I know that the only people in the world who find food encrusted babies cute are parents.
In particular parents of their own food encrusted baby.
Just give me a second
so I can get this cuteness overdose out of my system.
baby Maria was born in September, about the same time when I started neglecting this blog. Before her arrival I posted a lot about cooking with kids, in particular cooking with my son Enzo. Baby Maria is 9 months old and this is the first post dedicated to babies and food. Sorry it took me so long.
Alas, here are my 2 cents about feeding little tiny humans.
My fave (I wish). I was able to breast feed Enzo no problem for over a year. Baby Maria has been much harder. Early on it was difficult and awkward. Lactation consultants are so great and I highly recommend seeing one or two or three. They helped and they soothed. In Santa Cruz I was able to get help from Sutter Hospital. You can find help by calling your local hospital, they will be able to direct you to a lactation center. Better yet, ask a friend or a mother that you trust for advice. I wish I had done this sooner. If your next door neighbor has kids, chances are that she's had trouble breast feeding. If she hasn't then the next door down from her guaranteed has had trouble. Breast feeding can be really hard and it's good to find a support system.
Enzo never had formula and I'll openly admit that I thought the stuff was made out of poison. I was such a breast milk snob. For the last month I've had crazy nipple infections. It bleeds and cracks and bleeds and cracks and makes it impossible to breast feed. The worst part was the guilt. At first I felt guilty about supplementing with formula and then I felt guiltier for enjoying bottle feeding. Feeding my baby without having blood come out of my nipples is magic called bonding! So, if you're a new mom or a second time mom like me and you need to supplement with formula, oh well, it's o.k. On Monday I went to the doctor again and I am now on 3 different medications to try and heal my nipples. If it happens great if not, oh well, she'll just bottle feed, bottle feed formula not breast milk. I tried pumping but it's impossible. I can't pump and parent two children simultaneously. I started her off with soy-formula but my doctor recommended not giving her soy so I switched to milk based formula. I buy which ever organic brand is on sale. Do you have a favorite formula brand? I'm new to the formula world.
With Enzo I made all of his baby food, daily. It was seriously all I did. I was paranoid about what he ate (still slightly am) and was anal to the core about it. I don't miss that at all. Baby Maria has had store bought baby food. I like Earths Best. However, mostly I just make food for the family and use KidCo Baby Steps Food Mill, with Carrying Case , 1 food mill. If I was planning ahead I would make large batches of puree using the food processor, but no. The Food Mill is cheap, no more than $15, and works great. If you want to go fancy I've heard nothing but good things about Beaba Babycook Baby Food Maker. However be prepared to spend close to $150. It's a big investment.
Baby maria can use a sippy cup all by herself. She's been able to for a couple months now. There is only one sippy cup I recommend it's called Tilty and it's genius. I've looked for it at toys R us and Taget but I've only been able to find it online. You can get it on Amazon Tilty Ergonomic 2 Pack Sippy Cups - Makes Drinking Easier for $11.00. Even my 4 year old loves the Tilty. There is really no better sippy cup.
There is more to baby snacks than Cheerios. Don't get me wrong, Cheerios is classic but they get sick of it. If I can sit down and help her eat and If I'm not worried about her making a mess I give her fresh fruit or frozen berries. If we're at church or out and about I like giving her freeze dried yogurt and other easy snacks. Here are a couple of her faves (click on individual pictures for more info).
Final Word of Advice:
- If you eat it they will eat it. I tried to shield Enzo from eating sugar and I was successfully able to do it for a while. However, Christian loves to bake (yes blame him) and is always making cookies and pies and other deserts. Enzo wanted in, not only on the cooking part but also on the eating part. I haven't given Maria a brownie, yet, but I know that inevitably she will eat sugar. However, kids can be a good motivator to change your diet.
- Ask for help. Ask moms for recipes, look online, go to the library and check out baby recipe books, ask me for recipes I have tons. There are a million (probably more actually) resources for easy ways to make and store baby purees, rescources for places to buy local baby food, rescources such as WIC to help you purchase organic baby food and charts that help you figure out when it's safe to introduce certain foods. Keep in mind that these charts are very American centered. I say this because I know I have Brazilian readers who give their babies cheese before they turn one or introduce other foods earlier. It's good to be informed, wholesomebabyfood.com is a good place to start, but don't be too uptight about it.
- Relax and trust yourself. Feeding another human is nerve wrecking. If you are breast feeding you need to trust your body and your baby. Babies will not starve themselves. Sometimes babies eat like a truck driver and sometimes they refuse to eat. Take a deep breath.
- Bleach=fun. Clorox is my best friend. It removes all stains, even those naughty blueberry stains. Eating is an experience like no other. Let them get dirty, it's so fun.