When it was time for Ruu to start solid foods we decided to make all of her food at home. Lauren was dubious when I first made the suggestion, because it seemed like a lot of work. It was at first. In truth I wasn’t sure if I could keep up the motivation to maintain the practice. But as a household that cooks in on an average of 4-5 nights a week, it quickly became second nature and we soon built up quite the variety. Currently the freezer holds a healthy stock of 5 veggies, one fruit, and two proteins. It hasn’t always been perfect, mind you. Our first green beans experience was less than ideal. But I soon learned that texture was the key and she never had a problem with them again. I screwed up again when I made chicken for the first time. It’s thin enough for her to eat, but still a touch mealy and she loses her mind with every bite. I’m either going to have to try and puree it finer with a vegetable or scrap the whole batch and try again. It was a bit discouraging, but rather than give up, I tried again with pot roast. This time i pureed the meat with some carrots and water for a smoother consistency. Tonight Ruu ate it up, happy as a clam and restored some of my waning faith that I could succeed with proteins. I’m excited to make turkey and sweet potato next!
There were several motivations behind the decision to cook Ruu’s baby food ourselves. Obviously, we felt it was healthier and cheaper to go DIY but there were some personal reasons that made me consider it in the first place, and it all stems from a theory I’ve cultivated concerning kids and vegetables. In my experience, baby food from a jar tastes awful. It never comes close to tasting like the food it claims to be, I think this negative experience creates early resistance in some children where vegetables are concerned. We tend to enjoy foods our taste buds perceive as delicious and detest things they find repulsive; it’s not always the food itself we find distasteful, but the method in which it was prepared. It is my hope that by making Ruu’s food myself, she will grow up with an appreciation for healthy foods because they taste delicious when you know how to prepare them.
This is, of course, just my own opinion, and it doesn’t hold up in every case. My nephew eats the hell out of some canned food and loves it. I don’t judge parents that want to go the pre-prepared route. It’s just that I gag every time I try a spoonful of the stuff, and if I don’t want to eat it, why would I feed it to Ruu? At the end of the day parenting is a journey with many paths and we all have to walk the one that works best for us and our families.
Also, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that the food snob in me cringes at the thought of her eating anything I didn’t make with my own hands. So there. I admit it. I feed my baby girl delicious, healthy, gourmet meals to assuage my own ego. It’s a complete coincidence that she benefits. Go ahead and judge me.