Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Baby Foodie

Let me tell you about this baby of mine: She LOVES to eat.

I should’ve realized it from the very beginning when she was furious every 2 ½ hours on the dot. Forget trying to push for 31/2-4 hours between a feed. This kid was serious about mealtime.

Around 3 months, she started staring longingly at everything we were eating and drinking. And at 4 months, she was reaching for it and shrieking. Nowadays, we have to have something for her to hold, suck on, or drink during mealtime, or else we would have one angry girl on our hands.

The first time I gave her rice cereal, she literally attacked the spoon. I couldn’t get it in her fast enough. Now that she is eating solids, she hasn’t met a food that she doesn’t like. She doesn’t make a face, she doesn’t spit it out, she just swallows quickly and opens up like a baby bird, begging for more.

Because of her quick adjustment to and her apparent longing for food, I started Kya on solids during her 5th month instead of waiting for the traditional six months. What can I say? I’m rebellious like that ;)

So far, she has tried and loves apples, bananas, pears, peaches, carrots, butternut squash, avocados, and sweet potatoes as well as rice cereal. I wish I could say that Kya’s love for food has developed because I have been making her baby food with my own hands and adding love to every “from scratch” serving. But alas, I think she’s just a baby foodie and would eat baby food out of a jar, off the floor, or otherwise.

I have really been enjoying making her baby food, however, and I’m really excited for the next two months when I can start experimenting with different combinations and dishes. Just wait ‘til she has teeth! Homemade baby finger foods fill me with excitement! Baby omelettes, baby pancakes, and baby veggie sticks! Baby yogurt parfaits, baby pot pies, and baby pasta dishes! The combinations are endless! (Does this make me a weirdo?)

I don’t have much time in my life. Really. So, this is how I make baby food:

When I grasp a rare minute, I take a large batch of the fruit or veggie of my choice and peel and chop it I stick it in a pot with a bit of water and put the cover on. Usually, I then get distracted by some other job.

When I get another minute, I boil the food until it is soft enough to fall apart when I try to pick it up with the fork. I try not to add too much liquid while cooking so that I don’t have to drain any off when it’s cooked. Then, I get distracted again because someone has called or knocked on my door or needs me RIGHT NOW. So I put the cooked veggies/fruit in the fridge until later.

Later, I put the food into a mini food processor and puree it smooth. Sometimes I have to add some water or milk (especially in the case of sweet potatoes) to make it a good consistency.

I never strain anything. I take the pureed food and scoop it into ice cube trays and freeze them. When they’re frozen, I put two or three cubes into individual Ziploc bags (Thank you packages from America!) and label them. I’m thinking it probably takes me 30-45 minutes for a batch of baby food that yields enough for 10-15 meals. So, I spend about an hour a week making baby food. I’m sure it will get a bit more labor intensive when I start combining more things and making finger foods. But right now, it’s easy-peasy.

I don’t have a microwave, so to thaw and reheat the food, I boil the tea kettle and pour the hot water into a bowl and put the small Ziploc bag with the food inside. Then, I am just extremely wasteful and snip off the corner of the Ziploc bag and squeeze the food into a bowl (keep those packages comin’!) I really dislike washing out Ziploc bags. Bad missionary. Bad.

I have this theory that because the food is not always a perfect consistency that it will be easier for Kya to adjust to eating more finger/”adult” food when the time comes. This may or may not be true. Or she’ll probably just really like to eat and it will be easy because of that. And then I can pretend like it was because of my genius baby food that saved me loads of money. (We’re talking 15% of the cost of jarred baby food in Zambia…WHOA.)

For the record, Sunda is also a great lover of food. This particular picture features beans and nshima (nshima being the staple food of Zambia.) Some of her random food loves include: Marmite and toast, hummus and veggie sticks, Nutella with ANYTHING, and anything that involves eggs or bacon.


Beth said...

I love it when you blog! I love these glimpses into your life. Miss you!!

Kara said...

Hey, save washing the bowl and spoon just squeeze it into her mouth like GoGurt! haha