Super Baby Food

During my kid’s 4-month appointment, my pediatrician, Hot Doc (we either see Hot Blonde Doc or Doc that looks like Blythe Danner from West World fame, it’s always an adventure) advised us to try feeding our daughter solids when we think she’s ready.  To start with a tablespoon and see how she does.

This got me all excited.  But first, a little history.

I breastfed as best I could for 2 1/2 months even though I had very little milk and it was crippling to my self esteem.  I wanted it.  I had a breast reduction when I was 17 so I knew it would be hard, but I didn’t care.  I wanted to make something from my body to give to our child.  My emergency c-section was so awful and clinical that breastfeeding seemed like the only natural thing I had left to do.  But it really didn’t work that well, I was kidding myself.  It took 9 days for my milk to come in.  I did skin-to-skin with her for hours, warm washcloths on my boobs, Mother’s Milk tea that tasted like sticks, oatmeal for breakfast, I stopped taking pain meds from my surgery early.  EVERYTHING. All with the added bonus of having to use an annoying nipple shield every single time she ate, even at 2:00 a.m.

But after it was all done, I am fiercely proud of how hard I worked at it for as long as I did and I would never look at the experience in a negative light. All I have to remember is her little face looking up at me half asleep, throwing her mother a bone and pretending she was getting full from something I was giving her.

Now it’s been a few months of formula feeding.  I don’t cringe giving her formula, I’m not that much of a conspiracy theorist.  It’s just, well, I don’t have any input into it.  The only thing I have to do is make sure we have some.  I give the nice cashier at Target my $24.99 and she gives me a container of powder that some machine lovingly made for my kid.  That’s it.  So the prospect of feeding her solids that I could make really sparked my interest.

I’ve been digging into a few books here and there, but the main one I love is Super Baby Foods.  It’s a mom who wanted to give her very premature twins real food, when it wasn’t a common practice in the 80’s, to help them stay healthy.  She ended up writing a book which is the easiest how-to book I think I’ve ever read.  My sister made baby food for her kids a few years ago, so I did have some resources close to home, and she even recommended this book.  However, like any older sister that wants to “do it herself” this book is helping me feel smart and leaves my sister to enjoy her life instead of being on the phone with me and my 1,200 questions.

Now listen, I barely cook dinners at home.  I work full time and when I get home I make quick meals.  The weekends are when I shine in this department.  That being said, feeding our infant homemade foods for EVERY MEAL was a daunting undertaking to wrap my incredibly busy brain around.  Once I started though, another reason kicked in that got me where it counts: my wallet.

I made 21 servings (1 oz.) of organic sweet potatoes that I baked, pureed and froze all by myself from start to finish in under an hour, for $4.00.  I made enough oat cereal for 3 months for $1.50.  That’s right, I’m a frugal lady.  Sure, my kid will get organic whole foods I can feel good about, but what really gets me all tight in the pants is saving mega $$$ on baby food.

I realize on The Crab Bucket, we ladies like to talk all emotional like.  So book reviews are a little out of the ordinary.  You do whatever you want.  We don’t judge around these parts unless you fill your kid’s bottle with Mt. Dew and leave him in your parked car outside a club while you’re stripping for dollars.  Ladies, use Diet Mt. Dew.  It’s fewer calories for their little bodies.

I, personally, just couldn’t get why it was so important to me, why I got all excited to cook for once in my life, until now.

Feeding our babies, from the second they are born, is our main task.  The professionals sure make us feel that way, anyways.  The hospital weighs them immediately and continue to weigh them to make sure they are gaining.  On the dry erase board in my room I remember writing down every feeding, every poop to make sure everything corresponded.  You have follow up appointments to ensure they gained back their birth weight.  Their weight and height and head circumference is put on charts to make sure it’s growing at the right pace.  Even your car seat is based on how much your kid weighs.

It seems our only job for those first months is keep them alive with sustenance and love.  The love comes natural, if you’re lucky.  The sustenance can come cheaply and healthy and just as easy.

Why wouldn’t those ice cube trays full of frozen avacados make me all giddy?  Of course seeing her eat a spoonful of cereal that I made for her makes me just as melty as those dark mornings on the couch when she’d nurse, occasionally looking up at me to smile or put her hand on my face.

I have come to expect motherhood will completely change me.  But I never thought I’d get all weepy over sweet potatoes going round and round in a food processor.



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. JimmyBean
    Oct 01, 2009 @ 07:03:35

    I don’t know If I said it already but …This blog rocks! I gotta say, that I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..Jim Bean


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