I don't know why I find babies starting to eat real food so exciting. Because I like to eat? I think it's interesting what tastes and preferences emerge.... all so they can demand nothing but pizza and chicken nuggets once they are three. You get this brief window where they can't voice an opinion!
I'm sure that won't happen this time, though. Eleanor will appreciate sushi, foie gras and blue cheese by the time she's three. Due in large part to the selection of purees I'm feeding her at six months. Naturally.
Anyways, I thought for kicks I would make baby food this go round. So far it's been kind of fun, though just a single sweet potato or butternut squash or papaya makes a TON of baby food. Clear out the freezer, mama bought a papaya!
**Note: we have since found out that Eleanor is allergic to papaya. Oh the irony. Anyone nearby want a ton of frozen papaya blend baby food?
I've been using the Wholesome Baby Food web site to determine the order of what to offer and how to cook some things. Most of it is intuitive - steam it and blend it - but, for instance, the apricots were a bit of a head scratcher. You know, with the skins and all.
I've also been using the brown rice and multi grain cereals from Mimi's Baby Grains, which is a local company here in Virginia. Mimi kind of looks like Sally field. And the cereal actually tastes good. Though I did feel like a chump when I read on the baby food web site that all you do to make rice cereal is grind up rice in your food processor.
In addition to the cereal, Eleanor has tried bananas, apples, mango, apricots, green beans, peas, carrots, butternut squash, sweet potato, pears and avocado. And papaya. She was also allergic to the butternut squash.
Confession: I have not always been waiting the full four days between new foods. I think I wait maybe two. The hives have happened immediately. Like within 3 bites. Nonetheless, please don't call CPS on me.
Once I make a puree, I put them in these little baby food trays that freeze things in one ounce portions. Then I pop them out and put them in bags. In the morning I will make her cereal on the stove and pour it, hot, over the frozen cubes. Makes enough for the day.
I don't bother with apples, I just buy organic jarred apple sauce. I'm not sure I will mess with apricots again either. It was a lot of work for not much food - especially when jars of organic apricots are so accessible. The rest is pretty easy.
I've also seen recipes for meat baby food and I'm not sure I can do that either. It just sounds so unappealing! You grind the meat into a paste and then add stock and veggie purees. Meat paste - bleck. Maybe I will just wait until she can eat tiny pieces of meat to serve any to her.
I bought some Ella's organic pouches when we went up to D.C. and I forgot how smooth baby food is. The stuff I've been making definitely has more texture. I think that might be a good thing for a Spooner baby since Charlie had a hard time moving from very smooth purees to table food.
I think I need to make a quicker transition to table food than I did with Charlie, as well. Things started to get kind of opinionated around here at the one year mark. I keep giving her puffs but so far she is unimpressed. I can't really blame her - the dogs won't even eat them when they fall on the floor and those dogs will eat anything.
So far I would say it's kinda fun but definitely more work to go homemade. When I get sick of messing with it I just buy some at the store and give myself a break. I'm holding off on yogurt until we get her allergy testing completed.
I've been hunting for a book that would give me some good ideas on blends and toddler food and kid-friendly recipes food, but am sending back the first two I ordered - the Petit Appetite and No Whine with Dinner. If anyone has any suggestions, I would love to hear! Pictures are helpful so Charlie can pick out - and therefore commit to - dinner. I guess if there is no perfect book out there, at least there's Pinterest. :)
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