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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Beating the Baby Food Doldrums

If you make your own baby food, the chance to offer your baby many different tastes and textures is endless. In fact, the greater the variety you offer to your little one, the more adventurous their tastes will be when they become old enough to choose on their own. They'll also tend to gravitate to those foods they ate even in their infancy. That's why it's so important to try a wide variety with your baby. But it's easy to get into a feeding rut when we're such busy moms. From my own experience, I love banana day because it's so easy - just mash that puppy with a fork, maybe add a splash of water to get the right consistency, and you're all set. No cooking, no waiting for food to cool. No defrosting. How easy it would be to feed my son bananas every day! But of course that's not the making of a well-balanced diet. Unless you happen to have a chimpanzee.

So how do we manage to provide that well-balanced diet? And what if our baby's discerning palate spits out half the menu? My son is almost nine months old, and I've recently introduced tofu to his diet. Did he like it? Decidedly not. But mixed with applesauce, he tried to rip the bowl out of my hand and ate as fast as I could shovel it. Lentils? A no-go. Until I mixed it with mashed potatoes. Broccoli? Fuhgetaboudit! Add some of those magic apples, and they're gone faster than you can say Sponge Bob Square Pants. Sometimes the trick is in the combinations. Cheating? Not really. After all, your baby is still eating the "dreaded" fruit or vegetable; the nutrients are going in and so is the taste, albeit disguised. Eventually, they may even learn to like it without the clever cover-up.

With a little creativity, we can keep those different foods coming. It's so important at this stage. We're literally setting up the food map in their heads as to how they eat later in life. If we're clever and we keep at it without giving up, we're giving our children a great gift of health. They'll grow to view fruit as a treat and not something in the lunch box to trade for a Twinkie. Heck, they may even eat their spinach.

If you want some great and creative advice on baby food making, there's a wonderful website that I visit continually. The site is Wholesome Baby Food, and it's got tons of ideas and information on everything about homemade baby food. I've looked at baby food books, but I've found that all the information I need is right here. You'll also find out what to feed when, how to freeze foods, and special info on food allergies. Take a peek and see what you think. I'm sure you'll discover it's a wealth of information.

Got any food tips of your own? Leave them in the Comments section, or email me at


Anonymous said...

thanks! I've been making my own food, but run out of idea on what/when, and hadn't liked the one chart I found. your link is a great one, and your combo ideas too :) one thing ... the link in your article takes you to the wrong page ... it has to be without the "WWW" like you have in your sidebar.

The Anonymous Mama said...

Thanks, Herm! I have absolute fits with links. Somehow I usually manage to goof them up. I'd hate to get this one wrong, because it's one of my favorite baby sites. Glad you found it useful!