Sunday, January 16, 2011

How to feed babies from outside of the bra

Danny ate avocado today. I just scooped it out of the peel and mashed it through a strainer and he ate it, and he LOVED it. No yucky face or spitting it out or anything. I skipped cereal altogether because it's just empty starch and carbs and why bother developing a taste for that? But now I'm looking down a long road of baby foods and the diapers will turn bad (I do not mind poopy diapers at all as long as it's just breast milk. Anything else and it's awful!) and I realized that I do not look forward to hearing about well-meaning friends' irrational fears of chunky foods. Sometimes it gets so hard to bite my tongue when I hear people say things that I know just aren't true. Here are a few of my pet peeves:
  1. Gagging is not choking. All babies will gag at some point. Whether it's a puree, lumpy food, or an actual bite of something, the gag reflex will be triggered. When something gets too far back on the tongue, the throat gags. And it's a good thing! It means that they have the reflex they need in order to bring food back to the front of the mouth rather than just let things slide down into their windpipe. Gagging means their reflexes are preventing them from choking.
  2. Choking happens when something blocks the windpipe. Hot dogs, grapes, round throat-sized foods are good at this. Small foods aren't that good at it. I almost laugh when I hear about someone who once tried to make their own baby food but couldn't get it smooth enough and didn't want their baby to choke on pea skin. How on earth is the skin from a pea going to block the windpipe? Is it going to stretch across like a dental dam? Smooth food is easier for babies to get used to after an all-liquid diet, but lumps are not safety hazards. Baby food does not have to be ketchup in order to be safe.
  3. Babies don't often like new foods. It can take 15 tries before a baby likes a food, and after that it cam become their favorite food. Even if they eat and hate it every day for 2 weeks, try it again later. "My baby doesn't like green beans; I tried them last month" is a sure fire way to end up with a kid who won't eat vegetables. Because every time he makes a face at a flavor he's not sure of, it disappears forever. So try it again and act like he's never expressed an opinion before. It can't hurt.
  4. It's not hard to make your own baby food. Do you cook for yourself? Do you own or can you get a food processor or blender? If yes, then you can make baby food. Steam vegetables and then pulverize them. Bake a sweet potato and then mash it up. Hell, all you have to do with avocados and bananas is let them get overripe and then mash them with a fork. I only put the avocado through a strainer today because it was Danny's first try at food ever. The only baby food I've ever bought is the meat, and I'm considering not even doing that this time. Oh, and that baby cereal I discounted earlier? It works great to thicken things that puree too thin. Canned peaches and pears make great baby food if you add the cereal to it, although I'd personally try to get fruit canned in plain juice, or at least rinse off the sugar.
A couple tips I've learned and like to pass on. Use ice cube trays to freeze the food and then just thaw one or two at a time in the microwave. And to fill the trays, put the food in a plastic baggie and cut a corner off. You can pipe it out like frosting.

1 comment:

Kate said...

Thanks for the plastic baggie tip!