Saturday, March 6, 2010

The baby food begins

As planned, we started the little guy on organic rice cereal Sunday. He is a much better eater than I expected. Not that he is eating very much, but he knows to open his mouth and is really excited about the bib and high chair. Actually, I think that he likes the bib more than the cereal. He does get excited to put the cereal in his mouth, but usually makes a disgusted face once he tastes it.

For the first two days, he was only eating the cereal once every evening. I planned to introduce sweet potatoes next, but when I went to the grocery store there weren’t any organic sweet potatoes. I was forced to buy the jarred food (all organic, though). He started eating the sweet potatoes Tuesday night. He seems to like them a bit better than the cereal, but overall he seems unimpressed with solid foods. He does get excited about the bib and high chair every time.

I did find organic avocados that I hope will be ripe by the weekend. Also, this weekend I am traveling out of town anyway, so I am going to try to find organic sweet potatoes. If I can find them, I may just stock up.

If I do find the sweet potatoes, this is the recipe that I am going to use to make the baby food:

Sweet Potatoes
(age 6 months +)

1. Preheat oven to 410 degrees

 2. Wash and poke holes in sweet potato with a fork. Run under water again and then wrap in tin foil (do not peel potato)

3. Place on lower rack and bake for 30 – 60 minutes (until soft)

4. Remove skins (cut lengthwise and scoop out the “meat”)

5. When cool puree (or thin) with your choice of liquid (I am using formula)

And this is how I am going to prepare the avocados:

age 6 months +)
No need to preparation. Mash and serve with applesauce, peaches, pears, or bananas.

To freeze, cut into slices and freeze as a slice (mashing before freezing tends to turn the avocado browner).

I am not going to introduce any fruits yet, but when I do I will mix those mentioned above with the avocados. Very simple, easy recipes. The sweet potatoes should freeze nicely in the cubes (I plan to make it in bulk).

I read very mixed ideas about what ages certain foods should be introduced. Most of these only vary by a month or so, but I still don’t want to give my son a food that his stomach is not prepared to digest, so I always go with the highest age. In most cases Super Baby Food has the highest ages, so I use that as my primary resource.

These are the foods that (in my opinion) are safe to introduce at 6 months:

Sweet potato, Avocado (raw), Organic rice cereal, Homemade whole grain cereal, Apricots, Banana (raw), Mango (raw), Nectarine, Papaya (raw), Peaches, Pears (either), Plums, Prunes, Whole milk yogurt, Winter squash

All of the fruits and vegetables need to be cooked, strained, and pureed into a smooth, consistency free of lumps. Fruits that are safe to serve raw are indicated.

I have read a few different methods to introduce food and have also asked a few people for advice. The general consensus is to feed vegetables before fruits because after tasting the sweetness of the fruit, the vegetable isn’t nearly as appealing. So, I am a little bummed that there aren’t more vegetables in this list. Also, we know that my son has some difficulty with milk, so I am going to postpone the yogurt for a while.

I’m not sure which food I will try after the avocados. Right now, I would guess bananas because they are easy to find and prepare. I am going to check around this weekend to see what is out there and maybe I can get some of the other fruits, especially those that will be difficult to find in my town.

It looks like 7 months is when the fun will really begin. There are a lot more vegetable options and he will have eaten enough of the 6 month food that I can start getting creative with combinations. There are already a couple of recipes that I want to try.

Also, everything that I read suggested that when introducing a food to offer it four days in a row before introducing another food. This can help to identify any food allergies. I didn’t do this with the cereal because we had tried cereal before, but I plan to do this with other foods.
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