Thanks for the sweet comments/emails on the last post. Sometimes I can really see the weight coming off and other times I look at myself and think Yuck, I still have such a long way to go!
I have been making Anika's baby food since she was 4 months old. I started with swiss chard and spinach. Then zucchini, summer squash, carrots. (Many from our gardens). The book I have said to start with palatable foods like carrots and sweet potatoes. Carrots and sweet potatoes are SWEETER veggies. I decided to start Anika on the less tasty veggies instead. . My theory was- why give her the sweet/good stuff first? My book and the doctor said to start fruits after a week of veggies. I waited almost a month. However, I did give Anika prunes from the beginning to help her bowel movements as she transitioned to all the solid foods. She still has prunes every couple days. I steam them and then put them in my mini food processor. At this point, Anika can handle chunks, so I have been leaving small chunks. If I give Anika avocado or banana, I just mush it up or cut up pieces and put on her tray for her to pick up. BUT, she would rather BE FED by US! So, I am trying to get her to pick it up herself. It is funny that she is so independent in some ways, but when it comes to eating- she wants us to do it for her.
Making food is so easy. I make it because I know HOW it is cooked, what is in it, and I give her what we eat, so its super easy. Well, we don't eat prunes, but most everything else she eats, we eat. I have made her apples and pears from our own trees. They are ONE step harder because you have to peel them first, and I don't like peeling :) I also have to peel sweet potatoes. Most of the veggies I make don't need peeling though.
My mom recently asked if I wanted a baby food cookbook she saw by some famous lady. I looked at the site and decided I don't really NEED a book. I already have one book and I think I do a decent job coming up with my own ideas. I also recently learned that Anika can have some spices, so I have added some of my home grown basil to some foods. I also add some fish oil sometimes...BUT, I eat so much fish and Anika nurses, so it may not be necessary. Ugh, speaking of fish, I just realized I may be eating too much fish, therefore passing on mercury to Anika. I need to talk to someone about this.
What I did see while looking on the site my mom sent me was that store bought baby foods (including organic brands) have a shelf life of 2 years. "In order to achieve this shelf life, the food needs to be sterilized. This is accomplished by heating it to very high temperatures to ensure food safety. While necessary for shelf life this process kills vitamins, nutrients, taste, color, and aroma in the process. Homemade baby food is higher in nutrients, tastes far better than store bought, and has the enticing aromas that will make your baby excited about eating" source
Ok, I can agree with the taste. Anika has had a few store bought foods and I think the ones I make are much tastier. ANd, to date- Anika eats everything. This weekend Andrew gave her some plain scrambled eggs. My book said they were safe at her age as long as they were cooked well. Some sources say to hold off on eggs until 1 year for allergy reasons, but recent studies say the opposite.
I do choose to feed her organic foods most of the time. I Know my mom sneaks in foods that are not organic and I don't freak out about it. Someone tried to give her a taste of ice cream the other day and I would rather she not have sugar or salt AT ALL for at least a year or 2. Obviously, there is natural sugars in fruits, so that is fine. I also have given Anika lentils and quinoa. She has had some chicken as well. I basically mush up what we eat. If soft enough, I don't even mush it up first.
This is my steamer I use most nights and have for many years.
Then, how I mush it all up in 2 seconds.
I have been using cleaned out baby jars to store my homemade food in (in the fridge), but I recently bought these (below). They can go in the freezer and store the food. I had been storing the extra food in ice cube trays, but these are much better. I can grab one and toss it in Anika's lunch bag in the morning. I am not sure if regular baby food jars can go in the freezer but I never tried. The new jars are made by Wean Green! I bought mine on Amazon because I get free shipping on most things (probably because I buy enough from there). Also, I only keep food in the fridge for 3 days-if I make a big batch the extra goes in the freezer.
For snacks, Miss B and my mom were giving Anika cheerios, but I got these for her instead-Gluten free Whole O's. Same idea.
She has also been eating these for a while because my friend gave me a ton (a client of hers)-
Organic Broccoli, Kale and Cheddar cheese munchies. Both of these snacks help with her hand eye coordination (which needs practice) and she actually CHEWS them with her 2 front teeth but if she didnt have teeth they are ok to gum. Speaking of teeth and gums, I got Anika a baby tooth brush and started brushing her 2 teeth so she gets used to it. Also, I wasnt sure if I SHOULD be brushing them...so I just decided better safe than sorry.
And, this weekend I let her have some yogurt melts.
Here are some photos from my cell phone the past week.
At the store. Some ahole parked in 2 spots. THis store is usually CROWDED so this could have been really annoying, but it wasn't crowded that day. Note- the out of state license plate- NY. Figures. haha.
Last week, I FORGOT my pump bottles on the drying rack at home. I had ONE pump top, so I had to pump one at a time and let the milk go into my water bottle. It was clean but it was a pain in the ass.
Friday night at dinner. Ryan and Andrew sat on one side of the table and I sat on the other with the high chair...so It looked like they were the couple with their baby and I was the single mom with mine. But then Andrew took Anika from the high chair/me and I looked like the loner :) Baby Trin was an angel at dinner. Baby Anika was a devil. Oh, did I mention Friday is the day I took off from work and didnt leave home (except the gym in the AM) and I didnt enforce naps...and boy oh boy did I get payback for that at dinner time. Now, I know why stay at home moms make a big deal about naps. On weekends we are rarely home, so she naps in the car usually. On Friday, my friends and kids came over all day and A only had one nap. whoopsy.
Sunday, A and I went to visit my Gram since our apple picking plans got put on hold due to rain all weekend. She rode on the rocking horse.
She played the piano.
She tried on Gram's wig!
Ok, this one is kinda scary. We should get better pics with my real camera- not cell phone camera.
BUT, HERE IS ME at 6 Months in Gram's wig. Gram wore a wig for a while in the early 80's because she was in a bad accident. She had head surgery and had her hair shaved off.
HERE IS LITTLE ASHLEY in a wig.
My mom scanned this pic for me and didnt do a great job.
And me without a wig. My mom was just telling me that I was so much taller than Anika at this age. Hmm..maybe Anika will be petite, or maybe she will shoot up in height at some point?
Um ya- I walked around the corner and saw her at the wood stove. Luckily we dont have it on yet. We have a gate to put around it this winter. By the way- that swing on the right can Ddefinitely go into storage. She is over that.
Daddy is away this week :( SO, this was our bed this morning. Piri took his place and Anika came into bed at 6:30 when she woke up to eat. She slept right through last night- 2nd night in a row. I dont want to jinx it though...
OH, but Look what came in the mail for Anika last week....
Ha, I didnt get the picture in time, but she was sitting on this little cup and didnt even know it. She leaned forward when I got the pic, but she was RIGHT on it.
I will be back later this week with my awesome crafts. I meant to do it in this post, but it got too long...as it often does :)