Monday, April 07, 2008

Makin' Baby Food

Things seem to be happening quickly these days...Sól is more mobile, wants to be upright more and we've started adding rice cereal to his diet. (he's nearly 5 months now.) I'm using "Earth's Best" organic whole grain cereal and I'm hoping to use their veggies in a few weeks when we're ready to start.

Some of my friends here have made their own baby food using the "Super Baby Food" book. I'm reading it now and am hoping to do the same. Have any of you tried this? I'm wondering if y'all have any tips on making food or tips on feeding solids in general. So far it seems like a lot of fun and a BIG mess. :)

I'd love any advice on baby sign language, too!!

I'm using sign language with Mei Mei and it is amazing how much she has picked up. Little Sol could learn 'please', 'more','eat', 'milk, 'water', etc. Words that apply to his life right now. I am using signing time. They have a great website Even Andrew watched it with me...and then he confessed he thought the hostess was good looking. : )
I have just used the book called "Baby Signs". Neither of my kids were really able to do signs until around 9 months and then they could each do about 2 or 3. Around 14 months with both of them, the amount of signs they learned and used just exploded! It helped to lessen frustrations for them a lot because they could communicate more about what they wanted or did not want. LOVE SIGNS!!!!

Oh, and I made a lot of our own baby food this time around, but while I do have the book "Super baby food," I ended up really using another book since it tells how to make everything in the microwave. It is called, "So Easy Baby Food" by Ahlers and Tallman. It really was easy. I didn't do everything on my own, but I always made my own applesauce, sweet potatoes and bananas. I did other things, too, but those were such staples that I just made them over and over. I personally found the Super Baby Food book a little bit intimidating. I don't if you do, but I felt overwhelmed sometimes when I read it. I did, however, use her suggestions on what ages to introduce foods. It seems like everyone out there has different ideas on that.

Oh, and I don't think the So Easy Baby Food says this, but you should never make your own carrots or spinach because of the level of nitrates in the soils in different parts of the country. There is usually not a way to know where yours are coming from and you don't want to give your baby too high levels of this, so just buy carrots and spinach already made from companies who are monitoring for it.
Oh, and I forgot to say that while they couldn't really do their own signs until 9 months, they could definitely understand them much earlier. I think we started introducing some of them around 5.5 or 6 months. "More" was the hardest one, though, since it's a concept and not an object that you can point to when you sign.
thanks, y'all. that's good info!

kells, i will definitely look into "so easy baby food." thanks!!
Oops - we did carrots. ;) I didn't have a book - I just steamed veggies and pureed them, then froze them in ice cube trays. I mostly did apple sauce, carrots, sweet potatoes, and peas. I didn't try to do meat or anything crazy like that.

**I was surprised how short the baby food stage was - I way over-prepared food cubes **

I think basic signs are an absolute must! We started a class (one of my friends is a deaf ed teacher) at 7 months, but it was a couple more months before he consistently used "milk." We found most helpful: milk, more, all done, please, thank you, bath. Other than those, we haven't really needed them, although they're fun to learn. I TiVo Signing Time - JTC likes the songs. Oh, and we've been using "wait" lately - he thinks it's funny. =)
awww... he's SO stinkin' cute!

i sadly have no advice for you though. i'm the single non-mom of your readership :)

making your own baby food sounds pretty cool though!
we taught our babies to sign (all those years ago lol)
it worked great with J12 because he took longer to speak, but i found that by the time R14 and S10 had learned the signs and could communicate they already knew the words and preferred to speak.
but you never know exactly *when* your baby's gonna talk, so sign language can be helpful, especially in liz's case with the lovely meimei.

i am a huge advocate of make-your-own baby food.
i found it really helpful to simmer or steam (i have heard that microwaves can sometimes eliminate good vitamins from food, not sure if that's jsut an urban tale?) vegetables and freeze them in ice cube trays. they are very quick to defrost just the number your baby needs.

the best advice i got about introducing new foods to baby's diet is:
add one new food at a time, waiting 2 - 3 days between new foods so that you can spot potential allergies.
and stand w-a-y back when he learns to blow raspberries lol X
simmer or steam vegetables and freeze them in ice cube trays.

oh, you need to puree them first lol X
The only advice I have is to only introduce one item a week and continue with it all week. This way, if there is an allergy, you can pinpoint what caused the reaction. Start with the lighter veggies and then go to the darker ones. It is easier on their tummies. And always start with the veggies before the fruits. They tend to prefer the sweeter taste of the fruits and turn away from the veggies.

Home made is the best way to go, but the organics are comparable.
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