When I look back at feeding my babies years ago, I cringe. I was a young mom; hadn’t been to nursing school or nutrition classes yet. I based my choices on intuition alone. I made some good choices, some less good.
I love this photo from Your Reason to Laugh. It makes a good point. I remember my greatest concern with hotdogs being cutting the rounds into quarters to prevent choking. I felt that Chicken McNuggets was a healthy choice at McDonalds because it wasn’t beef.
I did make my my own baby food. It made sense to me to know exactly what was going into that sweet growing body (despite my skewed views above.) I grew organic vegetables in my own compost. Not surprisingly I was odd-girl out on this front. It just seemed clear that pesticides didn’t belong in my baby.
Homemade baby food is a healthy way to start baby’s journey into whole foods even today. This is the season of a developing palate; the time when finickiness begins. Sweet potatoes are sweet enough. Beans are tasty without the salt and butter to which we’ve become accustomed.
What you need: a steamer for cooking, a blender or food processor, ice cube trays or baby food jars. Ice cube trays freeze small amounts to allow easy variety. Follow your pediatrician’s recommendations for starter foods, initiating one food at a time and not mixing foods. For first foods, the puree should be runny. As baby grows, the consistency can thicken.
Remember, obesity and diabetes are growing epidemics, and when we say, “It runs in the family,” much of the issue is environmental. We eat how our parents ate. Let’s start baby off in a healthier way. Don’t fret about meat. Most babies resist it. There is plenty of protein and calcium in breast milk, vegetables, grains and beans. But if you do choose a vegetarian diet for baby, and I would probably be right there if I had it to do again, read books and articles like an excellent one in the Huffington Post to be sure the plan is from a place of knowledge. Of course, feeding baby the standard American diet, although widely accepted, should come from a place of knowledge as well. Read. Explore. Be fascinated by the possibilities in feeding this beautiful little part of you well.