No, this entry isn’t about the newly-launched iPhone 7. But it is about the correlation of Apple products in general with my baby.
She is deeply fascinated by the iPad and the iPhone. At the tender age of only 8 months, it seems like she can already fathom the concept of touchscreen. Although only able to ‘touch’ the screen with her thumb, she can get pretty irritable when these gadgets are taken away from her. As parents we are very wary of the adverse effects technology pose toward our young ones as excessive usage can lead to poor eyesight, the formation of bad habits, delayed speech, etc., but yes these gadgets have proved to be heaven sent at times.
Nevertheless, it is always my goal to find alternatives in a bid to limit my baby’s fascination and attraction toward these gadgets. These alternatives include battery-operated toys and the good ol’ fashion storybooks.
Enough about that apple, let’s talk about the REAL apple. Upon reaching the age of 6 months, there can only be one notable milestone when a baby hits that mark. The commencement of starting with solids! To be frank, this whole solid food journey was very vague for me. But it turns out, it’s not that difficult.
My initial questions were:
What fruits/veggies do I start with?
What kind of recipes are ideal for a 6-month-old?
How do I ‘cook’ them?
What kind of utensils do I need for baby’s first feedings?
How much should a baby eat per feeding?
How many times a day should a baby eat?
As I moved along while utilising my newfound maternal instincts, these questions were getting answered. Reading and asking for advice from experienced mothers helped immensely.
I was given a starter tip from my SIL to start this journey by giving my baby apple puree — particularly made of fuji apple.
So what do you need before embarking on this journey? Here’s my list:
- Food Processor
I purchased a food processor which consists of a steamer and blender (built as one machine) and I was ready! (In hindsight, it would have been ideal to buy a bigger blender to enable you to make more baby food in which excess baby food can be frozen into cubes to stock up for the next day or so.)
- Baby tableware which can be sterilised (essentially what you need are baby spoons and plates)
- Insulated food jar (which will only come in handy later when your baby starts to eat more and the menu gets more interesting)
- Ready-made baby food for when you’re on the go/travelling
For this purpose, I’ve chosen Heinz.
Besides puree, Heinz also offers other types of baby food like porridge. The Oat & Apple porridge is no cake and ice cream when I gave it a go myself, but baby’s taste buds did not resist one bit! Before any type of food is consumed by my baby – whether homemade or ready-made – I have developed a habit of giving it a “pre-taste”. Call it Mommy Quality Control!
Now back to homemade puree…
Here’s my simple illustration of how apple puree is made:
It’s very easy:
1. Apples are diced into cubes and steamed to make them soft.
2. Once steamed, these cubes are ready to be blended.
3. Blend. Add water if necessary to make the puree truly refined. Puree must be very refined for babies who are starting on solids as their digestive system will not be ready for any actual solids. Baby food in the form of puree is Stage 1 of baby weaning. (This entry will not talk about Stage 2, as I am not there yet!)
4. Ready to be served!
The outcome: BABY LOVES APPLE!
I am not sure about other babies, but by 6 months my baby was already able to grasp the idea of consuming food and understood it when she saw other people eating. She eventually developed a habit of moving her mouth like she was munching on invisible food when she looked at others dining. Not only that, she sort of knew how to differentiate between edible objects and non-edible ones. If I were to put a diced apple near her mouth for instance, her first reaction would be to open her mouth and make an attempt to eat it. Even the mere sight of her spoon triggers excitement as she knows what’s coming.
I am also able to decipher my baby’s liking to a certain food. With some purees, she gets very excited and jumpy (literally). While with others, she’s a bit nonchalant. And even some, she gives that look……of disgust. LOL. On the list of my baby’s dislikes — pear! For some reason, her taste buds does not root for this fruit.
So do we need to go through the process of homemade baby food preparation every single day? For mothers who are able to, that is just wonderful! But a lot goes into the process — with the sterilising, peeling, cutting, washing, etc. if on a daily basis. You know how some people love to cook but hate the washing up part? That’s the sort of feeling I’m talking about.
So what can we do to ensure that our baby gets healthy homemade baby food as much as possible?
—-> Make baby food cubes!
Excess puree can be made and subsequently frozen into cubes to be stocked up for the next day or two. The concept is the same with stocking up expressed breast milk (EBM). Freezing can be done using ice cube trays which gives us the advantage of being able to measure portions with the naked eye.
Baby food cubes can be stored in ziploc bags or containers, which can be labelled. Pop them into the refrigerator/freezer for the next day to save you the hassle of going through the peeling, cutting, washing, etc. Mothers with hectic schedules who are not privileged to be able to spend more time in the kitchen will find this alternative just fabulous!
Also take note of the guidelines on the lifespan of baby food, depending on how they are stored:
After 8 months (which is soon!), my baby’s solid food journey will enter Stage 2. I can’t wait to whip up delicious baby food with more ingredients to play around with by this time. Recipes recipes recipes…!!!
Bon Appetit to all babies!