Friday, September 16, 2011

The food post

I posted all about baby food the other day but for some odd reason my page didn't get updated. Anyways, hopefully this little update will now show up; we've had some problems with our internet ever since the hurricane. See below for the baby food post :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Baby food and feeding 101

I know I promised this last week but I guess it's better late than never :) I really have enjoyed making Garrett's food and was surprised at how easy it really is! I also want to say that I am in no way an expert at this stuff! I did read things online and asked some friends but basically just went with my instinct on what to do and make for him. So here's what I did and how I did it!

First, the websites: I used this one and this one (I used this one more than the other). The latter one seemed to be more user friendly and gave a lot of great tips on which foods to start with and which ones to hold off on.

I should also say we have never spoon fed Garrett baby cereal. You may remember that the formula just wasn't cutting it for him so we started adding a few tablespoons in his bottle. That's the only way he's ever had the cereal.

Ok, the debate as to whether to buy a special food processor. I was lucky to have a friend who let me borrow her Beaba Babycook machine. It's basically a food processor and steamer all in one. I'll be honest, I never used it to cook the foods, only used it to make the purees. This is what it looks like:

I know that they are pricey, around $150. I wouldn't have bought this one because you just don't use it that much. I think a blender or normal food processor would work just fine.

Freezing: At first I bought something like these from Babies R Us. The ones I have only hold 2 oz and I think there are 8 in the tray instead of 6 like in this picture. I honestly did not like these. They work great if you don't make that much of the food but if you have a big batch of something, you will run out if you don't have a bunch of these. You can feed straight from these containers but if you don't, it's a pain to try to get the frozen food out of them.

So I then bought covered ice cube trays. I had a hard time finding them but finally found them at Bed Bath & Beyond. They were around $4 and totally worth it! I would make the food, puree it, and then spoon it into the trays. The cube is equal to 1 oz of pureed food. Once I filled the trays, I would freeze them overnight. The next day, I would pop them out and put them in a ziploc freezer bag. Make sure you label the bag with the date. If I remember right, I think they are safe to freeze for up to 2 months.

The biggest mistake I made, was making too much of certain foods before trying them to make sure Garrett liked them. Really, the only one he didn't care for was the butternut squash. I had 2 huge ones so it made a ton of food! I did have a friend that I was able to give them to though. The other thing we learned is that their tastes will change. At first, he only wanted to eat the fruit or sweet potatoes. Then we started mixing the sweet potatoes and/or fruit with green beans etc and he would eat them that way. Now he eats the green beans alone. So don't throw it out if they don't seem to like it in the beginning. You can always try again later.

Foods: When we first started solids, we actually started with fruit. We used one of these:

All you have to do is cut up the fruit and place it into the mesh bag. Then they just suck on the end. Garrett loved these! It also really helped with the teething. We put everything from bananas, blueberries and melons in these. It was really handy when we would go out to dinner. The nice thing about this brand is the bag unscrews from the handle part so it makes for easy clean up.

Once we started with the spoon feedings we used these less. His first foods were sweet potatoes and apples. For the sweet potatoes, I just baked them like I would do for us; scooped out the insides and then put it in the processor. If it seemed to thick, I would just add a bit of water. Then I made apples. I peeled and cored them, and cooked them in the crock pot until they were mushy. I generally didn't have to add any water to these. The rest of the foods: green beans, peas, and carrots; I did the same way, either boil or steam until soft, puree and then freeze. It really is that easy.

Here are some of my favorite products for feeding. These are what we used!

These spoons are great because they are soft, don't stain, and are long!

The baby bjorn bibs! LOVE them! They are much harder than "normal" bibs which is great because Garrett can't wad them up into his hands! He did that with the plastic ones and we had a mess on our hands! The pouch at the bottom also catches food and they are super easy to clean! You will notice they are more expensive, around $20 for 2 of them but you won't have to buy another bib once you have these!

This is the high chair we use and it's great because it straps right onto a chair. It saves so much space!

I think that's the biggest things I can remember right now. It really is easy and is basically a trial and error type of thing! One other thing I can think of that people asked is when do we feed him the solids. Our doctor said you can start with once a day but she told us that most of them like it so much that it's fine for twice a day. He has 3 milk bottles; one in the morning, one at 2:30 and one before bed. We feed him the solids in between his milk feedings. His first is at 11:30 (we feed him the solids first and then give him a 3 oz juice/water bottle-1.5 oz of juice with 1.5 oz of water). His next one is between 5:30-6 and we do the same thing. In the beginning he didn't eat all that much of the solids but now he downs 3-4 oz of solids like it's nobody's business :) This schedule has worked out well for us because if we want to go out to eat etc, he can eat with us.

Hope that helps!