Saturday, January 16, 2010

Baby Food Adventures: The Beginning

We have been exclusively breastfeeding since the beginning.  Well AppleBlossom did have one dropper-full of formula in the hospital right after birth because my Gestational Diabetes brought her sugar too low. Yet other than that, through good days and bad... very painful moments and learning experiences... to irreplaceable tender moments we have been blessed to breastfeed. In the last few weeks I have become curious about starting solid foods. We reached the five month point and she was so curious about dinner time that we tried some rice cereal. 

We bought the Earth's Best Organic Rice Cereal (14 Dec) that I mixed with some expressed breastmilk --- let me tell you I am not a fan of expressing milk! AppleBlossom enthusiastically gobbled it up, but the preparation left me frustrated when I would just prefer to nurse her. Over the Christmas holidays, she literally attempted to grab a glass of milk out of Enginerd's hands, and we decided after that to try some other foods. 

First we tried First Green Peas from Earth's Best Organic (3 Jan). We were met with enthusiasm the first day, and frustration the next attempt with many disgusted facial expressions. After having such huge success on her attitude of the rice cereal in comparison we knew that it was not the different texture, so we decided we would put peas on hold and try something else. 

The next adventure was to be her first Sweet Potatoes from Beech-Nut (7 Jan) and we were met with such ridiculous enthusiasm that she ate more than one ounce in the first attempt. She finished a (2.5 oz) jar in two days! After the potatoes, we decided to go for a fruit and her first fruit success was (14 Jan) Pears from Beech-Nut. This silly girl is very thrilled with the idea. 

Frankly, I know nothing about feeding a baby food. With my sister's kids I just remember giving them Cheerios. We put some out for AppleBlossom and she played with them. We put one on her tongue and she gagged. It was my first successful tongue swipe. *sigh* I have read a lot of interesting information off of the Beech-Nut website, as well as Gerber and Earth's Best (their site is down as of my linking it -- so it is not a "broken link" FYI). After comparing all the "store bought" baby foods I really thing that I appreciate the Beech-Nut selection the best. Even though not organic, it is all natural and contains so much less sodium that the other brands. And another thing is that they have a fabulous and very parent friendly website -- that really makes me happy. 

Enginerd was grocery shopping on his way home from work (yes brownie points) and saw that the Beech-Nut stage 1 foods were on sale so he purchased abut one of each and our next plan is to work our way through those. Right now our procedure is to try a food for three days and then go a few days with only breastmilk before trying something else to watch her reactions and digestion and so on. While she had been a once a week "messy" this has changed her, but other than going back to the "never know what you're gonna get" no real issues. (TMI yet? I'm discussing a baby so I guess you'll have to get over it. *wink*) 

For us, a feeding normally consists of getting out a mug and baby spoon... using a demitasse spoon to serve a few scoops into the mug. If she finishes what is there, then we scoop in a few more. If it is a new jar, we are using it room temperature. If it is a refrigerated jar, we are heating it via our Munchkin Deluxe Bottle and Food Warmer with Pacifier Cleaning Bucket (the coolest baby gift ever). We hardly use bottles (maybe three times so far for Enginerd to feed her pumped milk), but as for heating baby food and sanitizing pacifiers this is the best!

Other places that I have found some valuable information has been from Kellymom. Most of the main information from the pediatrician and the baby food websites are very specific about cereal first, but because it is doing more harm that good it seems on the frustration level I was thrilled to find that it is not absolutely necessary to establish a solid cereal routine before introducing fruits and vegetables. It is also nice, because most other websites are going on the idea of formula feeding, while Kellymom is geared toward breastfeeding and they do not insist that you start at four months. 

Munchkin Baby Food Grinder (Colors May Vary)Now other than just blabbering what has brought on this post? Well, tonight I was thinking of some questions I have about starting solids with AppleBlossom and decided to do some research. I do not plan to completely go homemade with all her food as I am not sure how stressful that would be, but I sure would like to attempt it. For teething purposes we bought a Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder and it was actually cheaper to buy it in a box with a Baby Food Grinder, so I am excited to put the grinder to use.  

The problem is how in the world do I make baby food? I know there are books... but I do not have any. Well I was able to acquire a product to review to store baby food (coming soon - obviously)... so now it is up to me to figure out how to make the food, so as to use the grinder, so as to store the food, so as to feed the baby! BTW if anyone with books or other things as to homemade baby food needs a reviewer... *cough* I am interested. 

While looking for more ideas for baby food I came across a website. I am so in love with this website that I am curious if I should make it my homepage for my browser to open up to when I log on to the internet. I have been looking at it off and on for a few hours and continue to find fabulous things - charts, menus, suggestions, sourced data and more. If you are looking for anything about homemade baby food I highly recommend you check out this page, It really is incredible. 

So tell me anything about your baby food woes. Any suggestions or recommendations? Funny memories? I am all ears.  

4 comments and creative thoughts:

Rel said...

LOL! Starting solids was always my worst nightmare ;-) Breastfeeding is so much easier. I read with interest your post about preprepared baby food - it is nowhere near as big here as in the States. I used the occasional jar when going out but rarely at home. A good majority of Aussie mums would do the same. After starting with rice cereal, I moved to vegies, simply cooking and mashing each vegetable, trying it for three days and if no reaction, away we went! Doing a big batch, I froze is in ice cube trays which are a perfect size that can be easily defrosted. I usually did vegies in the following order - potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots, peas and so on. I introduced fruit (cooked and mashed in the same way, no additions) once the vegies were going well. Babies will often get a sweet tooth if fruit is introduced early and then baulk at going back to vegies. I have blabbed on, I'm afraid!

I now have two good eaters (12 & 9)and one terrible eater (6), my youngest - so tried and true methods which work for one don't always work with another! She doesn't like vegies or meat and fruit, although going well now, was off the list, too! I take comfort that she doesn't like take away (no hot chips (french fries), chicken nuggets or the like!!)

Enough from me ;-)

Lindsey said...

I loved hearing about your adventures! :-) I fed Emma rice cereal so much, usually from a box. And I just added water. LOL I hated expressing, too... so I breastfed her and gave her the rice cereal to supplement. I wouldn't do that again, though. I learned later how to make my own rice cereal by grinding the rice up (I used a coffee grinder, haha) and then cooking it (similar to the way you cook oatmeal). Check out the photo recipe on my blog if you want!

Oh, and I LOVE that photo of her trying to take daddy's cup! So funny! My daughter is so like that. :-)

CherryBlossomMJ said...

Rel - It seems so bizarre here the way that the media portrays it that almost everyone does commercially prepared foods. When/if we are using any of it... it is for convenience and I will only get the Organic or All Natural stuff. I am determined that cooking for her will make me in the end better in the kitchen. I am always short on ideas with a budget. Hopefully as well get more and more into it... I will make it all homemade and buy less prepackaged stuff.

Lindsey - I remember your rice post. I will have to go back and look at that. The picture of her grabbing at his drink was perfect. I happened to be standing there with the camera. She had been watching us eat and drink, but this was the first time that she literally went for it. It was hilarious!

Katy (A Few More Pages) said...

My kids always loved the cereals but were not big fans of the veggies. I started mixing a little bit of veggies in with some rice cereal (or barley, or oatmeal) to get them more used to the taste and eventually they came to like the veggies more.

Gosh, it seems like ages ago that they were babies now. My youngest is turning 3 tomorrow. :)

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