Miriam is now eating three meals a day, plus a few snacks! It took me awhile to get into the groove of feeding her. At first I was intimidated by the concept of making baby food. I started off buying some organic baby food called Sprout. It’s actually pretty good, as baby food goes. It’s all organic, the ingredients are pure and simple, and the flavor combinations are thoughtful (banana and mango, peas and beans with mint, apples and blueberries, pears and apricots, peach rice pudding). Baby food can have spices in it like mint and nutmeg and cardamon. But after feeding Miriam some of that stuff, it struck me that the ingredients were so simple that I could be making them myself. I remembered some friends of ours in Rochester, Ken and Carrie, who made baby food for their kids, and Ken told me over and over again how easy it was, and how nutritious. I bought the book Super Baby Food, and I started.
Here’s what I usually do: once a week, I bake two yams in the oven (I prick them with a fork a few times and wrap them in aluminum foil). When they are soft all the way through, I take them out, let them cool, peel them and mash them into a pile on a plate. Then I use a spoon to scoop little portions into an ice-cube tray. I let the yams freeze overnight, then pop them out of the ice cube tray and put the food cubes into a freezer ziploc bag. Then all I have to do is remove one cube at a time, thaw in the microwave, and feed it to Miriam! She eats one cube of sweet potatoes daily. I have also done this with pears–peel and cube them, cook in a saucepan on the stove with a little water until soft, and puree (or leave in small chunks if baby can handle those). Freeze in an ice cube tray. This takes very little time and can easily be done on the weekends. I can send homemade food with her to the babysitter’s, and have it for use at home.
Miriam’s diet so far is basically the same every day. For breakfast she has whole grain oatmeal cereal (Earth’s Best–I could do homemade cereal but I haven’t gone there yet) mixed with applesauce, pears or bananas. For lunch she has sweet potatoes and peas (she loves freezer peas–I thaw them briefly and she eats them as finger food). For dinner she has whole milk yogurt with another fruit or vegetable. All day long she snacks on Cheerios, and she also likes cheese and crackers. If Krestia and I are having something baby-food friendly for dinner, she’ll have little bits of it. She likes chicken (I’ve starting doing a roast chicken once a week or so). I do need to work on getting more green vegetables into her. So far she doesn’t like avocado, broccoli or green beans.
It feels good to know exactly what goes into her food, since I’m making it myself. It is pretty easy and convenient. I find myself eating bits of the food I feed her–it’s yummy. The storebought stuff usually has some kind of metallic, processed taste. I will probably buy baby food occasionally to have when we travel, but for now, I’m going strong on making my own.