I had hoped that the time would stand still. Breastfeeding is going so swimmingly with Lily, I hate to add the complication of other foods. But the clock never stops, nor does Lily stop growing into her own little person.
In the spare moments I scrape out of my day before falling asleep I have been reading Child of Mine by Ellyn Satter and I am finding it remarkably full of common sense. It is a breath of fresh air and gives me hope that the current problems I am having feeding my 3 year old healthy food (he would live on snacks and never eat at meals if I let him) can be solved for him and prevented with Lily.
When Lily presented me with every single item on the list of readiness for food, I couldn’t deny her any longer… and she ate her first food today. And what can I say? She loved it!
But one of the things Ms. Satter mentions in her book is that it is best to mix breastmilk or formula with the rice cereal to keep the child’s protein intake up. Mixing it with juice or water (oops, I have always done water… I guess none of my kids have died from it yet.) can increase their carbohydrates and reduce the protein they take in. There was a little more to it, which I will probably butcher if I try to write out, but it was the first time I have really heard a reason for taking the trouble to mix the cereal with breastmilk or formula.
Now it isn’t strictly necessary to start solid food with rice cereal or at the same time *I* am doing, but this is one approach. As with all aspects of parenting, it is best to educate yourself and keep in touch with your pediatrician when you have questions or concerns. That said, one of the reasons the author cites for starting with rice cereal is that the child starts out learning how to make the transition from moving food straight down their throat (as with breastmilk or formula) to knowing how to hold the food in their mouth for a moment to manipulate or chew it. Starting with rice cereal diluted with the breastmilk or formula the baby is familiar with allows you to slowly thicken it as the child understands the idea of eating better.
Now all this was to say that I found myself slightly unprepared and really wishing I had anticipated my coming needs with THIS. Of course I could use a regular ice cube tray to store some breastmilk, or even those handy little breastmilk bags, but if I am just using a little at a time, those little bags will get used up fast, and with all the current worries about plastics… well I would just like to avoid that. This handy little ice-cube-tray-with-a-cover is, to quote Cotton Babies directly “FDA-approved food-safe plastic. #4 LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene) and #2 HDPE (High Density Polyethylene). Contains no PVC, Bisphenol-A, or Plasticizer”. I feel pretty safe about that. And I won’t have to run upstairs to pump at the last minute when it seems like a good time for a snack for Lily.
Soon we will be stepping up to new foods and textures and breastmilk for mixing won’t be a problem anymore. A tool like this tray will allow me to pull aside some food before seasoning or mixing from our regular meals and chop it up and freeze a little for later. This saves me both time and money. Remember, once the food is frozen, you can pop it out of the tray and store the cubes in another container so you always have room to freeze a little bit more.
And if you have any doubts about making your own baby food, I challenge you to mash up some cooked peas (from fresh or frozen) and compare them to the peas from jarred baby food.
Jarred baby food is nice on the run, but I want my kids to know how great veggies taste!
Oh, one more thing, this little Fresh Baby Food Tray Set costs less than 20 jars of baby food. Just so you know.