Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Weaning Wednesdays: Food preparation & tools

Baby J is much better today, hooray! He coughs less often and has a better appetite, compared to a few days ago when he would look sorrowfully at his food when you try to feed him.  Since he's been sick we've stopped his solids for awhile, since we figured that breastmilk was the best way to go, with all its antibodies and all.  So the only new food we've tried would be oatmeal, which he seems quite ok with, considering that it's pretty bland tasting.  I added apple puree to make it tastier though.

Its a busy day today, so I'm gonna sign off now since the boy's gonna wake soon, and we have our bible study group meeting in 2 hours time... Have a great evening!

Continued the next day:
Anyway, I have friends who are asking about how to prepare the baby food, so I thought I'll just post a summary regarding food preparation and useful tools to have...

Food preparation: At the earlier stage, most fruits (except mango, avocado and bananas) will be cooked.  I usually quarter them, remove their cores/seeds and then steam them with the skins still on, which helps to preserve more nutrients.  Then you'll just need to scrape the flesh off the skins and then blend it or mash it, depending on the texture you want.  Extra puree can be spooned into covered ice cube trays and frozen (which allows you to keep the food from 1-3 months).  For veggies like carrots, you'll need to peel them, wash them throughly, chop them and steam them til soft, then blend/mash them.

For cereals, we usually get the cereal (like brown rice) ground at a shop near our place, or you can buy the instant type which only requires you to add breastmilk or water before consumption.  For the non-cooked versions, I usually put the cereal with water into a small stainless steel cup and heat it in a small saucepan of boiling water, while stirring to get a smooth texture.  I used to heat it up in the microwave, but after reading all sort of reports about how the chemicals in food change after being microwaved, I decided to go for the more tedious, but safer method...

Usually they will recommend that breastmilk be added to the cereal, but I find that it makes the cereal turn runny after about 5 minutes (as there is the enzyme amylase in breastmilk), and since baby J is not too co-operative during feeds, runny cereal is a big no no, as most of the stuff goes on the floor (and into doggy's tummy).  Oh yes, try to store ground cereal in the fridge, as the oils released during grinding may turn the cereal rancid.

Useful tools: You'll need something to grind/blend the food.  One of my mummy friends uses the Munchkin baby food grinder and it has served her very well.  Alternatively, you may want to use a handheld blender, or a small blender.  I'm currently using an all-in-one food processor by Petit Terraillon which contains a steamer, blender, bottle/food warmer and bottle sterilizer in one device.  We got that since we thought it'll be very handy when we go travelling, and its very convenient since you can just blend the food after cooking it, in the same steamer basket.  Another useful set to have is the Pigeon home baby food maker, which contains a mortar and pestle, sieve, juicer and grater.

Yup... I've mentioned previously some useful sites to go to for instructions and recipes, so happy cooking for your baby! :)

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