Cooking Carrots

cooking carrots
Originally uploaded by karmakeda.

I'm forgetting a lot these days, so before I forget this, I wanted to make a note of my tips for making babyfood, and how we feed him now, at eight months.

Asher eats mostly food we cook, supplemented with commercially prepared jars when we are out and I'm not organised enough to bring food from home. We started with just rice cereal at around 24 weeks but quickly moved on to pureed pear and apple, then carrot, pumpkin and sweet potato. He now eats pretty much anything that we can puree, mush up or break into tiny pieces.

When I cook food specially for him, as opposed to when I feed him food that we have cooked for ourselves, I have learnt to cut it up much smaller than I would cut up food for me. This is because fruit and vegetables need to be pureed or mashed (the stick blender is my saviour!) and this is easier when they are cooked right through. So cut up small the whole piece gets cooked but the outside doesn't get too overcooked, which keeps the colour and texture good and minimises the loss of nutrients.

When Asher eats our food we try to make sure we reduce the amount of salt and spices we put in our food, but otherwise we just cook it as normal. Tonight we had roast chook and veggies for dinner and tomorrow Asher will probably get some of the roast carrot, potato and beetroot fork-mashed with some water and yoghurt with a bit of very finely diced chicken.

Most of what we cook for him is organic produce, which means it's mostly seasonal (organic fruit and veg is expensive enough when it's in season, out-of-season it's exorbitant), but we have stopped worrying about the allergy stuff. I know a lot of people are very careful about introducing new foods but I talked to my dad about it and he had a conversation with one of his colleagues about it and they believe that there isn't much evidence to suggest that early exposure increases the risk of allergy. We have put our money where our mouth is, so to speak, and he has had egg (in the form of frittata), prawns, wheat, dairy and probably something containing nuts or blended vegetable oil (which always contains peanut oil). We haven't given him sushi yet, but I would feel completely comfortable doing so (except it would mean less for me!).

I actually quite enjoy cooking for him, and I don't mind the process of feeding him now that we are both a bit better at it, although I miss the convenience of a totally breastfed baby (if the baby was with me I knew I had enough food for him!). I'm looking forward to trying new foods and, now that he has a tooth, increasing the textures we try.

Edited to add: when I puree food or have more mashed foood than he can eat in about two sittings I freeze it in a lidded ice cube tray. I then pop the frozen food cubes out inot a ziplock bag or a plastic take-away container and label carefully.

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