You know there are certain things–parenting styles–that divide the masses and provide fuel for what is sometimes referred to as “The Mommy Wars”. Topics of debate include breastfeeding, vaccinations, sleep training, co-sleeping, circumcision, and many more. I’m not inclined to get into politics on any of these. I really don’t care what anyone else does as long as it doesn’t affect MY kid (so ok, I’m pro-vaccinations since that does affect my kid, but I digress…)
What I’d like to share with you today is my experience with introducing solids to BG. There appears to be two opposing methods of introducing solids, one being pureés (a.k.a. babyfood) and the other being the more haute and trendy baby-led-weaning (BLW) method.
I always knew that I wanted to do babyfood. In particular, that I wanted to make my own fresh organic pureés. Most of the women in my mommy group are academics (think professors, PhD candidates, and other sorts of intellectuals–I live in a college town). They’re all hipsters too–craft beer brewing, community gardening, beard loving, festival-going, biking-instead-of-driving *hipsters*. Which I’m like whatev, that’s cool, I used to be super liberal myself. But seeing as BLW is the hip trend at the moment, that’s what they’re all doing.
And some of them are pretty *smug* about it.
They think it’s greeeeeeat because “Baby can eat whatever we’re eating”–that’s the main point they keep bringing up–no need to tote around jars of babyfood or prepare a separate meal, no need to rebuff your poor child when they reach for whatever’s in your hand (which, btw, they do that regardless if the item you’re holding is edible so it doesn’t indicate a desire for food).
And (although you all know how combative I can be) I just smile and nod. Because what’s the point? There’s no harm in BLW…
Except for choking.
I was eating watermelon–BG was nearly 6 months old–and she was looking at it wistfully. So I held a piece to her mouth and let her suck on it…until she nommed a bigass piece off and I floundered to fish it out of her mouth and scared the begeezus out of both of us. It happened again with cantaloupe. *Facepalm*. And that sort of ordeal is not uncommon with BLW, from what I’ve heard.
So that sealed the deal for me. I started researching babyfood making systems and pieced together my own based on reading reviews and price. What I bought (all from amazon.com):
1. Kidco electric food mill
I’m a fan of Kidco products–we also have the Kidco Go Pod and I use it every day. This food processor does a good job of making a smooth pureé with very few (if any) chunks. You don’t want to be feeding your baby and have them choke on a chunk of carrot that got lost in the crowd. I do still have to watch out for chunks in some foods (beets, carrots, peaches & pears come to mind). It’s easy to take apart and rinse out.
2. Mumi & Bubi freezer food storage trays (set of 2)
Love these things! Each cube measures 1oz of food. They fit in the freezer easily. The cubes pop out easily. They rinse off easily. And I put hot beet pureé in them the other night and it didn’t even leave a *hint* of a stain. Bravo!
3. Sage Spoonfuls 4oz glass storage containers (set of 6)
These are cute and fit neatly in my cabinet/fridge. Nothing terribly special about them, I just dig ’em.
4. Oster 5 quart food steamer
This thing is great! Doesn’t take up too much space, breaks down easily, easy to clean, and it works like a charm!
I got a few other trinkets too, like some mini spatulas that come in handy to transfer food from the food mill to the cube tray.
So anyways, my handy new gadgets make it easy to cook and store nutritious organic pureés. It’s easy. And when the cubes are frozen I pop them out and keep them in a labeled plastic freezer bag. I currently have ample stores of:
Peaches, pears, plums, apple, banana, sweet potato, purple carrot, peas, green beans, beets, lentils, acorn squash, and pumpkin.
At mealtimes I just pop a couple cubes in a jar and heat them up briefly in the microwave. BG loooooves food and she’s up to 4oz per meal (or more). She ate 8oz this morning! And how great is it that she had organic peaches, pears, sweet potato, purple carrot, lentils, apple, and oatmeal/prune juice ALL in ONE meal?!
Cuz guess what? If I did BLW she wouldn’t be eating a lot of that stuff. I’m tattling on myself–I don’t eat that healthy most days. And I don’t have the energy or motivation to fix myself nice meals when Mr. MLACS is away. I eat a lot of soup.
So I love love LOVE the fact that I have an easy, no-fail system to feed BG the best possible foods. I say no-fail because here’s another tidbit–BLW babies don’t know how to eat. They have to learn. So at first they only consume a little (if any) of what they are fed, whereas BG scarfs down her pureés with gusto.
Oh and that’s another thing. It’s vain. But since I feed BG from a spoon, there’s very little (if any) mess to clean up. One of my BLW buddies has lamented that she has to bathe her son after every meal, since he eats with his hands and smears it ev-ery-where.
Now I do realize that I will have to start letting BG try to feed herself in the near-ish future. I know there will be peas in places that they don’t belong. But I can see that BG has learned to eat and has developed a lust for lots of healthy foods, so when the time comes I will let her flap her little wings with confidence.
So here I stand: Pro-Pureé.