Thursday, December 29, 2011

Food = fuel

We all know that we need to eat, runners know that food is fuel. We have our "go-to" meals the night before a big run (baked ziti for me) and our favorite pre-run meals (not too heavy or fibrous - oatmeal and some pb). But, food is important for babies too!

I'd like to stray from the "RUN" in this blog and focus more on the "MUM." So, those of you who read this just for the "RUN" may want to exit out of this window. I understand. I won't judge. Anyway, many of my friends and family members have recently had or are having babies in the next few months, and I wanted to share my experience with Oliver's solid foods. I'm not a registered dietitian or pediatric food expert by any means, so take it all with a grain of salt. (Want to follow the blog of a dietitian in training? visit!)

Starting at 6 months, we began rice cereal - once every 4 days or so, to ::ahem:: let it 'process.' I mixed it with BM (if you have to ask what BM is, you don't want to or need to know). Then, we progressed to oatmeal every few days, and eventually......sweet potatoes!
O's first bite of rice cereal

Someone loves sweet potatoes!
 Then, we did the 'oranges' - carrots, butternut squash, etc. With each new food, Oliver tries it for four days in a row (without any other new foods being introduced at the same time) to ensure that there are no food allergies. [Side note: if you know me well, and my family members you will understand how important this is knowing the genetics involved.]  

I followed a lot of what was in the Baby Bullet food guide (within reason though), combined with information on this GREAT website:
Plus, I spent a LOT of time in the produce aisle at the grocery looking for the best, in season fruits and veggies.

I usually spend 2-3 naps (roughly an hour each) a week making food for Oliver. I find the best thing to do is set up a steam basket with one food, while I use the microwave for another (like those great microwave bags of green beans, peas, broccoli, etc.) and at the same time, I puree a food that doesn't need to be cooked first - like pineapple (which we did the other day and are going to try next week!). It's a lot of multi-tasking, and it takes up a significant amount of counter space, but it's a LOT better than spending every nap, or every evening (after bed) cooking when there is SUCH good reality TV on :)   

Ben loves watching infomercials (mostly, I think, because they come on before and after soccer games on FSN), and has bought things like the swivel sweep. I knew he'd approve of me buying the Baby Bullet, once I saw the infomercial. Now, to be completely honest, there is only ONE thing that comes with the 'system' I REALLY couldn't live without:

The silicone freezer tray = UH-mazing!
 The ice cube tray is great because it has an interlocking top that prevents most (not all - oops!) spills, and the best part is that the 'cubes' are super easy to push out because of the flexible material. Most of the other parts of the Baby Bullet can be done with household items, like a good Oster blender, and some tupperware. Sorry Baby Bullet people.

Cute, little baby bullets!
From here, I place each different food in a labeled, freezer-safe ziploc bag - usually a quart size will do. The dates are very important because of the safe-food guidelines. (I always use them within 2 months of being frozen, but more often than not we go through them within a month).

Squash ready to be stored
The quart size bags (like above) then go into a 2.5 gallon freezer safe bag. Yes, they do make them, and they're GREAT.

2.5 gallons of yummy, homemade veg!
Now, you might be wondering what our freezer and fridge look like. So here you go!
First, the freezer:

...and the fridge!

I do, though, sometimes give Oliver more than homemade pureed foods. See:

 Sometimes, we have an Ella's pouch. 100% organic, great on-the-go, especially handy when you're out doing errands. Oliver is so close to being able to self-feed the pouches. Plus, they mix fruits and vegetables together to make the stronger flavors more tolerable. (This is an issue I have though... for another day, I suppose)

At 10 months, we NEED finger foods (see below). If he doesn't have something in his hands, I can't get food from a spoon into his mouth. Plain and simple. It's all about diversion right now. He looks at the cheeto/yogurt melt/wagon wheel and while he is bringing it towards his mouth - BAM! spoonful of asparagus successfully delivered.

I also keep a stock of cereals on hand to mix in with, well, pretty much everything. Oliver LOVES Barley and multi-grain, and the oatmeal just seems like a great breakfast food. (Like he would complain if he had green beans or lentils at 8am, I guess it's just my idea of what breakfast 'should' be). 

That's what we do 'round here, at least for now.
Do any of you have suggestions/opinions/favorite foods that you'd like to share? :) pleeeease?

1 comment:

  1. You are the cutest mom! Wish I had something to share regarding this topic but I just love how organized you are!