Posts Tagged ‘first foods’

The Simple Sweetness of Sweet Potatoes

Monday, October 17th, 2011

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
This week I fed Haley sweet potatoes for the first time. They are a very common first food. She seems to really like them. I was relieved, because I never did, and you wonder to what extent certain preferences are genetic. Sweet potatoes are loaded with Vitamin C, Potassium, Folate and Calcium. I’m thrilled to have this healthy option for her dinnertime.

As I mentioned, I’ve not been a fan of sweet potatoes. That is, until I cooked and mashed them for Haley. Whenever I am preparing something for her, I always grab a few bites to make sure it tastes okay, and I also eat the parts that are too dense or fibrous for her. As I tasted the plain, baked, organic sweet potato that I had lovingly prepared, I appreciated the flavor for the first time. While chewing it, I considered how my daughter would perceive it. They have a sweet, earthy, tangy taste to them. Suddenly I understood what TV chefs are talking about, what motivates foodies.  Enjoying a meal is not the same thing as experiencing dishes and ingredients for what they are in an intrinsic sense.

I had a similar experience with the butternut squash. When folks talk about making homemade baby food, they often say, “It’s not that hard. It doesn’t take that much longer.” It may take a few more steps than pulling out a Gerber jar, but I’m truly savoring the experience of making food and feeding it to my baby. A little more work for a lot more reward.

First Food (Fight)

Monday, August 8th, 2011

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Last week, we took Haley to her regular doctor’s appointment for her check-up and latest round of vaccinations. I knew that at 4 months, some babies get to start solid foods, but Haley is not on the large side and I didn’t know her pediatrician’s philosophy, so I tried not to get my hopes up. When the doctor said, “let’s start her on rice cereal by spoon this month,” I tried to play it cool, but I was beaming in the inside. My little girl is (almost) all grown up!

After the requisite five day waiting period following her shot, the time had arrived. At the grocery store, I stared at the Gerber brand and Nature’s Best Organic boxes, wondering which was right for us. The Gerber is a classic and cheaper, of course. But up until this point, all Haley had consumed was breast milk, which seems pretty organic to me! Though, I am certainly exposed to chemicals and I consume additives, preservatives, etc. I guess my milk isn’t organic! Is any American’s? My husband wanted to go with the Organic, which ultimately my mother scoffed at.

We were ready. I warmed some expressed breast milk and mixed it with the cereal. My husband took out the video camera. The big moment was…. anti-climactic. Haley cried the whole time and didn’t want to have anything to do with it. I think this is largely my fault. In anticipating when Dad would be home from work, I messed up the balance in getting her to the “hungry but not starving” point. By then she wanted food and was angry. The rice cereal just got all over her face. She always likes to grab things, so we handed her the spoon. She proceeded to hit herself in the eye. (Incidentally if you know how to nominate yourself for Parent of the Year, please let me know.) So that was that. Hopefully next time it won’t be so traumatic, and we will manage to make contact with the inside of her mouth.