Friday, December 28, 2012

Making Baby Food... Super Mom?

So I have decided to make my own baby food. Why? Does this make me a Super Mom as some suggest? I don't think so, nor do I think it is as hard as those making it out to be. I plan to try for a couple of reasons...

1. Cost effective- each container of baby food is about $.99. I can buy fresh fruit and veggies, make all the food in one afternoon, freeze it, and it will have cost me much less overall.



2. Healthier- this is debatable. Gerber has come a long way in the way they make their baby food. Since solids to start with are really just helping your baby get used to flavors and textures (and is NOT suppose to replace a nursing session), this isn't too much of a big deal. I don't plan to buy organic just yet but because I will be mixing most things with breast milk, it will essentially be healthier.

3. Fun- Yes. I said it. I think making baby food will be fun. I love to cook (when I have the time) and I will enjoy making the food, freezing and storing. I will be proud that my baby is eating something that I have put time and effort into preparing.

I have heard that making baby food really isn't that hard. You need to cook the food, puree it, store it. DONE. An article published in 2006 suggests that MEAT should be one of babies first foods, especially if they are breastfed.  I am going to wait to talk to the pediatrician to see what she suggests.

Kellymom.com has some great information on solid foods and when to start what:

Suggested ages for introducing allergenic foods
(for babies who are not at increased risk for food allergies)
NO solids (this includes cereal) or juices
0-6 months
Wheat
Oranges and other citrus
Cheese
Yogurt
Soy
Peas and other legumes (except peanuts)
Egg yolk
Corn
9-12 months
Cow’s milk (including cottage cheese, ice cream)
Pork
Tomatoes
12 – 18 months
Egg whites
Berries
18 – 24 months
Chocolate
2 years
Fish & seafood
Nuts (except peanuts)
2 – 3 years
Peanuts
3 years
Sources:
Prevention of Allergies and Asthma in Children from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
PDF Preventing or Delaying the Onset of Food Allergies in Infants by the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network
Preventing Allergies in Infancy and Childhood from Allergy New Zealand

Something I also read, "The breastfed baby digests solid foods better and earlier than the artificially fed baby because breast milk contains enzymes which help digest fats, proteins and starch. As well, breastfed babies have had a wide variety of tastes in their lives, since the flavors of many foods the mother eats will pass into her milk. Breastfed babies thus accept solids more readily than artificially fed babies."

A great site for getting recipes and knowing what to feed your baby is wholesomebabyfood.com.



Christmas Day we tried sweet potato. I am following the 4 day rule (wait 4 days in between trying new foods) and plan to try avocados next, then apples. To thin out the veggies, I plan to add breast milk.

Wholesomebabyfood.com suggests: Nurse your baby or offer formula bottles before solid foods. Offer solids from 1/2 hour to 1 hour after breast or bottle. Formula and/or Breast Milk are more important than solid foods when baby is starting solids. Start solids in the morning or mid-afternoon. If your baby has any type of reaction, either allergic or with tummy troubles, you will have all day to deal with it. Starting solids at bedtime runs the risk of disrupting baby's sleeping schedule as her body learns to digest the new foods.

I have been feeding him right before bed but will probably switch to morning. I may switch back to night when I go back to teaching due to my limited morning schedule with him. At his 6 month appointment (January 8th), I will ask what they suggest.

See Part Two Here