Saturday, March 3, 2012

Sweet Potatoes, Squash, and Carrots, Oh, My!

Well, little Arwen is moving right along on the whole solid food front. Mommy is handling it slightly better these days, but it is still tough.  I started off making homemade baby food.  We decided to try sweet potatoes first since everything I had read suggested them as a first food, as did the doctor, so I just picked up a couple of sweet potatoes at the grocery store.  When we got ready for our first sweet tatie meal, I cleaned up one of the sweet potatoes, dried it, and wrapped it in saran wrap.  Then I poked it with a fork several times and popped it in the microwave for about five minutes (time varies, of course, depending on the size of the potato).  When the potato was fully cooked, I peeled it and pureed it in my food processor (see below--just a regular food processor, not a special, high-priced baby food processor).
Image found here.

Since Arwen was just starting with the whole solid food thing, I added some breast milk to make sure the consistency was smooth enough.  Arwen loved it!  I should have known she would--I mean, a sweet potato? She is my child, you know! Ha, ha! 

I kept on with the homemade baby food for a few days, but when we were ready to move on to the next food, I realized that my lifestyle really wasn't conducive to making homemade baby food.  Jars of baby food are just too quick and easy.  Does this make me a bad mother?  Maybe, but it works for us, and Arwen seems just as happy with jars as fresh. We are using Beech-Nut Homestyle Stage 1 vegetables: sweet potatoes, squash, sweet carrots, green peas, and green beans. 

Image and more information on Beech-Nut baby food found here.

I've been getting these jars 10 for $4.50 at Bi-Lo, and if you by $15 worth, you can usually get an extra 20 cents in fuel perks. The Gerber Stage 1 vegetables are usually 10 for $10, but they come two to a pack, but I like the Beech-Nut glass jars better than the Gerber plastic packs for what is probably a stupid reason: when I peel the top off of the plastic packs, I always sling baby food all over myself!  Not a problem with the glass jars, so glass jars it is! (Well, except for prunes, but fruits will be another post.)

After three or four days of sweet potatoes, we tried squash.  Arwen wasn't a huge fan at first, but when I went back to them later after she had tried all of the the other Stage 1 veggies, she liked them just fine.  We've also been through carrots, peas, and green beans, all of which she has enjoyed.  I think carrots are probably her favorite. 

It's amazing how quickly Arwen has mastered eating.  We had zero issues from the start, which I attribute to our waiting until 6 months to start solids.  She has really gotten speedy over the last couple of weeks, too!  I usually give her two veggies for dinner along with rice cereal when I have extra milk--I don't stress about it if I don't because I figure the veggies are the most important, and she's still getting her primary nutrition from breast milk. And on that same note, I always nurse her before feeding her solids.  The veggies and cereal are just extra--not a replacement for breast milk.  Eating solids has had an effect on my pumping schedule, though, which I'll discuss in another post. 

We are on to fruits next.  I know Arwen is going to love them--I hope that she will still eat her veggies after she discovers sweet fruit!  Like I said, she is her mother's child!!

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