Culinary Adventures with Redmond
I think I have mentioned this before, but the only book I read when I was pregnant was Bringing up Bebe. I absolutely loved it, seeing as I’m an American girl who likes style and food, and clearly I am obsessed with all things French. Am I right? We followed the sleep advice in this book (with some additions of our own– I promise I’ll write about this soon.) and it worked incredibly well. Redmond was sleeping seven hours straight by about six weeks, and he’s been doing eleven to twelve hours straight since he was three months old. So, with that success, I am obviously taking the books baby food advice to heart.
Now here’s the thing. According to the book, the majority of Parisians do the same general thing with their babies. This really would cut down on the mom guilt and mom judgment that is consistently ladled onto us here in the Land of the Free where we have so many options to the way in which we wish to raise our children. This comes with pros and cons obviously. It’s great to be able to explore Baby led Weaning, or exclusive nursing past twelve months, or baby cereal, or homemade baby food, or…well, you get the point. BUT it’s easy to fall into the idea that your way is the best way. I try to remind myself regularly that my way is only the best way for me and my baby. Because that is the thing. Whatever you choose to do, as long as you are a happy wife/mom/girlfriend/woman and your little one is happy and healthy as well, then that’s the best thing.
Ok. I think I have safely managed to avoid all opportunity for criticism (can you tell I’m super sensitive? Cause I am. Cruel words make me crumble) and we can continue.
I really want Redmond to be a good eater. I spent my childhood in Thailand and was exposed to all kinds of different foods, and while I obviously had my preferences, I had to try lots of things I was scared of because it was considered rude to refuse food, even for children. I am not terribly courageous when it comes to exotic meats…my husband will LITERALLY EAT ANYTHING. When we last visited my dad and stepmom in Chiangmai, Nick was pounding the raw squirrel meat and Grub spread. I kid you not. Me? Not so much. But I am always eager to try new cuisines. And I want Redmond to have that same curiosity and not subsist on the dreaded Mono Diet.
Bringing Up Bebe advised that we start our baby on vegetables. So far I’ve made all of his meals and haven’t had to buy jarred food. We also haven’t given him rice cereal. Although there is NOTHING wrong with that– I happen to know a little girl who started on the cereal, and she is an amazing eater. But the Parisians don’t do it and goodness, let us be Parisian or die. Plus I’m real cheap, and making Reds food at home saves us the dollar dollar bills yo. Also, as the control freak that I am, I get to keep track of everything I put into his meals. If you have the time, it doesn’t take a lot of effort.
I try to introduce new flavors to him every few days. Last week I did sour kiwi, and this week I’m doing curry. If you gals (and guys.) like this, I’ll post some recipes every few weeks. I adore cooking. It is a love language for me, and something that reminds me of my mom, who was a wonderful home cook. I helped her in the kitchen from the time I could sit on the counter. And I’ll be honest, as much as I HATE THE INEVITABLE PASSING OF TIME and want Redmond to sloooooow down, I am real excited for when he can help me out too.
Anyway. Redmond eats one meal (dinner, with us) and nurses five to six times throughout the day. If I’m cooking or cleaning and he is sitting in his little chair, I’ll put soft foods on his tray for him to “feed” himself. Usually banana or boiled root veggies. I keep super tabs on this because he still is mastering swallowing, so I never ever leave him alone with food.
At dinner, we feed him purees. I use my magic bullet to make his meals, but you could use any blender I think. This is the longest post ever so I’m going to shut up and leave the recipes. Au revoir!
1/4 cup chopped beets
1/4 cup chopped carrots
2 tbs coconut milk
a pinch of sweet curry powder
Boil the beets and carrots until they are very soft. Add them to your blender with the coconut milk and the curry. Puree until completely smooth. Refrigerate or freeze. Makes 3 servings.
1/4 cup oats (I accidentally bought quick oats, so that is what I used)
1/2 cup water
1 sliced kiwi
1 tsp chia seed
1/4 cup sliced banana
2 tbs liquid (breastmilk or other)
Boil the water, and then add the oats, kiwi, and chia seeds. Cook until thickened. Add to your blender with the banana and liquid. Puree until very smooth. Makes 4 servings.
This week I’m making a sweet potato-ginger curry and a broccoli-parsley “soup”. I’ll let you know if they’re a hit! Happy cooking!
What does your baby love to eat? And what book did you take to heart while pregnant (or after.)