November 7, 2014

Baby Food


*Just a note, this post was in response to a lovely email that I received, asking for some 'babyfood' recipes. I realized that with our second baby, we really haven't prepared anything special for her... so basically the whole recipe section of this blog is baby food, as far as we are concerned! ;)

The transition from milk-guzzler to solid-food-eater is a big baby milestone. With my first child, I was determined to offer him the very best. I took it all seriously (too seriously! the fate of many new mothers). After reading a bunch of books and websites on nutrition, purees, and baby led weaning, I decided to start by making my own pureed food. I was adamant not to buy any commercially produced baby food (he never did have a single spoonful and still is confused by 'pouches' of apple sauce), and I spent a good amount of time cooking big quantities of veggies and mashing and freezing them. 

I did test out larger chunks of food (a la baby led weaning), but Little Smith is the kind of kid that really prefers to sit back and let me do the heavy lifting. He loved being spoon-fed, and probably would still go for it if I offered. I discovered homemade purees was kind of a funny camp to be in, it seemed like most of the other families I knew were either fully on the baby led boat, or opting for the convenience of store bought baby food 'pouches'. Truthfully I didn't mind the work, and appreciated that I could expose him to all kinds of spices and flavors at such an early age. 


When our second baby was ready to test out some real food, we started with pureed sweet potato, just like we had with her big brother. She was interested, but it was obvious very quickly that she was more excited about feeding herself than having me shovel food in. It was also clear that there was no way I would have time to mash stuff up smooth enough for her to enjoy it. 

It's funny, because I always resist the idea that everything gets tossed out the window with the second kid, but when it comes to food, that is how it went down for us. I didn't go back to research baby led weaning at all, but I did start to give her big chunks of food. We fed her lots of bananas, hard boiled eggs, and avocados. We did chunks of roasted veggies and steamed broccoli... but the truth is that I really didn't think that critically about having food just the right texture for baby Roo to handle and gum, I just offered her the parts of our family meals that best fit the bill. 


If I felt like there wasn't enough for her to eat at any given meal, I would supplement with store-bought baby food pouches. Gasp! They worked really well, because while she didn't like eating purees from a spoon, she was happy to suck them up like a smoothie. I do know you can buy those things and fill them with a homemade mixture, but that was so not going to happen. I had to laugh at how self-righteous I had been about commercial baby food the first time around. It's expensive and a lot of packaging, I wouldn't want to use it exclusively, but there are also a lot of products out there with good ingredients that are very tasty. And in a pinch, it's an excellent and convenient option. 


Once she cut a few teeth, we started just feeding Roo whatever we were eating without much editing. Is this baby led weaning? I honestly don't know enough to be sure, but it kind of seems funny that there would even be any term to describe something that has felt so obvious and easy. Now if we could only get our four year old to pick up a fork, we'd really have this mealtime thing down!

7 comments:

  1. You have done an amazing job not "babyfying" the food you give your kids. I was always so impressed with the homemade baby food you made for W, and it seems like they both eat pretty much what you and James eat... which is awesome all around. Good job, mama! :)

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    1. Thanks Lauren! They do eat whatever we are eating, which is awesome. I have noticed that they're fussier at other people's houses or certain restaurants where the cooking style differs from mine. Motivation to diversify my menus.

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  2. Maybe it is just because it is lunch time and I'm hungry...but all your meals pictured look absolutely DELICIOUS! Particularly the quiche/galette in the 4th photo down. Do you have a recipe you can share?

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    1. Thanks Caitlin, that galette was yummy, but I still haven't had much luck with the pastry dough for these rustic pies (it falls apart quite a bit). So no favorite recipes just yet... but if you find a good one do let me know!

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  3. Oh my god you guys eat like kings! Delicious!

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    1. Aw thanks! We do like our food around here :)

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  4. Isn't funny how certain ideas you have with the first are sidelined with the second? Each child is so different-- you do such a wonderful job attuning yourself to their unique personalities!

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