Avery has been eating solids for about two months now. It is way easier to breastfeed than feed her solids and I knew once I started there was no turning back so I held out as long as I could. When I couldn't eat a meal in peace because she was constantly grabbing at my hand, arm, utensils, dishes, and following every bite of food from my plate to my mouth while drooling. Well then I knew it was about time. When Noah began eating solids I read the book Super Baby Food, and it greatly shaped how we fed Noah from day one. The author simply lays out what foods you should introduce and when based on how easily the foods are digested and how likely they are to cause an allergic reaction. She recommends waiting until baby is closer to one before feeding much dairy, meat or seasoned and salted foods. We made most of Noah's food, but as we were in the middle of construction and often didn't have much of a kitchen, or were staying with friends, I did buy some organic baby food in addition to feeding some of the commercial baby cereals. I have to say that Noah is the best eater I know as far as kids go. From the time he was about a year and half until recently he enjoyed eating everything we ate. He loves foods you wouldn't think of like kalamatta olives, pickles, salmon, broccoli. This time around I don't think I'll have to buy any commercial baby food unless we take a vacation. Avery has loved eating from day one. She has also wanted to be in control of the spoon from the beginning and gets quite upset with me when I take it from her, or try to keep her from getting to messy. If I have the time I just take her shirt off and put her in her highchair in her cloth diaper and let her get as messy as she pleases. Then I just stick her in the sink for a bath afterwards. But I don't always have the time or energy to make her feeding an hour affair. I've found that I can usually get away with feeding her banana and avacado with just a bib on, whereas sweet potato (referred to incorrectly as yam at our supermarket) makes quite a mess and it is about her favorite. She also enjoys fresh mango, papaya and winter squash. I've been making up rice cereal by grinding it in a coffee grinder (that isn't used for coffee) and cooking it in boiling water. Then I take out a little scoop and mix it with her veggies. We mash bananas, avacados, mangoes and papaya on spot, the sweet potatoes and winter squash I puree in big batches and freeze in ice cube trays, then I just pop one out to thaw before hand. I took some pictures of the process recently but haven't uploaded them onto the computer yet so I'll include those in a future post. But that is the technique I will be using for a lot of other veggies soon; peas, beans, carrots etc. Here is a picture of Avery enjoying a meal.Below is a picture of Avery feeding herself with a little baby feeder. I don't know the correct name for it but it is a mesh bag that opens and you stick the food in it, we use bananas most often, then close it and there is a little handle for her to hold on to and she can feed and entertain herself with it. This little device is just awesome. If she is hungry and I'm cooking for the rest of us I just stick her food in here and she does the rest. I often use it to bide myself a few more minutes doing whatever I'm trying to get done. Some foods really make a big mess, banana seems to clean up pretty well. When she sees the bag in my hand she knows just what is going on and gets excited, often I will refill it for her and she will eat most of that too. Then I have a warm rag and water bottle I exchange out for her when she starts tiring of the fun.
Avery loves bath time. Here she is with a rag on her head. I have to start doing a better job of cleaning up all the dishes around the sink because she is no longer content to just sit and splash and play with a toy or two. She wants to get into everything in reach. For a while I was feeling quite clever because I could wash dishes in the sink next to her but now she constantly pulls herself up and trys to stand and reach into the other sink. So sink baths may soon be a thing of the past.
I'll be writing more about baby food as the months go on. I am thankful that we are going into spring and summer, there should be lots of quality fruits and vegetables for her to consume over the next several months. For now here is a shout out to the power of the cuisinart...
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