mash ups

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May 3, 2015 by Ellen V

Sidney, for all her other life struggles, loves, loves, loves solids. She started feeling better after her UTI, latched on to solids, and never looked back.

We made the majority of Jane’s baby food while she was still eating purees. We were getting tons of veggies through a CSA, and we were dedicated to using them. So whatever we didn’t want to eat, she got! Honestly, we did a lot wrong with Jane while we were making our own food for her and trying to introduce her to solids. We made what we have instead of what she liked, and she didn’t really love purees ever. By the time she was really into solids, she was ready for small bites and more regular human food. Plus, we were just dumping stuff that was so nasty as purees! Cantaloupe, zucchini, not great. Another mistake? Our purees were often an ugly consistency (too thick or too thin), mostly due to poor choices in quantity, food type, or time management.

With Sid, though, things are going so. much. better. A few lessons we’ve learned:

  • We purchased and were gifted a few things to make our lives infinitely easier.
    • We got a Vitamix from Mama and Papa V as a housewarming gift when we moved to Virginia, and it’s awesome for making a great consistency of baby food.
    • We purchased an inexpensive electric steamer that’s so much easier to use than a basket steamer. I linked to a similar one here, but we spent less than $40 on ours.
    • We got a few more easy-to-use (and clean!) containers for the freezer. The cube trays we had the first time around have been great for saving wilted spinach or making actual ice in between babies. The larger 2 and 4 oz containers we got this time (some we bought and some Sister A got for us) I already can’t wait to be freed up for small items in lunches after Sid is done with them. We have reusable pouches, too, handed down from my cousin and his family. We used them some with Jane, but I think they’ll be super handy this summer. Last time around, we tried to save and reuse all the store bought containers, which was a huge pain. I’m liking this method much better.
  • I stocked up on some Stage 1 store-bought food ahead of time. Instead of pretending that homemade food is always the best option for us, I recognize that at the sitters and out and about, prepackaged food is almost always easier. I also owned up to the fact that some food is hard to make and some food is expensive to make at home.
  • We stick to food that is inexpensive to make and easy to make and therefore worth the time at home. So far we’ve made pears, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Apples will happen soon, and we’ll see what inexpensive produce appears in the Virginia summer.
  • We’re not over producing. I make manageable amounts that I know will get eaten, and I recognize that fact that soon Sidney will be feeding herself small bites and purees may go by the wayside. We take it one week at a time, making just a few things on the weekend. It doesn’t overwhelm the grocery budget or take over my day.

In general, my attitude has been that my baby’s happiness and my family’s happiness includes baby food made at home and bought at stores, cloth and disposable diapers, hand-me-down, thrift store, and store bought clothes, letting them cry and cuddles on a hard night.

I’m so glad we’ve committed to homemade food for our kiddo, but I’m also so glad we recognize how to make our lives easier in this season. Sidney will probably try something new today. And it will probably be from a jar.

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