very, very helpful baby food chart

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One of my favorite websites for baby food recipes and references is WholesomeBabyFood.momtastic.com.  They have loads of information on what foods to introduce when, how to prepare them, and how to spice them up once you’re baby gets older.  I just came across a printable one page food chart on their site that will be very helpful to everyone, even if you’re not making your own baby food. It details what you can introduce to your baby depending on their age including cereals, fruits, vegetables, proteins and dairy.

The chart can be found here.

Part 2 – making baby food – it’s so easy!

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I’ve made some more yummy fruit and veggies for my little monster since my last baby food post and he’s loving them! I never would’ve thought that he’d like things like green beans or peas as much as he does. He literally screams for food when we sit him in the high-chair now. Don’t believe me? Check out the video below.  I really think that making the baby food fresh makes all the difference.

Here’s what I’ve been making:

Peaches
1. Wash peaches
2. Carve an X into one side of the fruit and place X side down into 1″ of water in a sauce pan.
3. Bring water to a boil and steam until soft.
4. Peel skin from fruit and remove pits.
5. Process until smooth, adding water/formula/breast milk as needed

Pears
1. Once fruit is ripe, wash and peel.
2. Deseed and slice the pear into chunks.
3.  Process until smooth.  If the pear is really ripe, you can also mash with a fork.

Peas (from frozen)
1. Steam peas until cooked.
2. Rinse peas under cold water with some ice (helps puree come out smoother).
3. Process until smooth, adding water/formula/breast milk as needed

** veggies and fruits will keep in the freezer for up to three months.

Hopefully, your child will react to yummy homemade baby food just like this:

making baby food – it’s so easy!

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I didn’t know I would be able to make my own baby food, and that it would be so easy to do.  I really wasn’t looking forward to spending tons of money on processed goop and had fears of stacks and stacks of little glass bottles lining my kitchen counter.  I admit the idea was a bit intimidating at first, but I’m so glad I did my research and dove in.

If you think about it, homemade food usually tastes better than packaged food, and is better for you. So why would baby food be any different? My thinking is if I can make my son homemade food from fresh ingredients, he won’t be shocked when he switches to eating the real thing and (hopefully) won’t refuse it.  Homemade pureed green beans taste like real green beans.  Processed green beans in a jar do not.  If you wouldn’t eat it yourself, why would you feed it to your baby?

I spend a couple hours max on the weekend making Liam’s food and put the finished product in ice-cube trays to freeze. The cubes can then be transferred to freezer bags and I just pick out a cube or two per day for his meals.

I knew that if I was going to be making all of Lima Bean’s food, I would need a pretty decent food processer.  I purchased the Ninja Master Prep and it works really well. I didn’t get the Baby Bullet or any other specially-made-for-baby-food processor because I plan to use it for other things – and frankly, I don’t see the difference.

I started my son on avocado when he was 5 ½ months old because of its healthy fats and smooth texture. He loves it and even prefers it over other foods. If I make him something he doesn’t like, I’ll mix it with avocado and he’ll gobble it up.  Banana is another easy food that only requires a little mashing and it’s ready to go. It’s very convenient to just throw a banana in the diaper bag for feeding on the go.

Here are some baby food “recipes” I’ve made so far:

Brown Rice Cereal
1. Grind some brown rice in a spice mill or coffee grinder
2. Add ¼ cup rice cereal to 1 cup of boiling water and simmer for approximately 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Add formula/breast milk as desired.


Avocado
1. Wash avocado
2. Slice avocado, remove pit and scoop insides from shell into blender/processor.
3. Process until smooth, adding water/formula/breast milk as needed

Banana
1. Peel banana and slice
2. Mash banana with a fork until smooth


Sweet Potato
1. Wash sweet potato
2. Poke holes in sweet potato with a fork and bake in 350 degrees oven for approximately 40 minutes until fork tender.
3. Let cool a little, and then scoop insides into blender/processor
4. Process until smooth, adding water/formula/breast milk as needed

Carrots
1. Wash and peel carrots
2. Steam carrots until tender
3. Let cool a little, and then pour into blender/processor
4. Process until smooth, adding water/formula/breast milk as needed (use the water the carrots were steamed with so you don’t lose any vitamins)

Green Beans
1. Wash green beans
2. Boil green beans for approximately 3 minutes until fork tender
3. Drain green beans, reserving the water
4. Pour green beans into blender/processor
4. Process until smooth, adding water/formula/breast milk as needed (use the water the green beans were steamed with so you don’t lose any vitamins)

Acorn/Butternut Squash
1. Wash squash
2. Halve squash and scoop out the seeds and pulp
3. Place squash face down on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil
4. Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 40 minutes until fork tender
5. Let cool a little, and then scoop insides into blender/processor
4. Process until smooth, adding water/formula/breast milk as needed

** veggies and fruits will keep in the freezer for up to three months.

Festival!

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I love festivals. There’s music, lots of stuff to look at, good people watching and mingling, and great food. Of course for me, it’s always about the food.

We took the little one to his first Folk Festival this past weekend and he did much better than we expected. He experienced his first klezmer dance instruction, Chinese opera, Middle Eastern percussion and Tibetan monks all in one day! And he got to take a very relaxing nap by the river.

As you can see from the picture, he was mesmerized by the Azerbaijani duo.  It’s strange to think that just a year ago he was yet to be.

I was a little disappointed I didn’t get to try the famous Trinidadian curry chicken and rice with pigeon peas as they sold out, but the Thai shrimp fried rice and spring roll more than made up for it.

Big tip for parents planning to take a newborn to a festival anytime soon  – back pack carriers rock!

pity party

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I’m counting calories again. I worked really hard to get where I was right before I got pregnant. I was the healthiest I had ever been. I was eating well. I felt great. Self esteem was good. I had just bought two new bikinis and a size four skirt – I hadn’t been a size four in years!

Then the wonderful news came. I definitely enjoyed eating without remorse during the pregnancy. I have a big, healthy boy now so I shouldn’t be complaining. I gained 55 lbs. total and have since lost 30 lbs. I should be proud of that, but I’m so impatient. I keep telling myself I’m being ridiculous. It took nine months to put on, it’s not going to just fall off. But I really want to rock my old jeans again.

I’m angry that my body is so damaged and I can’t do everything I want to do. I am sick of elastic and want to be able to actually button a pair of pants. I want to wear my old heels again. I actually miss cardio – crazy but true.

I put away all of my pre-pregnancy clothes that don’t fit yet so I don’t have to stare at them anymore (notice I said “yet”. It will happen!). I have more clothes that don’t fit than do. I will get there again.

All of my frustration and body anxiety aside, I love being a mom. It makes me feel great to love and care for my son. My family is beautiful and I couldn’t ask for anything better.

MyFitnessPal – Free Calorie Counter

Howdy strangers

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Damn time flies. 

So, we had a baby. He was a wopping 8 1/2 pounds and it wasn’t easy getting him here. I had a bit of recovery time to go through and although I’m still not 100%, I’m much better than I was.  And I have a perfectly healthy, beautiful son to show for it. I loved being home with him but unfortunately one must return to real living.  Here I am, one week back at work, paying for the childcare that I wish I could stay home and provide.  At least we are the first people he sees when he gets up smiling in the morning and the last ones to say goodnight to him.  And we have the weekends to get in tons of cuddle time.

I’m still cooking up a storm, but I use E-Mealz mostly, since I don’t have a lot of time for meal planning.  I’ve been using them for at least six months now and have been very pleased with their variety and simplicity.

I hope to start blogging regularly again.  Stay tuned…