Thursday, February 8, 2007

Super Baby Food

Before becoming a mother, I never considered myself to be the type that had my every move planned out as to how I was going to raise my child, like I know some people do. However, I knew there were some things that I was definitely going try to do on a regular basis -- I wanted to read to my baby everyday- even as a newborn (because I want him to read by age 3, like his daddy), I wanted to have classical music playing all of the time (because I want him to be a musical prodigy and play every instrument), I wanted to teach him sign language (so he can communicate effectively and not whine --oh yeah, and be a genius), I wanted him to become an independent sleeper as early as possible (mostly for my benefit), and I wanted to breastfeed for at least 9 months (because "breastmilk is best" and apparently breastfed babies are geniuses too). Well, some of you know how those last 2 have turned out so far... But when it came time to introduce solid foods, I wasn't really sure what to do. What do I feed him? How much do I feed him? How often do I feed him? Do I make it myself or buy the commercial baby food jars? (my biggest disappointment as a mother so far has been the fact that my son did not come with an instruction manual...)

So, I started to ask around like every new mom does. I was disappointed by my pediatrician's lack of interest in my concern. He just gave me his usual scripted line of "the baby's doing great -- he's growing and he's healthy -- don't stress!" He obviously doesn't know me very well. Then I asked a few of my friends and soon realized that the ones who don't have babies that are around his age really don't remember the details of their children's month to month development and their advice becomes similar to my pediatrician's -- again, not helpful. I finally got some sound advice from a friend of mine who has a baby that is a month older that Noah. This was perfect --she had just gone through the same exact thing and was able to tell me exactly what to do. She recommended a book called "Super Baby Food" and said that it was really great because it had month by month charts of what kind of foods babies can eat and the right proportions, etc. So, I went out and bought the book. At first glance, I thought -- "wow, I don't know if this book is for me." It was really a complete guide to how to make your own baby food: from Super Baby Porrige to Super Baby Snacks! I'll be honest, it was a little too Super Mom for my taste. But when I saw the charts that showed the exact number of ounces and the exact kinds of food that the baby should be getting everyday, I couldn't pass up buying it simply for that purpose. (besides, the charts were in spreadsheet format -- and you all now know my love for spreadsheets!)

I started feeding Noah a few of the typical "first" baby foods -- rice cereal, pears, and bananas. It went pretty well. He really liked eating from a spoon and seemed to enjoy a change of pace from his bottle. So, for the first month I just bought the commercial baby food jars. I rationalized it by thinking that he wasn't really eating enough of it to go through the process of actually making the food from scratch and I needed to check for allergies and see what kinds of food he actually liked.

he really is enjoying it , even if it doesn't look like it!

Eventually I started to increase his portions as he was growing and I soon realized how expensive the commercial baby food actually was, especially at my corner grocery store. It was also getting more difficult to find the food the he liked there because they don't know how to order and stock their food correctly... don't get me started. My mom had also been giving me a hard time about buying the commercial food and tried to tell me how easy and cost effective it was to just make it myself. So, one day when I couldn't find Noah's favorite veggies at Gristedes, I decided to try to make them myself. I followed the directions from the Super Baby Food book and I was so proud of my batch of peas when I finally completed it. I sat Noah up in his high chair and got him all ready with his bib. I set the bowl of peas on the table and turned back to get a spoon, when Noah grabbed the bowl and knocked it off the table. I was devastated! I think I actually cried. So, I tried to salvage what was left and at least feed that to him.

The following is a video clip of what took place next:

Needless to say it didn't go very well. I guess Super Baby Food isn't for every baby -- or maybe Noah needs to perfect his Super Baby eating skills before he's ready... I'm still trying to perfect my Super Mom cooking skills and make his Super Baby Peas a bit more palatable.


annalisa said...

I came to your blog off Julia's link.
Although I love this book, I have to be careful how I recommend it because she's such a freak about explaining why her way to do everything not food related is the best. But the charts in the back are awesome with all the vitamins and minerals listed in baby portions and explanations about everything from wheat vs white to different fat types. I still keep the book in my cookbooks (my daughter is 5) as a reference. I made a lot of the frozen ice cube foods, but I never did make superbaby food. My daughter is an excellent, healthy eater today so I guess her system works!

Crystalyn said...

hi jessica! linked to you from julia...welcome to the blogging world!

i have used the super baby food book. mostly as a guide to know what foods to introduce when. i would make a couple of huge batches of veggies and freeze them. my son did much better than my daughter. and of course, there were some foods they just didn't like.

bravo for trying so hard. you sound like a great mom!

Nate, Tawni & Sofia said...

Oh Jessica, he is such a doll! I loved the look on his face. He didnt know whether he should gag, cry, swallow or spit it out. He is so cute! I am going to get that book. Sofia's Dr. said I need to start thinking about introducing food now. She is 5 months. I thought that was a little early. I put some applesauce on her lips and she didnt know what to do with it so she isnt ready just yet. I think I will wait a couple more months. This looks like it will be hard! Any more books you recommend?

snizzle said...

SUPER MOM TO THE RESCUE!!!! I'm not surprised he didn't like peas. Peas are gross! :-)