Thursday, August 26, 2010

First Foods

First foods.  Do you know what your first food was?  My first taste of real food was peas. It is a strange choice to make as a parent, the first real food you feed your child.  Most docs and books recommend "yellow foods" as good firsts.  Yellow foods meaning squash, bananas, sweet potatoes...although they are far from yellow. This week The Sprout begins to eat real food.  For the past month she has dined on nothing more than human milk and rice cereal...with the occasional sip or two of water.  Poor thing.

Ask yourself...would I want to eat food out of a jar for months on end while everyone around me is dining on freshly cooked food?  Most of us would answer, Yuck!  So why would you feed your baby jarred food for their first year of life?  In a pinch while traveling, I can see...but day in and day out it just doesn't make any sense to me.  Like all first experiences, a human's first time to exercise their taste buds should be exciting...not old mushy flavors from a jar.

Lil' Bit's first food was a puree of steamed organic peas.  I didn't know at the time that it was my first food, I just wanted her first food to be green and it seemed like a nice mild choice.  For The Sprout I wanted  her first food to be raw.  So I chose banana, and she loved it.   Now people say don't start your baby out on sweet foods like fruits because they will only eat sweets and not veggies.  To that I say poppycock.  Banana was Lil' Bit's second food and today her favorite food is kalamata olive.

When I tell people that I make my own baby food they look at me like I am some sort of hippie nazi.  When I see people feed their baby banana baby food from a jar I look at them and think suckers. To make your own banana baby food you peel a banana, mash it up with a fork, and add a little water, maybe some rice cereal.  It doesn't get much easier, and it is much less expensive.  Organic bananas run about $1.00/lb...vs. $1 per 8 ounce jar of baby food!

Baby food is so easy to make it is ridiculous not to.  Bake a sweet potato, mash it, add food.  Peel an avocado, mush it, add food.  Steam some green beans, throw them in a food processor...yup. Baby food.  I usually just take whatever vegetable I am making for dinner...set aside a small portion unseasoned and puree it.  That is how I make baby food.

Sometimes I freeze it, but usually I just make enough for a day or two and keep it in the fridge....the same way I make food for the rest of the family.  It is just apart of my cooking routine...nothing laborious about it.  It requires no cookbook.  Although...if you do want to be adventurous, particularly as your baby starts growing chompers, this book

The Petite Appetit Cookbook by Lisa Barnes is the best book I have come across for healthy whole food for baby.  As the wife of a Chef lets just say I have received a pile of baby cookbooks, and this one takes the cake.

Chef's mom, Gan Gan gave me a mini Cuisinart as a gift and let me tell is one of the best things I have received as a mother.  I made all of Lil' Bit's food in it, and now moving onto The Sprout's meals...and it is great for little things like salad dressings.  I find it much more practical than "The Bullet" or other make-your-own baby food gadgets.

So there you have it.  Baby food is nothing is the same food you eat.  Unless you are a total carnivore, which is just gross.  Fruits, vegetables, water = baby food...throw in a little ground meat later on.  Do your kid a favor and cook the little tike a meal.   It will only make them better eaters as they grow! 

1 comment:

heather said...

yeah for this post. i totally agree with you. and thank you for the cookbook; i am excited to use some of the recipes from it! it is sooo easy to make your own baby food. thanks for the reminder. i know i need to call you back soon, and i will!!