Sunday, July 22, 2012

Chow Time

When I started this blog over 4 years ago (!!!), I had very little knowledge about food and cooking, and as a lifelong picky eater, I wanted to change that. So I subscribed to a CSA and began to receive boxes of in-season fruits and vegetables. 

The blog was a way to hold myself accountable. I didn't want to let the food spoil or give it away without at least trying to like it. While I can't say that I ate every last rutabega, I kept up the subscription for two summers and two winters. Throughout this time, I tried many, many recipes and learned a lot about what I like and don't like, and how to prepare and pair foods and flavors. I still have a lot to learn. But I strive to make simple, flavorful dishes with as many whole foods as possible. 

Now that Tabitha is 6 months old and stares intently at whatever I put in my mouth, I am excited to introduce this philosophy of eating to her. She is definitely ready. In addition to showing interest in food, she sits up well, has great head control, and a big appetite. 

There are many different ways to introduce babies to food. Some parents start feeding their babies at 4 months while others wait longer. Some begin with purees while others go straight to big pieces of whole food. Some make their own baby food while others prefer to buy it in jars. Others chew the food first before giving to baby, introduce meat before vegetables, or incorporate culturally relevant flavors. For the record I believe there is no right or wrong way to start feeding a baby, just the way that parents feel is best for their child. 

I wanted to start with pureed food but skip the rice cereal, which is traditionally used to introduce babies to a new texture but has little nutritional value. Since Tabitha is used to the sweet taste of breast milk and formula, I began with a sweet potato puree, but this proved to be too ambitious. Although she gamely tried some, it was clearly too much too soon. From that point on, she'd twist her head away from the spoon and refuse to eat any more. So today I made a batch of oatmeal, pureed a couple of spoonfuls, and mixed in a lot of formula. I started with some watery bites and gradually added more puree with each feeding. 

This seemed to work better. She continued to accept bites over the course of three feedings and lasted much longer in her chair (a great Craigslist find that lets her sit right at the table with us and will continue to fit her as she grows). While I don't know that she actually swallowed any of it, she is on her way.  

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