the only way to get through a 2.5 hour flight with this kid without breaking out every shiny object in the world to entertain.

So a few topics of conversation about baby food making in general. I still use my blender and love it to pieces. I've also used a hand baby food maker (like the magic bullet) for smaller amounts like cherries that is currently on lend to a friend for her son's food making. He was actually born 18 hours before B, but is obviously much older gestationally. And... they will be in the same grade at the same elementary school. Crazy.

Back to food talk. I happened to buy too many cherries we couldn't possibly consume fast enough and decided to blend them up. I only had about 20 cherries, however, and that amount is simply too few to place in the Blendtec. You need a smaller processor for that if not mixing with a more substantial amount. So for the cherries, I used the hand bullet blender thing. I don't know the brand. It came in a baby food maker pack, but it doesn't appear to be printed anywhere and it was here way before Andrew, so my mind shut all of that information out. No brand plugging there, sorry.

The oatmeal cooking and freezing turned out to be completely unnecessary. From my last post, I could've just saved the oat flour (which I did some), add water, and microwaved for literally seconds to achieve cooked oatmeal at that fine of a consistency. So no need to boil a huge batch of it again unless I want to eat it myself. I plan to make more oat powder soon because I want to eat some and because B likes it.

On the oatmeal talk. I did break down and buy B some fortified organic oatmeal at the grocery store because his new Ped was explaining the importance of vitamins. He is already receiving Poly-Vi-Sol with Iron a couple times a week and I am still breastfeeding regularly, eating well, and taking prenatals... so I'm not convinced he needs the fortified oatmeal, but it's really not much harm. It's still better than the rice cereal to me. I feed him some of our steel cut oatmeal and some fortified on a mixed basis. No real order for that.

Bananas aren't necessary to blend and freeze. I usually just take a too-ripe banana and cut them in thirds and freeze them for smoothies for myself. Now I serve B bananas that aren't frozen or if we're out, I take a third out of the freezer in my smoothie stash to feed him by adding to his oatmeal usually. And a bonus to serving warm oatmeal and a frozen banana is that I just plop the frozen piece of banana into the just heated (hot!) oatmeal and it cools it down instantly and the banana is smashable in mere seconds. A certain baby isn't so patient, so seconds are way better than sticking hot oatmeal in the freezer to cool off.

I've been adding cinnamon to almost everything he eats (if it's a fruit/oatmeal blend. I even added to carrots last night!). I'll be working on exposing him to spices. Not spicy, but spice blends so he hopefully develops a more sophisticated flavor palate early on. I happen to love a plethora of spices and cook often with them. It would be oh-so-lovely if B liked my cooking.

As for his feeding schedule... it's changed a bit. I imagine I'll be changing it frequently until he's on solids for each meal. Currently he's being breastfed about every 3-5 hours, depending on his needs. He usually gives me cues when he wants to be fed (whines incessantly, pulls himself toward my chest, starts sucking on his/my/Ray's arm or something). He has only breastmilk until about lunchtime when he is fed some small finger foods usually in his high chair. We're hoping to incorporate some of the baby led weaning techniques and get him used to texture. He has two teeth now, so we're thrilled that he'll be on the train to chomping down or gumming soft foods in small amounts. Lunch foods might include chunks of banana, small bits of pasta, quinoa, steamed veggies, some of whatever I'm having, etc. Dinner for B has been served at the beginning of his bedtime routine (dinner, bath, nurse, bed). It's usually oatmeal + 1 cube of something. It varies, but he obviously loves the sweeter items like oatmeal-banana and especially loves oatmeal-apple with cinnamon.

Our hope is to get him eating at the dinner table with us soon enough. I can't wait for family mealtime where we're all eating. Come on pincer grasp! I've already started blending things a bit chunkier because I know he has a strong ability to gum foods now.

We haven't tried spinach yet. I'm scared. Though I'm not sure why, considering he has liked everything we've served him (including pickles!) to date, except a really sour batch of blueberries which I will now be adding to my own smoothies instead. The joys of serving your kids "baby" food you'll also eat!

Speaking of the spinach... I actually made it (5 cups loose spinach + 1/4 water = 1 ice cube tray) only because we always seem to have an excess around our house and I didn't want it to go bad before consumption. So... I blended, cubed, and froze.

We're having a lot of fun with the feeding stage, but notsomuch fun enjoying the diapers that come along with it or the dirty clothes! It's nearly impossible to get the simplest of food stains (banana? who knew?) out of light clothing. I feel like I need to advocate for a no white clothes on babies act soon or something. Because heavens, people. Mom be doing way too much laundry. Do not fear... I realize my grammar was poor there.

No joke about those diapers, though. While fewer blowouts because of the sheer (somehow that seems like a poor choice of words here) thickness of them and less propulsion abilities, they are indeed something special. So much that we had to literally exit a T train in Boston to change his diaper and hop back on a few trains later to reach our destination. It was that stinky.

He doesn't seem too embarrassed about it, though.


Melissa said... [Reply to comment]

I love that photo! Look at the chubby cheeks on him! The food is obviously agreeing with him.

I want to bookmark this post so to (hopefully) use it with Beta when she gets older. I look forward to being able to make baby food and all the adventures that come with it. Sounds to me like you and Ray are very balanced in your approach, exposing him to spices, using store bought when it works for you...I love it!

LauraJane said... [Reply to comment]

Ha! He looks downright PROUD of his mad pooping skillz!

Marianne said... [Reply to comment]

OMG the poop changes are crazy right??

ADORABLE picture!

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

Finn was a fan of spinach blended with sweet potato - maybe B will be too?

He looks so delightfully happy. Love that sweet little baldie :)

Oh, Oh - PS! The kitchenAid worked like a CHAMP shredding chicken . . .it was amazing. I even took pictures. If I can find my camera I will send them to you. I LOATHED shredding chicken, but it made me want to find more recipes with shredded chicken as it was so easy and awesome!

Jenny said... [Reply to comment]

Wow, he's making leaps and strides!

Got a question. Do you blend raw foods, or cooked? I have yet to refresh myself for E, but I seem to remember that certain foods really should be cooked before baby consumes them because of organisms and food skin properties. Others, some fruits, can be blended or mashed raw. Others really aren't for freezing (banana).

I'm looking to learn, and am curious to know what you're cooking and feeding raw!

B. Wilson said... [Reply to comment]


Hi Jenny,

I should've posted about that... of course! All vegetables are steamed and then pureed/frozen. Skin has not been left on vegetables, only fruit. All fruits are pureed without cooking. Surely there are other ways to go about this, but this is simply how I've been doing it. :)

Flmgodog said... [Reply to comment]

Spinach and apple, spinach and pear, or something a little sweet will help intro's to spinach. If you think his diaper is nasty now wait until spinach. NOW that is something SPECIAL!
The food combo's only get more fun from hear. I have had dare I say FUN making the boys food.

SG said... [Reply to comment]

Ooh this solid foods thing is going to be fun! Well maybe not the poop part.

Kristi said... [Reply to comment]

I should have warned you about the banana stains! They are awful! Joel loved bananas and ate one everyday. Therefore, all the little baby cloth bibs and many of the onesies have lovely brown stains (from banana). It does seem to be better if you wash it out immediately. I, however, am usually washing and caring for baby immediately and tend to the "stuff" moments later. ugh...let me know if you find a miracle worker to remove the banana stains.

Nicole said... [Reply to comment]

Experimenting with solids is super fun! (Looks like B is crazy happy!) The changes in the diaper are...well, gross. But it's all part of it, right!? :) Enjoy the ride, mama!