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Workshop #6 - Feeding the Family; First Foods, Healthy Eating for the Whole Family - Page 2

post #21 of 45
So veggies is a common way to go, right?

oyinmama,

Would you mind sharing the reason behind waiting until 9 months?

My Littlest has been teething forever but has not actually cut teeth yet. But she's been practically lunging for our food for over a month! I feel like I'm starving her! (I know I'm not!)

I've given her utensils to play with and she was not amused. She wants the food.
post #22 of 45
Well, I'm normally pretty strict about what my family eats, but lately we've kind of strayed because we are getting ready to move. I can't wait until life is normal again :

My own "food history" is quite mixed. My parents divorced when I was only 15 months old. At my mom's, where I spent most of my time, she used to cook more when I was in elementary school. But by the time I was in middle school she didn't as much and we started eating more processed foods. As I got older, in high school, I started doing most of the cooking and made dinner most nights, so I learned a lot about how to cook during those times. But even then my diet was not good--way too much refined sugar, hydrogenated oils (I did not start using butter until I was 18 and left home! It was all country crock before that....yeech)

However, on the other side there was my dad and stepmom, who raised us on many "Traditional" foods (lacto-fermented veggies, pickled everything, wild game, fresh eggs, etc....) As a child I found these things kind of foreign and didn't always enjoy them, but that's mostly because I just wasn't around it enough. However, now that I'm grown and have children, I have returned to my "TF" roots and I'm so excited to be learning and passing these traditions on to my own children. I've been calling my stepmom constantly and asking her all sorts of questions....my next one is going to be "Can I borrow your dehydrator?" I have tons of peppers I need to dry...

Canning has become a way of life, and one that I hope to continue until I'm dead and can't do it anymore Ive got fed up with everything in the grocery store not being good enough. Not even the expensive, fancy-shmancy organic stuff was good enough. I wanted it to be picked by me, made in my kitchen, stored in my pantry. No machines, no factories, no long ride on a train or truck.

I think the most wonderful thing you can do for your children is to nourish them well while they are young. It is so, so valuable. And I feel blessed to have the chance to do this for my children, and do better than my parents did, and hopefully my kids will do even better than we did for them.
post #23 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amys1st View Post
Funny, my style of menu planning, cooking from scratch and using what I have on hand was always frugal or old fashioned. Now more than ever, I have people asking me to show them how to "cook like I do"

I feed the freezer after double batching cooking or find things on sale that frozen raw can be used later. More than ever, I shop the sales and now we have our fruit, veggies, milk and eggs delivered. I also annually buy a side of beef from a local source. So I do not have to go to the grocery as much but I am very creative in stretching the food I have because of rising costs.

We have also recently started baking our own bread. Bread is sooo expensive now like everything else so we added that to our scratch cooking.

We tell our delivery service to send a different box of veggies or fruits every week. That way we have to use what is sent and thus making us try new things. ITs actaully a lot of fun but also could get serious with dds. A few weeks ago they sent 2 lbs of organic strawberries- dd1 said- FINALLY!! Since I wont buy them right now, peaches and blueberries are in season in IL! Also everyone begged for apples all summer- not in season until this week. Pretty soon we will be drowning in apples, you can wait. In the winter, its citrus fruits.....
It seems like having an extra freezer can help with making more things from scratch. I would love to make my own bread but it's just not something I want to do on a weekly basis and with just our regular fridge/freezer, the storage space isn't there. Neither is the option of buying half a cow.

I cook a lot from scratch but I've always liked to make things that have not so ordinary ingredients and I was buying a lot of organic foods. With our budget I'm finding that I have to be picky about what I buy organic.

We go to our local farm and I spend almost $4 on a cantaloupe instead of getting one on sale at the grocery store for $1.50....same thing with the rest of the stuff there...
post #24 of 45
We bought the freezer in the last year after waiting several years for space etc. We had a mini freezer in our old house that worked well and left for the new owners because I could buy a huge huge freezer for my bsmt in my current house. I am fortunate that we have the space for the huge freezer plus my larger pantry I have now. But, this was one of the reasons we bought the house- the larger area in my bsmt for the freezer and the pantry.

But in my previous space - about 20% of my space now, I was still able to stock up, plan etc. Of course there would not be room for 1/2 a cow then!
post #25 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumn C. View Post
oyinmama,

Would you mind sharing the reason behind waiting until 9 months?
i'm sorry, i was incomplete/flippant in tone. she wasn't saying 'don't start until 9 months, no matter what' - but i was kind of raring to go, have my babyfood cookbook out and was talking about rice cereal and buying a steamer, and she was like, 'don't rush. you don't HAVE to start him on solids at 6 months just because he's six months. wait until he tells you he's ready. there's plenty of time, you guys didn't start solids until like 7, 8, 9 months sometimes.'

she was basically saying, wait for his cues, he'll ask when he's ready. and don't do what i was talking about (slowly introducing solids if he hasn't 'asked' for them) until 9 months or more.
post #26 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by oyinmama View Post
she was basically saying, wait for his cues, he'll ask when he's ready. and don't do what i was talking about (slowly introducing solids if he hasn't 'asked' for them) until 9 months or more.

So, since my Littlest has "asked" for them she'll get them.

ishereal,

I'm nervous too! What's that about?
post #27 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumn C. View Post
So veggies is a common way to go, right?

<snip>

My Littlest has been teething forever but has not actually cut teeth yet. But she's been practically lunging for our food for over a month! I feel like I'm starving her! (I know I'm not!)

I've given her utensils to play with and she was not amused. She wants the food.
Pureed carrot was an early food for my boy, as were peas.

My son showed he was ready at 4.5 mos. He would watch us eat and mimick us by licking his little lips. He would try to grab our forks and divert them to his mouth. So I fed him! The first thing he ate was mashed banana. Then we mashed avocado and then ripe pear.

I made baby food cubes and froze them. But when he got really good at picking up food that would actually make it to his mouth, I stopped pureeing and grinding and just cubed up soft foods for him to eat.

It was great fun. And now I have a little booger that still loves those first foods - well not pear anymore, but he still adores avocados and bananas, as well as carrots and peas!

BTW, all the food I pureed I used breastmilk in the puree. I did feed him oatmeal when he was 6 mos and I used breastmilk for that too.

Geez, now I am missing breast feeding, !

And I forgot the other topics, so I have to go back and look.
post #28 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumn C. View Post
So, since my Littlest has "asked" for them she'll get them.

ishereal,

I'm nervous too! What's that about?
Don't know but I feel I'm some how entering a new world of mommy (ing)!!! lol
post #29 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amys1st View Post
One thing I noticed (thanks to MIL) is anything with a toothpick, kids will eat. She jokes you can put liver on a toothpick and kids will eat it. We make a fruit kabob for functions with kids and I have yet to not bring home an empty dish. The kids go crazy for a huge stick of fruit.


My sister told me about this trick and it works here too!

My ds is very sick right now. And like any sick toddler (or adult for that matter) he just doesn't want to eat. Of course as his mama, I WANT him to eat SOMETHING!

So I was very happy to see that he ate good things. For example, dh tried to give him a tortilla chip which he refused. I offered some scrambled egg and he did eat that. It makes me feel confident that he can make good food choices and already does. I have no doubt in my mind that it is offering whole foods at home (where I also cook from scratch) that will continue to guide him later. More often than not when he chooses his own snack, it is something healthy.

As for the fruited jello he gets at daycare - I'm just going to have to get over that aren't I?!
post #30 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by mean_jeannie View Post
I made baby food cubes and froze them. BTW, all the food I pureed I used breastmilk in the puree. I did feed him oatmeal when he was 6 mos and I used breastmilk for that too.
I remember hearing somewhere (who knows where) that freezing homemade baby food destroys most of the nutrients in the food. That prepacked baby food would be "better" in that regard.

Is there any validity to that? Or is it a line of hooey like so many I've been fed before?
post #31 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumn C. View Post
I remember hearing somewhere (who knows where) that freezing homemade baby food destroys most of the nutrients in the food. That prepackaged baby food would be "better" in that regard.

Is there any validity to that? Or is it a line of hooey like so many I've been fed before?
I don't know if it's hooey necessarily! But my recollections tell me that frozen food retains more nutrients than canned or jarred food. And if you make purees with the veggies just steamed enough to puree you won't have cooked them so much that there is a significant loss of nutrients.

I do know that freezing breaks the cell walls of food - maybe that was the destruction you were recalling? It's why many food frozen in a home freezer have a funny texture after freezing - a home freezer takes too long to freeze. Packaged foods don't have that issue because they are flash frozen and thus suffer less cell wall damage.

Perhaps there is a more knowledgeable mama that has links?!
post #32 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by mean_jeannie View Post
BTW, all the food I pureed I used breastmilk in the puree. I did feed him oatmeal when he was 6 mos and I used breastmilk for that too.

Geez, now I am missing breast feeding, !
Funny you say, this whole thread talking about making baby food etc is bringing back memories! And yes, I have been nostagic about bfing this week!
post #33 of 45
My DD will be seven months this week (!!!) and we're still only barely starting on solids. Like other moms here, I was nervous about it when she turned six months. DH had been really eager to "get to feed her too" , and I kept telling him we could feed her solids at six months, but then I just didn't feel ready. I still don't know why. When she was six months and one week, I finally gave in and gave her a little bit of mashed-up banana on my hand. She gagged on it, which is normal for self-feeding, but it was a little scary, and then she cried and was pretty upset about it. About a week later we gave her some avocado (again, just mashed up and let her self-feed), but she wasn't very interested. She's been grabbing at our plates for months, but I think it's more that she's interested in EVERYTHING we're doing than that she's interested in food per se.

Anyway, today she's a few days shy of seven months, and we gave her a little meal this morning of avocado and banana. I didn't mash it at all this time, just cut them into long pieces so she could hold part of it and put part of it in her mouth. And she LOVED it! She gagged a little once or twice but wasn't upset about it at all--just kept on eating. She really had fun with it and I felt so much better about it than I did the first time.

All that to say, I really think we as mamas should listen to our instincts about when to start foods. DD cut her first teeth a while ago and she's had all the "signs" of readiness since about five months, but somehow I just knew she wasn't quite ready. And this morning I just knew she was. I still probably won't give her food every day for a while--maybe a couple of times a week, whenever I get around to it. Too much work for me to cook for her every day!

(I am so impressed with you mamas who cook all your meals, by the way...I am working on moving in that direction but I HATE cooking...DH likes it but doesn't get home till 6:30 or 7 so it's not very practical for him to cook every night...and man, anyway, it's a lot of work. I don't know how you do it. And from scratch! I used to do that a lot more before DD was born when I wasn't working, but now...! Some days it's all I can do to get the diapers washed before we run out.)

Anyway, for those of you with six month olds, I do think that if you're nervous about it, there's probably a reason...wait till you feel right about it, and then start really slowly. So many people were telling me I *had* to start her on solids, but it's really not true.

(Although even my LLL leader looked at me funny when I asked if I could wait till she was over a year before starting solids...)
post #34 of 45
[QUOTE=lisavark;12226251]

Anyway, for those of you with six month olds, I do think that if you're nervous about it, there's probably a reason...wait till you feel right about it, and then start really slowly. So many people were telling me I *had* to start her on solids, but it's really not true.

QUOTE]

You know, I've been thinking about my reluctance to start solids. And I've been thinking that it signals to me a beginning to the end of babyhood. We've just got started! It's already been a half a year?
post #35 of 45
We're another "self-feeding" family. With dd1 (now 3.5yo) and dd2 (now 15mo) we introduced a few solid foods that we (DH and I) were eating anyway and let the girls explore the taste/texture at their own pace. We followed their "readiness" cues (sitting on their own, pincer grip, head control, no tongue thrust, grabbing for/mouthing food) and as a result dd1 was noshing along with us when she was about 6mo but dd2 didn't really join in for more than a mouthful here and there till she was almost 11 months! The food was available, but she just wasn't that interested in eating it.

Although we avoided foods with the "big allergens" we didn't really do much more than that in terms of what we offered the girls. Both have preferences (dd1 adores veggies and anything "creamy" while dd2 is a spicy/hot food junkie who is really into chewy things), but it's been nice never having to worry about bringing "baby food" with us, and since both girls still nurse we didn't worry that their on and off solids weren't meeting their nutritional needs... solids could remain a fun exploration of the senses without any added stress or pressure. Or at least, that's how I justify what some of my friends call my "lazy mama" attitude.

School foods- I've actually run into the opposite problem! I live in a very natural living friendly region and dd1's play school has a very "restrictive" lunch policy. All kiddos bring their lunch, but due to allergies and general health concerns they've requested that those lunches avoid nuts, non-organic fruits or veggies, anything with added sugar (including homemade items that contain extra sugar, with the exception of homemade bread), dried fruits & juices that are naturally high in sugar, anything pre-packaged or heavily processed. And dd1 has sensitivities to wheat and corn. It's been a challenge to come up with healthy, balanced, fun, and interesting lunches! She often takes some leftovers from dinner, but it's still a challenge.

In general we deal with the high price of food by getting all out veggies and herbs through our CSA (which is local, organic, and biodynamic). We're drying and freezing a lot of the self-pick produce included in our CSA. Right now we're also picking a lot of apples at local organic orchards and drying them for the winter, but when we buy at the store we limit our organic "budget" to the dirty dozen and just try to buy local for anything else. We have a bread machine, rice cooker, and slow cooker and those have been a life saver for healthy/busy cooking. We make a few loaves of bread a week, I put whole oats in the slow cooker and let it go overnight so that we have hot oatmeal in the mornings, and the rice cooker... well, we eat a lot of brown rice so that's one of my favorite kitchen "gadgets". I know Alton Brown says no "single use items" in the kitchen but I looooooove my rice cooker!

Does anyone else enjoy making bento style lunches for their littles or the adults in the house who are "out and about" for lunch?
post #36 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by janasmama View Post
I've always started with avocado as a first food. It's got a really creamy taste and lots of good healthy fats. Avocado is a fruit and some people like to start with veggies first so their children don't get that 'sweet' taste and only want sweet....but avo's aren't sweet.
We started with avocado too. I've always found not starting with fruit idea on the basis of it being sweet weird- isn't breastmilk sweet? I'd say my dd definitely has a sweet tooth now
Anyway, I wondering about recipes for homemade cereal- do you simply grind rice and add bm? When my dd is ready to start experimenting- she's only 4 months so we have awhile yet--can I simply give her some of our morning porridge? This is a great thread!
post #37 of 45
We generally let the girls play with whatever dh and I were eating (assuming no big allergens)... so a scoop of our morning oatmeal or rice porridge was (and still is) a pretty common breakfast for the girls. With dd1 I did cut the thicker oatmeal with breastmilk, but these days we make a thinner porridge and dd2 didn't have any problems with eating it "straight up". (I'm really fond of chewy porridge, but dh and dd1 like thinner stuff and at a certain point they "won" the battle )

I think the LLL site suggests meat as a first food? I know dd2 was really fond of chewing on little strips of meat early on. She didn't always swallow it, but she loved gumming it up into goo before spitting it out.

DD1 loved avocado straight from the skin but dd2 refused to eat it... until she tried guacamole. She still wont eat plain avocado (crazy child ) but add a little lemon or garlic and she eats it by the spoonful. I think the real key to low stress eating with kiddos is to just go with the flow and let them show you which foods they like! (within reason of course, but if all the options are "healthy" then there shouldn't be too much trouble)
post #38 of 45
i was eating a peach last week and holding DS and he lunged for it. typical, but unlike when he lunges for my sandwich or my glass of smoothie, or my sunglasses or hair, it was actually a ripe, squishy whole natural food i was eating... i let him lick the peach and you could see his little mind working - like, "WOW! what's THIS?"
post #39 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by oyinmama View Post
i was eating a peach last week and holding DS and he lunged for it. typical, but unlike when he lunges for my sandwich or my glass of smoothie, or my sunglasses or hair, it was actually a ripe, squishy whole natural food i was eating... i let him lick the peach and you could see his little mind working - like, "WOW! what's THIS?"
I let my little guy taste some banana, he looked liked YUM!!!!
post #40 of 45
About first foods, for DD1 we did a multi grain cereal, but within the same week she also had some of my yogurt. She was (and still is) very into food from babyhood, maybe 4 months old watching us eat with that "gimme" look. I don't think we started anything until about 5 months, but her cues were very clear. For DD2 we'll see.
I wonder why DS loved a good tofu curry and avacado as a toddler, and now won't even touch either?

Regarding the food budget, ouch. I've started going to the cheaper grocery stores around here, and picked up a breadmaker at goodwill when the bread I'd buy went up to almost $4/loaf. Everyone is loving the homemade bread. I'm pretty much a from scratch person anyway, so that's not a big deal. Thankfully we don't rely on things like premade mixes (pancakes, cornbread, biscuits, brownies, etc.) I don't buy a lot of snacks, with the exception of Goldfish or Pretzels about once a month. We're doing at least 3 meat free dinners, versus one before. Our grocery stores are now carrying rBGH free milk, so I've started getting that instead of the organic milk I was getting. Eggs keep going up, but we have an egg man nearby where I can get fresh eggs for $2/doz. (Wish I could have chickens!) And today I bought a bushel of apples to make applesauce and some sliced freezer apples for pies. Peaches were $40/bushel so I really need to sit down and do the math to see if it's worth it to can some. Worth it financially, at least. I know it would be worth it for my personal satisfaction.
Looking at all of my paraben and SLS free soaps, oils, and lotions.....they may be the next to go if things keep on tanking. It's very frustrating.
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