Friday, March 30, 2012

Squash/Non-cooked Foods

We're back again! =o)

I covered sweet potatoes yesterday and squash (butternut squash and acorn squash specifically) is pretty much the same except the way you cook it.
It is still cooked in the oven, or if you'd like cut up into pieces and boil/steam them.
Cut the squash in half, take all the seeds out. You do not need to peel the skin off.
Put about an inch water in a glass bakeware and put the squash CUT SIDE down. Set the oven at 375 degrees. I would put the squash in for about 20 minutes and then check to see if the squash is soft. Feel the outside and if it is soft when you squeeze it.
Wait at least 10 minutes for the squash to cool.
Take the meat of the squash and put in the food processor. KEEP THE WATER just in case. Again, puree to the thickness that you want. You may use the cooking water to thin the puree a little.
Put the the ice trays and freeze.

**One thing that I forgot yesterday! When I take the frozen cubes out I put them in a ziploc freezer bag and label and date it so I know what it is and when I made it. You don't want to keep the food frozen for too long. I think up to 6 months. But I'm sure you'll be restocking the food WAY before then anyway.

Non-cooked Foods
Avocados and bananas fall under this category. You pretty much just take out what you want to feed the baby at the moment and mash with a fork. I would not recommend pureeing with the food processor since both these items oxidize (brown) very quickly.
When I fed Lexi these two I didn't mash them too much, as I said before she didn't like the really pureed texture. Also, Lexi did not like the bananas when I fed them to her, I guess they were too slimy.. who knows. She eats them now though! =o)

Well that's all for now! If I forgot anything or if you have questions please let me know! I apologize in advance if there is anything missing, Lexi has not been sleeping well at night and getting up twice... I think due to her teeth...Cross your fingers for tonight! =o)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Oatmeal/Sweet Potatoes

I forgot to mention yesterday that I also make oatmeal for Lexi. I actually didn't even think about making it for her when she first started eating solid food. Its pretty much the same as cooking/grinding rice. You put however much you want (I use Bob's Red Mill Extra Thick Rolled Oats)

Grind it up in the food processor, save the ground up oatmeal that you don't want to use in a container, and cook as much as you want to use at the moment or the next few days.
** Remember to keep stirring when you are cooking it, I would again use 1/4 cup of ground oatmeal and 1/2 cup of water first and add water if needed. DO NOT cook with breastmilk or formula. Add the milk in when serving.

Sweet Potatoes/Yams:

Okay, now onto REAL food =o). I start Lexi on Sweet Potatoes/Yams (good for 4-6 months). I baked them in the oven, but you can cut them up and steam/boil them instead (after boiling/steaming follow the directions after "bake for 25-35 minutes"). (You can find the recipe on the website that I gave you in the first post as well.)

To Bake:
  • Heat oven to 375 (or 400, my oven tends to be hotter and I felt that I had more control of burning[forgetting about it... haha a mom forgetting about something?? thats 'new'.. =o)]). 
  • Poke the potato with a fork all the way around (just like making baked regular potatoes)
  • Put on the center rack (No baking sheet!)
  • Bake for 25-35 minutes. 
  • Potato is ready when you can stick a fork easily in it and it comes out easily. (This is called "fork tender" I think according to cooks.)
  • Set the potato aside to cool for at least 5 minutes. 
  • Start peeling the skin off the potato and put the meat into the food processor. (You can also use a potato masher for this, but I find that the food processor makes a better puree for younger children.) When using the food processor you make want to add some water in while you are pureeing it to make it run smoother since the potato is so thick.
  • Divide up the puree into the ice trays and freeze.
A single ice cube is 1 oz of food.
The jars that I mentioned in the second post (Wean Green Glass Jars) are 4 oz each.

So if you are worried that you wont know how much your child is eating, Do not worry!
I always put the food into the jars to feed Lexi regardless if I'm at home or not just so that I know how much she is eating. And plus, if she doesn't eat all of it in one sitting, I just pop the lid on and put it in the fridge.
Since the rice and oatmeal I do not freeze (there is not need to) I always put it in the jar after I finish heating up the veggies/fruit. Once the jar is full I know that I have 4 oz of food to use.

For heating purposes I put the frozen food in the jars, I started with one and then progressed to two/three later on, put it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Then take it out and MIX it. **It is VERY important to mix the food and TEST it before giving it to your child**  Then I add the amount of  rice/oatmeal that I want to use. I put it in the microwave again for 10 seconds, if it needs to be heated more, and then MIX again.
I test the food by eating some of it. This is the best part! Since it is just real food that I would eat, I have no problem trying it out! Lexi just has to fight me for me not to eat it all! =o) J.K.
***I will stress again that you must MIX the food and TEST it before giving it to your child to ensure that the food is not too hot!***

And lastly, remember that there should be at least a 4 day waiting period between giving your child new food to check for allergic reactions. Once your child is clear you can mix with the new food. =o)

Have fun!