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The Baby Food Adventure Begins.

September 19, 2010

“Has she had a cupcake yet?”

“Uh, no, not really.”

“Well, she is walking and talking right? She has at least had frosting, I hope.”

“Nope Jen, that doesn’t happen until she is 1.”

“Well does she do anything interesting yet; I mean she should. I taught a course on childhood development this past summer, you know.”

Luckily, the conversation above was smothered with friendly sarcasm by my fellow Cultural Studies PhD friend, JM, who taught a course on Freud and Lacan. Quite an interpretation of childhood development indeed. She then pretended to interpret Serafina’s every action, which reminded me that Freud needed an analyst.

The funny thing about JM’s statements is that no one really knows about when and what babies should eat. For those who aren’t entrenched in the world of early parenthood (and believe me I don’t want to bore you guys with too many baby food posts), there are debates about allergies, food consistency, canned or fresh, as well as developing good eating habits. Some say starting a baby on fruit will make them used to sweet food too early. Similarly, many malign orange vegetables for being too sweet, while some say they are gentler on the baby’s system. In opposition, others say that starting with green veggies is tougher on the digestive system, but are better to start with because they aren’t sweet. Then there is the never-ending list of no-no foods, such as honey, egg whites, nuts, wheat, etc. Really, the list is endless and intimidating. On top of everything, you have to introduce each food for about 5 days to be sure there are no allergies. When you start to tally all the foods you need to put through a 5 day cycle, it feels like a culinary marathon. There are numerous interpretations to the research, believe me I looked it up. I asked friends, I read books, I looked at studies on the internet. I searched for the best first food out there. In the end, a month ago, I started Serafina on organic rice cereal. It was a bit of a nightmare, one that mostly AAM navigated. Most of the cereal landed around the room, it is amazing how they project that stuff, and where you find it later. That was all fun, however, I am not sure I count rice cereal as food, seriously it is mush in milk. Not quite edible.

Serafina is finally ready for real food, and I could not be more excited. After all that research, I decided on sweet potatoes, which really should be called the miracle vegetable. It is packed with so many intense nutrients, and it tastes yummy. Last night, while watching TV, I steamed a sweet potato and then threw it in the cuisinart. One minute later, I divided each portion into small baby cubes. Voila, baby food for a week, and it was portable. Seriously, I am not sure why people use the jars. They are full of filler, additives, and oh- lead. Plus, it is cheaper to buy one sweet potato. It is super easy to make and freeze baby food, try it. Your child deserves your food, not baby fast food.

Tonight, Serafina had her first real food, and she ate it up. I hate to gush, but there are many cool things about being a mother, but watching her eat her first food, and enjoy it, was pretty monumental. I am thinking cupcakes are next?

Sweet Potatoes for Baby**

  • 2 small sweet potatoes or one large (the smaller ones are better because they mush better
  • 4 cups of water
  1. Quickly peel sweet potatoes
  2. In a steamer pot, or with a steamer insert, steam the sweet potatoes for 10 minutes
  3. Put the sweet potato in your food processor for a minute or so, until it is a mushy texture. Add in leftover water from the steamer to help soften.
  4. Place 1 oz in each baby cube, about 5 cubes (5 days of food).
  5. Serve at room temperature, and combine with a little milk to soften.

***This recipe below maybe obvious to some, but for those who are intimidated by making baby food, this should just show how easy it is. This is the basic method for all vegetables. The exceptions are foods with shells (peas and beans), where a strainer is used to take off the shell. Oh, and with carrots you can’t use the reserve water to soften because of nitrates. Just use fresh water or breast milk/formula.

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 20, 2010 8:13 am

    I am so excited about this stage in life. HDW is just getting ready for rice cereal (which does look gross), but I am so excited to make my own food. I agree with you: there are not a lot of reasons to use jarred food. I have no excuse not to make food since I am staying at home right now. Good luck and enjoy- also, you might want to buy a plastic mat for the floor, if you haven’t already. I think my dog is going to love this new stage too 🙂

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