Baby food 101

I think one of the big reasons for my excitement with having a baby was that I would be able to encourage someone’s (healthy) love for food right from the start.  I had visions of me and my baby outside in the garden, taking trips to the farmer’s market, baking bread together.  We’ve done all of these things, but Liam isn’t quite as into it as I had hoped.  He’s loving the garden because it involves dirt and I let him play to his heart’s content… although he has sampled a bit more than I had originally allowed mentally.  He hangs out with me in the kitchen and I’m pleased to say that he seems to be interested in what I’m doing… until he spies the dogs’ water dish and is off to make as a big a mess possible.  So far, grocery shopping has been so fun with him.  I let him pick which cabbage we buy or let him feel the kiwis and he sits in the shopping cart, kicking his legs and pointing at the lights above us.  The only time we’ve ever seen a sour face on any of the trips was when he and I were in Whole Foods and the sprinklers came on over the greens and it scared him.  We purchased an absurdly priced bunch of asparagus just because it calmed him down.  Oh well, it could be worse, right?

Around 4 months, I started chomping at the bit to feed him solids.  Not so much because I thought he would sleep better, but because I was tired of feeling guilty when I ate in front of him.  Liam would lean in and smack his lips like he was starving.  I had some rice cereal on hand, so we tried it.  It was not a hit.  Given the taste, I can’t say that I blame him.  Liam had horrible acid reflux and I wondered if applesauce would help.  I don’t know if he just happened to be growing out of it or it was my awesome, organic, locally grown applesauce that did it, but after a week of trying the apple sauce, we never had another reflux issue.  From moth 4-6, Liam ate from the stash of pureed applesauce and butternut squash in my freezer.  Every now and then, I would think that I would someday be introducing other flavors, but for the time being, I was content.  

After the holidays, we started trying new foods.  When introducing foods to a baby, there is a 4-day wait rule.  I was terrified for the first 3 new things we tried, but have since calmed down and no longer have a migraine the day of a food introduction.  Since I work part time, I tried the new food on Friday morning and then had all day, plus the weekend and Monday to make sure nothing happened.  Nothing ever happened.  For this, I am eternally grateful.  I followed this chart for the 4-6 month food ideas.  At that time, all I had to do was put a fruit or a veg in some water and boil/cook it until tender.  I ran it through my food processor with some of the cooking water until I was pleased with the consistency.  I froze the food in ice cube trays and Liam would usually eat one per “meal”.  Please keep in mind though, that solid food is not meant to take the place of milk during the first year, so if your little foodie doesn’t eat “enough” it’s not worth getting your apron in a knot over it.

By the time Liam reached the end of 6 months, he was a pro with the food.  Only occasionally did he try to grab the spoon from me, he was far more interested in getting that food in his mouth.  My little guy ate anything I put in front of him, except avocados.  He absolutely refused them.  I tried mixing them with bananas, cereal, milk; nothing worked.  Then one day I realized that the pears I was going to make for him had gotten really too ripe and there wasn’t enough to make it worth my while.  Since I hate to waste things, I was trying to figure out a recipe to use them up in when it occurred to me that my mother had a fruit dish that paired apples, pears and avocado together.  At that point, the only thing I was going to lose was the money I had put into the avocados I had purchased, so why not try it?  (For the record, I also dislike loathe avocados.)  Liam ate the whole batch without complaint.  

For the next few days, I have posts coming about baby food from the very beginning to what he’s eating now at 10 months.  Since I felt like an idiot because there was no way it could be so simple, I’d like to assure you, it is.  Hopefully, you’ll enjoy the simplicity of my ideas and I will also begin tagging meals on this blog as to their age friendliness!  Good food habits start now, so let’s feed our children well!

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