Saturday, May 12, 2012

Baby Foodie

Henry recently made his foray into big boyhood by starting solids.  I was pretty stressed about the this before he started - I'm a pretty methodical person and tend to approach things very deliberately.  I knew I wanted to make his food, so solids just sounded like one more complicated thing in our lives.  Up until about 6 months of age, Henry had never eaten anything but breastmilk.  And while that was and continues to be a huge feat in and of itself, there was some simplicity to it - all my baby ever needed was me.  No formula, not even any water.  The idea of making purees and buying baby food was intimidating at first, because they say you're supposed to only expose baby to stuff for three days to make sure there are no allergies, but also give them lots of new tastes and blah blah blah....But now that I'm in the thick of it, I can safely say feeding Henry solids has been super fun.  I haven't baked anything significant in about a year, so making my baby food in large batches and freezing it has appealed to a creative cooking side of me that hasn't made an appearance in quite a while.  Below are some essentials.

You could buy one of those all-in-one baby food makers, or you can use stuff you have around your house.  I've done the latter.  A steaming device is essential.  I have both a microwave steamer and a foldout one, shown below.

I am obsessed with my Cuisinart Smart Stick.  It's great for emulsifying everything, and it's even great for smoothies for mom.  I drink a berry smoothie almost every day.  We have a blender and food processor, but I find the Smart Stick so much easier to use because it's little and requires minimal clean-up. 

I know these things look like ice cube trays, but they are even better because you can easily pop out 1-ounce servings of puree.  I usually make a big batch of something, freeze it, then move it to freezer bags.  Henry has a huge supply of sweet potato (below), mango, avocado, and other goodies waiting for him.

I've had a ricer forever and seldom used it before.  But it's great for potatoes and other things that are a bit too tough for the smart stick.

These are my favorite feeding spoons.  I love them because they look very similar to grown-up spoons but have a gummy end to protect Henry's gummy mouth.  By the way, there is nothing cuter than a baby's gummy mouth.  It's ridiculous.

We feed Henry in his Bumbo chair.  My mother in law told me it has been recalled, which I totally didn't know, so we lovingly refer to it as the death chair.  We think Henry is perfectly safe in it while we're sitting with him so we continue to use it.  Plus it has a tray, which is really handy.  I was hoping to not need a high chair until we move to our new house, but I may not be able to wait any longer.
Of course there are plenty other things you need to make and serve food to your baby, but these are the things I've found most useful.  Making food is for your kid yourself is cool because you know exaclty what they're getting.  And on days when I don't have time to whip something up, I can always either pop out  some frozen puree or do something simple and no-fuss, like smush a banana or avocado slice.  I know things will get complicated soon when Henry requires a more balanced diet, but we're loving how things are going at this eating stage in his life. And it certainly doesn't hurt that full bellies = better sleep at night.

1 comment:

  1. We love making M's food and we also use a lot of stuff we just had around the house (our immersion blender is awesome!!). You actually may find that when Henry needs a more balanced diet, that he is able to (mostly) eat what you are eating. That's been the case with M and it is so much easier. We still mash up some stuff for him, but he is usually eating whatever we are eating for dinner. Have fun experimenting with solids! :)