Monday, January 2, 2012

It's Baby Food Making Time!

Well the little one is now 8 months old. It is a new year and I have yet to blog consistently. I will again soon, promise. :) Right now we are concentrating all our efforts on helping Lucca gain weight and grow. He still is spitting up a whole lot but thankfully he is gaining. Slowly I might add, but any gain is good gain in my opinion. Part of helping him to gain weight was to let go of a goal of mine. I originally wanted to breastfeed exclusively until the little guy was 6 months or even 7. I almost made that goal until he decided to not gain any weight for two weeks. Not a single ounce! So I made the decision a week before his 6 month date to start him on solids and to not take my time with them.

Like most women, I had ideas of what I was going to do with my babies before I even had them. One of those things was to breastfeed. My Mom breastfed both my sister and me, and my sister breastfed her daughter, and now son, before I had my first. I never thought any different, I knew I would breastfeed my daughter the minute I found out I was pregnant. Another thing I knew I would do with my babies was to make their baby food. Again both the prominent women in my life did it so I figured it was normal and just what I was going to do. My Mom used to tell us how she would take along a food mill to restaurants or wherever and just grind us our food right then and there. (No wonder both of us love food and were never really picky eaters.) My sister made her daughters food using a great book which she then passed on to me. I've mentioned it before, it's by Ruth Yaron and called The Super Baby Food Diet, or something along those lines. So when I decided to start Lucca on solids I knew just what I was going to do. Start making food!

Making baby food is one of the easiest things you can do in the kitchen. It is also one of the most rewarding things you can do in the kitchen. Watching your baby eat fresh, not canned, food that you prepared with love is a great feeling. This mini blog isn't really a cooking recipe or anything like that. Just a little information on how you can easily make your own baby food. The first food, and a staple that he has every night, was avocado. You heard me right! It is one of the best foods for babies. It has so many healthy fats that help babies brains grow smart, and help babies that are trying to gain weight to put on some ounces. :) Seriously, he eats it every single night, HALF an avocado!! (Patrick and I constantly tell each other that if he didn't spit up so much, he would be a sumo wrestler. He loves his food!) With avocado, just buy a ripe one and mash it with a fork. Add breastmilk or water to make it not so thick and voila! Baby food!!

For most foods you would steam the vegetable until soft and then puree in the blender. Adding the steaming liquid to thin it out. After I puree the vegetable or fruit I then place into ice cube trays and freeze. Once frozen I pop out the cubes of food into a labeled freezer bag and there you go. Individual cubes of food. Depending on age and likes they can eat just one cube or two or more. Most of the time Lucca eats two, I tell you he would be fat if we could just put a plug in him!! (I wish it were that simple, I really really do.)

Here is a picture of my freezer today. (Not in order, Squash, Papaya, Prunes, Pears, Apples, Green Beans, Carrots and Sweet Potatoes.) He's got some fresh spinach in the fridge too. Yummy. What baby would love to taste fresh homemade foods!!

NEVER add sweetener, not even fruit juice. NEVER add salt or spices. Let your baby taste it for what it is. Their tongue doesn't need to be trained to need sweets or salt. Let them try it the way it is supposed to be tasted.

NEVER assume baby doesn't like it. ALWAYS keep trying. One bit of advice my Mom gave us is to never say anything negative about food in front of a baby or little one. (For example if you don't like green beans don't offer that information up, just smile and tell your little one how yummy it is. And force yourself to eat a bit of it too, it whole form.) This advice has been great! I think it's the best thing you can do for your kids. Give them no judgement but their own. Let them decide what they like or don't like. But remember, just because they might not want it one night doesn't mean they won't like it or want it the next.

On another note, I got to participate in the Target Nurse-In!! (This is where breastfeeding moms get to band together and go nurse in public at a location that was not tolerant or kind to a fellow breastfeeding mom.) I have wanted to participate in a nurse-in since London was born but have never had the opportunity. I ended up being the only one at my location but let me tell you how great it felt to know that I, along with thousands of other moms, were at Target last Wednesday nursing our babies to send a message. Nursing in Public is perfectly acceptable with or with out a cover! I have nursed both my babies everywhere and have never thought twice about it. (I thank my sister for that courage. She knows what I'm talking about. I used to be uneducated on that topic but she set me straight!) I took along London and she got to learn how important the topic is just by seeing Mommy stand up for what she believes in. She even took this picture of me.

What a great little girl. (So great in fact, that today she nursed the doll at the Chiropractors office while we were waiting for our turn. Lifted up her shirt, found her nipple and placed that doll on! YEAH for nursing in public!)