Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Foray into Home Made Baby Foods

The benefits of home made baby food are, in my mind, almost innumerable.  Just to state a few, we've got:

Enhanced flavor - have you ever tasted jarred baby food?  The stuff is intentionally made blander than adult food because supposedly that's easier on baby's growing taste buds.  Homemade baby food or blenderized adult foods, in contrast, have the same nutritional input as we get as adults and have quite strong tastes in a lot of cases.  Sure, there may be flavors your little one doesn't like... but you're teaching them about real food taste from day 1 of eating solids-- as a feeding therapist, I think that's great.

Caloric/Nutrient density -  How about looking at the nutrition information on the back side?  It is quite low in caloric density, meaning that your baby can eat and eat it, but it doesn't actually add much nutritional value for them.  Yes, when they're little, they should be getting "most" of their calories from their liquid intake (breast milk or formula) because it's complete nutrition.  But why does that mean we have to minimize what they're getting in their fruits and veggies

Cost - that's right, ladies and gents... it's frugal.  When you buy real foods and puree them (or dice, chop, steam, etc based on whether your kiddo is old enough to do a little mashing/chewing), you're paying real food prices.  You're not paying for extra packaging, shipping, etc.  You're also not paying for ingredients or procedures intended to extend their shelf life in little jars.  Which brings me to...

Quite simply, You know what's in it - I'm trying (though not always succeeding, I'll be honest) to eat foods that my grandmother would recognize as foods.  That means that foods shouldn't have a million ingredients.  And I should be able to pronounce and identify all of the ingredients.  I think this is going to be especially important in those early months when I'm learning what my little girl is or isn't allergic to and does or doesn't like to eat.

Thus, this week, I began my foray into home made baby foods.  Yes, I realize that I'm 8 months pregnant.  And yes, I realize that my child won't eat pureed baby foods until she's AT LEAST 4 months old and possibly older.  But I've got some veggies in my organic delivery box that I need to store before they go bad-- it's hard to eat all of these things when I'm not feeling like cooking and I've been cooking for 1 this month while Ben's been out of town.

Tonight's experiment was to roast, puree, and store some rutabega.  I use my oven, my blender, and my new So Easy Baby Fresh kit that my friend, K, got me for my baby shower and put myself to work!  The little ice cube trays for storing the food are excellent, in my opinion.  Once they're frozen, I'll pop them out and put many of them down in a ziplock or other storage container.  Each little cube is 1 ounce, which will make it easy for me to know how much the little one needs and is eating at each meal.  They're also a bit sturdier (and have a lid) than regular ice cube trays, so I'm hoping that means the frozen pureed rutabega will pop out a little more smoothly.

All in all, it was a great experience.  AND... in a bit of selfishness (or maybe just to see what happens), I can also borrow a couple of those cubes to mix into other foods for the adults in my house... popping a couple down in some mashed potatoes or a little bit of spaghetti sauce means that hubby is exposed to a few more vitamins than normal... always a goal of mine.  And in a small volume, he'll never taste the difference.  Shhh...

Any experienced moms out there have advice about home made baby foods for me?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Healthy Baby requires a Healthy Mama!

So as many of you know, bi-weekly (or is it semi-weekly... I always forget how to use those terms) I receive a fruit and vegetable delivery from  What a great company, btw!  They're reliable and definitely a great cost-effective, easy choice for me to make to take one step towards organic and healthy living.

This week in my Organics box, I got celery.  I'm ashamed to say that two weeks ago when the celery arrived, I let it sit in my fridge, unused, and it ended up going bad.  But I refused to let that happen again! Thus, tonight I decided to make some cream of celery soup to put away.  I'm using a slight variation on this recipe, from The Humbled Homemaker.  I, of course, am tripling the volume so I have some to use this week if I want and some to put up in the freezer for later.  I'm using up the end of some milk that is just about to go bad, so it feels like a frugal choice.  And I'm also using my own home made veggie broth in it instead of chicken broth.  One step closer to organic, healthy, and home made!  Finally, I'm using more celery than she calls for, and I'm going to puree it too, 'cause I like it creamy and smooth and my celery mincing and garlic chopping was more coarse than it probably should have been.

In the future, I can use my homemade cream of celery soup as a base for all kinds of casseroles, cooked veggies and chicken dishes.  Sure, these aren't "baby foods"... but for the next year or so as I breastfeed (or pump and bottle feed breast milk if necessary), my food IS the baby food.  So as the title says, a healthy baby requires a healthy mama!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Confession is Good for the Soul

I confess I think I've been avoiding the blog.  I put it together with the primary goal of being the place I could talk about pregnancy and motherhood, judgement free, away from the "news feed" of facebook.  I didn't want to be that person who only posted on facebook about their child, so I thought this would be a good safe space.

But for the last several weeks, as I've been well into the 3rd trimester, I've sort of felt like what my mom used to say to me-- if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.  I wish I was the sort of pregnant woman who was happily nesting, decorating a nursery, and being excited about all of the new "stuff" that she owns for her baby.  I wish I was writing love letters and singing lullabies to my unborn to share with you.  Heck, I wish I was at least reading a good book with new, interesting tidbits about natural childbirth, labor, and delivery that I felt worth posting!

Truth of the matter is, that none of that feel-good stuff is happening.  Ben's been out of town for the entire month of March.  I typically have enough energy to make it to and from work followed by hopefully creating some sort of dinner and then falling in front of the computer for Netflicks or Hulu before I pass out.  I want to be eating better-- healthier, greener -- for me and for my growing little one.  But I'm not.  I just can't be bothered to put in the energy!  I'm not sleeping well, I am uncomfortable all the time ("squished" is the best word I can come up with) and there doesn't feel like there's a solution for it.  I think I've got more sadness/depression about Ben being gone than actual fatigue... but either way it limits me from house cleaning and other necessary chores.  People ask what they can do to help, but I'm not great at taking them up on it... I mean, how could I possibly ask someone to do the laundry that I'm capable of, just because I'm feeling too lazy to do it?

In so many ways, I'm just feeling overwhelmed by the process.  I know it will all get better once Ben gets home (5 more days!) and I have some emotional support.  But I can't help feeling like I lost a month here that I should have been using more productively.  And let me tell you, when you try to explain this feeling to people, most don't understand... saying things like, "well, enjoy your rest now!  It's the last chance you'll get for 18 years!"  I don't want to enjoy my rest.  I want to actually take care of myself.  The type of "rest" I've had this month is not enjoyable, it's just sad.

*sigh* I read over this and wonder if I should be keeping these thoughts to myself rather than publishing them on the internet for all (whomever "all" is) to read... but maybe some day another mom-to-be will read this and feel justified, not alone... and so for that reason, I'm about to hit "publish"-- against my better judgement.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Hey world!

I read somewhere that pregnant woman salivate more than typical.  Anyone know if this is true?  I don't feel like I have more, and I'm not drooling more or anything.  But I keep coughing on my saliva - out of the blue - and I wonder if it's true...