Baby Food: Baby's First Solid Foods
Baby Green Monster SmoothieI’m a full time working mom. I make Cheek’s baby food. She wears cloth diapers. I don’t have a cleaning lady. I run my blog and I cater on the side. What all of this means is time can be a little tight sometimes. I’d rather spend the remaining .04 seconds I don’t have in the morning laughing with the kid as she tries to eat the fringe on our ghetto carpet near the wall she seems to roll over to every single morning. Do you know what she loves more then ghetto fringe on carpet? My green monster smoothies. I gave her a bite of mine one day, not really even thinking twice about it. She laid their on her belly, staring at me with her mouth WIIIIIIDE open, practically begging me to give her some. I quickly reminded myself of what I put in it and realized “hey, it’s just fruit and veggies, which is like baby food, and she’s a baby, this could be a good meal!” And so it has become our mourning routine. I make my smoothie and we sit on the living room flour where she takes bites of my smoothie, off of my big girl spoon, followed by her dribbling the green goop onto the carpet, and then smearing it around with her hand, as it’s it’s washable paint.
Carrot Baby FoodI look as if I’ve been wearing a thin coating of fake tanner since I was 6 months old. As a baby my mom fed us homemade baby food, mainly carrots, in our bottle. She’d just cut the nipple a little bigger so the chunky food would flow through, and let us go to town. Regardless of is this is advisable or not, I love carrots now. In fact, I eat too many of them. How do you know if you eat too many carrots? You turn orange. No, literally, the palms of my hands are a slight tinge of orange. My grandma said I need to eat more bread and butter to help absorb it. Hmm, we’ll see about that. The good news is, my kid likes carrots too. However, she did not at first. She took to bananas and avocado like it was coated in butter and sugar and deep fried. It took a few tries for her to accept that carrots weren’t the devil, and it would be ok if she didn’t spit them back out in a misting projecting onto my face. How precious of her. Success, she’ll now eat carrots and actually swallow them.
Butternut Squash for BabyAs I was making the first batch of butternut squash I was feeding the baby spoonfuls of the freshly pureed mush straight from the blender. She was staring at me, like I was Santa Clause and had just given her the pony she’d always dreamed of. I was delighted to see her enjoying it, yes, yes I was. I could LIVE on butternut squash and I secretly hope my daughter will share a love for it too. So, of course the next day I scooped some squash into a bowl and attempted to slide it into her mouth. Ok, seriously Cheeks, open your mouth. What the heck. Just 20 hours ago you thought this stuff was the best thing ever. And now, you’re looking at me like I’m trying to feed you poison. So I added some banana, 90% banana to 10% butternut squash, and slowly lowered the ratio to 10% banana to 90% butternut squash. Eventually, we got it all down. It’s not her favorite, but she likes it. Peas, don’t even get me started. The kid just hates peas with everything in her being. I’ve tried and tried and tried again. I give up. For now, I surrender. She wins, peas and me, we loose.
Avocado Puree or 'Baby Guacamole'I insisted on avocado being the first food our baby had. It has fat, lots of fat, healthy fat. Fat is good for a baby. How else is she going achieve triple thigh rolls? The idea of avocado for baby food is wonderful. It requires absolutely no cooking, roasting, steaming. Just mashing. Depending on how thin you want the puree, this will determine how much milk you add to it. If you want it thick and chunky like avocado, then don't add any milk. If you want it thin and smooth, add milk. Since this was Cheek's first food, it needed to be extra smooth and a little thin. She gobbled it up. I was impressed. Avocado has a mild flavor, but a distinct flavor. I didn't like avocado until I was an adult, so I had no expectations of her liking it.
Pureed Spinach Baby FoodI’ve heard from numerous people that their babies LOVED spinach. Their baby would hate banana, or apple, or pear, but chowed down on spinach like it was a bowl of ice cream with extra whip cream, sprinkles and a cherry on top. Clearly these parents were delusional, this can’t be true?!?! Um, ok, what’s the deal with kids and spinach, I mean hoooonestly. Cheeks, she LOVES this stuff. I was excited to give her her first bite of spinach. Also a little hesitant because if she decided to hate it and give me a little misting of spinach, that wasn’t going to be pretty. Her eyes may have rolled back into her head with the first bite. And then with the second bite, which I couldn’t scoop fast enough, she moaned, and groaned. They say, who ever ‘they’ are, to try 1 new food at a time to see if any allergic reactions happen. Listen, if she’s allergic to spinach, this may be the end of us. Spinach is one of the only foods she’ll eat by itself, without a sweet banana livening things up, or a sweet potato to thicken it. She truly, from the bottom of her padded diaper butt, loves spinach. It’s really cute to see her get so exciteable for SPINACH! Speaking of diapers, whooooaaaa, watch out, spinach, it’ll do a number on their um, how do I put this nicely, on their bowel movements. Our poor cloth diapers were stain free, until spinach came along. Oh well…
Mashed Sweet Potato Baby FoodI don’t remember ever eating sweet potatoes as a kid. I’m sure I did, but I have no recollection. Our holiday tables were always littered with white mashed potatoes that I would happily gobble down with a huge scoop of chunky cranberry sauce plopped down right in the middle. As my tastebuds have matured I’ve become more interested in sweet potatoes. And that’s the understatement of the year. By interested I mean obsessed. I even started eating raw chunks of sweet potatoes one day. Not my most ‘shining’ moment. But it happened. The texture and taste of basic, simple mashed sweet potatoes is something I imagined Cheeks would love. And she does. Moans, groans, eyes rolling backin her head, the whole 9 yards. She loves this stuff
Peachy Plum Sauce for BabyAll fruits and vegetables that are about to hit their peak, but I don't foresee them being eaten before they go bad, they now turn into baby food. Saavy, resourceful, whatever you want to call it, I refuse to waste food, so I don't. That's how this peachy plum sauce came to be. We were leaving on a quick little weekend get away in an hour. I scoured through our fridge to see what would go bad or what we could bring with us. Somehow we had like 40 bazillion peaches. No way was I going to eat that many in 3 days, and they were all ripe and ready. So, I quickly made this peachy plum sauce. It really is a quick and easy baby food. It can be combined with ANYTHING. Oatmeal for breakfast, sweet potatoes for lunch and carrots for dinner. It is on the watery side, so combining it with a thicker food helps it to be more of a 'spoonable' consistency.
Oh Geez, this could get interesting…
From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I knew I'd homemake the kids baby food. I have many reasons for this, and one of them is because I simply like cooking. My baby already knows she can find me in the kitchen. I lay her down on the living room floor, and within minutes she rolled her way into the kitchen looking for me. It's pretty dang cute!
I use 4 basic kitchen tools almost everyone has:
blender or food processor
ice cube trays
Depending on what I'm making, I might also need a large stock pot, a baking sheet, and knife and cutting board.
It's that simple. Nothing fancy or gimmicky.