I never thought I would find myself saying this, but I have found a new hobby... making pureed baby foods. I hear myself and I think- my God woman who are you??? Times have sure changed!! Last month Isabella started eating solid foods and that has brought to my mind a whole new level of love. I think because I have been able to exclusively nurse her up until this point, I felt resistant to giving her other food. I like the idea that I have been able to sustain her life from conception to now as her sole source of nutrition, energy and life. Its an amazing experience, one that I will forever treasure. But, I have come to terms with the fact that food needs to be started and so I have decided to make homemade foods for her. It gives me the connection that I crave of being able to help sustain her life with healthy, nutritious goodness. With each fruit and vegetable I puree I think of how much I love her and want the best for her. Choosing the types of fruits and veggies and hand selecting each one gives me the opportunity to mother her in a new way. I am overjoyed at the beautiful colors that each puree makes. Its unbelievable the difference between the homemade foods and the commercial jarred foods. I never used to think nursing and making food for my baby would be so important to me. With the boys it didn't occur to me that there was an alternative to jarred food, it just seemed so simple. And honestly I was in such a fog of going from one diaper change to the next that if someone had even suggested making baby food to me I would have thought they had lost their mind! But this time around I have a different perspective. I know how fast the time goes so I am treasuring these moments in a different way.
I am enjoying selecting new foods for her to try and the puree process only takes a few minutes if I am making the food fresh. Other times I set aside an hour and make a month's worth at a time.
So far the Princess has tried: apples, pears, bananas, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, mango, yellow squash, watermelon, and avocados.
The avocado is by far her favorite. She loves it!! She gets so excited when she takes that first bite of a meal and realizes its her avocados, I swear she sighs with relief, LOL!! She likes the sweet potatoes too and will eat just about anything else if its mixed with avocados. I find that she actually sleeps better on the nights that she has had avocado for dinner. Not sure if there is some scientific reason why, but as long as it gets us all some extra sleep so be it!
There is a natural foods store nearby so I have made a few trips there to find the organic fruits and veggies that I want to try feeding her. I have also found great organic selections at Stop & Shop and it usually costs a bit less. Then I clean, peel, chop, steam and/or boil and start the food processor.
I have been fortunate to have a couple of friends who are also into making purees for their babies. They have shared their recipes and resources with me. My friend, Sarah, suggested a great book, "Super Baby Foods." It has helped so much, fantastic information about what foods to try at each stage. Also, lots of recipes and facts regarding making and storing different foods.
So, bottom line is this- I may not be the world's best cook. In fact, I only have a few dishes I make really well. But, I can make a darn good puree! There is something satisfying in that! At the end of the day I fall short on so many goals and tasks, but when I look at my healthy, 20 pound baby girl, I think "well, I've done something right." I try to enjoy that feeling while it lasts because I know that she will talk soon and like her brothers she will point out every one of my faults, talk back non-stop and demand a personalized menu. But, for now I relish her unconditional love and the enjoyment she has for pureed food, LOL!!!