Sunday, March 15, 2009

Bon Appetit

My blender is once again humming away on a regular basis, but it's baby food, not margaritas, that won it a permanent spot on the kitchen counter.

(Ah, margaritas. Don't forget me. Someday we'll reunite in paradise, if I'm not too tired.)

Lion is now eating solids three times a day. I was giving him two solids a day until I took him to the pediatrician last week. I asked her, "How do I know if he's ready for more?" and she said, "He's ready."

(she's from Boston and I love her because she always says, "Oh, Lion! You're so smaaaaaat!" and you know how I feel about accents. She could tell me Lion is unbelieveably stupid and I would still sit there all day long with a goofy smile on my face.)

I know it must seem like there are better things to worry about than whether your baby eats pureed whatever once, twice, or fifty times a day, but, you know. First-time parent and not wanting to do my baby irreparable harm and all that.

So now I'm that annoying person who buys organic everything for her baby. Mike and I do not eat an all-organic diet because 1) it's often too expensive, and 2) sometimes you can't find an organic version of what you need. And I never worried much about it. But for a small baby? Avoiding synthetic pesticides & hormones can't be a bad thing, and he doesn't eat that much, so it's manageable.

Check back in two years, at which point I'll probably be letting him lick the toilet.

So far my baby food-making repertoire includes oat groats, apple sauce, bananas, sweet potatoes, avocado, cannellini beans, and lentils. Lion liked lentils for a few days, but now acts like I'm trying to poison him when I sneak a spoonful into his mouth. Have you ever witnessed a baby's expression of complete betrayal? It's hilarious and heartbreaking all at once.

Anyhow, making your own baby food is very easy and cheaper than buying it. Even if you think you can't cook, don't worry- baby food is the non-cook's dream. Everything is supposed to be mushy!

Oat Groats for Baby:
(recipe from Ruth Yaron's book, Super Baby Food- highly recommended!)

  • Measure 1/4 cup oat groats (or use brown rice, barley, etc.) into your blender; blend 2 minutes for beginner eaters (or less for chunkier cereal for more experienced eaters). I usually grind a cup or two at a time and store what I'm not going to use in an air-tight container.
  • Bring 1 cup water to boil on stove. Turn heat to lowest setting. Sprinkle ground oat groats into water, stirring briskly with a wire whisk.
  • Cover pot and cook for 10 minutes, whisking frequently to remove lumps and avoid burning.
  • If cereal is too thick, thin with a little formula, breast milk, or water. Don't thin it ahead of time, though- wait until you're about to serve it.
That's it. Very bland, but Lion loves it. Soon I'll start making it with a combination of grains.

Also: I bought eight of these Ball half-pint mason jars (Wegmans carries them), and they're perfect for baby food that I'm planning to keep in the fridge for use within the next few days, and for sending along to daycare. Take off the lid and the jar can go straight into the microwave for warming.

My parents were visiting from Florida last week and we had several outings with Lion. One day we were eating lunch in a small cafe and Lion was completely enamored of the waitress. Any time she passed through the room, his eyes were glued to her, and anytime she spoke to him, he smiled like a fool. Once she was on the other side of the room and he shrieked at the top of his lungs to get her attention. Without missing a beat she called, "I'll be right with you, sir!" Everyone in the place laughed.

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Blogger Caro said...

Uh oh. He's discovered girls already. LOL

I feel you are absolutely on target with the organic foods. I wish I had done that with Sean and wish I had used natural cleaners all along.

Every little bit helps to lighten the toxin load. (Who have I become and where is the old Carolyn?)

12:35 PM  
Blogger His suzy said...

I love a good wait-staff person who's fun and pleasant! :)

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Betsy said...

Yep. Natural cleaners and food. Now that we know so much about this stuff, why wouldn't you? have you read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle? If not, do.

5:52 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

caro- I'm with you- every little bit helps.

Suzy- some people are put off by it, but I'm with you.

Betsy- yes, and I loved it.

10:30 AM  

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