Friday, October 12, 2012

Now we're cookin'

Two weeks ago, L. Soup reached a stage in her life where she either eats solid food, or she ends up consuming 30 oz of milk in a day.  I personally felt like that was a little bit of overkill for someone so small, so solid food it is!  We started off with some (homemade) rice cereal.  Here is the recipe I followed:

Wholesome Rice Cereal
1/4 cup (around 1 oz) brown rice powder
8 fl oz (1 cup) water
a little formula/breastmilk

To make the rice powder, grind brown rice in a blender or food processor. This is best achieved by grinding in small quantities - but to make the powder REALLY fine, we recommend trying a Coffee and Spice Grinder (advertisement).
You can use white rice if you prefer, but this page explains why brown rice is more nutritious.
Bring the water to a boil.
Add the rice powder, stirring constantly with a wire whisk.
Reduce the heat to very low and simmer gently for about 10 minutes (don't forget to keep stirring, or the rice will stick).
Then stir in enough formula or breastmilk to give the consistency that's best for your baby.

The first experience wasn't the greatest, mostly because these instructions missed a vital step.  After you grind up your rice, you have to sift it through something very fine.  There were still large-ish pieces of rice after it came out of the grinder, so this step was absolutely necessary in order for everyone involved to enjoy the rest of the experience.  Grinding the rice is a bit time consuming, but I do a large batch every time I start to get low, and then all I have to do is measure out whatever I want to cook every few days.

After we got verification that she was interested in rice cereal, my mom made applesauce from some apples off the tree outside her house (more on that later).

Public Service Announcement:
If you are planning on making your own baby food, keep a few things in mind.  Most importantly, remember the dirty dozen.  Make sure to buy organic if you are planning on giving your baby any of those items.  Actually, you should make sure to buy organic if you are planning on eating any of them yourself. Good news though!  There are fruits and vegetables that are super clean, and you don't have to worry about buying them organic.
Also remember to check if your chosen fruit or vegetable is alright to give to your baby.  Some things are restricted to a certain age.
We mixed the applesauce with the rice cereal and BAM.  It was gone.  She LOVED it.  Awesome.  So we went a few days with applesauce, and I stopped at the vegetable stand on the way home one day and picked up two butternut squash.  I cooked those suckers up, following this recipe:

Butternut or Acorn Squash

1 acorn or butternut squash
1. Cut acorn or butternut squash in half, scoop out seeds
2. Place halves face down in a pan and cover with an inch of water
3. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes to 1 hour - be sure the “shell/skin” puckers and halves feel soft then scoop squash “meat” out of the shell
4. Place squash "meat" into your choice of appliance for pureeing and begin pureeing.
5. Add water as necessary to achieve a smooth, thin consistency.
After the initial yuck face, she gobbled that right up too!  We've also had banana, but that only needs to be squished up.  I think our next adventure might be peas.  Or carrots.  I haven't decided yet.

She gets lunch and dinner every day now.  And let me tell you, if you are a little behind schedule with one of them, she lets you know.

My awesome little eater.

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