Mommyhood: Introducing Solids and Making Baby Food
The Beaba Babycook Baby Food Maker was one of those baby registry items that seemed equally extravagant and potentially naive in my impending mommyhood happiness haze. Why of course, it would be wonderful to make my own baby food!
Aside from the initial investment of the Beaba itself, which would generously fall in the hands of the gift giver, it's possible to make dozens of portions of pureed veggies and fruits at a fraction of the cost of store-bought baby food. It's cost-effective, not to mention healthy. I liked the idea of knowing exactly what my baby would be eating instead of looking meticulously at labels at the grocery store.
In the first whirlwind months of mommyhood, all I had to worry about for Stella's eating and nutrition was that she was nursing enough and that I didn't eat or drink anything that might aggravate her delicate digestive system. I was fortunate not to have a struggle with nursing, and so it didn't require too much thinking on my part to feed her, especially in those early months when I felt like I barely had any functioning brain cells.
Then at the four to six month mark, the world of feeding baby grows into the sometimes complicated issue of introducing solids. When can I start? When is too early? Should I skip rice cereal? What veggies do I start with? Questions upon questions, met with a varied amount of opinions from fellow moms, doctors, and society at large.
Even though our pediatrician's office told us it would be OK to start rice cereal following her four month appointment, we held off until Stella was exactly five months old to give it a go. At that point, she had been intently watching us as we ate at the table, and seemed interested, engaged, and ready.
Eating rice cereal was a sloppy sport in the beginning, but she started getting the hang of it.
And as we thickened up the texture each time, easier for her to get more than 50% in her tummy instead of on her bib.
We started with cereal at night time, in the hopes that it might keep her feeling sustained a bit longer and have her sleep for a bigger stretch at night time (this didn't actually happen like we had hoped.)
After a couple of weeks, we've increased to trying out cereal after a morning feed and also in the evening. It's becoming more a routine for us and a lot of fun to see how Stella has progressed with getting used to a spoon and sitting upright to eat.
Finally, this past weekend, I decided to bust out the Beaba Babycook Baby Food Maker and steam up a sweet potato I had picked up during the week for this very occasion. Sweet potato is recommended as one of the early veggies because it has a sweetness to it like breast milk, and tends to be a favorite for babies.
The directions that came with the Beaba weren't very clear, just because there are different steps to follow in order to steam cook, then puree the veggies, but this YouTube video helped me visualize everything more much easily. The Beaba first steams the contents, and then they can be transferred to the blender portion of the machine to be pureed.
In a matter of 15-20 minutes, I was able to make about 12 one-ounce servings of sweet potato, from washing the sweet potato to scooping the finished puree into individual portions.
I have some of the special Beaba storage containers that can be frozen, but I plan to go to the dollar store for ice cube trays, which are recommended for homemade baby food. They create perfect one-ounce portions, so all you have to do is add the puree to the ice cube tray, freeze, then pop them out and put the cubes into a Ziplock bag for storage in the freezer.
We gave Stella her first taste of sweet potato on Saturday, and to say she loved it is an understatement.
I worried that the orange veggie would make a mess everywhere because she might let it drop out of her mouth like she does with cereal, but she ate up almost every single bite.
Doctors recommend introducing one new food every few days and making sure there are no allergic reactions or issues with a food before moving onto the next. So far, sweet potatoes are a hit and I'm looking forward to trying out carrots next.
The Beaba Babycook Baby Food Maker is such a great tool to have and is easy and efficient enough to use even with having to look after this little five and a half month old.
Now that I know how to use the Beaba, I plan on making dozens of portions of different veggies at one time, and using them to feed Stella through the week. A few bucks for fresh veggies and an hour's worth of time will yield plenty of meals.
I'd recommend the Beaba to any new mom or mom-to-be filling out her registry. It's cost-effective, easy, and actually a lot of fun -- three things I think every mom is looking for!